Monday, 24 December 2012

Transparency in voting

In Hong Kong, independent shareholders of Automated Systems (0771) have vetoed a connected transaction. Unfortunately, something similar happens much too rarely in Malaysia.

But the purpose of this posting is about something else, transparency in voting at AGM/EGM's.

The announcement by Automated Systems to the HKEX of the results can be found here.

Of interest is the following table:

A simple table showing the number of votes and percantages in favour and against the proposal.

My question is: why can't this be done in Malaysia? Why do we only get the result (resolution passed or not) of the voting? Why can we not get the details?

Here is an example in Malaysia, the announcement of the voting at the EGM of Hibiscus Petroleum can be found here.

On behalf of Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad, Hong Leong Investment Bank Berhad (formerly known as MIMB Investment Bank Berhad) is pleased to announce that the shareholders of Hibiscus Petroleum have, at the extraordinary general meeting (“EGM”) held today, approved the ordinary resolutions as set out in the Notice of EGM dated 4 December 2012.

That is all, one short paragraph, no details whatsoever, why?

Many times proposals (often acquisitions in Related Party Transactions at skyhigh prices or delisting exercises at very low prices) have "mysteriously" been approved in EGM's. In those cases, the exact voting would have given a lot more information than only the bare result. Since the votes are anyhow counted, why not reveal them?


  1. I think in Malaysia, most of the voting in general meetings are done by show of hands for convenience. And to expedite the voting in a meeting, chairman and company secretary do not actually count the votes.

  2. Correct, but luckily important matters are voted through the 1 share 1 vote system nowdays and even then no detailed information is provided. I have never seen the HK table for a Malaysian vote, it should be mandatory, in my opinion.