FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
23 JUNE 2023
CLARIFICATION ON CASE DECISION
WONG CHING YONG VS MALAYSIAN INSTITUTE OF ACCOUNTANTS
The Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) wishes to clarify on case decision in Courts concerning Wong Ching Yong vs Malaysian Institute of Accountants. Since the decision of the above case in the Court of Appeal in mid-2022 and the Federal Court in May 2023, the institute has received some queries from members as well as the public as regards the decisions made by the courts. This is due to the fact that misleading statements were made and circulated related to the decisions by certain quarters. Thus, to clear this ambiguity, the institute considered that this media statement is essential to clarify the principle enunciated from the above court decisions. The clarifications are as follows:
1) A Notice of Complaint dated 6.9.2016 was issued to Wong Ching Yong (“WCY”) by the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (“MIA”) following a practice review conducted on WCY by the Practice Review Committee.
2) On or about 28.9.2017, a mention was held by the MIA’s Disciplinary Committee (“the DC”) for the complaint against WCY whereby the charge was read to WCY.
3) During the mention, WCY admitted that he understood the charge and pleaded guilty/admitted to Part A of the charge (being the factual portion of the charge) and wanted to be heard on Part B of the charge (the offence of unprofessional conduct). Thus, the DC had set a date for a further hearing of the matter.
4) On or about 27.3.2018 a hearing for the charge against WCY was conducted by the DC whereby WCY was represented by advocates. WCY confirmed his admission to Part A of the charge during the hearing. Furthermore, WCY and his advocates were given their chance to be heard on Part B of the charge.
5) On 3.9.2018, the DC had found WCY guilty of the charge against him.
6) On 3.10.2018, WCY had filed an appeal against the whole decision of the DC to the MIA’s Disciplinary Appeal Board (“the DAB”).
7) On 13.6.2019, the DAB had upheld the decision of the DC.
8) On 11.9.2019, WCY applied for leave to commence judicial review against the decision of the DC and the DAB at the High Court.
JUDICIAL REVIEW AT THE HIGH COURT
9) The purpose of the Judicial Review is not a challenge to the correctness of the decision made
but instead a challenge to the procedure adopted in the decision-making process at the
10) The High Court had dismissed WCY’s application for Judicial Review. In doing so, it had decided:
a) There was no failure of quorum.
b) There was only one charge as Part A and Part B are tied to the same fact which is WCY’s
breach of ISA 230 and ISA 500.
c) WCY had pleaded guilty so there was no need for a full trial.
d) Rule 16 of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (Disciplinary) (No. 2) Rules 2002 does not apply as the factual basis of the charge is not disputed and has been admitted.
e) WCY had been given the right to be heard on 27.3.2018.
WCY’S APPEAL TO THE COURT OF APPEAL
11) Dissatisfied with the decision of the High Court, WCY had filed an appeal on 14.2.2020.
12) On 21.6.2022, the Court of Appeal had allowed WCY’s appeal against the decision of the High Court.
13) The Court of Appeal had not provided any detailed grounds of decision despite requests for
the same. However, the Court of Appeal decided as follows:
“Having considered the submission of the parties, we are in the agreement with the submission of the learned counsel of the Appellant. We find that there is appealable error committed by the learned Judge the High Court that warrant appellate intervention. We agree that there is occurrence of procedural impropriety and breach of natural justice against the Appellant by the DC. As a result, the decision of the board is tainted and flawed. The learned High Court has erred on this and for not allowing the JR application. We find merit in the JR application. We therefore allow the appeal of the Appellant with cost. We set aside the order of the High Court, the JR is allowed as per prayer sought herein. The decision of the DC and Board is set aside…”
MIA’S APPLICATION FOR LEAVE TO APPEAL TO THE FEDERAL COURT
14) On 19.7.2022, MIA had applied for leave to appeal to the Federal Court raising a few questions of law by virtue of exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Court in Article 128(1) Federal Constitution – to determine (a) any question on the validity of law made by Parliament or by the legislature of a state; and (b) disputes on any other question between states or between the Federation and any state.
15) Upon hearing the application on 16.5.2023, the Federal Court dismissed MIA’s application. No
detailed grounds/reasons were provided for the dismissal as of now despite a written request
to the Federal Court.
“The principle in this decision at the Court of Appeal was that since the Respondent had only agreed
to the plea of guilt for Part A but did not agree for Part B, the Court considered that it was a qualified
plea and not absolute. Thus, the DC ought to have conducted a full proceeding by calling witnesses.
The failure to do so has caused a breach of natural justice on the respondent” said the Malaysian
Institute of Accountants today.
We hope the above clarifies the misleading statements made and circulated involving the case of Wong
Ching Yong vs Malaysian Institute of Accountants.
As such, the Malaysian Institute of Accountants will continue to engage with more than 38,500 MIA
members along with various partners and stakeholders to improve compliance and good governance
especially in combating bogus accountants, uplifting sustainability, and corporate disclosure, and
strengthening audit quality and practice management to protect the public interest for sustainable
NOTE TO EDITOR:
About the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA)
Established under the Accountants Act 1967, MIA is the national accountancy body that regulate, develops, supports and enhances the integrity, status and interests of the profession in Malaysia. MIA accords the Chartered Accountant Malaysia or “C.A. (M)” designation. Working closely alongside businesses, MIA connects its membership to a wide range of information resources, events, professional development and networking opportunities. Presently, there are more than 37,500 members making their strides in businesses across all industries in Malaysia and around the world.
MIA’s international outlook and connections are reflected in its membership of regional and international professional organisations such as the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA). For more information on MIA, visit www.mia.org.my
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