Letters to Editor
Published Date: 16 April 2008

Response to "Disclose CEO's and Directors' Actual Pay, Not Bands" (Business Times Forum, 03 Apr 2008)

Dear Sir,

We refer to "Disclose CEO's and directors' actual pay, not bands" (BT, 3 April 2008).

Prof Mak Yuen Teen is right to say that the Code of Corporate Governance recommends bands, but does not stop companies from going beyond that to disclose actual pay.  Companies that want to differentiate themselves to investors do go beyond the Code and provide more detailed disclosures. More importantly, companies should explain to their shareholders their overall framework, policies and procedures for determining remuneration and how these are linked to long term company performance.

Executive remuneration is an important issue. However, whether it is disclosed in bands or by actual pay is not the most critical issue in developing an environment where good governance is viewed by listed company Directors and Boards as central to creating long term sustained shareholder value.

Good governance goes beyond rankings and prescriptive rules.  Real success means achieving substantive improvements by embedding good corporate governance in the day-to-day practices of listed companies in Singapore. 

This is why MAS, ACRA, SGX and the industry are working together to provide practical guidance to audit committees. MAS is also working with the Singapore Institute of Directors to review the training and professional development of directors in Singapore to expand the pool of qualified directors. Other enhancements have also been made, such as requiring reasons for directors’ resignation in the SGX announcement template.

MAS and SGX will continue to review the Code to ensure that it remains relevant.  At the same time, we will press on with the challenge of moving more Singapore listed companies beyond a tick-a-box approach to corporate governance to effect substantive changes in behaviour and practices.

Angelina Fernandez
Director (Communications)
Monetary Authority of Singapore

Kelly Long
Vice-President and Head of Corporate Communications
Singapore Exchange Limited