TITLE: President Address by Yang Berusaha Encik Salihin Abang, President, Malaysian Institute of Accountants, at the Malaysian Institute of Accountants 31st Annual General Meeting

DATE: 30/09/2017









  • Council Members
  • Members of MIA

Assalaamualaikum and very good morning.

Welcome to our 31st Annual General Meeting. I am very pleased to see so many familiar and fresh faces here today. Thank you for making time to join us.

Before I set the ball rolling, I would like to acknowledge and introduce the key pillars of our prestigious Institute.

May I humbly request our dedicated Council Members to stand up. Let us give them a big round of applause for their strong commitment to MIA, nation building and public interest. Please be seated, thank you.

May I also humbly request our hard working Management Team, lead by the CEO, Dr. Nurmazilah. Let us give them a big round of applause for their commitment in driving the Institute’s strategies. Please be seated, thank you.

To all of you members of MIA, you are the backbone of the Institute and the profession, please give a big round of applause to yourself for your professional roles and contributions. Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, the baton of chairing this Annual General Meeting is being hand over to me as the newly elected President. For the first time, an elected Council member has been democratically appointed as the President of MIA. Thank you for the trust. This is a big “amanah” to me.

The world is evolving rapidly and the Institute is adapting to meet that change. In our 50-year history, I believe that we have not seen as many changes as we did in the past few years. 2017 has been a year of massive change with unlimited challenges and opportunities arising from economic, technological, geopolitical, regulatory and social forces. Indeed, we are in an era of constant transformation. I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead the Institute during this transformational era.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The topic of my speech today is “Proud of CA(M), Pride of the Nation”, divided into three parts,

First: Reflection on Our 50th Anniversary

Second: Issues and Challenges Affecting the Profession and How We face them

Third: The Way Forward

To begin with

1. Reflection on Our 50th Anniversary

Happy 50th Birthday to MIA and to you all. May you live long in prosperity and good health.

As the saying goes, “If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.” MIA was born when the Accountants Act 1967 was passed in September of the same year. Prior to its birthday, our forefathers carefully and thoroughly debated Accountants Bill 1967 on the need to establish a local body as the regulator of the entire accountancy profession. This is contained in the House of Representatives Parliamentary Debates, Vol. IV(4), No. 12, Col, 2409, 25 Aug. 1967. With high expectation for MIA, the then Bukit Bintang member of Parliament, Tan Toh Hong, rightly said in his speech that “I am sure that when this Bill comes into operation, the standard and quality of accountants in Malaysia will always be safeguarded…[and] our society will continue to be assured of better services from well qualified and trained accountants”. Subsequently, the Act was passed and MIA was born on 30 September 1967.

Ladies and gentlemen,

MIA issued its first annual report 20 years after its birthday. In this 1987 report, we also learnt that MIA was established based on the need to regulate and control the practice of the accountancy profession and to ensure that only qualified persons are admitted to the profession.

The first annual report also disclosed that, D. Mortimer was elected as MIA’s first Chairman on 22nd November 1967. In 1968, Dato’ Shamsir Omar was appointed as the President of MIA. However MIA was inactive till the 80s and the first AGM was held in 1987 under the presidency of Tan Sri Hanifah. This explains why today is MIA’s 31st AGM, instead of 50th AGM.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, as I stand before you as President, I always believe that a stronger MIA is good for the accountancy profession and the nation. As such, the aspiration of our forefathers will never die. As members of MIA, I hope we all share the same aspiration. With your support we are going to write our own history to the admiration of our forefathers, which is to make MIA great and stronger.

I understand that our history is not all rosy, neither is the present nor the future. In the course of our journey we face issues and challenges. This leads me to the second part of my speech.

2. The Issues and Challenges Affecting the Profession and How We Face Them

We have identified our most pressing challenges as globalisation, demographic change, changing regulations and digital disruption.

First, the globalisation challenge. As markets become more borderless, the profession in Malaysia faces increasing competition as a result of trade and talent mobility. MIA’s response is that we must upskill accountancy professionals to become more globally competitive. We must advocate ethics, professional practices and standards that are aligned with global benchmarks to raise competency and trust. We are successfully negotiating mutual recognition agreements and ASEAN CPA registration to open up markets and prospects for our members. And we are building recognition of Malaysia’s accountancy profession by strengthening global and regional relationships.

Second, the talent challenge arising from demographic change. MIA is working to achieve its goal of growing capacity, by targeting millennials and post-millennials. Millennials are the largest group of talent in today’s workplace, and their attitudes and values are transforming the landscape of economy and society. The profession must adapt and engage millennials – and embed digital and technologies - to attract and retain talent that has never known anything other than a digital connected world. This is directly linked to my fourth point that I will make later, relating to digital disruption.

Third, a highly challenging and fluid regulatory landscape. Our members have had to cope with numerous regulatory revisions and new codes and legislations, such as the new Companies Act, the new GST Act, the enhanced Auditor Reporting Standards, and new MFRSs, to name a few. MIA will equip our auditors and accountancy professionals to be highly compliant and deliver value through providing assurance and compliance services that are benchmarked with global standards. We have also strengthened our regulatory environment and enforcement to improve compliance, and we are enforcing mandatory continuing professional education (CPE) and CPE audits to educate members on compliance. Furthermore, we are proposing reforms to the Accountants Act 1967 to strengthen MIA’s powers of regulation and enforcement.

