atans1

S’pore Inc’s coming general meeting

In Corporate governance, S'pore Inc on 08/11/2010 at 5:25 am

S’pore Inc’s board of directors regularly rant at the US practice of allowing the media to play a major role in the governance of the US, the world’s hegemon. But funnily this board makes sure S’pore Inc follows American practice when it comes to the power of the board and management of corporations vis-a-vis its citizens i.e. shareholders.

Unlike the British practice in the law governing companies (which S’pore follows in company law), the US practice makes it difficult to remove directors and challenge or overturn management decisions. Shareholders often have only an advisory role in the company they own. If they are not happy with the board or management, they can quit the company (sell the shares) if company is listed.

Doesn’t this sound like the corporate governance of S’pore Inc? Not happy, be a quitter. You can’t change the board or management.

The only realistic outcome of the coming general election is for the board and management to feel the anger or dis-satisfaction of the shareholders, if these feelings are real and not just astroturfing by anonymous Internet posters.

Either the Reform Party or the SDP (I give up on WP and the Chiams, and NSP is too small, and asking RP and SDP to cooperate may be unrealistic) should try to work on an index to show how badly S’poreans have done since 19991 (when present SM became PM) and 2004 (when LHL became PM). Remember Ronald Reagan became president by asking if Americans were better-off than when his opponent became president. No hope of change here, but such an index can help people decide if they are angry or dis-satisfied. And whether they want to send a message.

(They may not want to if they have landed property or HDB flatshttp://atans1.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/property-prices-mm-lee-is-too-modest/ bought years ago

Seriously, we need some hard numbers because as the Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski said: there was never a shortage of arguments to support any doctrine one wanted to believe in for whatever reasons. He called this insight the law of the infinite cornucopia.

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