Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oh, The Mega Iskandar

Iskandar Lodges Police Report Alleging Fraudulent Practices By Former Management Members

JOHOR BARU: Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB) has lodged a police report yesterday against certain former members of its senior management team alleging fraudulent practices. Reliable sources say IIB's former president/chief executive officer Arlida Ariff is among those named in the report.
A press statement by IIB said its board had “unanimously resolved to take every initiative within its authority, to hold the persons involved accountable”.
The board said there had been a need to investigate certain issues thoroughly and to initiate its intended action on an informed and factual basis.
Arlida Ariff
“Some of those implicated had resigned in this period, thus pre-empting the said inquiries,” said the statement.
Nevertheless, the board believes the matter will receive the appropriate attention and follow-up by the authorities and IIB will support them fully in seeking a thorough and just conclusion.
IIB also confirmed that a comprehensive process of review, investigation and inquiry with the involvement of external auditors Ernst & Young has recently been concluded.
Ernst & Young highlighted the need to strengthen IIB's key controls in a number of respects and the recommendations would be carried through in a responsible and measurable manner, IIB said.
Johor police chief Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff could not be reached to confirm on the police report made by IIB.
Arlida did not respond to phone calls and emails from StarBiz.
It had been earlier reported that Arlida's exit were linked to reports of irregularities in the awarding of infrastructure contracts during her watch and that an internal audit was initiated to look into the matter.
Arlida was first appointed as head honcho of IIB, the company responsible for bringing investments into Johor's Iskandar Malaysia, in 2007.
She was made executive director on July 2, 2007, and on Jan 1, 2008, she became the president and CEO.
Khazanah Nasional Bhd formed IIB, a 60% subsidiary, as a catalyst investor focusing on greenfield developments in the Iskandar project.
The Employees Provident Fund and Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor each has a 20% stake in IIB.
Arlida, who is an engineer by training, spent 15 years with the KLCC Group prior to IIB and among noteworthy projects that Arlida was involved with at KLCC were the Petronas Twin Towers, Maxis and ExxonMobil Tower, Mandarin Oriental Hotel and the KLCC Park.
Under her leadership, IIB attracted investments in projects such as the RM300mil Newcastle University Medical Faculty (due for opening this year) and the RM715mil Legoland Theme Park (to open in 2012).
IIB appointed its new president/CEO Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim on Nov 1 last year when Khazanah decided not to extend Arlida's contract, which ended on Dec 31.
Syed Mohamed was DRB-HICOM Bhd property and infrastructure group director.

Source: The Star - Tuesday, April 5, 2011