New corporate governance council in the making
I have kept this thread alive in redbeanforum since March 2007. I have written to a couple of organisations on the issues of corporate governance and directorship. Few days back, Ho Kwon Ping wrote a long article about what was going on in the Board of companies. Today we are hearing the MAS talking about setting up a body to look into raising the standard of corporate governance. Is this an exercise that is more in form or substance? What had happened in the past few years had seen many investors losing their piles in the stock market with dubious companies and dealings and fraudulent accounting. And where does the fault lie? It is, in a way, something like corporate America. The practice of 'I scratch your back you scratch mine' is only a small fraction of a system going out of control. It all boils down to lack accountability and lack of clout. From the board of directors, top management, auditors, financial analysts and banking advisors, everyone is being paid a fee to monitor and be watchdogs to corporate faults. Some participated in the frauds, some just simply resigned when something smelly popped up. No one is responsible for anything or hardly anyone was taken to task for the failures or frauds. What is needed is not only a revamp of the whole corporate governance formula, but a need to pin responsibilities on the shoulders of those carry it and being paid for it. The SGX has come out with draconian rules and fines for simple and often innocent mistakes made by equally blur investors or careless remisiers. Such an approach should be adopted in corporate governance and corporate frauds when the consequences are much grave. Make everyone who is paid to do a job be accountable. Heavy fines is a way. Resigning and washing their hands cannot be allowed. Accepting the payment must come with accepting the punishment for a job not properly done. Rip Van Winkles cannot go on sleeping and get away with it. People who don't have the time to be execute their management, advisory or watchdog's role should not take on the job. Would something like this happen with the setting up of a new corporate governance council?