Former Maybank Chairman New Felda Chairman

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Former Maybank Chairman Megat Zahsaruddin Megat Mohd Nor is the new Felda Chairman.

Malaysian state palm oil plantation agency, Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), said today it had appointed the former chairman of the country’s biggest bank, Maybank, as its new chairman.

“Seven new board members excluding the chairman including professionals and subject matter experts were also elected effective on the same day,” the statement said.

Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor will replace Tan Sri Shahrir Samad, who was brought in last year with an aim of fixing management issues at the agency and rebuilding support for Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s government among Malaysia’s palm oil settlers ahead of the May 9 general election.

Shahrir, who was appointed as Felda’s chairman in January 2017, resigned shortly after GE14.

Three other Umno political appointees, namely Datuk Abu Bakar Harun, Datuk Mohd Khusairi Abdul Talib and Datuk Mohd Isa Abu Kasim, had also resigned from the Felda board, along with Shahrir.

Megat Zaharuddin was chairman of Maybank for over seven years and has experience in the oil and gas sector for 31 years, Felda said in the statement.

He was also chairman of Maxis Communications Bhd from 2004 to 2007; Etiqa Insurance & Takaful from 2006 to 2009; was with the Malaysian Rubber Board from 2009 to 2010; Maybank Investment Bank Bhd from 2010 to 2016 and the Education Ministry from 2013 to 2016.”

Malaysia’s palm oil settlers, oil palm farmers working for Felda, have been grappling with rising costs of living and high debt levels due to insufficient incomes.