(File pix) In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, FGV Holdings Bhd says the move would be effective from Sept 13.

KUALA LUMPUR: FGV Holdings Bhd yesterday announced that Datuk Zakaria Arshad had been suspended from his duties as the group president and chief executive officer (CEO) efffective immediately.

The announcement came a few hours after Zakaria had refuted speculation that his termination as FGV’s director was a means for him to resign as the group’s president and CEO.

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, FGV said a notice of inquiry had been issued to Zakaria yesterday, following the conclusion of internal investigations into 10 critical issues.

“Each of these issues has resulted in financial loss for FGV and its shareholders FGV will continue its business as usual. In the interim, the Special Board Committee 2 comprising four FGV directors namely its chairman Datuk Wira Azhar Abdul Hamid, Datuk Dr Salmiah Ahmad, Dr Mohamed Nazeeb P Alithambi and Datin Hoi Lai Ping will take over the responsibilities to perform the functions of the group president and CEO of FGV.

“Further announcements shall be made in the event of material developments on this matter,” it added.

Earlier today, Zakaria said the issue of his directorship removal had been agreed at FGV’s annual general meeting (AGM) on June 28, within his knowledge.

"This decision was discussed by the management team, which included myself and company secretary. There were some suggestions, some agreed for the management to be separated from the board and there were others who were against it.

"The result of the discussions was brought to the AGM last June, and the resolution on this matter was approved.

“So the speculation should not arise because the decision was also agreed upon by me," Zakaria said after the launch of a joint intiative by FGV and Malaysian Palm Oil Board to spearhead the use of B10 biodiesel fuel here today.

FGV said on Wednesday it had received a letter from the Minister of Finance Inc (MoF Inc) informing it of the withdrawal of the ministry's nomination of Zakaria as director.

Zakaria said as he was an MoF appointee, it had to go through the ministry and further to Bursa Malaysia.

He clarified that the steps were taken to disassociate management with board of directors, so that the board can be more transparent, fair and free without the highest management’s influence.

Zakaria, whose contract ends in March 2019, said it would be up to the board to continue his contract or otherwise.

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