|With these epochal and momentous events behind it, MAICSA entered the decade of the
nineties stronger and surer of itself. A series of memorable events marked the
chairmanship of Mardzuki Abdullah who served for two years from 1990 to 1991.
The year 1991 witnessed the first convocation ceremony for
ICSA graduates held on 27 July. It was officiated by Datuk Dr Fong Chan
Onn, the Deputy Minister of Education. It was a historic and personally
satisfying moment for graduates of the December 1990 examination in particular
and the Association in general.
In the course of the same year, the Association together with its ICSA
International fraternity celebrated, , the Centenary of ICSA. To mark this
grand occasion, the Association held a centenary dinner on 18 October, 1991 and
various other functions and dinners in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru in
the course of the year. The ICSA as a parent body had weathered many a storms
in the course of a century and in that period had guided the practitioners of
company secretaryship to justly claim due recognition for their role in a world
that was increasingly characterised by the rise of modern corporations.
In Malaysia, under the chairmanship of Muhamad Nor Muhamad,
MAICSA achieved a strategic milestone in 1992 when the Association was granted
recognition as a prescribed body by the Government under Section 139 (a) of the
Companies (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1992 which took effect from September of the
same year. Fellow and Associate members of MAICSA would now automatically
qualify to act as company secretaries without having to apply for a license
from the Registrar of Companies (ROC).
The long and arduous journey towards the achievement of this
recognition began as early as in 1977 during the chairmanship of Dato' Junus
Sudin when the Association made the first overtures on the issue of the
qualification of company secretaries with the relevant government authorities.
In 1980 when the Association was invited by the Ministry of Trade and Industry
to comment on the draft Companies Amendment Bill, it took the opportunity to
submit a proposal for Company Secretaries to be suitably qualified along the
lines of Section 79 of the UK Companies Act 1980. Eventually after much efforts
and persistence, the endeavour culminated in the strategic milestone being
achieved in 1992. Members and students could now look forward with optimism to
better serve, with due recognition, the manifold complexities and needs of the
Having achieved devolved status, the Association continued to
pursue its long term development plans with the purchase of its own premises in
Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur in 1992. The three-storey shoplot, located ideally
between Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya, was planned for occupation 1993. This
modest move to purchase a premise of its own was perhaps long overdue.
Membership had grown from strength to strength and in 1992 it numbered 2,265.
The number of students on the register rose to an all time high of 4,294.
On the academic arena, in 1992 MAICSA developed a full-time
matriculation programme, which would qualify candidates for ICSA student
registration in Malaysia. It was hoped that such a programme would provide a
new avenue to further increase the number of students studying for the ICSA
qualification, especially Bumiputra students. This effort on the part of the
Association must be seen in the light of its avowed aims to have a more
significant Bumiputra membership in the Association in line with national
aspirations. The implementation of the matriculation programme was a concrete
step by the Association towards encouraging greater interest among Bumiputras
for the acquisition of professional qualifications via the ICSA route and also
to fulfil the increasing need for such professionals.
With the completion of the Bangsar office, the Association moved
its Secretariat from Menara Aik Hua to the new premises in August 1993. In
sharing the new found pride of having at last a premise we could call our own,
an Open Day was organised in September to give members and students the
opportunity to view the new facilities and to interact with Council members and
Secretariat staff. Through such efforts, the Secretariat today enjoys an
atmosphere that can truly be characterised as "student friendly and service
With its administrative infrastructure and facilities in place, the Association was
ready to expand its training and development programmes, which have always been
deemed vital for the professional development of its members. Under the
chairmanship of Kamil A Rahman, MAICSA set up a training department and
launched a series of Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
seminars to encourage and cultivate a CPD culture amongst members. The first
CPD seminar entitled Enhancement of Competence in Corporate Governance was
facilitated by Ben Power and Roy Lewis, ICSA past presidents who were then the
members of the Institute’s Professional Standards Committee.
Development in the educational and academic spheres progressed
further with the introduction of two other local subjects: Introduction to
Malaysian Law and Malaysian Business Law with effect from the June 1995
ICSA examination. This was implemented as part of the
ICSA New Qualifying Scheme .
The pursuit of educational excellence is of primary importance to the Association
and a matter close to the heart of its various chairmen. With this objective in
mind, MAICSA approached several institutions of higher learning to explore
opportunities for possible collaboration in the academic field. Universiti
Sains Malaysia (USM) was the first of the local universities to respond to
MAICSA’s call to set up a collaborative framework in research, development and
training in corporate management. A Memorandum of Understanding between MAICSA
and USM was signed on 18 July 1995 at a ceremony held at USM's main campus in
To realise MAICSA's aims of creating a pool of academically
well-qualified members, and to forge better links with academia, an Academic
Fellowship Award was introduced in 1995 in the form of a RM10,000 annual grant
to allow lecturers to pursue the ICSA examinations.
In May 1995, the Association set up a recommended fee structure
for professional secretarial services to provide members in public practice and
consumers of these services with guidelines on professional fees that are
chargeable for rendering professional expertise and services. A feature of the
guidelines is the recognition that the minimum standard of quality of services
provided by new practitioners of secretarial services would commensurate with
the fee charged.
The mid-nineties also saw interesting developments in IT in
tandem with the government’s efforts to develop the Multimedia Super Corridor
(MSC) to gain a competitive edge in IT. To facilitate this move, cyber laws
were enacted. To keep pace with these developments and to improve the
efficiency of administrative services provided by the Secretariat, MAICSA
embarked on an exercise to upgrade the Secretariat’s existing IT infrastructure
in 1995. The two-phase upgrading exercise which involved the acquisition of new
IT equipment and software and the development of MAICSA ’s first Web site was
completed in 1996.
