SC Malaysia: OECD White Paper on Corporate Governance to spur CG Improvements in Asia

Kuala Lumpur, 11 June 2003

The Securities Commission of Malaysia (SC) said today that the White Paper by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Asian Roundtable on Corporate Governance would play a significant role in the enhancement of corporate governance in Asia.

"Through the White Paper, representatives from the region itself have now articulated a set of common policy recommendations for improving corporate governance throughout Asia, which we welcome," said the SC Deputy Chief Executive, Datin Zarinah Anwar.

The White Paper seeks to promote full convergence with international accounting and audit standards, better protection of minority investors, stronger implementation and enforcement of existing laws and regulations, and improved bank governance.

Developed by Asian policy makers, regulators, business leaders and experts, including those from Malaysia, the White Paper reflects the discussions and recommendations of the Asian Roundtable meetings that took place throughout the region from 1999-2003.

High-level regulators, experts and business leaders had a Roundtable meeting in Kuala Lumpur in March 2003 to complete the White Paper on Corporate Governance in Asia and to be updated on developments and practices in Malaysia. Participants included regulators from 24 securities-commission and stock-exchange regulators from 12 Asian countries, as well as 25 regional and international business leaders and experts. The Roundtable was hosted by the SC, the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) and the Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance (MICG).

"The Roundtables have enabled us to share practical experiences with our Asian peers, as well as to confer with international experts about the global state of corporate governance," said Datin Zarinah.

"We look forward to further collaboration with the OECD and our colleagues in Asia as the Roundtable focuses on implementation and enforcement of key White Paper recommendations," she said.

The White Paper is a non-binding, consultative document, which builds on the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance. It makes recommendations focusing on non-OECD member countries of Asia, taking into account the region’s legal, cultural and economic diversity. The White Paper also considers issues relating to family-run firms, which represent the backbone of Asian economies.

OECD Senior Corporate Governance Specialist Mr Robert Zafft presented the paper to a media conference in Tokyo yesterday.

"The contributions of our Malaysian colleagues have been crucial to the success of the Roundtable and White Paper," said Zafft.

"Malaysia has developed and continues to refine an advanced corporate governance framework. Hearing our Malaysian colleagues describe successes and outline remaining challenges provides insight to both OECD-member and non-member countries," he said.

An electronic copy of the White Paper on Corporate Governance in Asia is available for free at The Asian Roundtable is sponsored by the Government of Japan, the Global Corporate Governance Forum and the Asian Development Bank.


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