SELWYN Mar is leaving Sincere over an apparent stand-off with the Ma brothers. Development of the company's operations in China and, more importantly, concerns about the massive payout the board awarded itself last year are said to be the main reasons for his departure. It is not uncommon for board directors to conduct vigorous exchanges of ideas when plotting the future of a company. It is more unusual that they fall out over the level of pay awarded to the board members, and Mr Mar must be applauded for his battle to restrict the level of the pay increases. But why has it taken so long for Mr Mar's voice to be heard? The fact that one prominent member of the board was strongly opposed to a pay rise - described as ''obscene'' by no less a body than the Institute of Chartered Secretaries - should have been revealed at the time the company was justifying its huge pay day. As corporate governance becomes an increasingly topical issue in Hong Kong, the boards of directors will face stronger pressures to justify their decisions. The more open that decision-making process, the more confidence is generated in corporate Hong Kong and the stronger the financial markets become.