Fourth, the digital challenge. Digital disruption is simultaneously a source of great risk and opportunity for the profession. Changing business models – such as the uberisation of the sharing economy and the rise of e-commerce require corresponding shifts in accounting, auditing and taxation thought processes, standards, and systems. Big Data, data analytics, automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, cloud, optical character recognition software, blockchain and cybersecurity, are among the key developments impacting the profession. Members need to be prepared to deliver faster, more secure and more accurate processing, analysis and interpretation of larger volumes of information, facilitating real-time auditing and supporting business decision-making. MIA is focusing on future-proofing accountants and auditors for digital paradigm shifts, by creating digitally-relevant CPE and equipping members with critical thinking, interpersonal, technical and soft skills. Among our key initiatives are to encourage and support SMEs and SMPs to adopt technology and improve efficiency. We are partnering public and private tech agencies and companies to deliver CPE and lectures on digitalisation and data analytics. We have also initiated online bank confirmations to support auditors.

Importantly, we are leveraging technology and digital to heighten member satisfaction and position accountancy as a preferred profession and MIA as a leading professional accountancy organisation. A major initiative was our introduction of the MIA Digital Membership Privilege Card, which provides a one-stop centre for members’ access to not only benefits and lifestyle privileges but the latest updates on circulars, MIA’s news and development via the mobile phone. Next, we are upgrading the MIA Membership Information System (MMIS), which will enable us to leverage on data analytics to tailor our services to maximise member satisfaction.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Now we come to the third part of my speech,

3. The way forward

It has been a rewarding year for the Institute, where the Council, the management and staff have been deeply involved in many exciting initiatives to take the profession forward by responding to those issues and challenges.

Our future lies in our strategy, and being ready for change which is happening swiftly in the world around us. To prepare for change, MIA is in the midst of drafting its Strategic Blueprint 2018 – 2030, which will provide the roadmap for our strategies and actions for the next 12 years. Our Strategic Blueprint will equip the Institute, the profession and members for the upcoming challenges and megatrends that might affect our relevance, effectiveness and sustainability.

Ladies and gentlemen,

While we are paying much attention to megatrends, we have also put in substantial effort to put our own house in order. In recent years, MIA has successfully transformed our operations model and become more efficient. We have in place a robust governance structure whereby the Council has oversight and guidance over the Institute’s strategies and initiatives, which are executed by management and staff. Under the leadership of CEO Dr. Nurmazilah Dato’ Mahzan, MIA has a very capable management team which is working hard to improve the Institute and the profession. In a short while, Dr. will be presenting the initiatives undertaken by the Institute during the year under review and how we expect these to impact the landscape of the profession going forward.

To learn more about the Institute and our nation building purpose, I encourage everybody to refer to our inaugural Integrated Report. I hope everyone has received a copy this morning. Our first ever Integrated Report is a concise narrative that documents our purpose, our business model and how we use our resources to create value to our members and stakeholders towards nation-building. In our report, we share our story of how we are strengthening the profession and accountancy professionals in Malaysia to support nation building, which is our primary purpose.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Our dear Dato’ Faiz charted the course of MIA with 3R Strategy of Repositioning, Rebranding and Recruiting. With great appreciation to his efforts and enthusiasm we are where we are today. Under his watch, the Council set up new Committees and Taskforces to address the changing needs of the profession, particularly in the area of digitalisation and embracing inclusiveness to reflect the interests of our diverse and young membership.

I assure you that I will continue charting the course of MIA future with emphasis on education, empowerment, engagement and enforcement.

MIA Presidency is not a privilege but an honour to serve. "I'm not trying to be perfect because no one is, but I am always trying to be a better me".

Within term given to me, I hope to bring about changes in people's mind to be “Proud of CA(M), Pride of the Nation”. This means being proud of CA(M), loving CA(M) and remaining loyal to CA(M).

Ladies and gentlemen,

I want you to realise that as members of the Institute with CA(M), we have contributed to the building of our beloved country, Malaysia. By becoming MIA member, not only you have added value to yourself but to the society, the state and the country. We will continuously pledge to contribute to nation building in our capacity as CA(M).

Before I end, I wish to thank all our stakeholders and supporters, especially all those who volunteer their time and resources to make MIA and the profession much better. On behalf of MIA, I sincerely thank Dato Zaiton, our former Vice President, who retired on 15 July this year, and 3 Council members, Mr Peter Lim, Mr Foo Mun Kong and Mr Yap Sam Chong, who would be leaving the Council at the close of this AGM. Many thanks to you for your valuable contributions. I look forward to welcoming our new Council members, who bring substantial and diverse experience to enrich the Institute.

Our appreciation to all outgoing Committee members for their services and contributions during their time in MIA. We thank you members for your support, and trust you will continue to play your professional roles and contribute to the profession as we seek to achieve greater things in the next 50 years of our journey.

Thank you.