Making remote participation in AGMs the norm
Cheah Chor Sooi | 04 May 2018 00:30
Distance and commuting problems remain a hindrance for many minority shareholders – especially the aged and disabled – from directly and actively participating and voting at annual general meetings (AGMs) of listed companies.
However, minority shareholders may soon no longer be deprived of their rights as the Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance (MCCG) intends to empower shareholders to participate and engage the board and senior management effectively so they can make informed voting decisions at AGMs – even if they are not physically present.
Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group (MSWG) CEO Devanesan Evanson believes that this can only materialise if listed companies – particularly those which intend to hold annual meetings in remote locations - leverage on technology to facilitate both voting in absentia and the means for remote participation. This goes beyond merely employing electronic voting systems at the meeting.
 “We note that quite a few companies have misinterpreted this to mean electronic voting (per se) and have accordingly stated that they have adopted this practice,” he tells FocusM.
“Electronic voting is different from enabling remote shareholder participation and voting at general meetings. It only facilitates voting [by those physically present] to produce the poll results in a speedy manner."