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12/24/2005

how to improve corporate governance? back to basics

the nkf fiasco has been an enlightening lesson to everyone. all the myths were destroyed in one stroke. all the big names, rich, professional, highly paid...people are just people. we need a few good men. and good men are not measured by all these. corporate governance must be revisited from the basics. we not only need independent directors who are really independent. we need people who step forward to serve to really serve and have the time to serve. we need responsibility and accountability. people who accept the appointments better have the time to do a good job and not be on holiday all the time. and telling people that they are volunteers is not an acceptable excuse. if they are not prepared to commit the time and dedication, they must not accept the job. it is highly irresponsible to do so. the job comes with a lot of prestige for the ego, some even pay big directorship fees, honour, and recognition. it also comes with a heavy responsibility. and everyone must be held accountable for negligence, mismanagement or fraud under their watch. there is no excuse and no escape from taking the rap. and the authorities must get this message through. no tea party in public service or as directors of commercial organisations. the rest of good corporate governance like regulations and procedures, training, corporate authorisation, checks and balances, legislation, duties of watchdogs etc will only be useful if there is a heavy hand on accountability. otherwise, for some cheap thrill of recognition and fame, and worst still, for director fees, people will just grab as many directorships as possible with no concern of whether they can contribute or have the time to contribute to the good governance of the organisation. lets hope that the party is over and people get down to serious business.

5 comments:

Speedwing said...

This NKF saga has occupied our mind and topic of conversation for such a long time. I do not know about the rest, but I am sick to my back teeth with it. What would it take for the whole episode to be put to rest? When will Singaporeans be satified that justice has been done? What must the government do to bring back normality?

The affair must not be allowed to go on much longer. It is damaging the squeeky clean image of Singapore.

Anonymous said...

To forgive and to forget the NKF fiasco are totally two different issues.

redbean said...

there must be a proper closure. the people are waiting for the cheats to be punished. and they are watching to see how the govt handle this case.

if this case is mishandled, the wrath of the people can be quite unpredictable.

no one is going to let this matter rest until justice is served.

the other matter that everyone is watching is how the new team is going to transform nkf, or are they going to tow the same line. now they are singing the same song that they must have 10 or 20 years of reserve or else it is untenable. and with such bad publicity they must be crazy to think it is the right time to ask the public for more money. it only shows how lost they are and how detached they have been from the masses. basically they have lost touch with the ground.

how many of the donors have even 3 years of savings to see them through bad times?

and all the figures published are still very questionable.

Speedwing said...

As I have said in my earlier postings, unless you have definite proof that a crime has been committed, there will never be any prosecution. Those who have benefitted from this NKF saga have all laughed their way to the bank. My guess is there will be an investigation, nothing concrete will be found and all will be swept under the carpet. After all, it benefits no one unless you can retrieve some ill gotten money from someone. I seriously doubt that.

redbean said...

from what that has been revealed in the papers, there are many trespasses. just the payment of remuneration, overtime, leaves backdating, from a hr point of view, the methodology was wrong and you can definitely recover them, especially when they are paid to himself.

if the govt could not press any charges, then singapore will become a haven for corporate misdeeds. we will be even more attractive than bahamas. the nation will become a laughing stock to the world.

this case is even whose than the cao case. that case was wrong decision in investment with management trying to cover up their mistakes. in this case it was a coordinated plan to siphon out the money to his own companies, paying his good friends ridiculous salary and bonuses, misrepresentation, lying, misappropriation etc.

if he can get away scot free, the govt will lose all its credibilities in the eyes of the people and might even lose a lot of seats in the next general election.