Megat Zaharuddin named as Felda chairman on 2-yr contract

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 27): Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor, former chairman of the country's biggest bank, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), has been named as the chairman of Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), which is believed to be valid for the next two years.

Megat Zaharuddin replaces Tan Sri Shahrir Samad, who had lost the Johor Bahru parliamentary constituency under the Umno ticket in the 14th general election on May 9.

"A letter from the government was passed to the board of Felda within this week, naming Tan Sri Megat as the chairman," sources familiar with the matter told theedgemarkets.com today.

The sources added that Megat Zaharuddin arrived at Menara Felda at 8:15am, and met with the directors, as well as the Felda management team led by the director-general Datuk Ab Ghani Ali.

"The meeting with the directors and staff lasted before the Friday prayers," the sources said.

Established by Malaysia's second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak in 1970, Felda is a land settlement scheme tied to oil palm plantation and a product of the New Economic Policy aimed at alleviating extreme poverty in the country.

Currently, Felda is the single largest shareholder with a 34% stake in FGV Holdings Bhd, which is involved in the planting and production of the crude palm oil.

In politics, Felda is seen as a valuable asset, as at least 54 parliamentary constituencies are located within Felda settlements.

Meanwhile, the sources said the government is in the midst of restructuring the composition of Felda's board, with two to three new directors to be named within the next one to two weeks.