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Capital Market Services Act to be amended

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 June 2009: The government will be tabling a set of far-reaching amendments to the Capital Market Services Act to further strengthen the Securities Commission (SC)’s enforcement powers in corporate governance transgression.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the amendments would empower the SC to take action against a director or officer who caused wrongful loss to a public listed company (PLC) or its subsidiary to the detriment of the PLC’s shareholders.

“It will also allow the SC to prevent the wrongful dissipation of assets of a PLC by those managing it.

“In addition, a new offence is created to prohibit any person from influencing, coercing or misleading any person engaged in the preparation or audit of financial statements of a PLC,” he said in his keynote address at the Invest Malaysia 2009 Conference today.

In addition, an independent Auditor Oversight Board would be set up through the tabling of the amendments to the Securities Commission Act 1993 in this session of Parliament, he said.

Najib said the capital market was a knowledge-intensive industry, thus attracting and retaining talent was a critical aspect of the process to capture the necessary skills and social relationships to increase international participation in the Malaysian capital market.

“We must recognise that there is strong international competition for human capital and must be in a position to fast track the recruitment process for international talent,” he said.

In view of this, he said, Bank Negara Malaysia and the SC would review all visa applications for the financial services industry and capital market industries.

Najib, who is also finance minister, said this was to ensure that Malaysia’s regulatory objectives of fair and orderly markets, transparency, financial soundness and investor protection were met.

“In this regard, it is necessary for us to ensure that there are high standards of ethical conduct and practice of good corporate governance which require that we strengthen our regime for effective enforcement against corporate crime and securities offences,” he said.

On another matter, Najib said projects worth RM9 billion have been awarded under the stimulus packages 1 and 2, of which RM3 billion has been paid out as at June 19.

“This spending injection into the domestic economy and the related multiplier effects will help cushion the impact of the sharp external downturn and set the stage for economy recovery sometimes in the second half of this year,” he said. — Bernama

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