‘The last straw for me was the harassment,’ outgoing PNB chief tells staff

Outgoing Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) CEO Jalil Rasheed told staff today that he faced the full range of harassments during his tenure as the head of one of the largest asset managers in the country.

“The last straw for me was the harassment I had to endure from hate calls from unknown numbers, hacking of my other corporate email account and my LinkedIn profile. This made me increasingly worry for the wellbeing of my family. In the end, I decided that it would be unfair to my family should matters escalate. We made a big financial and family sacrifice to relocate back to KL from Singapore because I truly wanted to contribute to nation building. I’m disappointed this has to come to an abrupt end,” Jalil said in his farewell email to staff today.

Earlier as reported that Jalil had resigned effective today.

In his resignation email, Jalil told the staff that despite the trials faced, he did not regret joining PNB. “The past nine months have been rewarding for me,” he said.

But Jalil said when he took on this role, he told himself he would never waver from his principles in performing his duties.

“Oftentimes, making the right decisions is riddled with difficulties and some will be unpopular. The easy route would be to continue enjoying the perks of the office, whilst battling with your own good conscience. I have always believed that no individual is larger than an institution. I have no intention to drag PNB into this. PNB must be safeguarded at all costs. Hence I have chosen the difficult path, one that is lonely and devastating for my family and I,” he said.

Jalil exhorted staff, especially those who worked in the group CEO’s office, saying that he was “proud of them” as they had embraced the changes under his leadership such as the flexible work arrangement, reorganisation of the firm and the 2020-2022 strategic plan called Focus 4.

He also thanked PNB chairman Zeti Akhtar Aziz as well as his family for being supportive of his career. “My wife especially, who sacrificed her own aspiration in order to allow me to forge ahead in my career. When we moved back to KL, I told her it will be worth it. I’m sorry it did not work out as planned,” he said.

Jalil said he would continue to be active on Twitter “@jalilpnb (I will change my handle) but I will be deactivating my @jalilpnb Instagram account. I plan on taking some time off with my family, to gather my thoughts and decide on my next step,” he said.

He also reminded staff to “stay the course” as the fund had 14 million unit holders “that depend on you to give them returns on their hard-earned money. It is an Amanah that has been entrusted upon you, and ultimately we are only answerable to One.”

Credit Suisse Securities (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd country head Stephen Hagger also defended Jalil in a note to clients, saying Jalil was “now swimming with the sharks” and “would resign rather than cross a red line”.

A note of advocacy by Stephen Hagger

Jalil’s exit had been speculated since Saturday when The Edge reported that the 38-year-old might be replaced due to certain “issues” over his appointment as PNB CEO. He particularly faced scrutiny over his education and working credentials.


Read : Were there lapses in the process of appointing the PNB CEO last September?


Names for his successors have been bandied about , including the likes of Khazanah Nasional Bhd executive director Ahmad Zulqarnain Onn and Maybank group president and CEO Abdul Farid Alias.

Another development comes by way of lawyer Rosli Dahlan’s appointment onto the board of PNB as director.

By Emmanuel Samarathisa – FOCUS MALAYSIA

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