Vacuum in Bank Rakyat as stakeholders clash over choice of new MD

PETALING JAYA: A disagreement among stakeholders in the government-controlled Bank Rakyat is stalling the appointment of a new managing director, creating a vacuum at the management level, FMT has learnt.

It is understood that the presence of a “rival candidate” to replace outgoing managing director Zulkiflee Abbas has complicated matters in Bank Rakyat, a cooperative bank under the jurisdiction of the entrepreneur development ministry.

“Zulkiflee is already on leave while serving out his resignation notice, which will expire on April 2,” a well-placed source told FMT.

It said Entrepreneurial Development Minister Redzuan Yusof had selected a “highly qualified” candidate to replace Zulkiflee but “the process has not moved”.

“I cannot understand how this happened because they have known for months that Zulkiflee will be leaving,” the source said, adding that the appointment of a new managing director should have been finalised months ago.

“Without an MD, the bank will be stunted as there will be no one to lead its executive functions.

“If this were to happen, Bank Negara would not be happy,” the source said, referring to the central bank.

It is understood that bank chairman Noripah Kamso will not be able to assume the duties of managing director due to issues of good governance.

Bank Rakyat is governed by the Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Berhad Act 1978.

The act gives powers to Redzuan, the current cooperative development minister, to instruct the bank’s board on its affairs.

This includes the appointment of managing director, for which the minister’s approval is needed.

FMT’s attempts yesterday to get a response from bank chairman Noripah were unsuccessful. FMT is also awaiting a response from Redzuan.