KUALA LUMPUR: Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia (PIDM) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Samad Alias (pic) has been appointed to the board of advisers of the government’s investment arm, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
In a statement yesterday, 1MDB chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin said the investment arm is “honoured” to have Abdul Samad, whom he described as “one of the most respected figures in Malaysia’s financial community”, on its board of advisers.
So, the question arises — why was Abdul Samad not appointed to the main board instead?
Lodin’s statement went on to say: “His advice will be invaluable as the company moves forward with its strategic review, with the aim of ensuring that 1MDB is best positioned to maximise value from its investment portfolio and fulfil its broader economic objectives.”
1MDB’s board of advisers is chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. The special adviser to the investment arm is former Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Jassim Jabr Al-Thani.
Abdul Samad joins the ranks of Petroliam Nasional Bhd chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, Finance Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah and Khazanah Nasional Bhd deputy chairman Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop. His foreign counterparts include Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority chairman Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton Group chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) Bernard Arnault.
A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, Abdul Samad has also served as Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd chairman and non-executive chairman of Messrs Ernst and Young. He was previously president of the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Malaysian Institute of Accountants, and is currently a member of both.
Abdul Samad is the second latest appointment made to the beleaguered state wealth fund after former Gulf-based banker Arul Kanda, who took over the helm as 1MDB president and group executive director on Jan 5.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 22, 2015.