Protecting the Interests of Stakeholders – Responsibility of a Director of a Company

November 19, 2009

Buzzes are noises, useless, except for that antiquated door bell of yore. Transparency, good governance, functioning boards, are words with lots of buzzes. They may make the MBA students look intelligent and smart but in reality  many directors of companies  are struggling.

Many directors have this narrow belief that they are in the board to protect the shareholders they represent. The consequence is the loss of the spirit and principle of a COMPANY. A company is a partnership of two or more people. It is a partnership and even for a 100% equity controlled the Companies ACT requires at least 2 shareholders and at least two directors. thus the loss of opportunity of having a functioning board.

What then is a functioning board? I define a functioning board as one who is able to protect in a just manner the interests of stakeholders. I use the word just to amplify the risk of a conflict of interest situation which may result in failure to fulfill executive duties, fiduciary duties and statutory duties. It is indeed a balancing act, the ideal in justice is being balanced in our judgement and action.

Who are the stakeholders? I can list 7 stakeholders that a responsible and competent board need to take care of. That is the manner I conduct my board if I am the chairman. I go through the list one by one. Here is the list

No 1 – the government

No 2 – the shareholders

No 3 – the employees including the management

No 4 – the clients

No 5 – the vendors and creditors

No 6 – the society at large  and the Environment, usually looked at as Corporate Social Responsibilities

No 7 – the bankers and Financiers

You take care of the shareholders fairly, and in its order of priority and importance ( the above listing is not) , then you are on your way to become and effective director of a company.


Program Pembangunan Juak Malaysia

October 11, 2009

Pencarian pemimpin  dan pemimpin pelapis adalah tanggungjawab utama mana-mana organasisi dan institusi. Tanggungjawab ini tidak membezakan ideologi, samada feudal, autokratik, diktatorial, demokratik, sosialis atau pun agama. Namun, fokas tulisan ini adalah Malaysia, satu negara yang kononnya berpegang prinsip demokratik. Ia dikhususkan lagi kepada pemilihan pemimpin untuk GLC, atau Syarikat dan Institusi dimana Kerajaan berkepentingan.

Diadalam pemilihan Institusi Kerajaan kriteria berikut perlu sekiranya kegemilangan adalah matlamat. Satu  pra-syarat penting ialah, Lembaga Pengarah yang berkesan , berfungsi dan telus

* Tebaran carian yang luas dan telus

* terbaik dari yang paling baik

* Bolih mengimbangkan dan meperolihi komitmen dan kerjasama  dari kesemua pemegang kepentingan, stakeholders

* Bersih, dan dilihat bersih,

* Keutamaan kepada Pemilihan dan pembangunan pemimpin organik

* akauntable

Sekiranya syarat-syarat diatas tidak dipenuhi, program pembangunan dan Pencariam Pemimpin akan menjadi Program Carian dan Pembangunan JUAK Malaysia

Sila lihat carian makna JUAK.



1ju·ak n, ju·ak-ju·ak n hamba laki-laki pengiring raja yg menjadi suruhan atau pembawa upacara tanda-tanda kebesaran: panglima itu membawa 1.000 orang ~

2ju·ak v, ber·ju·ak v 1 berlomba (dengan); bersaing dengan; 2 berlawan; bertanding;
men·ju·ak v 1 memberanikan ayam sabungan (dng jalan menghadapkan ayam lain pd ayam sabungan itu) agar mau bertanding; 2 ki menghasut (supaya berkelahi, berperang, dsb);
pen·ju·ak n penghasut: ia dituduh sbg ~ pemberontakan itu

3ju·ak Mk a, men·ju·ak a menganjur ke atas (tinggi);
men·ju·ak·kan v 1 mengangkat ke atas tinggi-tinggi; mengunjukkan (tangan dsb); 2 ki memuliakan

4ju·ak v, ber·ju·ak v berjumpa dng tiba-tiba

THe Culture of Poverty – Manik Urai and the malay politics

July 17, 2009

The Manik Urai byelection left many people wondering, why BN failed to win.

Unfolding in MANIK URAI is THE CULTURE OF POVERTY that all Malays suffer. The same culture experienced by the Irish and the French Canadian and the Mexican.

In simple terms it is a poor, uneducated society in the new democracy who franchised their hopes and rights to the political leaders in the name of nationalism or religion or doctrines. The reasons for outright franchising is their lack of ilmu, skill and being marhaen and not forgetting the feudalistic and religious background. They live on hope but do not know the business model to improve their life.

The elected leaders are equally poor, uneducated. They have the desire to become rich. The only business model they know is to rob the treasury and baitulmal and the tabung haji and the political coffers.

Both are to be blamed.

Personally I try to dissociate and fight hard not to be sucked into this culture of poverty.  Fortunately I have a business model which works. I use my know how to earn an honest living. I also require help from KNOW WHO but not at the expense of sacrificing my principles. I break barriers by moving away from the tribal and local marketplace. The challenge is to find a product and business model  that has appeals beyond your national shores.

So the solutions is FIND a BUSINESS MODEL TO GET OUT FROM THIS Culture of Poverty. Then work hard to defend, promote, develop it further.

AIRASIA X, Middle Management – can be the worst culprit in any transformation

June 27, 2009

I attended a hitea talk by the CEO of AIRASIA X hosted by the Malaysian Gas Association.. He is certainly a good pitcher. There are tens of management concepts that he utilizes and I personally find him to be a smart and energetic young man. AIR ASIA concept consume a lot of energy. The energy of the CEO. The future of AIR ASIA I commented will depend on the energy of Tony and Azahan.

