‘Relook directors’ training proposal’
By: by Kong See Hoh (Sun, 15 Aug 2010
KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 15, 2010): MCA vice-president and Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai has urged the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) to relook its proposal to make it mandatory for directors of non-listed companies to attend its training course in view of the negative response from the private sector.
Lim, who is also MCA national SME bureau chief, said in a statement the proposal is intended to raise the quality of the directors but there are a lot of technical problems which need to be overcome before it can be implemented.
“We need to study (the proposal) before its full implementation,” Nanyang Siang Pau quoted him as saying.
Lim pointed out that many company directors belong to the league of businessmen who started from scratch, and whose hands-on experience can match anything one can learn from the books.
“To businessmen, (attending) courses which do not produce results are deemed an act of taking a step backwards. Furthermore, many companies have professional secretaries, accountants and even legal consultants (to ensure everything is in order),” he said.
Lim felt that instead of making it compulsory for company directors to attend the training course, the government can consider organising seminars or interaction sessions on government policies regularly to better inform the people concerned on the latest developments, such as SME loan applications.
“The government should implement policies which the people want, based the ‘people first’ concept,” he said.
The CCM has proposed that the government make it mandatory for private company directors to attend its corporate director training programme to better understand their responsibilities and duties. They are to pay for the one-and-a-half-day course out of their own pockets.
Once it is made compulsory, it will affect some 1,620,000 directors from about 810,000 non-listed companies in Malaysia.
The proposal drew flak from the private sector and many had regarded it as redundant.
Former Tawau MP Geoffrey Yee said the training course proposal “is impractical and unnecessary”. He said if it is implemented, company directors will be forced to take time off from their busy schedule to attend the course. Furthermore, they have to pay out of their own pockets.
Yee, who is now in the plantation industry and a company director himself, suggested that the government come up with a multi-lingual booklet on management which company directors can read up on their own free time.
Yee called up Nanyang to express his views as a Sabahan businessman after reading the daily’s report on the proposal.
He said should the government insist on implementing the proposal, it should provide the course free of charge as company directors, too, are paying income taxes every year.
MCA Youth SME development bureau chief Andy Chiew also voiced the bureau’s objection to the proposal. He said in a statement that CCM organised a similar training course three years ago but did not go down well with the industry.
He said it would be commendable for company directors to be able to learn what it takes to run a company in just one-and-a-half days. But the reality is that they do not, he said.
He said the last time around, the course was not properly organised and failed to raise the knowledge of the participants.
Apart from causing inconvenience to the private sector, it was a waste of resources, he said.
Investors look to Indonesia
WITH the euro zone still mired in recovery doubts and China facing rising labour costs, Malaysian entrepreneurs and investors have turned their attention to the booming Indonesia.
According to a report in Nanyang Siang Pau today, Malaysian businesses have made significant in-roads in the Indonesian market in the past several months.
For example, the report said, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have seen a 20-30% rise in orders coming from Indonesia.
Players in the local industries urged the Malaysian government to help them quicken the pace of development lest more and more companies will relocate their factories to Indonesia, and Malaysia risks being over-taken in terms of economic development by our the world’s fourth most populous country.
SME Association of Malaysia secretary-general Lee Teck Meng disclosed that SMEs’ order book from overseas, especially Indonesia, has ballooned since April and many factories need extra hands to ramp up production.
He disclosed that in fact beverage makers are unable to meet the demand for their products in Indonesia.
“Malaysian beverages suit the palates of Indonesian consumers, which is a reason why our products are popular in Indonesia. For the same product (drink), the Indonesians prefer Malaysian over European brands, a testimony to the quality of Made-in-Malaysia products,” Lee said.
Furthermore, he said, Malaysian products are much cheaper than those imported from western countries.
Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) deputy president Datuk Lim Kok Cheong said the tremendous economic progress taking place in Indonesia means it requires a lot of resources, which it is trying to meet by sourcing from Malaysia due to the lower cost and the time save because of the proximity of the two countries. — theSun