The Majlis Permuafakatan Felda NGO Council has described the indefinite suspension of FGV Holdings Bhd group president and CEO Zakaria Arshad as unfair and a hasty act.
The chairperson of the group, Mazlan Aliman, said the move had defamed Zakaria as a settler’s son who had worked with Felda for 35 years.
“We want the government to intervene, but if it happens otherwise and Zakaria is not treated fairly, then we will organise a solidarity (gathering)," he told a press conference after attending the Malaysia Day celebration in Felda Bukit Ramun, Kulai.
Besides Anak Peneroka Felda (Anak), Majlis Permuafakatan Felda also comprises several Felda-linked groups, namely Suara Generasi Kedua Felda (SGK2), Majlis Belia Felda Malaysia (MBFM), Kami Anak Felda (KAF), Persatuan Pegawai Kanan Felda dan Kesatuan Sekerja Felda.
Zakaria was suspended until further notice on Sept 13, the second time in 15 months as head of the palm oil company.
His suspension came after the Ministry of Finance Inc withdrew its nomination of Zakaria, 58, as the government-appointed director at the world’s largest crude palm oil producer.
Mazlan (photo) said the Felda settlers’ community was disappointed with the action as it was deemed unfair.
"We are sympathetic towards him over the situation that he faces, even though his contract with FGV will only end in March 2019. It should not have ended under the present circumtances," he said.
In another development, Mazlan asked the government to step in to review FGV’s position as the council felt that its listing on Bursa Malaysia by the previous government was a calamity that led to its adverse condition now.
He claimed that Felda lost its revenue of nearly 80 percent after Felda Plantation's 360,000ha land was leased by FGV for 99 years.
"Prior to the listing, it had been contributing RM1 billion a year to Felda," he said.