Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund company Temasek Holdings today (Mar 5) told the chairmen of several state-owned companies like Singapore Airlines, SMRT, Sembcorp and Keppel not to engage in corruptions when making deals overseas. The warning came after Keppel lost US$422.2 million in penalty fines when it was found that it paid Brazilian authorities to secure local projects.
Chairman of Temasek Holdings, Lim Boon Heng, said that he will get the senior executives of the state-owned companies to engage in a “roundtable event” where he will conduct a mini-lecture on corrupt practices:
“We will hold a small group meeting specifically to ask for your companies’ active support and participation in this roundtable event. The Temasek team will bring in domain experts and companies that have dealt with corruption and bribery, to share how best practices were implemented.”
The ex-PAP Minister then wax lyrical about integrity and good governance:
“When wrongdoing takes place, we all must be ready to engage shareholders and stakeholders, with what we have done to remedy the wrongdoing, and ensure it doesn’t recur. please reinforce your commitment with your fellow directors, and especially to your management teams. I count on your support as we build and deepen engagement on these questions with you and your teams in coming months. This is critical as your companies grow and globalise beyond Singapore.”
Lim Boon Heng then commented on the Keppel corruption case:
“What happened recently was a shock, not just to the company concerned. It really dents the reputation of Singapore and all the other Temasek companies. It takes courage to walk away from business opportunities, but it is more important to maintain and protect the reputation of your company and our nation. You all know that corporations can be held legally accountable for the actions of their staff and their third-party agents. The expectations on directors are also very high. We should and must ensure that our companies have proper safeguards and policies in place.”