Malaysia’s laws on corporate governance fare far better than generally perceived, according to a report by Icliff Leadership and Governance Centre, an international centre of excellence.
Associate professor Chris Bennet, who co-wrote the report, said: “There is an external perception that Malaysian companies are not good.
“But surprisingly, the standard is really good when you compare it with the external perceptions. We do better in Malaysia than we think.”
Co-author Prof Mak Yuen Teen added: “Sometimes you look at some countries and because of their reputation, everybody assumes that a company’s governance is good.
“Unfortunately, Malaysia sometimes suffers from perception issues unfairly.”
To counter such perceptions, Bennet said Malaysian companies and regulators need to continue with regulation efforts as well as promote these more.
“Keep doing what you’re doing because Malaysia already has an excellent regulatory framework, it just needs to keep telling people about it.
Mak added: “A good example of Malaysian corporate governance would be the professional development of directors where there is actually quite a strong culture for board members and directors to undergo training.
“They have met a lot of pressure by regulators for them to go for professional development, ongoing training and so on.
“Among other countries in Asia, Malaysia is probably one of the countries with the strongest culture in terms of promoting director development but sometimes people don’t recognise that at all.”
Iclif chief executive officer Rajeev Peshawria said: “We have a lot of participants in our programme from other countries, and every time they sit with our Malaysian directors, they are surprised as to how much focus there is into director development in Malaysia and how the regulators started very early on it.”