SC acts tough on errant PN4 directors; offenders will be dealt with

Kuala Lumpur, 12 December 2002

Intensive monitoring and surveillance of PN4 companies by the Securities Commission (SC) have revealed a variety of breaches and mismanagement by the directors and senior officers of these companies.

Key SC enforcement official, Deputy Chief Executive Datin Zarinah Anwar, said the perpetrators will be severely dealt with, if not already.

She warned that the SC will not let up on its enforcement activities — action will be taken against the wrongdoers even if the PN4 company is eventually de-listed.

“De-listing will not absolve the perpetrators of fraud or mismanagement. Neither will they be allowed to escape punishment just because white knights have come to the rescue of these companies,” she said.

Datin Zarinah said over the past two years, the SC has examined the books of 31 PN4 companies.

“It is only a matter of time before examination of the rest is completed,” said Datin Zarinah.

She said offences uncovered from these investigations include insider trading and market manipulation as well as corporate governance transgressions such as purchasing assets at inflated prices or selling assets at deflated values, submission of false/misleading information, schemes to defraud and misutilisation of proceeds of capital raising exercises.

The investigations into PN4 companies have so far resulted in 12 prosecutions involving 18 individuals. Of these, four individuals have been convicted while trial is ongoing or yet to commence in respect of the rest.

High profile corporate personalities prosecuted include Dato’ Tony Tiah Thee Kian, Dato’ Soh Chee Wen, Low Thiam Hock and Dato’ Ishak Ismail.

Over the last one month alone, the SC has prosecuted the directors and senior officers of three PN4 companies—Tat Sang, Gensoil and Actacorp.

The SC has also directed companies like CSM Corporation Berhad to restate their financial statements which were found to be misleading and legal action has been instituted by the present management against the former directors and auditors of the company for breach of fiduciary duty.

Apart from the PN4-related investigations and prosecutions the SC is actively investigating another 104 cases and have prosecuted 31 cases involving 48 individuals.

Datin Zarinah said some of the cases investigated by the SC reveal evidence of fraud and criminal breach of trust. These have been referred to the Police while those that constitute breaches of the Companies Act 1965 have been referred to the Companies Commission of Malaysia.

Datin Zarinah said that the authorities are committed to working together to ensure that the offenders are appropriately dealt with.

“Investor protection is one of our key priorities. We need to ensure that high standards of corporate governance prevail as the health and credibility of the market is paramount,” she stressed.

Apart from prosecution, the SC has also imposed 20 administrative actions and issued three compounds against PN4 companies. The KLSE has meted out 102 actions against PN4 companies through fines, reprimands and caution letters.


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