Ministry: Malaysia biggest gainer in corporate governance ranking

Malaysia was the biggest 2018 gainer among regional rivals, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Malaysia was the biggest 2018 gainer among regional rivals, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — Malaysia ranked fourth out of 12 Asia-Pacific economies in terms of market accountability and transparency, according to the recent 2018 CG Watch Report published by the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA) and CLSA.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the ranking was a significant improvement from seventh place in 2016 and Malaysia was the biggest 2018 gainer among regional rivals, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

“The rise further proves that the government’s continuous efforts to instil the principles of competency, accountability and transparency in its administration is bearing fruit.

“The ACGA says the 2018 improvement reflects Malaysia’s concrete moves to tackle endemic corruption issues fostered by the previous Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak regime,” he said in a statement today.

The biennial CG Watch report stated that the jump was based on optimism over the May 9, 2018 political change in Malaysia, which was translated into tangible improvements to enforcement and reporting.

Apart from strong anti-corruption measures currently undertaken, Lim said the government had embraced open tenders in its procurement process more widely.

“This has not only increased the level of transparency in the public sector, but also influenced the private sector positively.

“The application of zero-based budgeting and the migration towards accrual accounting from cash accounting by 2021 as announced in the 2019 Budget, are also part of the government’s wider institutional reform agenda, that will further raise the level of accountability and transparency in the government,” Lim said.

“The improvement in the report was only an example of how the government’s institutional reform agenda is raising Malaysia’s governance quality and contributing to its fiscal sustainability.

“These institutional reforms undertaken by the government have also convinced the top three rating agencies to maintain Malaysia’s sovereign credit ratings at A- or A3.

“The government will press on with institutional reforms to prevent widespread abuses that happened under the previous administration from repeating and improve the economic well-being of Malaysians,” he added. — Bernama