Malaysia Commits to Raising the Bar for Corporate Corporate Governance

YB Tuan Lim Guan Eng, Minister of Finance delivering his
keynote address at the International Directors Summit 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, 15 OCTOBER 2019: At the International Directors Summit 2019 (‘the Summit’), the Government of Malaysia urged both the public and private sectors in Malaysia to collaborate to rebuild and strengthen the trust in Corporate Malaysia. Yang Berhormat (YB) Tuan Lim Guan Eng, Minister of Finance, and Yang Berbahagia (YBhg) 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, YB Tuan Lim Guan Eng 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% for this year, before accelerating slightly to 4.8% next year. And 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% or 841 listed countries have adopted 27 of the best practices listed in the Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance (MCCG).”

YB Tuan 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.”

YBhg Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, Attorney-General of Malaysia delivering his closing remarks
‘Resetting the Trust Compass: It Starts with You’ at the International Directors Summit 2019

YBhg Tan Sri Tommy Thomas said in his Closing Remarks, “‘It starts with you’. The theme ‘The Trust Compass: Resetting the Course’ is 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. 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.

Michele Kythe Lim, President and CEO of ICDM,
delivering her closing speech at the end of the successful
two-day International Directors Summit 2019

Michele Kythe Lim, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICDM concluded at the end of the successful two-day Summit, “As ASEAN continues to be a major player in the global trade and expanding into other markets, we can expect a rise in the demand for world-class boards from our markets. In light of that, it is in ICDM’s plans to spearhead and shape a robust regional network of professionally recognised and respected corporate directors, not only within ASEAN but for the rest of the world. Over the past two days, we exchanged ideas with the most significant minds in governance and global business strategists on how we, as individuals and as a community, can take on the largest issues facing today’s boardrooms. With the right mindset and good corporate governance, we certainly can Reset the Trust Compass and build a more vibrant and robust business environment.”


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About the Institute of Corporate Directors Malaysia (ICDM): ICDM was established by the Securities Commission Malaysia in July 2017 as one of the initiatives under the Corporate Governance Strategic Initiatives 2017– 2020 to encourage better business conduct by developing good corporate governance and more effective boards.
ICDM is also supported by Bank Negara Malaysia, Bursa Malaysia and the Capital Market Development Fund. For more information on ICDM, please visit our website at

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