GOH Speech by Chairman, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua at SIAS 15th Anniversary Celebration & SIAS 3rd Members’ Night on 25th April 2014, 7.30pm at Carlton Hall, Level 2, York Hotel

Date: April 25, 2014

Mr David Gerald, President SIAS

Corporate friends and Members of SIAS

This year we are celebrating the 15th anniversary of SIAS. Much to

Fitting to remember our history

– As many of you know, SIAS came about unexpectedly in June 1999, in a bid to protect some 172,000 CLOB investors, whose investments worth about US$6 billion were frozen by the Malaysian authorities.

– David Gerald, who saw the plight and anguish of many, led a small group of civic-minded Singaporeans to resolve the issue. My involvement with SIAS goes right back to these early days.

– But DG would not have been able to do this alone, without the unity and staunch support of you members.

In unity, there is strength. It was very much your fight as it was for David and the team at SIAS. That’s why we are all here today to celebrate SIAS’ 15th Anniversary.

Allow me to reiterate the priorities of SIAS.

(1) Making Singaporeans better-informed investors

SIAS to have chosen to focus on investor education as one of its primary
objectives. This is to help ordinary citizens make informed investment

A real challenge – Singaporeans generally do not see the need and are
therefore unwilling to pay for investor education programmes. But SIAS
persevered and has organised about 900 investor education programmes
since year 2000, benefiting almost 112,000 citizens from all walks of life.

Today, you can find wealth of information on the SIAS website, with over
15 million hits per annum and an average 60,000 page views per month,
clearly one of the favourite sources of financial information.

(2) Championing investor rights

Ensuring investors’ rights are protected is the very heart of SIAS’ existence. Thus, it is only natural that SIAS also champions corporate governance.

Good corporate governance in listed companies is important to not only
the development of our capital markets but also the security of our investments.

SIAS has taken many initiatives to help foster good corporate governance
and raise standards.

– Through the Investors’ Choice Awards, using the OECD CG Principles, Singapore CG Code and the Shareholder Confidence Index by Brendan Wood International, SIAS rates and honours companies that excel in transparency and good corporate governance practices.

– SIAS also conducts and publishes research on the corporate governance practices of SGX listed companies and stages the annual Corporate Governance Conference.

SIAS is not afraid to highlight those companies whose corporate governance standards have fallen short. How?

– SIAS, as the only voice for retail investors, has raised issues and concerns of minority shareholders with boards.

– Manages issues in a collaborative and conciliatory manner with regulator, listcos, brokers and/or other stakeholders with an “In the Boardroom and NOT the Courtroom” policy going for a Win-Win  resolution.

– Some notable cases include: Natsteel, Yellow Pages, China Aviation Oil, Olam, Chartered Semiconductor and China Sky

All these efforts are to protect your interests and your investments.

Over the years, has earned a reputation of being a reasonable voice among
the regulators and listed companies. Yet, it has not shied away from taking
up your cause outside the “courtroom”.

Views are constantly sought after by the media, regulators and even boards.

Today, SIAS has earned the respect of the international community.

– member of the OECD Roundtable for corporate governance.

– been invited to address many international forums in the US incl Treasury Department, by the European Parliament and the International
Monetary Fund, just to name a few.

– presented the Gold Standard Award by Public Affairs Asia for our work in promoting governance

The Next Lap – So What’s Next?

SIAS will continue to focus on protecting investor rights and enhance investor welfare, with respect to investments in securities made through Singapore-registered financial institutions. What further initiatives?

– extend our reach to the community by working with the CDCs and PA to help organise and educate even more ordinary citizens to help them invest wisely.

– actively engage younger investors, by working closely with the universities investment clubs and all polytechnics.

You members can expect even more offerings.

All these efforts and more can only be achieved with your continued help, support and feedback. I therefore thank you for being the inspiration of SIAS.

Let me end by wishing you all an enjoyable evening. TY.