It may be time to review Singapore's corporate governance code, says MAS official

Mr Ong Chong Tee, deputy managing director of financial supervision at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, in May 2012.
Mr Ong Chong Tee, deputy managing director of financial supervision at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, in May 2012.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - It may be time for Singapore to review its Code of Corporate Governance, a senior regulator has suggested.

"Is it time for us to review our corporate governance code? It may indeed be timely to do so, since our last review was in 2012," said Mr Ong Chong Tee, deputy managing director of financial supervision at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Monday (Sept 26).

The code is a set of best practice recommendations issued by the MAS, first implemented in 2001 and applied to companies listed on the Singapore Exchange.

Mr Ong was speaking at the opening of the annual Singapore Corporate Governance Week at Mandarin Orchard, organised by the Securities Investors Association (Singapore).

Mr Ong said that a proactive board of directors and good corporate governance must be at the frontline of securing the integrity of Singapore's financial system.

Although the MAS does crack down when regulatory lapses and control failures occur, it is "neither possible nor realistic for the MAS to prevent all bad behaviours and criminal acts", he said.

"This is why good governance by the board must feature at the frontline."