Discarding the Older Workhorse


Just because there is a new workhorse in one’s stable, it does not mean that the older workhorse should be left to die or discard. Probably there are still productive utilities and roles of the older workhorse in the farm.

That is what we were told about Former Group President and CEO of FELDA Global Ventures Bhd (FGV)  Tan Sri Dato’ Sabri Ahmad.

Sabri was controversially replaced Emir Mavani announced earlier this year, on 15 July 2013. The seasoned planter had served in that capacity for three years, taking over from Tan Sri Mohd. Bakke Mohd. Salleh, whom was assigned to Sime Darby Bhd.

Sabri, Isa and Mavani

It was reliably informed that all facilities and benefits accorded to Sabri would end come first day of October. This include medical, hospitalisation and company car.

This is because FGV decided to ‘retire’ Sabri against his will from all directorship, which include various BoD that he is now serving of subsidiary and associated companies where FGV have shareholdings and interests.

It is also believed that this matter was raised in BoD FGV and the decision is made.

We were told Sabri has been gravely ill since a week before he officially retired. He has been in and out of hospitals and surgeries and now undergoing medical treatment and therapy.

This will summarily end all the medical and hospitalisation facility accorded to Sabri, as a immediate Former FGV and BoD of several FGV companies.

FGV Chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad, Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak and Former FGV CEO Tan Sri Sabri Ahmad

Why the decision is made is hazy. However it is baffling to learn that FGV Chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad did not play his role and all the cards available to him considering that Sabri  played pivotal role in the IPO exercise of FGV, which was dubbed the “Most successful in 2012 after ‘Facebook'”.

Sabri as a seasoned planter and corporate leader, provided the strong and visionary leadership for the restructuring and all the strategic and planning work for the IPO.

Against a lot of opposition from within, FELDA (authority) senior management, BoD of Koperasi Permodalan FELDA (KPF) and of course Opposition charged NGOs such as ANAK, Sabri was steadfast in realising Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s ‘Transformation Plan’ for the FELDA community.

Prime Minister Najib announced the listing of FGV in the 7 October 2011 Bajet 2012 speech in Dewan Rakyat.

Pengarah Besar Lembaga FELDA Dato' Seri Dzulkifli Wahab, Pengerusi Lembaga FELDA Tan Sri Isa Samad dan CEO FGVH Dato' Seri Sabri Ahmad semasa sidang media

Senior Director FELDA (Authority) Dato’ Seri Dzulkifli Wahab, Chairman of FELDA (Authority) Tan Sri Isa Samad and CEO FGVH Dato’ Seri Sabri Ahmad at the media conference in Kuala Pilah, Nov 2011, after meeting the FELDA community leaders for FGV IPO roadshow

The corporate exercise alone was daunting, since the opposition of BoD KPF and then senior management of FELDA (authority), FELDA Holdings Bhd. (FGV) were unable to be injected into FGV for the ‘share-swap’, which will directly benefit KPF shareholders. Instead, Sabri engineered ‘Plan B’ that the holdings that was supposed to go to KPF were channeled into a SPV.

The SPV would also finance all the development programs for FELDA community, which would be focused for the 2nd and 3rd generation.

Sabri worked very hard and his contribution, via the corporate leadership was immense. He tirelessly spearheaded all the roadshows globally for international investors during the pre-listing of FGV, the strategic partnership and networking to ensure that FGV growth and future business plans are subjected to a formidable plan and followed through.

Sabri’s explanation on the SPV intended for he strategic and development programs of FELDA community

It is obvious that Sabri did so much for FGV shareholders and FELDA community on behalf of the Federal Government in so little time. It is utter shameful for all that deeds and success stories that Sabri made and marked, is not commensurated with the decision to discard him entirely.

What is most shameful is the believe that Isa did not do his best to stand up for Sabri, in the latter’s most trying moments. Especially in the tone where FGV is making ‘very expensive investments’.

Published in: on September 23, 2013 at 23:52  Comments (19)