Taib’s son stays on as CMS deputy chairman

CAHYA Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMS) has announced that its deputy group chairman Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib has accepted a request from the board for him to stay and not take a leave of absence as announced in April.

The announcement came one day after the diversified group suspended its group chief financial officer (CFO) Syed Hizam Alsagoff for 30 days with immediate effect, The Edge Market reported.

This was to facilitate investigations into allegations of possible financial mismanagement in relation to the company’s investments and operations, CMS said in a filing with the stock exchange yesterday.

Today, CMS said in a statement that the board’s request for Bekir to stay on was made after it concluded that the allegation of possible conflict of interest involving Bekir and former chief information officer Karl Vink @ Khalid Abdullah was “without basis”.

“While the board is grateful for his gesture of seeking leave of absence, we have reviewed the situation and resolved that there is no need for him to do so,” CMS said.

“Datuk Seri Mahmud has agreed to the board’s request and we have informed the authorities accordingly,” it said.

“The board also wishes to announce that it is completely satisfied that the allegations of conflict of interest made against Datuk Seri Mahmud and Karl Vink, former CMS chief information officer, in relation to the award of the contract by CMS I-Systems Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CMS, to Vienna Advantage GmbH are without any basis whatsoever,” it added.

Mahmud requested for leave of absence on April 22 amid the allegations, which prompted CMS to conduct an internal investigation and report the matter to the authorities.