Good corporate governance is needed, says MICG

By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Pic By TMR

Malaysia ranked sixth on good corporate governance (CG) with its direction of CG reform noted as “regulation improving, public governance failing”, according to the Asian Corporate Governance Association’s CG Watch 2016.

Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance (MICG) president Datuk Yusli Mohamed Yusoff (picture) said in order to go up in the rankings, there is a need to focus on public governance to restore the country’s reputation.

“Although our status is actually much better than most in the region, the financial scandal of 1Malaysia Development Bhd really afflicted us,” he said.

Yusli added that he hopes the new government will put more effort into the standards of public governance.

“CG is the company-focused governance, public governance addresses everybody in the nation as well as the individual,” he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah said in previous years, the lack of proper governance under the former administration has been corrosive.

“The result has been an erosion in the standards of governance and prudential conduct in the government itself, the government-linked companies and also the private sector.

Misgovernance has shown up in many forms of corruption; improper conduct, nepotism, cronyism, as well as missing national wealth,” he said.

Amiruddin said the government is taking strong measures to arrest the widespread damage to the integrity, good governance and confidence in the country.

“We will do a major overhaul to bring the country back to a sound prudential and governance footing.

“We will start by pursuing those involved in corrupt practices and rooting out corruption from all strata of government and society, and bring back a national framework and code of good conduct,” he said.

The National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption has already been established by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad — who also assigned an investigation committee of governance issues, led by chairman Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, to look into such matter.

In efforts to better CG in the country, MICG — along with the Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre, as well as Trident Integrity Solutions Sdn Bhd — have grouped together to launch a programme for governance practitioners which will debut in September.

Yusli said they anticipate about 20-25 professionals to attend the CG programme’s inaugural class.

“Each module will run for two days once a month, so all seven modules in the pro- gramme will roll for seven months,” he said at the launch of the programme in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Yusli said the development of the programme was not a result of a direct corrupt governance incident, but the need for certified professionals to support the Malaysian Code of CG which was released by the Securities Commission Malaysia last year.

“Currently, there is no programme tailored for someone who wants to specialise in CG in the country.

“We hope with the launch of this programme, we can produce a new group of practitioners who can advise boards and senior management on specific issues,” he said.

The programme consists of seven modules: Governance and ethics, foundation in business integrity, corporative governance legal requirements, corruption risk assessment, finance fundamentals, core elements of integrity system and risk management.

Meanwhile, Amiruddin said he will be reserving his comments regarding the nine directors of Khazanah Nasional Bhd who offered their resignation for the second time around.

Also present at the launch were Trident CEO Dr Mark Lovatt and Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre CEO and ED Rajeev Peshawaria.