Categories: SpeechesPublished On: 25/09/2021

Fellow Members of MIA and my Fellow Council Members

Distinguished Speakers, Ladies and Gentlemen

  1. Good morning. Welcome to our 35th Annual General Meeting. Thank you to our members for being with us on a Saturday. It is an honour to deliver my first address at the AGM in my capacity as MIA President. This is also a milestone for MIA as this is the Institute’s first virtual AGM.
  2. Throughout MIA’s history, the AGM has been an important part of MIA’s calendar as it enables us to further strengthen our engagement with members who are a critical segment of our very diverse stakeholders.
  3. As discussed extensively in the latest MIA Integrated Report <IR> which was recently released online, stakeholder engagement and strategic collaboration are pivotal to MIA’s continuing success.
  4. In my role as the President, I believe in encouraging and practising open discourse and engagement between members and MIA’s leadership. Since I became MIA President on 24 September 2020, I have had extensive engagement with members.
  5. A key engagement was a virtual meeting between MIA and members of the Malaysian Accounting Firms Association (MAFA) to understand and address the concerns of SMPs. MIA responded to the issues raised during this meeting which included the audit licence interview process, audit exemption, Practice Review, increasing SMP representation in MIA Council and Committees, and I also updated MAFA on the progress of the ongoing reform of the Accountants Act 1967.
  6. At the same time, I have also spoken with some members individually, responded to emails from some members on technical and non-technical matters, listened to grouses that member may have, and spoke at various townhalls with members to address their concerns.
  7. Through such extensive engagement across many channels, MIA has been able to derive the feedback and data that informs our initiatives and actions, which are aligned with our vision of strengthening the future relevance of the accountancy profession to support nation building.
  8. I am pleased to report that in spite of the challenges of the pandemic, backed by our robust engagement and collaborative approach, MIA has successfully delivered on key initiatives designed to help members become more competitive and sustainable in difficult times.
  9. Ladies and gentlemen, before I share the key highlights of MIA’s achievements for the profession and our members during the past year, I would like to thank MIA members for your support. The 2020 MIA Member Satisfaction Survey which polled over 4,000 members showed consistent satisfaction with the Institute among members, whereby 79% of respondents are satisfied with the Institute, the same as in the 2018 Survey. The survey also showed that 82% of members are proud to be MIA members. So, thank you for your positive views. MIA will continue to work harder to deliver the initiatives and services to support the profession’s future development and to bolster your pride in being an accountant and MIA member.
  10. Next, allow me to share how MIA has been working hard to support members and the profession throughout the past year.

One, COVID-19 support.

  • The lockdowns and complicated SOPs enforced made life and business very challenging for everybody. On top of normal routines and our established KPIs, MIA had to put in extra work to get clarification and Government approval on policies affecting the business operations of members and their wellbeing.
  • On behalf of members, MIA actively engaged and advocated with the Government and regulators to get accountancy services listed as a critical service and to facilitate access to Government funding schemes for our members.
  • To support members’ business continuity, MIA successfully collaborated with Pembangunan Leasing Corporation to provide the PLC Professional Liquidity Scheme.
  • To help members on technical matters related to COVID-19, MIA established a dedicated COVID-19 webpage with numerous COVID-19 related guidance and articles.
  • I am pleased to note that the 2020 MIA Member Satisfaction Survey showed that 87% of respondents are satisfied with the resources and updates provided by the Institute on the COVID-19 crisis.

Two, our surveillance and enforcement activities.

MIA continued to enhance surveillance and enforcement activities to deliver on our mandate as the accountancy regulator as enshrined in the Accountants Act 1967. If you refer to the latest <IR>, you will note that a high number of cases have been concluded. This clearly supports good governance of the accountancy profession and services in the public interest.

Three, our engagement with members.

MIA continued to focus on developing the profession as mandated under the Accountants Act. To mitigate against the lockdowns and SOPs, MIA held numerous webinars and online events which received tremendous response and participation from local and global speakers and participants, including MIA members.

Four, digital transformation.

MIA continued to press for the ongoing digital transformation of the profession and the Institute, which supports the Malaysian economy’s digital evolution as mapped out in the MyDigital – Malaysian Digital Economy Blueprint. The Institute launched the online bank confirmation platform and the MPERs interactive eBook, both of which are highly beneficial especially for SMPs and SMEs, rolled out tools for assessing digital readiness and identifying gaps in preparedness, and integrated digitalisation across MIA’s training programmes.

