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Perpetuating traditional influences: voluntary disclosure in malaysia following the economic crisis

Ghazali, Mohd N.A. and Weetman, P. (2007) Perpetuating traditional influences: voluntary disclosure in malaysia following the economic crisis. Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, 15 (2). pp. 226-248. ISSN 1061-9518

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Abstract

Prior research on listed companies in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore during and before the 1997 financial crisis has reported a significant association between ownership structure and the extent of voluntary disclosure in annual reports. We examine data for Malaysia after the 1997 financial crisis to assess whether the regulatory reaction to the crisis increased the awareness of disclosure as a tool of corporate governance and reduced the influence of insider domination on voluntary disclosure. We contrast director ownership and government ownership as determinants of voluntary disclosure in Malaysian company annual reports. Additionally, we include consideration of proprietary costs by testing whether industry competitiveness has an impact on voluntary disclosure. We find that director ownership is significantly associated with the extent of voluntary disclosure while government ownership, new governance initiatives and industry competitiveness are not significant in pointing companies towards greater transparency. We conclude that, despite the upheaval of the economic crisis, traditional influences of director ownership and family domination of the board outweigh the effect of government-backed accountability initiatives in determining the extent of voluntary disclosure.