CEO Morning Brief

Star Media Chairman Insists MCA Wanita Chief Can be Independent Director of the MCA-controlled Company

Publish date: Thu, 01 Jun 2023, 08:39 AM
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TheEdge CEO Morning Brief
Star Media Group Bhd independent non-executive chairman Tan Sri Chor Chee Heung and MCA Wanita chairperson Wong You Fong

KUALA LUMPUR (May 31): MCA Wanita chairperson Wong You Fong can be designated as an independent director of Star Media Group Bhd, where the political party owns a 43.23% direct stake, following an assessment conducted by the group’s nomination committee, said its independent non-executive chairman Tan Sri Chor Chee Heung.

Wong, who has been an independent director of Star Media since 2017, has also provided a written declaration on her appointment to the role, Chor said when fielding Star Media’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM) here.

Wong served as MCA Wanita's vice-chairperson from 2013 to Dec 19 last year, before she was appointed as the acting chief.

MCA’s official website lists Wong as the Wanita chairperson presently, and she is also one of the party's central committee members.

“I would like to assure our shareholders that when we are all appointed to the board, the fiduciary duty of the directors of the company is always at the forefront of our minds when making decisions,” Chor said.

“Madam Wong is neither a nominee nor the representative of the company’s majority shareholder MCA. Based on the yearly assessment conducted by the nomination committee of the company and Madam Wong’s written declaration, she is deemed independent and has been acting in the best interest of the company,” Chor added.

Meanwhile, Chor also defended his designation as the non-independent chairman, adding he is just an ordinary member of MCA, having retired from key posts in the political party since 2013. He was previously a vice-president of MCA.

It is noted that Wong sits on Star Media’s nomination committee, the group's latest annual report showed. The committee also consisted of non-independent non-executive director and deputy chairman Tan Sri Kuan Peng Chin @ Kuan Peng Soon and independent non-executive director Chan Seng Fatt.

Including Chor and Wong, Star Media has four independent directors as well as two non-independent directors for a six-member board of directors.

The company saw the retirement of two independent directors who chose not to seek re-election in the group’s annual general meeting on May 23, namely Christina Foo and Choong Tuck Oon.

Foo had served the board for eight months, having been appointed in October last year. Choong had served as an independent director of the company for six years.

The EGM held on Wednesday (May 31) saw minority shareholders voting against a proposal to dispose of a piece of land with upcoming factories in Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam to Matang Bhd for RM33 million in a share and cash deal.

The deal is a related party transaction as MCA also owns 17.15% of Matang.

The deal would have seen Matang satisfying RM28.9 million of the purchase consideration via issuance of 357 million new Matang shares at 8.09 sen apiece to Star Media, with the balance RM4.12 million to be paid in cash.

The move would have resulted in Star Media having a cross-holding of 13% in Matang, which is involved in the plantation business.

The Edge and its owner, Tong Kooi Ong, is a substantial shareholder of Star Media, after buying a 5.42% stake in the group in April.

Read also:
Star Media rises 9% after related party deal with Matang snubbed by minorities
Star Media minority shareholders reject related party deal with Matang
Tong's Portfolio: Star Media Group: An unreasonable, value-destructive related-party transaction with Matang

Source: TheEdge - 1 Jun 2023

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