Seen and heard this week


Seen and heard this week is a weekly column highlighting thought leadership from the NUS community


NUS Business Associate Professor Mak Yuen Teen wrote about the recent revisions to the Code of Corporate Governance for Singapore in a commentary for The Business Times on 20 November. Assoc Prof Mak said that companies should not see the new Code as setting a ceiling when it comes to corporate governance standards and that companies should consider going beyond the minimum rules. Highlighting the area of director independence, he said this will give minority shareholders greater confidence in their independent directors. Assoc Prof Mak added that there are many opportunities for companies to aim higher and he views the latest Code review as a test of Singapore’s corporate governance maturity and whether its companies and directors are truly ready to embrace a more principle-based approach.

Mr Drew Thompson, Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the NUS Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, expressed his views on the upcoming meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 on 1 December in a commentary for the South China Morning Post on 22 November. Mr Thompson said that the relationship between the US and China is in unchartered territory defined by open animosity and that there is no chance that a trade deal can be reached in only a few days when there have been no substantive discussions at the working level. However, he added that there are glimmers of hope that the meeting could turn the tide on a turbulent relationship and start a slow path to a modus vivendi, where the two countries can find a way to peacefully coexist.

A news report in TODAY on 25 November highlighted the findings of a recent study which found that shops in Singapore are selling meat, fins and products derived from endangered and vulnerable species of sharks and rays. Co-authors of the study Assistant Professor Huang Danwei from NUS Biological Sciences and Dr Neo Mei Lin from the Tropical Marine Science Institute at NUS called for active monitoring of the retail trade and better labelling of products to ensure that trade does not threaten wildlife species with extinction and to help consumers be aware of the sources of goods they are buying. Out of 207 tissue samples purchased from 20 retail sources, the researchers positively identified 173 samples belonging to 28 shark and ray species, with 12 of the species listed as endangered or vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and eight species listed under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

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