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Malaysia rises to 4th spot for market accountability and transparency

PUTRAJAYA: The 2018 CG Watch report published by the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA) and CLSA in December has ranked Malaysia fourth out of 12 Asia-Pacific economies in terms of market accountability and transparency.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced this today, saying Malaysia had moved up from 7th place in 2016.

“This means Malaysia is the biggest 2018 gainer among regional rivals that include Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

“The rise further proves that the government’s continuous efforts to instill the principles of Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) in its administration are bearing fruits,” said Lim in a statement today.

He said the ACGA had stated the 2018 improvement reflected Malaysia’s “concrete moves to tackle endemic corruption issues fostered by the previous (Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) regime.”

The report, Lim added, further stated the jump was based on optimism over the May 9 government change in Malaysia, which had translated into “tangible improvements to enforcement and reporting.”

Apart from strong anti-corruption measures currently undertaken, the minister said, the government had embraced open tender in its procurement process more widely.

“This has not only increased the level of transparency in the public sector, but has also influenced the private sector positively.”

The application of zero-based budgeting and the migration towards accrual accounting from cash accounting by 2021 as announced in the 2019 Budget, Lim said, were also part of the government’s wider institutional reform agenda that would further boost its level of accountability and transparency.

“The improvement in the 2108 CG Watch report is only one example how the government’s institutional reform agenda is improving the quality of Malaysia’s governance and contributing to the government’s fiscal sustainability.

“These institutional reforms have convinced the top three rating agencies to maintain Malaysia’s sovereign credit ratings at A- or A3. Moody’s on Dec 7 is the latest to have done so and this came after Fitch Ratings reaffirmed the government’s credit ratings at A- on Aug 14.”

The biggest proof yet, demonstrating the government’s plan was working, he said, was the dramatic surge in approved foreign direct investment (FDI) in the manufacturing sector since May 2018 as reported by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).

“Approved manufacturing FDI for the period from May to September 2018 rose as much as 379 per cent year-on-year, or RM27.7 billion to RM35.0 billion, from merely RM7.3 billion for the same period in 2017,” he said, adding the approved manufacturing FDI would expect to create more than 30,000 new jobs.

Lim said the government would continue with its institutional reforms to prevent widespread abuses from recurring and to improve the economic well-being of all Malaysians.

source from New Straits Times

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