Opening Remarks at the launch of Positioning Corporate Malaysia for a Sustainable Future - A research publication by PwC Malaysia and Capital Markets Malaysia
6 April 2022 |  By Datuk Zainal Izlan Zainal Abidin Chairman, Capital Markets Malaysia, Deputy Chief Executive, Securities Commission Malaysia

Opening Remarks
Datuk Zainal Izlan Zainal Abidin
Chairman, Capital Markets Malaysia
Deputy Chief Executive, Securities Commission Malaysia
At the launch of
Positioning Corporate Malaysia for a Sustainable Future
A research publication by PwC Malaysia and Capital Markets Malaysia

10am - 11:15am, Wednesday, 6 April 2022
A Virtual Engagement

Ladies and gentlemen,

Assalamualaikum, a very good morning, and Ramadhan Mubarak.


I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of you to this webinar being held in conjunction with the launch of a joint research publication by PwC Malaysia and Capital Markets Malaysia entitled Positioning Corporate Malaysia for a Sustainable Future.


My thanks to PwC Malaysia for organising this webinar and for inviting me to be part of this event, which marks another step forward towards addressing a global agenda that has become increasingly critical and pressing.


I also wish to express my appreciation to the esteemed speakers for taking time to share their expertise and experience in this webinar shortly.


The publication we are launching today explores Corporate Malaysia’s progress in adopting environmental, social, and governance (or ESG) practices. It also provides an in-depth view on the regulations and key initiatives introduced by the government and regulatory bodies in Malaysia to support climate-friendly and sustainable practices in the private sector.  


The rise in demand for sustainable investments and sustainable assets has placed the capital market in a unique position to drive meaningful change in sustainability practices among corporates.

In this regard, the Securities Commission Malaysia has been actively undertaking various initiatives to develop and grow the sustainable and responsible investment (or SRI) ecosystem for the Malaysian capital market. At the same time, its affiliate, Capital Markets Malaysia (or CMM) has continued to play a significant role in supporting the SC’s efforts in this area, which include charting the role of the capital market in driving sustainable corporate practices.


Among these initiatives were the pioneering SRI Sukuk Framework in 2014 and the SRI Funds Guidelines in 2017 to spur product offerings, and the holistic SRI Roadmap for the Malaysian Capital Market in 2019 to drive the strategic development of the ecosystem.


To strengthen the corporate governance culture and board leadership in ESG, last year the SC released an update on the Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance which introduced new ESG best practices that emphasise the need for collective action by boards and senior management.


Looking ahead, the SC’s Capital Market Masterplan 3 has laid out initiatives to shape a stakeholder economy by mobilising more capital towards sustainable businesses, and to embed greater shared accountability within the capital market, particularly corporate responsibility to stakeholders beyond short-term profitability.


The SC is currently developing an SRI taxonomy for the Malaysian capital market which will establish guiding principles to identify and define economic activities that support ESG objectives. Notably, this taxonomy will include a social component to promote social benefits and well-being.


Further, recognising that businesses will require significant financing to decarbonise and to transition towards net-zero, the SC is working on a framework for market-based instruments to enable transition finance in Malaysia.


In tandem with these policy initiatives, it is important to ensure that our stakeholders within the SRI ecosystem are provided the support needed to set themselves on the sustainability journey. To this end, CMM has established three centres of excellence to catalyse the development of a sustainable and responsible capital market and to provide capacity development for three specific stakeholder groups: public listed companies; financial sector intermediaries; and asset owners and asset managers.


Apart from capacity building programmes, CMM also works with international partners and stakeholders to provide a platform to position Malaysian PLCs as viable sustainable investee companies for portfolio investors seeking opportunities in emerging markets.  


This brings me to the reason for today’s launch webinar. This publication, which features local case studies, covers how organisations in Malaysia are progressing in their sustainability journey, highlighting the advances that have been made in key sectors of the Malaysian economy such as construction and property, oil and gas, plantation and several others. The report also provides a comparative view of corporate Malaysia’s ESG performance relative to our ASEAN peers.


Our primary aim in releasing this report is to increase investor awareness, both locally and internationally, of corporate Malaysia’s advancement and leadership in ESG practices, and to highlight the availability of investment opportunities for SRI-driven investors. Arising from this, it is hoped that more corporates will embrace the sustainability agenda sooner rather than later.

Ladies and gentlemen,


Before concluding my remarks, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Andrew and his team at PwC Malaysia, for partnering with CMM on this project, and for the efforts committed towards the research and content development of this timely publication. 


With that, I wish all of you a productive and insightful session.

Thank you

Click here for the full report 

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