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New Malaysian Body for Sustainability Reporting

Malaysia’s Securities Commission (SC) has unveiled a national-level Advisory Committee on Sustainability Reporting (ACSR) to facilitate the implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) sustainability disclosure standards in the country. The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) plans to issue its first two finalised frameworks (IFRS S1 and S2) by the end of June, which will serve as a global baseline for sustainable reporting. Endorsed by the Ministry of Finance, the ACSR will be chaired by the SC and include representatives from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Bursa Malaysia, the Companies Commission of Malaysia, the Audit Oversight Board, and the Financial Reporting Foundation. The committee’s main objective will be to identify the necessary factors to support the integration of the ISSB standards in Malaysia, encompassing the approach, timeline, and market readiness to meet reporting requirements. Dato’ Seri Dr. Awang Adek Hussin, Chairman of the SC, emphasised the importance of reliable and comparable sustainability-related information across markets in order to guide strategic decisions and capital allocation. In light of concerns over the accuracy of sustainability statements and the practice of greenwashing, the ACSR will also address matters related to the assurance of sustainability reports.  Since 2015, Bursa Malaysia, the country’s stock exchange, has required sustainability disclosures from listed issuers. In line with global reporting expectations, including the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, Bursa Malaysia enhanced its requirements in this area at the end of last year. Given that the ISSB standards are built upon the TCFD’s core pillars, the exchange believes there are strong grounds for moving toward more advanced reporting requirements.

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