Integrity drive for Malaysia's private sector

Petaling Jaya (The Star/ANN) - The Malaysian Institute of Integrity (IIM) is leading a series of state-based engagement programmes with Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Companies Commission of Malaysia, SME Corp and the National Audit Department to ensure integrity in the private sector.

The initiative, based on a recommendation made during the Corporate Integrity System Malaysia Roundtable held last year, began in June.

"It is to ensure there is a clear message of integrity among private sector players at all levels," said IIM president Dr Mohd Tap Salleh.

He said 110 state-owned and private companies had taken part in the programmes so far.

"It is necessary to continue holding such engagements to update the companies on current issues, globally accepted principles and best corporate practices in the areas of integrity such as governance, social responsibility and business ethics," he said, adding that 128 companies had so far signed the corporate integrity pledge introduced in March last year.

The pledge encourages companies to strive towards a business environment that is free from corruption.

In Shah Alam, the Selangor Government, which has come under question over sand mining deals and land transactions, is keen to sign more integrity pledges.

Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim said the state government welcomed all initiatives to combat corruption.

"We started with the Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS) and Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd (KSSB), which have already signed the integrity pacts," he said.

In March, sand-mining contractors in Selangor signed an integrity pact with KSSB to weed out corruption in the industry.

Last year, senior executives from PKNS signed a similar pact to ensure proper corporate governance in the state subsidiary.

In Kuala Terengganu, state Rural Development, Entrepreneurship and Cooperatives committee chairman Mohamed Awang Tera said the engagement was timely, especially for unlisted government-linked companies (GLCs).

"The operations of unlisted companies are often shrouded in mystery. Unlike listed companies, they don't have minority shareholders who act as watchdogs if there are discrepancies," he said.

In Johor Baru, Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Azman Mokhtar has given the thumbs up to the proposal to get GLCs to sign the pledge.

"This is a positive move by the Government to combat corruption," he said.

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