Minority shareholders need to be heard

The round of annual general meetings (AGMs) of various listed companies just ended.

From the AGMs I attended, it is clear that minority shareholders are irrelevant even on issues relating to independent directors.

At one AGM, all minority shareholders (those with less than 5 per cent shareholding) voted against a directors' fee, and yet it was adopted.

At another AGM, up to two-thirds of the minority shareholder votes were against the re-election of an independent director, but it was still adopted.

The relevant authorities should institute rules to allow minority shareholders to take part-ownership of issues relating to independent directors. One suggestion is that resolutions concerning independent directors are not adopted when rejected by two-thirds of the minority shareholding votes.

Ong Poh Seng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2019, with the headline 'Minority shareholders need to be heard'. Print Edition | Subscribe