Lessons in frugality
KUALA LUMPUR: The implications to the rest of the world of a United States government shutdown could be manifold, whether on equity or bond markets or on business confidence.
The Asian markets seemed to have absorbed it well as reflected by the muted price movements in the last few days. However, the US' mounting debt issues and shutdown should serve as vital lessons for us here on the need to be frugal in these uncertain times.
Meanwhile, in our follow-up regarding the new rules on voting in annual general meetings by way of poll, we noted that at an AGM of one of our Plcs recently, the chairman used his powers to call for a poll when the vote by way of show of hands on a resolution for approval of directors' fee was rejected by minority shareholders. Reason for rejecting the resolution was because the company had made losses for four out of the last five years. Not surprisingly, the resolution was carried through by poll.
This is a typical example of how minority shareholders could easily be disenfranchised by major shareholders and voting by poll alone could side-step the reasonable voices of the minority. To address such issues, additional approval in terms of number could be included for substantive resolutions as a start.
Lastly, all eyes are on the 2014 Budget. Judging by the government's early salvo at reducing fuel subsidies and increasing its tobacco tax, we expect more fiscal reforms to be unveiled on October 25. Rita Benoy Bushon is MSWG CEO