TITLE: Speech by Dr Nurmazilah Dato’ Mahzan, Chief Executive Officer, Malaysian Institute of Accountants at MIA Sunway TES Accounting Quiz 2019 Final

DATE: 10/08/2019







10 August 2019 (Saturday), Kuala Lumpur

  • Yang Berusaha Encik Zainal Abas, Pengarah, Bahagian Sukan, Kokurikulum dan Kesenian, Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia
  • Yang Berusaha Ms Lum Pey Wah, Head of Programme, ACCA/CAT, Sunway College
  • Respected Teachers & Parents
  • Students and Future Accountants
  • Ladies & Gentlemen
  1. Good morning and welcome to the grand finals of the MIA SUNWAY TES Accounting Quiz 2019.
  2. Before I proceed with the speech, I would like to extend my apologies on behalf of our CEO, Dr Nurmazilah Dato’ Mahzan as she is unable to join us this morning due to personal matters. Dr Nurmazilah has requested me to deliver the speech on her behalf. She also sends her best wishes to all the participating individuals and teams.

    Teachers, Parents, Students, Ladies & Gentlemen
  3. I am delighted to see so many of our young talents here today, and I hope that many of you will be inspired to become accountants in future. Indeed, accounting is a very exciting career as there are so many changes to the profession.
  4. MIA stands for the Malaysian Institute of Accountants. MIA is the regulator and developer of the profession. In simple terms, we are like the policemen for accountants. But before we catch misbehaving accountants, we educate and train them so that they cannot say that they are ignorant of the laws governing the profession.
  5. Today’s Accountancy Quiz is one of the ways in which we train young future accountants. One of our responsibilities as the developer of the accountancy profession is to nurture young talents like yourself, so that there will be enough accountants to support the business and the economy. Right now, Malaysia has close to 36,000 accountants; we need at least 60,000 to meet future projected demand. So, you can see that if you are a high-calibre accountant, you will always be in demand by employers. Or if you prefer to work for yourself, accountants are well trained in financial management and you could own and run your own business. One of the most famous entrepreneur-accountants is of course Tan Sri Tony Fernandes of Air Asia.
  6. So, as I was saying earlier, the Accountancy Quiz is one of the ways in which MIA partners with Sunway, an accounting educator in Malaysia, to develop young accountants. Every year since 2013, MIA has worked with Sunway to organise this nationwide inter-school quiz competition, which is recognised by the Malaysian Ministry of Education (MOE) as a co-curricular activity. The AQ is open to Form 4 and Form 5 students from secondary schools under the MOE, secondary schools under the purview of other government agencies and private secondary schools.
  7. For AQ 2019, 5,081 students from 472 schools throughout Malaysia took part. When we started out in 2013, we had 616 participants. I’m very happy that over 5,000 students participated in the AQ for 2019.
  8. Congratulations to everybody who participated! I am sure that you learnt a lot. I can assure you that what you learnt will be useful once you join the workforce.
  9. Students, teachers and parents, ladies and gentlemen. We live in a very different world today. As parents in our late 30s, 40s and 50s, what we learnt at school is perhaps not so relevant today. In 2019, we are smack in the middle of the digital revolution.
  10. This digital revolution is still very young. The Apple i-phone was released in 2007. Google is 20 years old, just a bit older than the SPM students here today. But Google is everywhere. If we want to know something, we just have to google it correct? The Government is talking about the need to be prepared for the Industrial Revolution 4.0 where human beings will work side by side with machines and robots powered by artificial intelligence.
  11. Economic models have changed too. Many of you have taken Grab or stayed in an AirBnb. This is an example of the sharing economy, peer-to-peer economy, or collaborative consumption. Consumers today are greener; they are more conscious of their impacts – they are willing to use preloved goods and to rent. If you look online, practically everything can be rented or crowdshared to prolong their lifecycle. Rent the Runway for designer fashion, Uber and Lyft for transport, and Furpal, where you can rent somebody’s pet by the hour.
  12. Along with changing economic models, we have different payment models and lending/financing models. E-wallets, online payments, e-banking, crowdfunding, these are all facts of life. We pay bills online, transfer money online, open accounts online, crowdfund online. How many children in this room today have actually been to a bank?
  13. So, if we want to succeed in this digital economy, we need to change our ways of learning and the skills that we acquire. Young people need to learn using digital wisdom. Emphasise digital literacy, digital skillsets and digital good manners and safety. Integrate technology and teaching for the best results.
  14. You will also need communication skills, because you need to communicate and persuade others about your findings, innovations and solutions. You also need good communications because you need to collaborate with others and use teamwork. As I said earlier, we live in a sharing economy, a gig economy, and a collaborative economy, so we need to be able to engage with others. English should be a priority because we live in a borderless global world, and also because Malaysia wants to be an e-commerce and e-logistics hub. But other languages are also valuable because it helps us to understand other cultures and to become more tolerant and united.
  15. Last but not least, and supremely important for accountants, you must have good ethics because you are the guardians of the public interest. You must be moral and well-behaved and always reject fraud and corruption. Otherwise, when fraud and corruption are allowed to fester freely, public wellbeing, trust and the country’s reputation are destroyed.
  16. Ladies and Gentlemen, this AQ is the cumulative effort of many parties and supporters. On behalf of MIA, I would like to thank the Ministry of Education of Malaysia for their endorsement of the MIA-Sunway TES Accounting Quiz. Thank you to our guest of honour Yang Berusaha Encik Zainal Abas for being with us today.
  17. MIA would also like to thank our strategic partner, ACCA for their support, and all our sponsors: Pelangi Publishing Group Bhd, TH Kuan & Co, CPA Australia, ICAEW, MICPA, S. L. Tan & Co, K.C. Chia & Noor, Gow & Tan, KPMG, SJ Grant Thornton, EY, BDO, Deloitte, PCCO PLT, Thenesh, Renga & Associates, A. D. Chun & Co, Omar Arif & Co., Lay & Partners and Ahamad Naina Mydin & Associates.
  18. I would also like to thank the organising committee team of Sunway-TES for working strategically with MIA. Together, we have crafted the AQ into a platform for creating awareness of the accountancy profession and developing young talent.
  19. MIA would also like to express our appreciation to all the students here today. Without your participation, there would be no AQ, so thank you. Do make the most of the AQ to explore your possible career paths and chart your plan for future success. I wish you all the best and may the best team win.

Thank you!