COMMENT | If you are a film buff, you would know how directors of companies are commonly depicted – immaculately dressed men, sitting around a round or oblong table, making important decisions. While movies portray their power, they seldom show the other side – their responsibilities.
The Companies Act 1965 lists the provisions of their duties as directors. In some cases, the breach of such duties can be considered a criminal offence.
Against this backdrop, over the past three months, we have come across several fat cat directors who pay scant attention to their responsibilities as directors.
For instance, 1MDB chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy was offered an “incentive” of RM5 million to stay back for six months after his employment contract ended. But was this the decision of one man – then-prime minister Najib Abdul Razak – or did the board deliberate and come to a decision?
Before that, news of the RM85,000 monthly salary for Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) chairperson Abdullah Ahmad raised eyebrows. Who approved the salary? Were the other directors aware of it, or was it (yet again) fixed by the then-prime minister when the commission was set up in 2016?
Then came reports of former Human Resource Development (HRDF) chief executive officer CM Vickneswaran making almost RM1 million in salaries and perks in 2017.
The reaction from employers who contribute one percent of their employees’ monthly payroll was expected – they kicked up a storm after discovering that several employees had been paid a “performance bonus” of up to six times their monthly salaries...