PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia ranked fourth out of 12 Asia-Pacific economies in terms of market accountability and transparency, according to the 2018 CG Watch report in December.
The CG watch report is a regional report on corporate governance published by the Asia Corporate Governance Association (ACGA) and CLSA.
This is a significant improvement from 2016 when Malaysia held 7th place, making Malaysia the biggest 2018 gainer among other regions that include Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.
In a press release, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said, “the rise further proves that the government’s efforts to instil principles of competency, accountability and transparency (CAT) in its administration is bearing fruits.”
ACGA stated that the 2018 improvement reflects Malaysia’s “concrete moves to tackle endemic corruption issues fostered by the previous regime.”
The report also stated that the jump is based on optimism over the political change in Malaysia which translated into “tangible improvements to enforcement and reporting.”
Lim also mentioned that aside from strong anti-corruption measures taken, the practice of open tenders has increased the level of transparency in the public sector, as well as influenced the private sector positively.
He said that the improvement in the report is only one example how the government’s institutional reform agenda is raising Malaysia’s governance quality and contributing to the government’s fiscal sustainability.
“These institutional reforms undertaken by the Government have convinced the top three rating agencies to maintain Malaysia’s sovereign credit ratings at A- or A3,” he said.
Lim said that the dramatic surge in approved foreign direct investment in manufacturing since May 2018 as reported by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is the biggest proof that the government’s plan is working.
“The Government will press on with its institutional reforms to prevent widespread abuses that happened under the previous administration from repeating and to improve the economic well-being of all Malaysians,” he said.