TITLE: Building a Governance Eco-System

DATE: 07/03/2019

Tone from the top and the collaborative engagement of all stakeholders is imperative to build a reformed and stronger governance ecosystem that protects the public interest from the corruption and financial abuses of the past.

This was the crux of the Governance Symposium 2019 jointly organised by the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) and the Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance (MICG).

Guest of honour at the Symposium, YBhg Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed, Director General, National Centre for Governance, Integrity & Anti-Corruption (GIACC), Prime Minister’s Department shared the new government’s quest to embed good governance as spearheaded by the new National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) 2019-2023.

“The plan has a real objective of eradicating corruption, which is the present key issue, while ensuring high integrity and governance, with elements of monitoring and evaluation by the GIACC,” said Tan Sri Abu Kassim in his keynote address. He emphasised that the first key area that is already being addressed by the NACP is political governance and political accountability.

Tan Sri Abu Kassim highlighted the innovative use of big data and data analytics in crafting the NACP. He emphasised that the NACP was developed with data gathered from various sources and took into consideration domestic and international findings and in a pioneering move, leveraged the use of foresight methodology specifically ‘scenario planning’ to predict different outcomes and scenarios in 2030.

Successful governance will also require decentralisation of powers, empowering an effective executive and implementation structure. “In furtherance to the NACP which is the country plan, each and every organisation will have to formulate and develop their Organisational Anti-Corruption Plan (OACP),” he added. Organisations encompass Ministries, departments, and organisations downline, and these entities will formulate and develop their OACP based on data and corruption risk analysis conducted in the context of their environment.

He also called for collaboration by all stakeholders in the ecosystem, and stronger tone at the top especially among accountants, directors and those charged with governance, to enhance and strengthen governance. This was echoed by Encik Salihin Abang, President, MIA who appealed to MIA members to practice collaborative engagement for good governance. “As custodians of the public interest, influential decision-makers and business advisors and partners, accountants too are leaders in our sphere.” Further, he called for enhanced compliance by accountants, directors and those charged with governance in an environment where legislation is changing and becoming stricter e.g. new sections of the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 - gazetted in May 2018, and the Companies Act 2016.

Upskilling governance practitioners and TCWG will be vital to building a more robust governance ecosystem. Dato’ Yusli Mohamed Yusoff, President, MICG, noted that MICG had achieved a significant milestone in corporate governance development and promotion of best practices for all corporate stakeholders with the launch of its Pathway to A Governance Practitioner Programme in July 2018. “This programme has been specially developed by MICG in collaboration with our partners, The Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre and Trident Integrity Solutions to equip governance advisors with an understanding of the key elements of business management and corporate integrity. The seven modules in the programme cover legal principles, governance & ethics, finance, effective anti-corruption measures and risk management.”