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TITLE: Speech by Ybhg Dato' Mohammad Faiz Azmi, Organising Committee Chairman, 50TH Anniversary Gala Dinner

DATE: 30/09/2017

SPEECH BY

YBHG DATO’ MOHAMMAD FAIZ AZMI

ORGANISING COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN

AT

50TH ANNIVERSARY GALA DINNER

30 SEPTEMBER 2017, SATURDAY, KUALA LUMPUR

Bismillah hirahma nirahim

Assalammualaikum

Menghadap

Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Sultan Perak Darul Ridzuan, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfur-Lah

dan

Duli Yang Maha Mulia Raja Permaisuri Perak Darul Ridzuan, Tuanku Zara Salim

Ampun Tuanku, beribu-ribu ampun, sembah patik mohon diampun.

Izinkan patik bagi pihak Institut Akauntan Malaysia dengan penuh hormat dan takzimnya merafak sembah, menjunjung setinggi-tinggi kasih di atas limpah perkenan Duli-Duli Yang Maha Mulia Tuanku sudi mencemar duli berangkat ke Majlis Makan Malam MIA sempena menyambut Ulang Tahun ke 50 pada malam yang sungguh permai dan indah ini.

Sesungguhnya keberangkatan Duli-Duli Tuanku amat di sanjungi oleh seluruh warga MIA serta patik sekalian dan telah menambah seri lagi majlis ini.

Ampun Tuanku

Izinkan patik untuk turut mengalu-alukan tetamu kenamaan serta hadiran sekelian.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Johari Ghani, Menteri Kewangan Kedua dan Yang Berbahagia Datin Seri Zurwati Haslinda Zainal Bahry

Yang Berusaha Encik Salihin Abang, President MIA

Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Hanafiah Hussain and Y Bhg Puan Sri Datin Mimi Abdullah

Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Narenda Jasani, Timbalan Presiden MIA

Yang Berusaha Dr Nurmazilah Mahzan, Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif, MIA

Tan Sri–Tan Sri, Dato’-Dato’, Datin-Datin, Tuan-Tuan, Puan-Puan, ahli ahli MIA dan para hadirin sekalian

Ampun Tuanku,

Patik mohon limpah perkenan Duli-Duli Tuanku untuk patik meneruskan sembah ucapan patik dalam Bahasa Inggeris.

Your Royal Highnesses, Honoured Guests, Ladies and gentlemen

As the immediate Past President and Chair of the Organising committee, it is my great pleasure to say a few words on this occasion of our 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner. Our President has already done the welcome and articulated both the achievements and the challenges facing our profession. My role, is to talk about MIA and what we did for the 50th year celebrations.

First and foremost, I must say that it has been a great honour and a privilege to have chaired the Organising Committee for these celebrations. I have had a lot of advice and guidance from the immediate past Deputy President, Datuk Zaiton Mohd Hassan and also had a lot of ideas and support from Council and management. This I must say, was the fun bit of a being President, as I got to spend money and not just raise it.

We are very proud to have grown the membership of MIA from 1,619 members in 1980 to over 34,000 today. We are a recognised partner to IFAC, the global body for Accountants and are recognised by global and regional accounting bodies. We are one of the few accounting bodies in ASEAN that operates an open system where we recognise 9 professional bodies qualifications, as an entry to MIA, which I believe has contributed to the quality and depth of our profession today.

We are now investing in the MIA Membership Information System, which leverages technology to manage members’ data more efficiently and to launch an online Bank confirmation system next year. More importantly, we are in the midst of crafting the MIA 2018 – 2030 Strategic Blueprint, which will guide us and our future Council, on what we should be doing, to develop and strengthen the profession in order to help in nation building.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We realised looking back at previous celebrations and bearing in mind the current focus of MIA, that we should follow a few principles in our celebrations.

The celebrations had to be iconic, it had to be inclusive and it must reflect our values. These values of Integrity, Accountability and Trust are actually in the logo of the 50th Anniversary. We also decided to have the 50th anniversary celebrations over a span of a few months, in order to better publicise our golden jubilee.

The apex of these celebrations is this, the Royal Gala dinner. We are very thankful to His Royal Highness Sultan Nazrin and Her Royal Highness Tuanku Zara for accepting our invitation to grace the occasion.

We are especially happy that Tuanku Sultan Nazrin was able to be with us tonight as Tuanku is well known for his forthright views on governance, integrity and the state of affairs in Malaysia, and these views resonate very well with us in the profession. He is not only a man of letters but he is also a man of numbers as he holds a PPE degree from Oxford as well as a PhD in Political Economics and Government from Harvard University.

So, Tuanku clearly understands the environment we Accountants work in and the values we need to bring to our work.

Tuanku, if I may quote you from your speech at the World Capital Market Symposium held by the Securities Commission Malaysia, where you said:

“All of us would like to believe in the system of finance, but it seems to have let us down. It has tried to place mathematics at the centre of a financial system to manage risks and provide reassurances – and that is all well. Yet, no matter how sophisticated the calculations are, they can never be a substitute for trust. Formulas cannot replace the human conscience, and markets will not flourish if people no longer believe in the products being sold or in how markets work. There is a century old maritime brokers’ motto “My word is my bond”, and a century later, this should still ring true.”

Those words Tuanku, resonate with us, as we too feel that our values of Integrity Accountability and Trust are as relevant now as they will be still be, in the next 50 years and beyond.

