20 December 2021

On 24 November 2021, Securities Commission Malaysia (“SC”) issued its Corporate Governance Strategic Priorities 2021-2023 (“CG Strategic Priorities”). The CG Strategic Priorities, being an important component of the Capital Market Masterplan 3, aims to promote, among other things, environmental, social and governance (ESG) fitness and leadership of boards. Eleven targeted initiatives were outlined, including on-boarding programmess for directors on sustainability, investor education series and collaboration with universities on corporate governance and sustainability issues.

Measures will be implemented by the SC to improve board diversity, such as accelerating the participation of women on boards and in senior management. While it is mandatory for the board of listed companies to comprise at least one woman director, listed companies are encouraged to put in efforts to achieve the target of 30% women directors. Further, the SC is currently providing technical support to the Government’s Perkukuh Pelaburan Rakyat programme (“PERKUKUH”) to improve corporate governance practices among Government Linked Investment Companies (GLICs). PERKUKUH seeks to boost Malaysia’s longer-term economic prospects and resilience, focusing on good governance that enables sustainable growth, strengthened socio-economic inclusivity and environmental sustainability.