SELWYN Mar is to resign as president of department store operator Sincere Company as a result of a clash with the company's owners, the Ma family. Mr Mar has been at odds with the four family board members since a fierce battle erupted over last year's decision to pay themselves an annual bonus of $115 million. The huge payment represented 2.5 times the company's after-tax profit before extraordinary items of only $46.65 million for the year ending February 28 1993. Sources close to Mr Mar said he urged restraint on the other directors at the time, but was shouted down. He felt he was just one voice against the others, said the source, and could not convince the board that minority shareholders' interests must come first. Sincere's five-member board comprises Mr Mar and family members Walter Ma King-wah, Philip Ma King-huen, Ma Siu-chung and John Ma. The directors were lambasted by the press for the huge windfall bonus and were accused of putting their own interests before those of minority shareholders. The stock exchange was called upon to investigate. The Hong Kong Society of Accountants - of which Mr Mar is a former president - publicly condemned the payment, while the Institute of Chartered Secretaries described the bonus as ''obscene''. Under severe pressure, the directors repaid $66.68 million of the original bonus. In a statement at the time, company chairman Walter Ma said the decision had been taken to ''maintain the good name of the company''. The source said Mr Mar had argued very strongly that directors must remember that they work for the shareholders. ''He felt the other directors had forgotten that,'' the source said. The battle over the annual bonus sparked off a protracted series of conflicts between Mr Mar and the Ma family. A boardroom shuffle at Sincere late last year shifted Mr Mar from his previous position as executive director to president of the company's mainland operations. Mr Mar was keen to spearhead an aggressive expansion drive of the department store operations in China and the rest of Asia. The source said Mr Mar consistently urged the Ma family members to beef up the company's expansion plans in Asia, but was met with a wall of resistance. But Mr Mar's suggestions were rejected out-of-hand by his fellow directors, it was alleged. ''Mr Mar felt that there was not much satisfaction to be had if he consistently put issues across only to have them thrown back at him,'' the source said. Mr Mar is understood to have fought long and hard with his decision to resign, but finally felt his position was unacceptable. ''He is very relieved to have finally been able to make a decision,'' the source said. Mr Mar currently has two job offers on his desk, neither of which are in the retail sector. One is believed to be for a manufacturing company. He felt the time had come to move on to greener pastures and do a job that was more challenging and satisfying, the source said. Mr Mar will inform the stock exchange of his decision early this week. None of the Ma family board members were available for comment. In July this year, Sincere announced an 88.64 per cent drop in net profit to $127.65 million for the year ending February 28. The repayment of the $66.68 million bonus was booked as an exceptional gain. Sincere has been doing business in Hong Kong since 1900 and was set up by Ma Ying-piu.