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[KUALA LUMPUR] The chairman of Malaysia's Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd has asked chief executive Zakaria Arshad to resign - a request that he has refused, according to a letter by Mr Zakaria that was seen by Reuters.
A spokesman for Felda Global, the world's third largest palm plantation operator, said that the board had asked for Mr Zakaria to take a leave of absence effective immediately.
In the letter, dated June 5, Mr Zakaria said he had been accused of wrongdoing in payments to a Afghan company that Felda Global had done business with. '"The chairman has asked that I resign as president and FGV group chief executive due to accusations that I have violated corporate governance code," he said in the letter. "The payment process... was approved and implemented by the previous chief executive... I am not guilty of those accusations and will not resign as instructed."
Mr Zakaria was appointed in April last year, replacing Felda Global's previous chief executive who oversaw a failed controversial deal to buy a stake in Indonesia's PT Eagle High Plantations Tbk.