PNB confirms Jalil has quit as chief executive

Abdul Jalil Rasheed, 38, was the youngest person to be appointed head of fund manager Permodalan Nasional Berhad.

PETALING JAYA: Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) has confirmed the resignation of its chief executive Abdul Jalil Rasheed after nine months on the job, hours after Jalil informed company staff in an emotional message about his departure.

The PNB board said it had accepted Jalil’s resignation as president and group chief executive from today, and thanked him for his leadership and contributions to PNB during his tenure.

A new chief executive had been appointed, and would be named after the company has received regulatory approvals, the board said.

PNB, a government-linked company, is Malaysia’s largest fund management and investment company, handling more than RM300 billion in funds, through unit trusts such as Amanah Saham Nasional.

Jalil said he was leaving after a bout of harassment in recent weeks which made him fear for the wellbeing of his young family. In his message to staff, and in a series of tweets on Twitter, he said:

“The last straw for me was the harassment I had to endure from hate calls from unknown numbers, hacking of my other corporate email account and my LinkedIn profile. This made me increasingly worry for the wellbeing of my family. In the end, I decided that it would be unfair to my family should matters escalate.”

His resignation had been speculated on Saturday by The Edge, which led to PPBM supreme council member Abdul Kadir Jasin alleging on Sunday that Jalil was a victim of the new Perikatan Nasional government.

Kadir said Jalil was being forced out because of alleged discrepancies in his academic qualifications, while the Edge said there were “issues” about his appointment.

Jalil, 38, was the youngest person to fill the post of chief executive at PNB when he was appointed in October last year, after 14 years with international fund management and investment companies. He had spent eight years with Aberdeen Standard Investments and six years with the American fund manager Invesco, based in Singapore.

According to Kadir, who is a former media adviser to Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Jalil had dug up “the muck” left behind by previous PNB top officials appointed by the Barisan Nasional government. He said Jalil had stood up to several Malay tycoons.

“The investment agency is no longer a gravy train for them,” Kadir said.

Jalil said that when he took up the chief executive’s position he had decided not to waver in his principles in performing his duties. “Making the right decisions is (often) riddled with difficulties and some will be unpopular. There was a line I would not cross.”

He said his moving back to KL from Singapore had come at a financial and family cost.

“I truly wanted to contribute to nation building. I have never been attracted to the perks of my office. I was always driven by ‘niat baik’, to do good. In the end it was not worth the effort when my family was unfairly being dragged into this unfortunate situation,” he said.

He urged PNB staff to stay the course and hold on to their principles and integrity to uphold the trust of the 14 million unit holders who relied on them to deliver returns from their hard earned money.

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