THE private sector should go beyond compliance with the existing statutory structure to adopt a greater level of transparency and accountability in business transactions, said Transparency International Malaysia president Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim.
“We need a national code of business practice, one that is developed by the corporate sector,” he told StarBiz on Thursday.
He said there was need for a code of business conduct among the private sector, a move that would change the global perception of the level of risks and costs associated with channelling investments into the country.
“The corporate sector needs to claim ownership to the responsibility of making Malaysia a country where investors would have confidence in the accountability and transparency of the nature of business transactions,” Tunku Abdul Aziz said.
He said although the country was making progress in the fight against corruption, “we have to do better because we have no choice.”
“The advent of globalisation has created a demand for a very much higher standard of business ethics in the Malaysian environment, where investors need to be convinced of the effective enforcement of rules under the judicial system and other regulatory bodies,” he added.
He said Malaysia had “not been too highly regarded” in international business circles due to its lacklustre performance in the annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) published by Transparency International.
“Compared with India, Bangladesh and Nigeria, we are considered extremely good.
“But if we compare ourselves against Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, we do not look too good,” he said, adding that Malaysia only managed to score 5.2 out of a clean score of 10 in 2003.
To this end, the society will hold a fund-raising gala dinner on Oct 6 at the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur where Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will deliver his keynote address on The Corporate Sector Against Corruption.