Disclosure practices and levels of transparency among Malaysian corporates are still below global standards, according to the president of the Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance (MICG).
President Datuk Yusli Mohamed Yusoff said that it is critical for companies, especially publicly listed firms, to play a stronger role in building trust with investors to ensure that Malaysian companies are able to compete internationally and attract foreign investment.
“These standards raise the expectations of public listed companies with regard to transparent and comprehensive public reporting,” said Yusoff at a conference, at the launch of a report, Transparency in Corporate Reporting — Assessing Malaysia’s Top 100 Public Listed Companies.
He added: “Indeed, for trust and accountability to exist, there must be transparency.”
The report discusses the market capitalisation and board governance issues of Malaysia’s top 100 publicly listed companies. It considers three main issues: anti-corruption, organisational transparency and sustainability.
Yusoff said that he hopes the report will help corporate boards improve their processes, and ultimately raise the level of corporate governance in Malaysia.
According to the MICG, Malaysian government-linked companies will score better than multinational companies and family-run entities in the assessment.
The report also said that Petronas Gas, Petronas Dagangan, Petronas Chemicals Group, Malayan Banking (Maybank) and Sime Darby are leading examples of Malaysian public-listed companies with high disclosure and transparency levels.
The top 100 companies’ average score across the three criteria was 4.6 out of 10, according to the report.
Yusoff’s comments follow calls from Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) chairman, Tan Sri Ranjit Ajit Singh, for Malaysian corporate boards to incentivise good governance.