  1. Ladies and gentlemen, those are just some of the key achievements of MIA for the benefit of the profession during the past year. You can read in detail about the Institute’s work in the latest MIA <IR> and MIA CEO Dr. Nurmazilah will be sharing in more detail on the Institute’s initiatives and operations in her presentation.
  2. Going forward, we will continue to prioritise the key initiatives that will boost the Institute’s regulatory and development efforts, in order to future-proof the profession and members and ensure your future relevance in a vastly changing landscape. These key initiatives are:
    • One, we are continuing to engage the Government on reforming the Accountants Act 1967, to strengthen MIA’s effectiveness as the national accountancy regulator and for the profession to stand tall in the eyes of the world.
    • Two, the Institute will continue to deliver virtual CPE programmes to support members’ continuing professional development and wellbeing, as well as your business continuity and sustainability. I strongly encourage members to make full use of these programmes and facilities to add value to your skillsets and portfolios in preparation for the economic upturn. We can already see that Malaysia’s economy will pick up as sectors and society open up due to high vaccination rates and lower hospitalisation numbers.
    • Three, MIA will continue to focus on digital transformation to bring the profession to new levels of prosperity in the planned digital economy. Looking back, the pandemic has had a silver lining as it sped up digitisation and technology transformation and many are now more digitally savvy and accepting of technology trends. To ensure that we are all on board the digital train, I encourage members who are SMPs to take advantage of MIA’s numerous digital training programmes and digital preparedness tools, which includes the new and recently launched Digital Economy page which serves as a one-stop centre for all Digital Economy initiatives and resources of the Institute. I also encourage members to avail yourselves of the various digital incentives that are still available, to transform and scale up your business. This is the opportunity to rev up your digitalisation efforts in readiness for the expected boom in digital economy and e-commerce. As business advisors, this is also a great opportunity for SMPs to help your clients, especially SMEs and microbusinesses, to digitalise and transform.
    • Four, MIA will continue to advocate for good governance and the embedding of ESG (environmental, social and governance) considerations in both private and public sector organisations. This of course includes the alignment of MIA with the global profession’s stance on combating climate change risks and the positioning of accountants as champions of ESG and climate risk management within organisations and businesses.
  3. Given MIA’s competency and presence of subject matter experts in tax, MIA has been focusing on the key area of tax governance. This is vital to support the nation’s future sustainability via tax transparency, tax administration reforms and enhanced governance. MIA’s stance is that tax transparency is a key factor to be considered under the Governance aspect of ESG. Importantly, MIA will continue to advocate for the enhancement of tax governance and compliance in order to improve tax collections, as well as the strategic recalibration of tax incentives to spur investment and the digital economy, in support of nation building.
  4. Another key area will be advocacy for strengthening corporate governance. MIA will endeavour to walk the talk by evaluating the Malaysia Code of Corporate Governance (MCCG) proposals and adopting those that are relevant and appropriate, subject to the fact that MIA is a body set up via an Act of Parliament and reporting to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and that MIA is not required to comply with the MCCG which is aimed at listed entities
  5. Even as we advocate for governance, it is imperative that MIA members monitor your own actions and behaviour and always abide by the profession’s code of ethics. To this end, MIA continues to educate our members on the ethical codes of the global profession as well as the MIA By-Laws to ensure that the profession is compliant and held in high regard at all times. As we evolve, it is imperative that we uphold professional judgement and the foundational code of ethics that differentiate us as a profession and the gatekeeper of public interest. This is how each of us can support nation building, by ensuring the integrity, trustworthiness and good reputation of businesses and the nation, at all times.
  6. Ladies and gentlemen, in ending, I wish to advise members to optimise your potential, upskill, and future-proof yourselves for the digital economy by making full use of MIA’s initiatives. At the same time, do continue to connect with the MIA leadership and team and articulate your concerns so we can pursue mutual growth and advancement.
  7. Next, I wish to thank everybody who contributed their time, expertise and efforts for the betterment of the profession in the past year. On behalf of MIA, I would like to thank all outgoing Council members and to welcome all incoming Council members. I would especially like to acknowledge the Council members who have retired from Council since the last AGM as well as those Council members who will be retiring after today’s AGM.
    • Assoc Prof Dr Zureada Ibrahim
    • Poon Yew Hoe
    • Sharman Arumugam
    • Zarina Abdul Samad (Resigned)
    • Irvin Menezes
    • Lim Fen Nee
    • Leong Kah Mun
    • Ong Chee Wai
    • Andrew Heng
  8. I would also like to express my thanks as well to all Committee and Task Force members and not forgetting the MIA management team and staff for their service and contributions.
  9. Last but not least, I wish to extend my deepest appreciation to all our members, who are integral to the Institute and the profession. Thank you very much for your ongoing support. The Institute looks forward to strengthening our member services and engagement as we move ahead, to support you better and strengthen the profession. We will continue to practice strategic collaborative leadership and extensive stakeholder engagement, to enhance the resilience and agility of our members, for the sustainability and future relevance of the accountancy profession.

Thank you.