Reformasi activists have to beware of companies they associate with

QUESTIONS raised by the recent appointment of a close confidante of Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim by a company that is being probed by the Securities Commission (SC) should not be taken lightly.

An example of why this is a serious matter comes with the article published by Malaysia Now, which is allegedly owned by a pro-Perikatan Nasional leader who was in a tussle with Anwar in 2020 before the Sheraton move.

Former Perak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief Farhash Wafa Salvador was appointed as Apex Equity Holdings Bhd (AEHB) group chairman, the company that is under the SC probe.

The portal, in a clear attempt to embarrass the latter, said the SC has confirmed that the company is involved in a probe by the agency for breach of capital market rules.

It is also clear that Farhash joined the company after the probe was launched, whereas the SC refused to comment any further on the case since it is now in court.

“The SC does not, as a matter of policy, respond to media queries on ongoing court cases, or cases under review,” said a spokesman, in an apparent response to the portal.

Though the portal’s intentions are obvious, it is believed that the ‘reformasi’ activists should be very careful about their private appointments in order not to drag PM Anwar into some corporate mess.

Besides, the 40-year-old Farhash currently serves on the boards of numerous businesses.

In his most recent appointment, which was made official on Jan 3, he succeeded Datuk Seri Robin Tan as chairman of 7-Eleven.

Moreover, Farhash is replacing Datuk Seri Robin Tan Yeong Ching, who resigned as chairman today to pursue other interests, according to a filing with Bursa Malaysia. On Nov 25, 2021, Robin was chosen to be the chairman of 7-Eleven Malaysia.

The SC, Malaysia’s market regulator, is looking into AEHB for allegedly breaking both the Companies Act and the Capital Markets and Services Act.

According to a report, SC is also suing ACE Group, the second-largest shareholder in AEHB, to stop it from acquiring control of the stockbroking company.

The SC asserts that ACE Group is not “a suitable and proper person” to serve as the company’s controller and that Apex Securities violated securities laws. — Jan 21, 2023

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