PERNAS International Holdings Bhd (PIHB) has announced the resignation of eight of its 12 board members, seven of whom are Perbadanan Nasional Bhd representatives.
They have been replaced by five new appointees: independent directors Datuk Baharuddin Musa, Datuk Abdullah Yusuf, Abdul Jabar Majid and Mohd Khamil Jamil, and Restu Jernih Sdn Bhd nominee Nathan Tham.
Datuk Megat Namuddin Megat Khas remains as chairman, while Restu Jernih representative Mohamed Jamal Mohd Ramli continues to serve on the board.
Two prominent Sarawakians, Tan Sri Dr Hamid Bugo and Datuk Hamzah Drahman, also remain as directors.
The board changes come in the wake of Restu Jernih's acquisition of a 32% stake in PIHB.
Jamal, who is a 70% stakeholder in Restu Jernih, said the new PIHB board line-up would further strengthen corporate governance and the new style of management would be result-oriented.
This is more representative of the shareholding of the company, the two nominees from Restu Jernih (out of a total of nine seats) being commensurate with its 32% shareholding. A more equitable and appropriate level of representation means that independent directors hold the majority of board seats. The board has now been appropriately re-balanced with the new members having been chosen based on their unique experiences and qualifications to ensure a broad spectrum of expertise, said Jamal, who added that the individuals were professionals with proven records.
He said there were significant challenges ahead and the company needed to undergo comprehensive corporate restructuring to reduce its debt load of RM2.5bil.
Our main focus for the group now is debt restructuring, but over the medium term, we intend to revitalise the group's operating units. The strategies will transform the group from an over-diversified and highly leveraged conglomerate into a focused entity with leadership position in hotels, plantations, property and manufacturing. To the extent that assets do not complement the company's strategic focus, we will try to realise some of the value of these assets over time. The key for us is to unlock and realise the hidden values and utilise them in a manner that benefits the entire group, he said.
Jamal also said the reconstituted board together with the new management would provide PIHB with a new focus.