The Minority Shareholders Watch Group (MSWG) was established as a government initiative in the year 2000 as part of a broader capital market framework to protect the interests of minority shareholders through shareholder activism. It is one avenue of market discipline to encourage good governance amongst public listed companies with the objective of raising shareholder value over time.
Over the years MSWG has evolved into an independent research organization on corporate governance matters. MSWG provides a platform and a collective voice to both retail and institutional minority shareholders, and it advises on voting at general meetings of public listed companies. This has been the first step towards encouraging shareholder activism without recourse to the courts..
MSWG's objectives are set out in a Charter under its Memorandum and Articles of Association. These objectives are as follows:
- To become the Forum on minority shareholders' experiences.
- To become the Think-Tank and Resource Centre for minority interest and corporate governance matters in Malaysia.
- To develop and disseminate the educational aspects of corporate governance.
- To become the platform to initiate collective shareholder activism on questionable practices by management of public listed companies.
- To influence the decision making process in public listed companies as the leader for minority shareholders’ legitimate rights and interests.
- To monitor for breaches and non-compliance in corporate governance practices by public listed companies.
- To initiate where appropriate, reports to regulatory authorities and transforming MSWG into an effective deterrent of such events or activities that can be against the interest of the minority shareholders.
MSWG's four founding organisations are:
- Armed Forces Fund Board (Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera)
- National Equity Corporation (Permodalan Nasional Berhad)
- Social Security Organisation (Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial)
- Pilgrimage Board (Lembaga Tabung Haji)
The founding organisations provided funding for MSWG's start-up and establishment.
Currently, MSWG is substantially funded by the Capital Market Development Fund, as well as through sales of its own products and services. Additional information on the founding organisations is provided below.
Armed Forces Fund Board
The Armed Forces Fund Board or Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) was established in August 1972 by an Act of Parliament. LTAT has two main objectives. The first is to provide retirement and other benefits to members of the other ranks in the Armed Forces (compulsory contributors) and to enable officers and mobilised members of the volunteer forces in the service to participate in a savings scheme. The second main objective is to promote socio-economic development and to provide welfare and other benefits for the retiring and retired personnel of the Armed Forces of Malaysia.
National Equity Corporation
The National Equity Corporation or Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) was incorporated on March 17, 1978. PNB was conceived as a pivotal instrument of the Government’s New Economic Policy to promote share ownership in the corporate sector among the Bumiputera, and develop opportunities for suitable Bumiputera professionals to participate in the creation and management of wealth. The PNB Group is the country’s leading investment institution with a diversified portfolio of interests that include unit trusts, institutional property trusts, property management and asset management.
Social Security Organisation
The Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) was established in 1971 under the Human Resources Ministry to ensure and guarantee the timely and adequate provision of benefits in a socially just manner, and to promote occupational health and safety.
The Pilgrims Fund Corporation was established in November 1962 and commenced operation on September 30, 1963. The corporation later merged with Penang-based Pilgrimage Affairs Management Office in 1969 resulting in the formation of the Pilgrimage Management and Fund Board or better known as Tabung Haji. The objectives of this entity are (i) to enable Muslims to save gradually to support their expenditure during pilgrimage and for other beneficial purposes; (ii) to enable Muslims to have active and effective participation in investment activities permissible in Islam through their savings; and (iii) to protect, safeguard interests and ensure the welfare of pilgrims during pilgrimage by providing various facilities and services. The name Pilgrimage Management and Fund Board has been changed to Pilgrimage Board (better known as Lembaga Tabung Haji) effective from August 28, 1997.