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1MDB announces a new president and strategic review

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Malaysia’s government-owned developer 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has appointed Arul Kanda as the new president and group executive director.

His appointment comes on the back of a “transition plan” by the company, which sees managing director and chief executive officer, Mohd Hazem Abd Rahman stepping down, less than two years after he took on the role in 2013.

In line with this, 1MDB’s board of directors has also said that a strategic review of the company is on the cards.

“The Board of Directors also announces that 1MDB will be undertaking a strategic review to explore and determine a course of action that will allow the company to maximise returns for all of its stakeholders,” read the company’s statement.

“Arul brings a wealth of experience from the financial world and a proven track record of transforming businesses,” said company chairman Tan Sri Dato Seri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin.

“It is time for the company to silence its critics and deliver against its stated objectives, and we intend to examine a full range of strategic and financial alternatives to achieve the greatest value, the outcome of which will be announced in due course.”

On his appointment, Kanda said: “As the company’s new president, my first priority will be to undertake a comprehensive strategic review of its operations, whilst ensuring that we drive value from the high quality energy and property assets in the company’s portfolio.”

The changes come at a time when the company is facing media scrutiny over its financial decisions and levels of debt.

Some of the questions raised in Malaysian newspapers prompted 1MDB’s chairman to release a statement towards the end of 2014.

It said: “Given that 1MDB does not receiving any funding from the Government, it is therefore simply not true to claim that the company is investing or worse, wasting, the state’s – or the people’s – money.”

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