SINGAPORE (Aug 12): Tan Boon Gin, CEO of Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo), believes that upholding the integrity of the local market should take the form of a neighbourhood watch, where members of the community trust and rely on one another to keep everyone safe from harm. According to him, it is “impossible” for regulators to “legislate chapter and verse against every single permutation of conflicts of interest”.
Speaking at the launch of the Singapore Governance and Transparency Index 2019 on Aug 7, Tan says it is time for stakeholders “closest to the ground” to begin playing a more active role. For instance, sponsor firms ought to ensure that Catalist-listed companies consider not just the form but also the spirit behind the rules governing conflicts of interest, he says. Other market stakeholders, such as the auditors, industry associations and other professional bodies, can also do their part, he adds.
“The result of this shift in thinking from ecosystem to community enables the whole mindset to change. Instead of focusing on the transaction in front of us and haggling over the technical rules, we can take a step back and think about the precedent we are about to set, the signal we are going to send to the rest of the market and the long-term impact on our shared goal of a safe and trusted community,” Tan says in his speech as the guest of honour.