|In so many ways the growth and development of the Association parallels the
dynamic growth of the nation. Throughout the 1960s, the country witnessed a
dynamic progression from a ‘tin and rubber economy’ to one that was
increasingly successful in attracting foreign direct investment to fuel an
industrialisation programme that saw a proliferation of new industries and new
business entities. The need for quality human resources and skills had to keep
pace in tandem with the overall economic climate of change and dynamism. In
response, the Association began to make concerted efforts in 1971 to pursue
government recognition for the ICSA qualification. Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Hashim who was MAICSA Chairman
at the time directly appealed to the Government to seriously consider granting
due recognition to the ICSA qualification as representing a body of knowledge
sufficiently distinct to merit professional status. He made these pertinent and
cogent remarks in his speech at the Annual Dinner held in August 1971:
"the chartered secretaries have contributed to the industrial development of Malaysia and will
continue to do so, ....the Government is encouraging more people to become
qualified professionals. It would be appropriate that the qualifications of
chartered secretaries be recognised."
There were then 150 qualified chartered secretaries and 350 student members
registered with the Association, the majority of whom came from the MARA
Institute of Technology (ITM).
In October 1971, the Association made its first concrete move to lobby for
recognition status. Letters were sent to ICSA London and ICSA Singapore to obtain copies of their submissions to their
respective Governments for recognition of granting degree status for the ICSA
qualification. In the following year, the Association held further talks with
the then Director of ITM, Tan Sri Dato' Dr Arshad Ayub, to strengthen its case.
This finally led to the presentation of the Association’s report on recognition
of the ICSA qualification, then called CIS or Chartered Institute of
Secretaries qualification, to Datuk Abdullah Ayub, who was then the
Director-General of the Public Services Department (PSD). These were the
initial manoeuvres. The battle had yet to be won.
With even greater conviction and purpose, the Association
continued to pursue the issue of recognition under the chairmanship of Dato’
Salleh Yusof. At last the efforts of the years past bore fruit when the PSD
finally granted recognition status of the ICSA qualification via its letter
dated 7 October 1974 declaring that the qualifications of Licentiates of ICSA
were equivalent to a General Degree/Pass Degree from a local university. The
historic event had finally come to pass and with this recognition, the
Association was poised to play an ever increasing role in the corporate life of
With this achievement in hand, the Association began to immediately strive for an
increase in its membership. To increase awareness of its role in promoting the
profession of the company secretary, on 16 August 1974 the Association
published and circulated the maiden issue of its quarterly Newsletter free
of charge among members and students in Malaysia. The Chairman, Dato’ Salleh
Yusof, also extended a copy of the newsletter to the Institute’s Secretary, Mr
J E Phillips, with a request to publish some of the Association’s articles and
other news from this region in the ICSA journal Professional Administration.
The purpose of this bold initiative was to attract potential members as part of
its drive to increase membership and consequently develop a large pool of
professionals to serve both the private and public sectors of a rapidly
developing nation. Truly, a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first
step. Over the years the Association would be instrumental in publishing and
launching a steady stream of literature related to the profession.
The Management Committee of the Association agreed at its
meeting on 27 February 1976 to set up a Secretariat to better serve an ever
increasing list of members and students. On 13 June 1976 a resolution was
passed at the Association’s Extraordinary General Meeting for the change of
name of the Association from The Malaysian Association of the Chartered
Institute of Secretaries to The Malaysian Association of The Institute
of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. The change was in line
with the adoption of a new name by the UK Institute, The Institute of Chartered
Secretaries and Administrators and in due recognition of the growing
strength of the Malaysian chapter.
Meanwhile the Association continued to operate from the offices of the members of its
Management Committee in Kuala Lumpur, a privilege so generously accorded to the
Association. That the meetings were held at different locations clearly
reflected the need for the growing Association to have a fixed abode from which
to coordinate and pursue the aims and objectives of all its members.
The decision to set up the Secretariat with full time staff was
made on completion of a feasibility study initiated by the Association in 1975.
The study which evaluated the setting up of a Secretariat with full time staff
was compiled in a report entitled, 'Establishing a MACIS Secretariat'.
The main concern was the absence of a full time officer to service members and
students and to cope with the ever increasing activities of the Association.
Further, it was felt that administrative inadequacy unless overcome would
seriously hamper the Association’s efforts to provide better services to
members and to attract new members. The lack of a secretariat was considered an
impediment to achieving a more dynamic role for MACIS and for enhancing its
After careful consideration and deliberation, the Management
Committee decided to set up the Secretariat and to employ full time staff.
Subsequently a Sub-Committee headed by the then chairman, Mohd Yusof Bador, was
formed to study the Secretariat’s needs to ensure its success as the
administrative and focal centre of the Association’s efforts to make the
profession of the company secretary an indispensable aspect and attribute of
the Malaysian corporate scene.
The first full-time clerk reported for duty on 1st October 1976.
The Association's records also showed that the Secretariat had officially moved
from its borrowed premises at Sim Lim Building in Kuala Lumpur to its own
rented office in Wisma MPI in 1977. After eighteen years the Association
finally had a home reflecting an ever wider acceptance of its professional