TITLE: Welcome Address by Encik Salihin Abang, President, Malaysian Institute of Accountants at MIA 50th Anniversary Commemorative Lectures

DATE: 11/09/2017









  • YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Ranjit Ajit Singh, Chairman, Securities Commission Malaysia,
  • Y Bhg Dato’ Mohammad Faiz Azmi, MIA 50th Anniversary Organising Chairman
  • Members of the Media,
  • Ladies and Gentlemen

Good evening Everyone!

I am delighted to welcome all of you today. This is the final series of the MIA 50th Anniversary Commemorative Lecture which is being presented by YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Ranjit Ajit Singh on a topic that is close to everyone’s heart, “Trust”.

As you already know, in conjunction with the MIA 50th anniversary, the MIA has hosted a series of Commemorative Lectures by iconic accountants. The first lecture, which was held in April, featured YBhg Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, the Group Chairman of Permodalan Nasional Berhad. He shared his thoughts on the topic “Integrity: The Game Changer”.

The second lecture, which was held in May, featured YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Mokhtar, the Managing Director of Khazanah Nasional Berhad. He shared interesting facts on “Accountability & Sustainability: The Role of Accountants”.

If you realise, the MIA’s 50th anniversary celebrations are centred on a journey towards the three core values of the accountancy profession - Integrity, Accountability and Trust.

These visionary leaders of the profession shed light on how accountants should strive to uphold these fundamental values and drive movements like sustainability and value creation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The accountancy profession has a great influence in the capital market through its many roles, from auditors to reporting accountants to professional accountants involved in corporate finance.

Accountants and finance professionals are a key pillar in the organisation, thus helping to create and sustain value and growth. They are the frontrunners when it comes to safeguarding the integrity of financial reporting, which is crucial for investors to make informed decisions.

Undoubtedly, capital markets are built on trust, driven by accurate and reliable financial information. Such information relies on the practices of professional accountants. The society placed its trust on accountants. This trust is the social capital of the profession, which in turn, creates stakeholders’ trust in the regulation of the capital market.

As it is said, trust is something that is difficult to establish. It is very fragile and thus, it needs to be taken care of. Once it breaks into pieces, it is very difficult to rebuild it. It is therefore exceedingly important for professional accountants to safeguard it.

Unfortunately, in the distant and recent past, we have witnessed the erosion of public trust in accountants because of high profile cases of accounting scandals. Not to talk of the heightened doubts in the competency and credentials of accountants. Its negative impact has been felt by the capital market. While the accountancy profession has always dealt with change, from the increasingly regulated environment to the emergence of technologies, restoring stakeholder trust remains a daunting task. It take years to rebuild.

Ladies and Gentlemen

We must aim to instil confidence in the institutions supporting the global economy in order to help rebuild waning trust. Organisations and individuals must be empowered by strong public and private sector governance, to collaborate to generate a consistent and transparent regulatory atmosphere that encourages growth and investment-generating confidence. This will help to restore public trust and confidence in the global economy and its institutions.

As the national accountancy body, the MIA will continue to work with other stakeholders to build a stronger regulatory and corporate governance framework in Malaysia. In this regard, the MIA and Securities Commission Malaysia are in sync in encouraging more companies to adopt integrated reporting as a means of going forward.

MIA is revamping its competency framework to enhance the competency of its members. In line with the demands of digital disruption for new set of indispensable skills to the capital market, among others, MIA has established a Digital Economy Task Force to prepare its members. At the individual level, accountants and finance professionals should also do their part in keeping up with the latest trends that are happening in the digital space.

This means they must evolve in the capital market by quickly embracing emerging technologies as well as adopting reporting/disclosure standards and new regulation framework that reflects the changing business landscape.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Trust begins with self. If accountants cannot trust themselves, then the profession cannot earn the trust of the wider stakeholders of the profession, and ultimately, confidence in the capital market will be dampened. I believe today’s session would be an interesting one. We are here because of the trust we have in ourselves, the MIA, Securities Commission and our distinguished speaker.

Before I conclude my speech, I would like to thank YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Ranjit Ajit Singh for being here. I am sure the participants are eager to hear your experiences and thoughts on this topic. I hope at the end, we will emerge as more trustworthy accountants.

On that note, ladies and gentlemen, enjoy the session and have a good evening!