Malaysiakini Letter

Is CEO remuneration important when they have failed?

A Frustrated Citizen  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | As a retiree in Kuala Lumpur, thirty years of hard work has convinced me that I will never own a bungalow in Damansara Heights or expensive cars.

The best I can hope for is a comfortable life with my loving wife and to see my three children graduate from university.

It seems, however, like even this is too much to ask and I have had to start driving a Grab car to support my family. Whatever I put into my EPF has been spent to pay for my children’s hefty fees.

Imagine my shock, therefore, to read a news report on the remuneration of CEOs in Malaysia, including those of GLCs.

I can’t understand how these CEOs continue to earn millions of ringgit and receive pay raises even though their companies have underperformed.

We can see this happening with one CEO receiving a 63 percent pay raise to RM10.5 million despite the company recording its highest loss in six years amounting to billions in 2018.

It’s a similar case with the CEOs of other so-called blue-chip companies in Malaysia.

What is the rationale behind paying these CEOs such astronomical sums, especially those of GLCs? I am not against compensating high-performing corporate figures well, but this should be justified with commensurate performance.

Indeed, some of the services provided by companies on this list, particularly in the telecommunications and media industries, are subpar in Malaysia. Consumers don’t get enough for what they pay for.

It almost seems like they are more focused on driving up sales to remunerate their heads rather than giving their customers value for money.

I am not C-suite material, but it is clear that some of these CEOs have failed to perform.

If I were them, I would be ashamed to even accept a paycheque, much less ask for an increase in salary.


The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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