Now collected into a single volume

The “Ask Mr Sid“ column made its debut in the 2017 Quarter 2 issue of the SID Directors Bulletin. The fictional letters and replies on directorship dilemmas over the years (up to end 2021) have been packaged into a single volume. To buy this book, visit Singapore Institute of Directors. 

Duelling Over Dual Class

Dual class shares (DCS) have been controversial, not just for boards but also for investors and regulators. It’s helpful to look at the issues from both sides.

Blood no thick enough

Family-run businesses present unique governance challenges, especially when there are disruptive family members on the board and in management.

No profit, much work

A director who is conversant with for-profit boards experiences the culture shock of governing a non-profit organisation.

Stuck in a startup

Startups tend to focus on viability and valuation as well as the “hero” status of the founder, often at the expense of good corporate governance.

Alternative to Alternate Directors

What are the alternatives to not needing to have alternate directors?

Board styles and relationships

A good board needs to both control and support management, without falling into a “control trap” or “support trap”.

Disruptive international directors

Directors with international experience and networks can add value. How can directors achieve the board dynamics where the diversity does not create or accentuate fault lines?

Overboard on gender diversity

Yes, board diversity goes beyond gender, but gender diversity deserves attention because of social justice and business performance.

Removing the board chair

Removing the board chairman – whether as chairman or as chairman and director – is no small undertaking, if indeed it is warranted.


Despite the concerns surrounding Excos, there can be value to having one.

Joining a controversial board

A seasoned independent director wonders if joining a prominent board with a public fallout over its strategy and investments is a golden opportunity or a poisoned chalice.

Taking Umbrage with IDs

The challenge of Independent directors is finding those that are truly independent. The rules only disqualify those that are related by blood and money to the management and controlling shareholders. But independence is a state of mind.

None Year Rule

The nine-year rule has been a controversial one. And perhaps it has been contentious because the rule and its implementation sought to satisfy too many governance principles and points of view.

Directors getting shares

How many, if any, shares should non-executive directors own in a listed company?

Moving the company and CEO on

The transition of organisations and their leaders (chairman, CEO and other directors) is always much more difficult than continuing the status quo, but then renewal is usually very necessary.

Sailing into troubled waters

Ethics is a difficult and, often, a sensitive subject. What are the options available to a director for corporate ethical breaches, particularly after he has exhausted the constructive ones?

Dealing with a Moralistic Director

It’s a sign of the times that progressive companies are defining their corporate (moral) purpose – their reason for being that goes beyond making a profit.

The “Ass” in ESG

Social responsibility is contextual and shifting. What’s significant is that the scope of “S” in ESG has progressively widened over the past two decades, reflecting the evolving business environment of interconnected and interdependent markets.

Under siege in Covid-19

Covid-19 has accelerated many trends, especially digitisation and the transformation of businesses and processes. There is no returning to the old normal.

Where is the long term now?

While Covid-19 has put pressure on some companies to simply survive, it should be crisis management in the short term for a long-term future.

Too much about data

With the prevalence of big data and its significant benefits and challenges, boards should also pay attention to data governance and usage. The data suggests that the majority of directors are not there yet.

Worried over overly-worrying about the future

No industry is immune to digital disruption. How can the board play its performance role in the company’s strategic response to new business models and other changes?

Changing the Climate on Climate Change

Climate change is a pressing issue. How does one convince the management and fellow board members to do our part for climate change?

How sustainable is sustainability, anyway?

Sustainability should be more than about being financially sustainable as the be-all and end-all of an enterprise.