PETALING JAYA: Construction company Mudajaya Group Bhd ’s chief operating officer (COO) James Wong has now stepped up as group managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) amidst an ongoing internal investigation into irregular transactions involving one of its projects.
Wong takes over from former group MD and CEO Anto Joseph, who stepped down from his positions on Tuesday and will continue serving as a special advisor to the board.
In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Mudajaya group chairman Datuk Yusli Yusoff said Joseph had postponed his decision to retire a year earlier at the board’s request to facilitate a smooth transition in management.
He said the group’s succession plan had been under way since 2013, when Wong was appointed COO and subsequently MD of Mudajaya Corp Bhd in May 2014.
“On behalf of the board of Mudajaya, I would like to express our deep appreciation for Joseph’s decision to delay his retirement last year. I am glad that Joseph has agreed to continue to serve as a special advisor to the board,” he said.
Wong, a qualified professional engineer, has been in the construction and infrastructure sectors since 1985 and has worked at organisations such as United Engineers Malaysia Bhd, Lafarge Concrete Malaysia and IJM Corp Bhd .
“My first priority will be to undertake a comprehensive strategic review of our operations while ensuring that the group completes our major projects on hand, including the commissioning of the 1,440MW coal-fired power plant in Chhattisgarh, India,” he said.
Mudajaya had announced in a Bursa Malaysia filing last month that an internal management working group had uncovered some irregular transactions, leading to additional costs being incurred on a specific project.
It said the information thus far suggested that the issue was confined to an isolated case involving one former employee and was restricted to just one of its projects. The investigation is still ongoing.
Mudajaya had also told Bursa Malaysia on March 25 that it was still unable to disclose the quantum of the additional costs incurred as it could jeopardise the ongoing investigation and any legal proceedings that were being initiated.