• MBSB, in a statement, said Azlan helmed the group since March 2021, bringing with him over 30 years of banking experience with a strong background in accountancy. He was also the chairman for MBSB Bank Bhd.

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 12): Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) said its chairman Tan Sri Azlan Zainol (pictured), who was also former Employees Provident Fund (EPF) chief executive officer, has passed away.

Azlan, 72, passed away at a private hospital in Petaling Jaya at 2.40pm, MBSB said in a statement. He is survived by his wife, Puan Sri Laili Hassan, four children and six grandchildren, the bank added.

The prominent figure was known for his stance towards governance, as exemplified in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.

It was widely reported that Azlan was one of only two directors in the state development fund who scrutinised the irregularities surrounding the 1MDB-PetroSaudi joint venture (JV) in 2009.

The episode, which cost 1MDB US$1.53 billion (RM6.67 billion) in missing funds, saw Azlan resigning in protest on Jan 11, 2010, following the resignation of then-1MDB chairman Tan Sri Bakke Salleh in October the year before.

Azlan was also widely known for his stint as EPF CEO, a position which he held for 12 years from 2001 to 2013.

During his tenure, Azlan helped EPF — one of the largest pension funds in the world — recover its performance in the aftermath of the Asian Financial Crisis, with dividend payout reaching a 13-year high of 6.15% in 2012 before his exit.

From 2001 to 2013, EPF’s investment assets grew from RM187 billion to RM590 billion, representing a compounded annual growth rate of 10%.

Prior to his demise, Azlan was also serving as the chairman of Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), Eco World International Bhd and YX Precious Metals Bhd, and was also a director in Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd.

Previously, he held positions as chairman of RHB Bank Bhd for 16 years in 2005 to 2021, and was managing director of AmBank Bhd in 1994 to 2001.

MBSB, in a statement, said Azlan helmed the group since March 2021, bringing with him over 30 years of banking experience with a strong background in accountancy. He was also the chairman for MBSB Bank Bhd.

“Widely known for his firm and result-oriented leadership style, Tan Sri Azlan implemented successful initiatives at MBSB including the Sustainability Framework that was completed in the third quarter of 2022,” MBSB said.

Expressing his sympathy, MBSB group CEO Datuk Nor Azam M Taib said Azlan “was a respected figure in the banking industry and carried a wealth of expertise in banking and business strategy”.

“MBSB Group is privileged to have had his guidance and executive leadership. He left no room for complacency and that was how he brought positive changes to the group and oversaw the development of the group’s Sustainability Framework,” Nor Azam said.

“I pray for his family to be given the strength during this difficult time,” Nor Azam added.

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