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Friday April 30, 2010

Petronas names five new independent directors

By YAP LENG KUEN
lengkuen@thestar.com.my


PETALING JAYA: Five new independent directors have been appointed to the board of Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) in addition to the existing two, bringing the current number of directors to 16.

However, sources indicate that some more changes could be in the offing to reflect a more balanced board, wider experience in the energy industry, corporate and legal sectors as well as a global outlook.

Besides keeping up with the status and expectations of Petronas as a Fortune 500 company, it is believed the aim is also to have a board composition that reflects 1Malaysia.

According to sources, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had these changes in mind and the new Petronas president and CEO, Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas, shared the same thinking.

The appointment of the new directors – Datin Yap Siew Bee, Datuk Mohamad Idris Mansur, Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin, Harry Menon and Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim – is believed to be effective two days ago.

From left: Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin, Harry Menon and Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim

Among the current directors, four are believed to be stepping down – lawyer Abdul Kadir Md Kassim when he turns 70, as well as Datuk Shukry Mohd Salleh (director-general of the Implementation Co-ordination Unit, Prime Minister’s Department) and Datuk Noriyah Ahmad (director-general of the Economic Planning Unit) and her alternate Dr Rosli Mohamed.

According to sources, these two government representatives would likely be replaced by Muhammad, who is assistant governor of Bank Negara.

Yap, a consultant with Mah-Kamariah & Philip Koh, has served as legal advisor of Petronas while Harry Menon is an independent director of MISC Bhd.

Idris, who holds degrees in mining geology and exploration as well as petroleum engineering, resigned as independent director from KNM Group Bhd and Alam Maritim Resources Bhd on Wednesday to take up his appointment as non-executive director of Petronas with effect on the same day.

Megat Najmuddin is the president of the Federation of Public Listed Companies and Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance.

The other board members of Petronas comprise Shamsul (whose appointment as president and CEO of Petronas took effect on Feb 10 this year); Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah (the Finance Ministry secretary-general); Mohd Omar Mustapha (co-founder of management and strategic consulting firm Ethos & Co); the three Petronas vice-presidents – Datuk Anuar Ahmad (human resource management), Datuk Nasaruddin Md Idris (corporate planning & development) and Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin (gas business) as well as Datuk Mohammad Azhar Osman Khairuddin (company secretary).

Both Kadir and Omar are independent, non-executive directors.

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