1. PM rates Cabinet 5/10 after a year, but says no reshuffle
  2. Government to look into compatibility of Rome Statute with local culture
  3. No solution in sight to turn around Malaysia Airlines – PM
  4. SC reports encouraging adoption of corporate governance
  5. Publish Asia 2019 to discuss future of media
  6. Singapore passed sweeping law reforms to outlaw marital rape, penalise voyeurism

One year on, PM rates own Cabinet ‘five out of 10’
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has harshly scored the maiden Pakatan Harapan (PH) Cabinet merely five out of 10, citing inexperience and fear of making a wrong move. However, he refused to rate himself, saying he would leave the matter to the public. “I am very conservative. I have been in the government for 22 years and I know how government functions, but these people are new, they do not know,” he said, referring to his ministers. “They are so afraid of being accused of wrongdoing and all this makes their decision-making more difficult. Dr Mahathir also revealed that some ministers will consult him after some of their remarks receive bad publicity or backlash from the publicHowever, he said he is confident that the greenhorn ministers will eventually be as good as any experienced ones. In the same interview, Dr Mahathir also reiterated in strong terms that he will not reshuffle his Cabinet.


Government to look into compatibility of Rome Statute with local culture
Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that the government would look into the compatibility of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with the local culture. He said there is nothing to be afraid of if Malaysia decides to accede to the statute. The Rome Statute is the treaty that established the ICC. It was adopted at a conference in Rome on July 17, 1998, and entered into force on July 1, 2002. Dr Mahathir said the government had to backtrack on its decision to ratify the statute because some people twisted information when they knew nothing about it. “But we will explain to them (the people) why the Rome Statute will not do any harm to anyone who is not a criminal,” he told the media at a special interview in conjunction with the first anniversary of the Pakatan Harapan government.


On another matter, Tun Dr Mahathir said the government has yet to decide on the fate of the ailing Malaysia Airlines as there is still no feasible solution in sight to turn it around, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The Prime Minister said the losses and management of the national carrier was “so terrible” that it is difficult to turn it around. Dr Mahathir said the previous government had pumped in RM6 billion, while the airline had laid off 6,000 employees and cut down its routes. “It is hard to compete with the emergence of the low-cost carriers and also Arab airlines which provide luxury facilities and all kinds of perks”, he said.


SC’s Inaugural CG Monitor Reports Encouraging Adoption of Corporate Governance Best Practices
The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) today released its inaugural Corporate Governance Monitor (CG Monitor) which highlighted positive levels of adoption for a majority of the practices recommended in the Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance (MCCG) with improvement opportunities in the quality of disclosures. The Minister of Finance, Lim Guan Eng said “We have seen progress in the area of gender diversity on boards, with Malaysia recording a seven-percentage point increase in women participation on boards of the Top 100 listed companies from 16.6% in 2016 to 23.68% in 2018. Women also account for 28% of senior management positions for all listed companies, higher than the Asia Pacific average of 23%. I’m encouraged by the fact that since February 2019, there are no more all male boards for our Top 100 listed companies, and this indeed sets the tone for other PLCs to follow.

Apart from the encouraging progress in greater women participation on boards, Chairman of the SC, Datuk Syed Zaid Albar, said that among the 36 best practices outlined in the MCCG, 27 had an adoption level of over 70%. “In fact, mid and small cap companies are among the trailblazers in the adoption of the CG best practices. Many of them have put in place good CG practices such as disclosing remuneration of senior management, introducing a 9-year tenure limit for independent directors and having a wholly independent audit committee. This shows that we are moving towards the right direction with greater appreciation of the value of adopting good CG practices, even among the smaller companies,” he added.

The CG Monitor 2019 presents observations on three thematic reviews on long serving independent directors (policies and practices), gender diversity on boards and CEO remuneration of the top 100 listed companies. This year, the SC will review the anti-corruption measures of listed companies as part of its effort to implement the National Anti-Corruption Plan, which identified corporate governance as one of the six priority areas. Findings of the review will be released in the 2020 edition of the CG Monitor.


Publish Asia 2019 to discuss future of media
250 key decision makers in the region’s news industry will meet in Singapore from tomorrow in the 19th edition of Publish Asia 2019 to discuss the future of media. “It is an exciting time to be in Asia’s news industry, as media companies are rapidly transforming amid sweeping economic and political developments,” the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) said in a statement in Singapore. Also running concurrently will be the Newsroom Summit Asia, which will offer dedicated sessions focusing on the challenges facing editors, newsroom managers and journalists, said the organiser. Featured topics include new initiatives, trends, solutions and heavyweight issues of concern to editors, including threats to editorial independence, journalist safety and sustainability. Some 40 speakers from 14 countries will share their best practices at the event with conference sessions and masterclasses designed for senior management, executives and editorial staff in the publishing and media industries. WAN-IFRA is based in Paris and Frankfurt, with subsidiaries in Singapore, India and Mexico. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.


Singapore passed sweeping law reforms to outlaw marital rape, penalise voyeurism
A sweeping refresh of Singapore’s Penal Code was passed in Parliament today, leading to the repeal of marital rape immunity, as well as more protection for vulnerable adults and young children. Law Minister K Shanmugam and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Law Amrin Amin spoke on the second reading of the Criminal Law Reform Bill, with the former setting out the Government’s position in two areas – better protection of vulnerable victims and dealing with sexual offences – while the latter covered areas such as dealing with emerging crime trends and updating current sexual offences. The amended law outlined groups of vulnerable victims, which include children below 14 years old, vulnerable persons due to mental or physical disabilities and domestic workers, Mr Shanmugam said, adding that penalties for all offences in the Penal Code committed against the vulnerable will be enhanced up to twice the maximum penalties prescribed for the offences. A new category of sexual offences was introduced as part of the Bill, with crimes such as voyeurism, which are brought about by advances in technology, also deemed as offences.