This study examines new data concerning the extent of board diversity in Malaysia and the effect of that diversity on firm performance. We find that the presence of non-Malay ethnic minorities and women on Malaysian boards is significantly associated with firm performance. This study provides empirical support that the presence of non-Malay ethnic minorities and women on Malaysian boards are significant with firm performance. This paper recommends that policies that foster board diversity remain important. However, in contexts where diversity is not empirically linked with firm performance, the policy focus should first be directed to measures that encourage openness.