SC gives RM250, 000 to minority shareholder watchdog group

The Securities Commission (SC) today disbursed a grant of RM250,000 to Badan Pengawas Pemegang Saham Minoriti Berhad (Badan Pengawas), in fulfillment of its commitment to assist Badan Pengawas in its setup cost. This is in line with the Finance Committee’s recommendations to facilitate greater shareholder activism in Malaysia.

Badan Pengawas Chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Halim Ali accepted the grant from the SC Chairman Datuk Ali Abdul Kadir at a cheque presentation ceremony held at the SC Building in Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur today.

“We expect Badan Pengawas to promote adherence to principles of good corporate governance as well as increase the awareness of minority shareholders of their rights, and the avenues to enforce such rights,” said Datuk Ali.

“To this end, Badan Pengawas must fulfill their role as a watchdog, by regularly monitoring public listed companies and communicating the results of such monitoring activities to the public,” he said.
“It is vital for Badan Pengawas to have a well thought out plan of action. It must then identify broad goals and work hard to achieve them,” said Datuk Ali.
The SC Chairman added Badan Pengawas must itself practice good governance and have policies and procedures that are clear and transparent.

Members of Badan Pengawas which comprise the country’s major institutional funds – the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT), Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH), Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial (PERKESO), and Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) – were also reminded of their role and responsibilities.

Badan Pengawas was set up in August 2000 as a company limited by guarantee. In carrying out its role as an independent minority shareholder watchdog group, MSWG is responsible for encouraging proactive shareholder participation in public listed companies. In this regard, the group aims to harness the strength of large (albeit minority) institutional investors to monitor and institute changes in the companies they invest in. Badan Pengawas obtained its investment adviser licence from the SC on 4 March 2002.

The setting up of Badan Pengawas is one of the recommendations in the Finance Committee Report on Corporate Governance, which was introduced in February 1999. The SC was one of the key players in the Finance Committee led by the Secretary-General of Treasury. The Finance Committee also comprises representatives from professional bodies, industry groups as well as other regulators.

10 April 2002