We are in the same business I quipped, the ENERGY business.

One point he made, that the middle management can be the worst culprit in any organizational transformation. I fully agree.

It is more difficult to do a legacy transformation.  It could be equally daunting for a new start up if if the management inherits many legacies from their previous life.

In legacy organizations, there are little penghulus who act like some big time taikor. There are heads whose heads are bigger then the doors they go through to get to the position given to them. There are small time juragan or coxswain  who think themselves as a big time ship captain shouting I call the shot, refusing to listen to the real captain. There are also politicians whose interest is to remain popular as if his next raise is decided by the ballot box.

They will say that the Boss is hard headed and a despot whereas they are the ones  who refuse to temper their understanding  and failure to answer the why, why, why? It could also be due to  failures to articulate and present an argument to back their thoughts.

Ego? I have written on that subject previously.

The fact of the matter is that there are many visionary leaders who are made to fail by their trusted middle management. Leaders will have to recognize this and engage the organization.

It is enriching to find a successful organization being led by a a young lad who is willing to try new things and liberate himself from the conventional ways. It is also encouraging to share the same experience and challenges.

Dinner and cocktail in Paris – the cost of doing business

June 17, 2009

I had dinner at Le Avenue a favourite restaurant among americans and the Brits along the Avenue Montaganie, a posh address. The food was good. It was with my Irish brother and my blond  English cousin Emma.

I attended the cocktail reception at the show. The minister was there. The Chief was there. The Sec Gen was there and so were many old acquaintances from the industry.

That’s about  it.

The flight tickets  cost a good twenty grand. You add the cost of hotel and food you end up spending a tidy sum. That is the price you pay to be involved in the industry and I do not complain. You just have to combine business with other businesses and to spice it with the pleasure of travel and meeting friends.

I will be flying to Dublin to see a manufacturing facility. No more crazy horse for me.

Doing it righteously – taqwa, doing the right thing

May 23, 2009

I was at the farmers market, pasartani, this morning. Cuttle fish, the tiny type is called comek in Malay. A kilo of the normal sized cuttle fish is RM 14 a kilo, but the comek, it is only RM 6 a kilo. Those not in the know would avoid these small baby squids but I love them. Squids when they are oversized could taste like scrap rubber, chewable gummers. But comek are the opposite. Combined that with the more ink that you get they are a bargain.

The vendor was very generous. It was a good 100gram more, and I commented.

His reaction was not to show off his generosity.

“I am worried I short changed you” He said

“That is very righteous” I said.

“Not at all, it is the right thing to do” he replied.

I was impressed.

At the Sungai Way market, i saw an old Chinese lady manning her stall. She was really old. She must be approaching 80. I normally try to avoid the mention of race but I am here to illustrate that poverty knows no color.

Out of pity I bought a kilo of tomatoes I did not need. To my surprise it was only Rm 2.20 for a kilo.    Shiny, beautiful, succulent tomatoes but I will remember the wrinkles, the hunch, and the rickety arms.

Negara utopia saya – Hak Rakyat perolehi ilmu

May 3, 2009

Pernah disuatu ketika, seorang rakan mengajak saya memulakan perniagaan menubuhkan institusi pendidikan. Dengan nama yang keinggerisan, dan model niaga yang menarik ia satu cadangan yang “bankable” yang bermaksud bisa dibiaya bank. Namun saya menolak kerana berlawan dengan prinsip saya.

Prinsip saya amat mudah. Tanggugjawab kerajaan sesebuah negara adalah menentukan ilmu mudah diperolehi rakyat. Ilmu hak asasi manusia. Ilmu tidak boleh dijual, kerana tiada siapa yang punya hak mutlak atau monopoli terhadap ilmu.

Berbeza dengak hak intelek, iaitu hasil kreatif berasaskan ilmu. Ilmu adalah hak Ilahi, segala prinsip fizik dan sains di sekeliling adalah sunatullah,  dan adalah fardu meyebarkan ilmu. Hasil dari ilmu, manusia berkarya, mencipta, mereka, dan hasilnya harta intelek jadi hak milik masing-masing.

Ilmu jika tidak dibebaskan perolehannya akan mengakibatkan penindasan berterusan. Disebaliknya, ilmu sahajalah yang membolehkan mobiliti sosial paling berkesan, meritokrasi sebenar diamalkan, dan hasilnya manfaat takterhingga kepada masyarakat dan negara.

Adalah berlawan dengan prinsip saya keadaan dimana pendikan dijadikan suatu perniagaan.

Lihatlah contoh negara Germany dimana pendidikan sehingga peringkat Universiti adalah percuma. Hasilnya, negara Jerman, suatau negara yang kaya dengan harta intelek dan karya -karya agung  dan jenama terunggul didunia.

Lihatlah sahaja negara Great Britain, yang mengubah polisi pendidikan percuma kepada pendidikan sebagai perniagaan. Perubahan ini dilakukanpada tahun 1977. Great Britain terus ketinggalan jauh dari segi ekonomi, kejuruteraan dan harta intelek. Kesemua kemegahan British, Mini, Harrier, komputer, enjin jet dicipta sebelum 70an.

Malang sekali Malaysia mengikut jejak langkah yang mengejar kekayan cepat olih sesetengah individu dan institusi. Tunggu sahaja akibatnya dari sudut sosial,daya saing  dan ekonomi.