Wrong message from SGX on conflict of interest

Business Times Mailbag
Published March 29, 2012

Wrong message from SGX on conflict of interest


I REFER to the article ‘SGX makes Davinder a non- independent director’ (BT, March 27).

When a director has a business relationship with the Singapore Exchange (SGX), it may be deemed a conflict of interest.

Since this was the reason for the change, does it make much of a difference when an independent director is redesignated as a non- independent director?

In a sense, when there is a conflict of interest, it continues to exist regardless of whether one is an independent director or a non-independent one.

A conflict of interest does not disappear or become diminished just by a redesignation from an independent director to a non-independent director.

As a market regulator, SGX should be the leading light for corporate governance standards in Singapore.

The Exchange may be sending the wrong message to companies with regard to corporate governance on how – or rather how not – to address conflict of interest issues when they are raised.

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.