Christopher & Lee Ong – Advocating for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Since inception, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors have been at the heart of Christopher & Lee Ong’s (“CLO”) approach, not only within the Firm but to doing business as well. With the push and call for action by both the public and private sectors in Malaysia and other countries on various sustainability issues, including global health and social well-being, tackling of climate change and environmental issues, and transparency in corporate governance, the assimilation of these factors into our operations have translated for better outcomes for our clients, our people, and the wider community. This is well reflected in our support and advocacy in addressing the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG #16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.


Internal Trainings & Initiatives

With the increasing awareness that economic crimes have far reaching costly effects, CLO has since established two strong practices, our Ethics & Integrity practice and White Collar Crime & Investigations practice, to continue promoting a culture of compliance, transparency, and accountability. The aim of these practices is to assist clients in navigating their compliance obligations under the law and applicable regulations and guidelines, carrying out internal investigations and providing appropriate risk mitigation & prevention strategies, as well as developing and improving internal protocols and compliance programmes tailored to industry and company needs. Being part of the Rajah & Tann Asia Network also allows us to tap on the expertise of our regional Fraud, Asset Recovery, Investigations & Crisis Management (FICM) team to assist clients in tackling some of their most pressing concerns, particularly in scenarios where they are the aggrieved party.

In advocating for strong and robust corporate governance, a positive change needs to start from within. Within the Firm, we continue to practice what we preach by instilling strong policies and standards on anti-bribery and anti-corruption which we expect our clients and employees to adhere to. We’ve also established an anonymous whistleblowing system, to provide a safe and secure avenue for any wrongdoing within the Firm to be reported. We also conduct regular trainings for our employees to get a firm grasp of the various applicable laws in Malaysia with regards to bribery and corruption, especially on what constitutes offences under the relevant regulations, as well as the consequences that could apply if one were to be found guilty. All these initiatives are to ensure that members of the Firm have a good understanding of the law and are alert to any potential issues or misconduct.

External Client Trainings and Conferences

In the past 12 months, CLO has been called upon to put together in-depth corporate governance trainings for clients, as well as to present at major conferences and events hosted by prominent institutions, on topics revolving around the theme of corporate compliance and governance. Some of the key speaking engagements include:

  • Corporate Governance Regulatory Updates for the Capital Markets

We were involved in putting together a structured and comprehensive programme on corporate governance laws and regulations for capital markets, which was presented at the Asia School of Business, a global knowledge and learning centre established by the Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM) in collaboration with MIT Sloan. The programme took a deep dive on recent changes to the Companies Act 2016 and the Listing Requirements of Bursa Malaysia, as well as pertinent aspects of the Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance issued by the Securities Commission Malaysia, including discussions on various case studies on corporate fraud, insider trading and market manipulation. The programme was attended by board of directors, compliance officers, and legal counsel from various corporations.

  • MIA Virtual Capital Market Conference 2021 – Evolution of Capital Markets

Organised by the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA), the national accountancy body of Malaysia, one of our partners was a co-speaker on the topic ‘Breaches of the Capital Market Laws’ which included discussions on insider trading laws and conduct of directors that cause wrongful loss to a company. The conference saw close to 250 C-Suites levels, Managing Directors, and Head of Governance from various large corporations attending.

Client Updates & Thought Leaderships

In our efforts to ensure that the wider community stays informed and have access to market updates on sustainability issues, we have issued a plethora of alerts and think pieces under the ESG umbrella, addressing various concerns from clean energy and sustainable financing, right up to the advocacy of greater transparency and accountability for a strong ethical corporate governance. In seeking to contribute towards the goals under the UNSDG #16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions especially on building effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels, we’ve issued the following write-ups in the area of corporate governance:

The aggressive steps taken by global economies in curbing unethical business practices serve as a wake-up call to corporations globally and locally for the need to institute strong and robust corporate governance measures in their dealings, not only within the organisation but externally as well. CLO aims to continue contributing to society at large by upholding the drive and push to promote a culture of compliance, transparency, accountability, and all-around better corporate governance, and to continue supporting our clients in addressing their concerns and issues in this regard.