THE Ma family of Sincere Co has agreed to pay back a controversial $66.68 million special directors' bonus for the year to February. After more than two weeks of debate about payments to directors totalling $114.75 million, company chairman Walter Ma said yesterday: ''The directors of the company wish to announce that with a view to maintaining the good name of the company with its customers and shareholders and also to put to an end the unwarranted adverse media attention which has been focused upon the company recently, the directors of the company have voluntarily decided to repay the special bonus received by them.'' The company said it had been doing business in the territory since 1900. ''And during this time its directors have striven to maintain its unblemished reputation.'' The emoluments were 2.5 times the net profit before extraordinaries of $46.66 million, or 10 per cent of the total net profit attributable to the shareholders, $1.124 billion. After the repayment of the special bonus, which has been linked to the $1.077 billion sale of Sincere House, the directors' emoluments will fall to about $48 million. Mr Ma said: ''Historically, the remuneration of the directors has comprised to a large extent an element of discretionary bonus designed to reward the directors' efforts and reflect the resulting profits obtained by the company.'' The decision to pay the directors for their securing substantial profits for the company had been approved by the non-executive directors. They had no interest in the payment, said Mr Ma. They had ''formed the opinion that the bonuses were fair and reasonable in all the circumstances'', he said. According to the company's last accounts, the three non-executives on the board are Ma Hin-fong, Ma King-wing and Sammy Ma. ''Such decision was made in complete accord with the articles of association of the company and all applicable legal requirements,'' said the chairman. Sincere said the directors' remuneration had been made up of salaries, fees and bonuses totalling $114.75 million, representing 10 per cent of the company's profit attributable to shareholders. Mr Ma said: ''The directors of the company have taken note of articles which have appeared recently in various newspapers concerning the amount of the bonuses received by them for the 1993 financial year which inaccurately allege that such bonuses amounted to 250 per cent of the company's profit. ''The directors of the company have commenced legal proceedings in connection with such articles.'' The South China Morning Post Publishers and a number of its employees are the subject of the legal proceedings. In making a comparison between the profit and bonus figures, the South China Morning Post used net profit before extraordinaries. This is used by the Hong Kong Society of Accountants and the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong as the figure used in the calculation of earnings per share, a figure used by investors to calculate the relative worth of a company's issued shares.