Kuek Chee Ying


Shareholder activism, which refers to action taken by shareholders to bring about change in a company or influence its behaviour without changing its corporate control, has been gradually inceasing in Malaysia in recent years. Among other things, this increase can be attributed to the establishment of the Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group (‘MSWG’) in 2000, amendments to the Companies Act 1965 (Malaysia) in 2007 and the introduction of the Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance 2012, which supersedes its predecessor. Drawing on Hirschman’s insights in Exit, Voice and Loyalty, this paper seeks to examine the exit and voice mechanisms available to Malaysian shareholders to monitor or discipline opportunistic management. In this context, the exit option refers to the traditional choice of shareholders in selling their shares, or the ‘Wall Street walk’ when there is a decline in corporate performance, whereas the voice mechanism refers to expressions of dissatisfaction by shareholders to corporate management, which may be participative, interactive or even combative in nature. Comparisons are made with Australia where relevant.