Sunday 23 November 2014

"Pity the Protasco minorities"

Good article from Errol Oh in The Star: "Pity the Protasco minorities, 2 EGMs in 3 days", some snippets (emphasis mine):

This column has argued against the requisitionists’ opacity, and has pointed out that transparency and willingness to engage with minority shareholders will earn goodwill.

The recent developments at Protasco, which calls itself an infrastructure development provider, take us to the other extreme, and it’s equally troubling and frustrating. Here, the problem is not that the principal players are not saying anything. On the contrary, a lot of information is flowing out from both sides, directly and openly or otherwise, but there are so many allegations and counter-allegations of wrongdoings that the minority shareholders can’t be expected to make confident conclusions as to whom they should back.

Lawsuits have been initiated and the saga will probably drag on for many months at least. The EGMs are by no means the final battles, but they’re important because a board seat is a valuable vantage point.

The EGMs are lawful as long as they’re convened and conducted according to the Companies Act’s provisions and the company rules. However, there’s more happening now than those meetings. The brawl has spilled over into the media and the blogosphere, and one wonders how much of this fits the requirement for “full, accurate and timely disclosure”.

Also, there’s little indication that the regulators are at hand to prevent things from going too far. Bursa Malaysia and the Securities Commission may prefer the quiet and subtle way of delivering warnings and gathering facts, but they should also recognise that the unusual events at Protasco offer them a unique opportunity to draw the line between disclosure and negative campaigning. When there’s plenty of mudslinging going on, nobody walks away spotless.

I think this is one of those moments that the regulators and the independent directors of Protasco should step up their game. Sometimes working behind the scene is possible (and may be even preferable), but not in the above case. I think actually a lot of the problems could have been avoided if regulators and/or independent directors had been more active in the first quarter of 2013, almost two years ago. If they had asked the right questions and done independent research then a lot of information would have been gathered.

Please use Google and the keywords "protasco board tussle" to find the many blogs about this case.

"Executive editor Errol Oh is only sure that Chong and Tey can’t both be right."

Correct, and I don't even exclude the possibility that both sides are (at least to some extent) wrong.

The proposed acquisition was always announced as a "non related party transaction" even as recent as August 5, 2014 :

I strongly doubt that was the case.


  1. The countdown to this week’s Protasco EGM continues, here are some interesting points to ponder for shareholders who may want to consider why Tey Por Yee should be kicked out from Protasco’s board.

    Actually all those who have dealings with the Tey Por Yee syndicate and also the public at large should take note of this cautionary tale.

    Read more here

  2. Beware of spammer syndicate hired by Chong Ket Pen to cover up his mistakes by putting a blame to his victims. This is not Chong first time he put blame on others - from many of his co workers in JKR, later his partner Hasnur, and his boss Tun Daim, and latest his two investors Tey and Ooi.

    Chong own cover up in siphoning public money with cronies in public services is ill sickening. Public should know the truth.

    Just to keep the balance, few interesting facts contributed from his old co workers public should know:

  3. It is now in the hands of the courts and the authorities. Hopefully they will do a fast and transparent job, and soon we all know who is to blame for the mess.

    Victims got charged, criminal walks. Wonderful country legal system ran by cow boy.