The association's 2018 Corporate Governance (CG) Watch report ranked Malaysia fourth out of 12 Asia-Pacific economies in terms of market accountability and transparency, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
"This is a significant improvement from seventh place in 2016 when the report was previously published. This means Malaysia is the biggest 2018 gainer among regional rivals that include Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore," Lim said in a statement.
He said ACGA had noted that the improvement reflects Malaysia's "concrete moves" to tackle endemic corruption issues fostered by the previous administration.
The improvement, he added, proves that the government's continuous effort to instil the principles of competency, accountability and transparency in its administration is bearing fruit.
"The report states that the jump is based on optimism over the May 9, 2018 political change in Malaysia, which has translated into tangible improvements to enforcement and reporting," Lim said.
In addition to the anti-corruption measures undertaken, Lim said the government has ensured the open tender system is widely implemented, which has not only increased transparency in the public sector, but also has had a positive impact on the local market.
"The application of zero-based budgeting and the migration towards accrual accounting from cash accounting by 2021 as announced in the 2019 Budget are also part of the government's wider institutional reform agenda that will further raise the level of accountability and transparency in the government," he added.
Lim said the improvement in ranking is only one example of how the government's institutional reform agenda is raising Malaysia's governance quality and contributing to fiscal sustainability.
"The biggest proof that the government's plan is working can be seen in the surge of approved foreign direct investment in manufacturing of 379% year-on-year since May 2018 as reported by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority," he said.
These institutional reforms undertaken by the government have also convinced the top three rating agencies to maintain Malaysia's sovereign credit ratings at A- or A3 with Moody's being the latest one to have done so, Lim noted.
Source: The Edge Markets