However, unlike maritime brokers, we never got round to having our own maxim. Perhaps it could be "True and Fair" which the ICAEW espouses or a line that Tan Sri Samad used to use, “In god we trust, everyone else we audit."

Our second main initiative was our 50th anniversary commemorative lectures by leaders in their field and outstanding accountants who shared their experiences and insights centred on the MIA 50th Anniversary theme of Integrity, Accountability & Trust.

We had Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar of PNB who started the series, reminding us of the importance of Integrity, Hard work and Humility in the way Accountants should work. He even shared a new practice for us all, as apparently he has an Annual Performance Review with his wife Puan Sri Kay on his meeting her expectations as a father, husband and family provider. I am told by Tan Sri he passed this year’s review.

We then had Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar of Khazanah who talked about accountability and in that context, shared his plan to reveal Khazanah’s model of valuing and encouraging ESG factors which stand for Environment Social and Governance factors, in Khazanah’s investee company valuations and shared his philosophy of ensuring his investee companies "Do no harm" in their operations.

Our final speaker was Tan Sri Ranjit Singh of the Securities Commission who shared a regulator’s perspective on Trust building and the important role that accountants play in the Capital Markets. He made the point that engendering trust was integral to the way Accountants do business. It would also appear that Tan Sri is not the only accountant in his family as his father was one of the first accountants in Malaysia.

Which brings me to this observation. To me, one indicator of a profession’s future is the number of generations of family members who are in the profession. After all, we all know examples of second or third generation doctors or lawyers today. Besides Tan Sri Ranjit, I know our own Deputy President Dato’ Jasani, his son Kisham is an accountant, two sons of the first local founding accounting partners of HRM, are accountants too in the form of Dato Seri Johan Raslan ex-Executive Chairman of PwC and also Datuk Megat Shah, a partner from EY and my own daughter, Faridah, is also following in my footsteps. So, I believe we do have a bright future in our profession.

The third main initiative was to commission a television programme with Astro's help, to highlight the role of accountants in nation building over the last 50 years. You will see in this evening’s programme, a page showing those who agreed to be interviewed for the video and we hope to air it nationally within the first half of October. This video cannot, in one hour, capture every story or contribution, but we hope that it will help fellow Malaysians understand how accountants have played a key role in nation building and why this is a profession that matters to the country.

There were a lot of other initiatives in addition to these three main ones.

We had decided to do our first integrated report. As a strong supporter of the Integrated Reporting initiative, we felt that we should lead by example and it encapsulates some of our achievements over the last few years.

We decided to raise some money for accountancy research for the Islamic Finance textbook, which is why we held a silent auction tonight.

We held several commemorative programmes focusing on youth and talent development. This included an essay writing and video production competitions for students in schools and institutes of higher learning, on topics related to the profession, which was aimed to raise awareness of our values and to promote the English language. We also did a Watch and Win programme and our Accountancy – A Career for your future programme, to counsel students on the myriad of opportunities in the profession.

Our members and management team also demonstrated their caring side through some CSR activities, which included a visit to a paediatric hospital and children’s home, tree planting for the environment, and cleaning a beach.

MIA also has a strong presence through our regional offices, and we successfully organised an expedition to hike up the Penang Hill Heritage Trail and to climb Mount Kinabalu. I am pleased to report that 56 climbers started up Mount Kinabalu and all 56 of them reached the summit, including one young lady of 67 years.

All these diverse activities have helped us build relationships and created a better awareness of MIA across all segments and walks of life.

On behalf of MIA, I would like thank all those of you for taking the time to make our Golden Jubilee a resounding success. I would especially like to thank all the amazing people who have been working very hard to make tonight’s Gala Dinner a reality – the Institute’s staff and management, led by the redoubtable CEO Hajjah Doc Nurmazilah and all our partners, sponsors and supporters.

They all deserve a round of applause.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The profession would not be where it is today without the support of our stakeholders and partners, many of whom are present here tonight.

We would also like to thank our key stakeholders for attending our dinner tonight from our Guests of Honour, their Royal Highnesses , Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Johari Ghani, the Minister of Finance II and Datin Seri and the Heads of the Professional Bodies - MICPA President Datuk Tan, ICAEW CEO Michael Izza, ACCA Global President Brian Mcenery, CPA Australia Malaysian Division President Ms Teresa Chong, CIMA Managing Director-Management Accounting Europe, Africa and Asia Ms Irene Teng and CAANZ Regional Councillor – Asia Dato’ Richard Azlan Abas and our key sponsors being ACCA and UEM Group.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As we embark on our next 50 years, we should remember the wise words of Sir Winston Churchill who was quoted as saying "The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see."

As a profession, we have done well over the last 50 years and played our role in supporting our nation’s aspirations. Our job is not yet done though and we must continue to strive to make this nation of ours, a happy, diverse, inclusive and prosperous one. The best is yet to come.

Thank you and have an enjoyable evening.

Ampun Tuanku

Sekian sahaja sembah ucapan patik. Patik sekali lagi bagi pihak Institut Akauntan Malaysia dengan penuh hormat dan takzimnya merafak sembah, menjunjung setinggi-tinggi kasih di atas limpah perkenan Duli-Duli Yang Maha Mulia Tuanku sudi mencemar duli berangkat ke Majlis Makan Malam MIA sempena menyambut Ulang Tahun ke 50 pada malam ini.

Ampun Tuanku, beribu-ribu ampun, sembah patik mohon diampun.

Patik menjunjung kasih Tuanku.