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Updated: 12/04/2017
A Challenging Year Ahead  print
It is the start of another year, and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers, in particular members, graduates, students and affiliates, a very happy new year and all good wishes for 2017 and the Year of the Rooster!

2017 promises to be an interesting, if somewhat challenging, year for many of us. The Companies Act 2016, which replaces the Companies Act 1965 that has governed the rules and framework of business organisations with limited liability status for over 50 years, was implemented, in stages, effective from 31 January 2017. This is indeed a challenging time for the corporate sector, in particular company secretaries who are responsible for advising their organisations, and especially their directors. The Institute continues to hold ongoing discussions with representatives of the Companies Commission of Malaysia to clarify and seek their feedback on the various issues raised by members relating to all aspects of the implementation of the Act. Once clarified, the issues will be sent by eblast to members and/or posted in the website for their information.

MAICSA members need to maintain their momentum for learning and self improvement to embrace these new developments and changes in order to remain relevant and maintain a competitive edge over other professionals. The Institute is doing its part in helping members, particularly members who are company secretaries, to learn more about and understand the changes resulting from the implementation of the Act by organising seminars and talks on the Act, both in the Klang Valley and the regions.

On this note, we hope that all Fellow and Associate members have done their part to comply with the Mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements for 2016. We have extended the time frame for compliance with the Mandatory CPD requirements for members who have not as yet managed to complete their CPD Hours to the end of March 2016. No further extension will be granted. Members who do not comply with their CPD requirements may be subject to the Institute’s disciplinary proceedings. The move towards Mandatory CPD has been welcomed by the regulators, who view Mandatory CPD as a positive development for MAICSA members, in particular members who are company secretaries as they are expected to keep abreast of the latest legislations and regulatory updates in order to be able to discharge their professional duties and responsibilities efficiently and effectively.

As always, the past year has been another busy and fulfilling year for MAICSA and we are proud of the achievements made during the year. A key event was the launch of the “Best Practice Guide on Annual General Meetings for Listed Issuers” by Tan Sri Amirsham Aziz, Chairman of Bursa Malaysia Berhad on 21 November 2016. The Best Practice Guide on AGMs was published by the Institute, in collaboration with Bursa, and the Guide is tailored for Chairmen and Directors of public listed companies and provides practical guidance for the conduct of AGMs, including the principles and procedures required to prepare, convene and conduct an efficient and effective AGM. The launch was followed by a talk on “How to leverage on AGMs for better engagement with shareholders” by Mr Peter Turnbull, ICSA International Vice President and Chairman of Calix Limited Australia and a panel discussion on the topic with panelists comprising Mr Peter Turnbull, Ms Chua Siew Chuan and Tan Sri Asmat Kamaluddin with Datuk Suseela Menon as Moderator. More than 150 Directors of public listed companies attended the event. The Guide has been posted in the MAICSA website for access by members. It is also available in the Bursa website.

Another major event was the MAICSA Symposium which was held on 5 December 2016, with the theme “Companies Act 2016: Navigating the Changes” which was attended by more than 300 participants. The Guest of Honour at the Symposium was Dato’ Zahrah Wahab Fenner, Chief Executive Officer of the Companies Commission of Malaysia who delivered the Keynote Address at the Opening Ceremony of the Symposium. Council members of the Institute also took advantage of her presence at the Symposium to discuss and clarify various issues with her. The programme for the Symposium included enlightening and interesting sessions on “Embracing the Companies Act 2016 and Companies Regulations”, “Auditor’s Role in Preparing for the Changes”, “Tax Implications under the Companies Act 2016”, “Choosing the Right Corporate Rescue Mechanism” and “Directors’ Fiduciary Duties - Now and Next”. The MAICSA Symposium is now an annual feature in the Institute’s calendar of events.

This year, it will be the Institute’s turn to host the meeting of the ASEAN Company Secretaries Associations Network (ACSAN) in Kuala Lumpur on 6 April 2017 and, in conjunction with this, it is planned to organise an ACSAN Roundtable on Minority Shareholders’ Rights on 7 April 2017 to be held at the MAICSA Auditorium. Speakers at the Roundtable will comprise representatives of ACSAN member organisations, from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Malaysia, and they will be sharing their views from the perspective of their respective jurisdictions. Further details on the Roundtable will be made available to members as soon as they are finalised.

The major events of the Institute for this year will be held as follows:

Annual Dinner - Wednesday 24 May 2017
Annual General Meeting - Saturday 17 June 2017
Annual Conference - Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 September 2017

Do mark these dates in your diaries and I hope you will make it a point to join us for the Annual Dinner, Annual General Meeting and Annual Conference. Your attendance and support would be greatly appreciated.

Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members, graduates, students and affiliates for their support during 2016 and look forward to their continuing support in 2017.

Dato’ Heng Ji Keng FCIS