Tan Sri Tommy Thomas
KUCHING: The government urged both the public and private sectors in Malaysia to collaborate to rebuild and strengthen the trust in Corporate Malaysia.
This was highlighted during the International Directors Summit 2019 (the Summit), whereby Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng and Attorney-General of Malaysia Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, Attorney-General of Malaysia delivered their keynotes on day two of the summit, rounding up the two days of robust discussions and debate around corporate governance, expectations of 21st century boards, innovation and disruptions, and how they influence companies and boards.
In his keynote, Lim said that Malaysia was among the few economies in the world that experienced faster GDP growth in the second quarter relative to the previous one.
“Thanks to our strong performance in the first half of 2019, the Government projects Malaysia’s GDP growth to be at 4.7 per cent for this year, before accelerating slightly to 4.8 per cent next year.
“Malaysia is moving in the right direction – with institutional reforms forming the bedrock of the country’s economic resilience. It is therefore encouraging to note that the 2019 Corporate Governance Monitor report published by the Securities Commission shows 70 per cent or 841 listed countries have adopted 27 of the best practices listed in the Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance (MCCG).”
Lim also emphasised, “However, while rules and regulations are important in improving integrity, they alone are not sufficient. The Board of Directors needs to set the right tone from the top.
“A culture of integrity and ethics is central to good governance and it must be put into practice in every aspect of the company’s operations. Rebuilding of trust lies within the drivers of the company, and how well they can demonstrate accountability and transparency.”
Lim Guan Eng
Tommy in his closing remarks said the theme ‘The Trust Compass: Resetting the Course’ was “particularly appropriate and topical.”
“The new Government, which took office after the historic results of the GE-14 in May 2018, is adamant about reducing, and ultimately eliminating corruption,” he added.
“The best method in restoring trust in the corporate and commercial environment in Malaysia is to vigorously apply the law against wrongdoers. Our laws have generally been first rate: what was sadly lacking was enforcement.
“If the enforcement message of the new government remains loud and clear, wrong-doing ought to reduce. Nothing concentrates the mind more of any individual than a real threat of prosecution, followed by imprisonment.”
The International Directors Summit is aims to be a premier event for corporate governance in Malaysia and the region, paving the way towards stronger and more resilient boards and companies.
First in Malaysia and the region, the Summit aims to facilitate networking and exchange of ideas and insights on governance and other boardroom issues amongst boards and directors from both the private and the public sectors, and with governance experts from across the world.
This article appeared in The Borneo Post on October 17, 2019.