Malaysia Ranks 5th in Asia-Pacific Corporate Governance and ESG Report

Malaysia has retained its fifth-place ranking in the Corporate Governance (CG) Watch 2023 report for the Asia-Pacific region, with a score of 61.5%, representing a 2% improvement from 2020. The report, a joint effort between the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA) and brokerage and investment group CLSA, evaluated the corporate governance and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performances of 12 Asia-Pacific markets across seven categories.

The rankings for the 12 markets are as follows: Australia (1st), Japan (2nd), Singapore (3rd), Taiwan (4th), Malaysia (5th), Hong Kong (6th), India (7th), Korea (8th), Thailand (9th), China (10th), Philippines (11th), and Indonesia (12th).

Malaysia excelled in two categories, securing the top spot in the auditors and audit regulators segment, with a score of 92%, and taking second place in the CG rules category, with a score of 83%.

In the auditors and audit regulators category, related to accounting and audit standards, Malaysia’s score demonstrated significant improvement from 86% in 2020.

Malaysia’s score in the government and public governance category was less impressive, standing at 37%, ranking eighth. Common challenges noted among regulators in several markets, including Malaysia, included inconsistent government support for regulatory policy and enforcement, a lack of independence from the government, difficulties faced by minority shareholders in accessing the legal system, and a shortage of genuinely independent anti-corruption commissions.

The report highlighted concerns about judicial independence, which was either under attack or perceived as biased in various markets, including Malaysia, Thailand, and Hong Kong.

Malaysia’s scores in the remaining categories were as follows: listed companies (66%), regulators (58%), civil society & media (53%), and investors (42%).

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