Felcra board, led by Bung Moktar’s replacement, resigns en masse

Syed Jaymal Zahiid
Felcra chairman Datuk Nageeb Wahab, who replaced Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin in 2018, confirmed the resignations. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — The entire Felcra Berhad board of directors quit the land development agency today, the latest clearout under the new Perikatan Nasional administration.

Chairman Datuk Nageeb Wahab, who replaced Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin in 2018, confirmed the resignations.

Nageeb was handpicked to lead the firm by the deposed Pakatan Harapan administration for his vast experience in the plantation industry. He is still the chief executive officer of the Malaysian Plantation Board and was formerly the vice-president at Sime Darby Plantation Sdn. Bhd. 

“This is to make way for the new government to select  candidates of their choice,” he said in a short text reply to Malay Mail.

The board members’ resignations came amid a major shakeup taking place in key government companies and agencies. Appointees of the PH government have had their contracts either terminated or were told to leave, according to sources.

Nearly all these appointments consisted of technocrats with no political affiliations, as part of the coalition’s push to eradicate rent-seeking in GLCs.

Political appointments were commonplace prior to PH’s takeover of federal power.

Nageeb did not confirm nor deny that he and the rest of the Felcra board members were told to step down, and described the meeting with Rural Development Minister Datuk Abdul Latiff Ahmad prior to the resignation as “cordial”.

“The Felcra board members had a cordial meeting with YB Datuk Dr Latif of KPLB this morning,” he said.

The clearout comes as the ruling Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia gears up for elections slated for June, although there is speculation that its president and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin may delay the polls as his administration deals with the Covid-19 crisis.

Paving way for new appointments meant leaders loyal Muhyiddin could use the vacant positions to court support and stave off twice-former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his faction, who are set to mount a challenge for control of the party.

Dr Mahathir, said to be highly influential among the party grassroots, co-founded Bersatu.

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