Mr Leon Perera (Aljunied): Mr Chairman, the MAS-regulated Singapore Stock Exchange currently has a “comply and explain” policy on sustainability reporting for its listed companies, which was first announced in 2016. It presents a range of internationally accepted standards which companies are encouraged to choose and follow, but are not mandatory. This has resulted in inconsistencies in reporting methods, quality in data disclosure and, hence, rendering the reports ineffective due to lack of comparability amongst the listed companies. It could also lead to greenwashing. According to an NUS study done in 2019 on sustainability reporting, there are clear differences in the sustainability reporting performance among different industries.
Perhaps we could move from a “comply and explain” to a mandatory regime, as some other major exchanges have done. Studies are needed to determine the best frameworks to align with, such as GRI, TCFD, SASB, and so on, and we could also add industry-specific frameworks, such as RSPO.
But more broadly, can MAS share its plans to improve SGX’s sustainability reporting policy to ensure quality and comparability of sustainability reports and provide support for SMEs to encourage sustainability reporting?
Prime Minister’s Office
26 February 2021