Malaysia to begin implementation of Corporate Governance Report recommendations

Jakarta, 19 April 1999

Malaysia will begin detailed implementation of the recommendations of the Finance Committee on Corporate Governance (Finance Committee) through an Implementation Project Team.

Last month, a comprehensive report on Corporate Governance was released by the high-level Finance Committee established by the government. The Report contains no less than 70 recommendations covering critical areas such as legal reform, code of best practice, enforcement, education and training.

Securities Commission (SC) Malaysia Director Dr Nik Ramlah Nik Mahmood stressed the importance of closely monitoring the implementation of the recommendations of the Report on Corporate Governance.

"A report is only as good as the papers it is written on until and unless concrete measures are taken to implement its recommendations," she said.

The Team reports to the Finance Committee and will comprise the SC, the Registrar of Companies (ROC), the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) and the Federation of Public Listed Companies (FPLC).

"The Finance Committee will continue to oversee the implementation of recommendations and to secure further policy approvals from the government," Dr Nik Ramlah said.

She added that some of the recommendations of the Finance Committee have already been implemented, through action taken by the various agencies, quite independently of the work of the Committee.

The Finance Committee Report on Corporate Governance has received positive response from the global investment community.

Global Proxy Watch, which is a US-based newsletter of International Corporate Governance on Shareholder Value, described the Report as Asia's most far-reaching corporate governance reform and is a landmark emerging market vote of confidence in the need for transparency, board accountability to shareholders and protection of minority shareholders.

Dr Nik Ramlah said that the international investment community recognised efforts led by Malaysia to pave the way towards good corporate governance.

"It (the Report) has also earned Malaysia the title of "the Pacific Rim's designated leader of corporate governance reform," she added.

The focus on corporate governance issues in the Malaysian capital market began in the 1980s after the capital market began to emerge as an increasingly important source of funds.

Efforts to enhance corporate governance in Malaysia have been an on-going one where long before the financial crisis, laws, regulations and listing rules were continuously being reviewed and strengthened by the relevant regulators.

"Nonetheless, when the economy was thriving and enjoying frenetic growth rates, it was not surprising that issues of corporate governance were not foremost on the minds of investors and lenders, as the focus was on high returns.

"Changing times and the financial crisis had served to re-focus the minds of the business community on issues like corporate governance," said Dr Nik Ramlah.

Dr Nik Ramlah spoke at a conference on the Importance of Corporate Governance jointly-organised by the World Bank, the Indonesian Capital Market Supervisory Agency (BAPEPAM) and the Jakarta Stock Exchange today. She delivered a presentation entitled International Trends - Efforts to Enhance Corporate Governance in Malaysia.


Issued on behalf of the Securities Commission. For assistance please contact the Corporate Affairs Department at tel no. 03-654 8513 (Ann Teoh) / 03-654 8107 (Ida Mariana Azmi) or fax no.: 03-6515078.
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