PETALING JAYA: Former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam is tipped to be chairman of Synergy Drive Bhd and would likely have as his deputy Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, the chairman of Permodalan Nasional Bhd.
StarBiz learnt that a South-East Asian banker could be one of the directors while a well-known economist might emerge in an advisory capacity.
Synergy Drive, the plantation mega merger vehicle for Sime Darby Bhd, Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd and Golden Hope Plantation Bhd, recently announced the appointment of six new directors.
They are Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid, Raja Datuk Arshad Raja Tun Uda, Tan Sri Dr Wan Zahid Mohd Noordin, Datuk Mohamed Sulaiman, Datuk Seri Andrew Sheng and Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali.
Among his many capacities locally and internationally, Musa is adviser to the Iskandar Development Region in Johor. He is also chairman of the World Islamic Economic Forum, which was set up in 2005 as the “business face'' of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). He is also joint chairman of the Malaysia-China Business Council.
Musa heads the Eminent Persons Group created by the Asean heads of government. The group prepared the Asean charter, which had a focus on the prevention of human rights violations among member countries.
He was special envoy to the United Nations between 1990 and 1991. Musa has served in various capacities for the Commonwealth, including chairman of the Commonwealth Observer Group to the Malawi general election in 1994 and as a member of the Commonwealth Ministers delegations to Nigeria, Pakistan, Fiji and Gambia.
He was Malaysia's representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights from 1993 to 1998 and chairman of the Malaysian Human Rights Commission, or Suhakam, from 1999 to 2002.
On the corporate front, he is chairman of United Malayan Land Bhd.
Ahmad Sarji is chairman of Sime Darby and NCB Holdings Bhd. As chairman of PNB, he oversees the management of funds worth RM100bil, of which RM64bil are tied in unit trusts. PNB, the major shareholder of Synergy Drive, is believed to have spent about RM2bil to increase its stake from 45% to more than 50% in the plantation giant.
The PNB group recently announced it was spreading its wings into the overseas investment market.
Among his other prominent positions, Ahmad Sarji was chief secretary to the government from 1990 to 1996. He heads the Merdeka Heritage Trust and is also president of the Malaysia Lawn Bowls Federation.
Ahmad Sarji is chairman of the Malaysian Indonesian Business Council that had scored some inroads into the Indonesian market through various initiatives to facilitate Malaysian investments in the republic.
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