Although much had been achieved in the academic sphere, the Association continued with
its plans to obtain a more comprehensive scheme of recognition for the ICSA
qualifications. In 1995 the Association submitted a memorandum to the Ministry
of Finance to consider granting MAICSA members recognition status as tax agents
under Section 153 (3) of the Income Tax Act 1976. The Association received a
favourable response from the Ministry and subsequently in November 1995, the
Association was successful in obtaining statutory recognition from the
Government in granting members with more than five years practical tax
experience either in the Government or private sector, the eligibility to apply
to become tax agents under Section 153 (3) of the Income Tax Act 1976. This
success added to MAICSA string of achievements in its endeavour to obtain due
recognition of the professional status of its members, commensurate with the
development of the profession itself .
That the Association has been successful in building up
expertise and academic excellence is amply reflected by the fact that MAICSA’s
input had often been sought by regulatory authorities when considering
legislative changes involving the corporate sector prior to final Government
approval. The Association was instrumental in re-activating the Company Law
Forum in 1995 which had been dormant since November 1992. The Registrar of
Companies responded positively to MAICSA ’s call to revive the forum and MAICSA
assumed the chairmanship of the Forum for two years from 1995.
The Forum has four objectives. The first is to provide a
platform for members to exchange views and ideas on matters relating to the
Companies Act, 1965 and its subsidiary legislations. The second objective is to
promote active joint consultation, co-operation and assistance among Forum
members. Discussion on recommendations from participants on pressing issues in
company law forms the third objective. Lastly, the Forum seeks to promote
awareness of corporate governance and raise standards of corporate
accountability and transparency in the country.
Members of the Forum also include representatives from the
Registry of Companies, Malaysian Institute of Accountants, Malaysian
Association of Certified Public Accountants, Bar Council, Federation of Public
Listed Companies and Malaysian Institute of Directors.
As a responsible professional body, MAICSA considers that it has an obligation to
educate the public, be they consumers of corporate services, professionals or
the investing public, on the role and functions of the company secretary and
the areas under the practitioner’s purview. Towards this end it was reasoned
that a strong partnership with a public media organisation sharing the same
sentiments would be an ideal platform to fulfil this obligation. MAICSA
approached The Star, a leading English daily, to run a series of
articles in its paper in this identified area. In April 1996, the first of a
series of MAICSA articles was published under a column entitled
MAICSA PERSPECTIVE. The column runs fortnightly in the paper’s
Business section, Star Business, and enjoys good readership.
The partnership fulfils one of the Association’s avowed social
responsibilities of providing public education. The writers and academicians
who have contributed articles to this column also deserve our credit for their
support in keeping the column going by generating sufficient interest in the
In April 1996, the Registry of Companies launched the Company
Director’s Code of Ethics followed by the Company Secretary’s Code of
Ethics in July of the same year. MAICSA played a pivotal and
significant role in assisting the Registry in drafting the two codes.
Undoubtedly the country needs well trained company secretaries
with integrity and the requisite ethical values to manage its corporate
entities. As the regulation of company secretaries comes under the purview of
the Registry of Companies, the Registry identified the necessity for ensuring
that company secretaries continuously keep themselves updated and abreast of
current developments in laws and regulations related to corporations and
business. This would ensure the requisite level of dynamism and competence to
address an array of increasingly complex corporate objectives.
Under the initiative and strong support of its new chairman,
Prof Abdul Manap Said, MAICSA came up with a proposal to help the Registry
contribute to this undertaking as it has the resources, skills and capability
to provide training to company secretaries as well as licensed secretaries. The
Registry was receptive to MAICSA ’s proposal and this bore fruit eventually
leading to an exchange of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Registry on 26
August 1996 to pave the way for the establishment of the Company Secretaries
Practice Group under the auspices of MAICSA.
The main objective of establishing the Group was to consolidate
company secretarial practitioners from different backgrounds and disciplines
into an unified body, with a view to enhancing their capabilities and
professionalism to better serve the development of a more healthy corporate
culture and ethos, hand in hand with the development of professional skills and
Members of this Group comprise an interesting mix of
professionals ranging from young executives to corporate personalities and
academicians with established credentials and positions of importance in their
respective organisations. The membership of the Group has now grown to almost
In this age of competing ventures and investments, good governance of corporations
is essential to ensure their transparency and accountability. MAICSA has been
championing best practices in corporate governance in the past few years and by
1996 interest among the regulatory authorities and professional bodies had
grown to an unprecedented level. Regulators took note of the need for
regulation in this area to ensure a healthy and strong corporate Malaysia.
To educate the Malaysian corporate sector on the importance of
good corporate governance, the Registry of Companies (ROC) and MAICSA jointly
organised an international conference focusing on the global aspects of the
subject. As a direct result of these efforts, the 1996 International Company
Secretaries Conference was held on 16 and 17 September with corporate
governance as its theme.
The conference with the theme titled Corporate Governance:
Challenges and Responses saw the participation of distinguished
speakers comprising Registry of Companies and Deputy Registrars from six
countries – the United Kingdom, Singapore, South Africa, Hong Kong, India and
This inaugural collaboration of MAICSA and the ROC in organising a major
international event and the links forged demonstrates the Association’s close
rapport and partnership with the public sector. The conference was also part of
MAICSA’s contribution in ensuring members’ continuing professional development.
It provides members the opportunity to network with other local and
international delegates and helps inculcate mutual understanding and concern
for the various issues and challenges faced by the profession.
MAICSA aims to take training and professional development to even greater heights in
the years ahead. The expansion of its training and infrastructure facilities
which would be made possible with the completion of new premises is deemed
vital to answer this call. An eleven storey office unit, acquired by the
Association at the Mid Valley Development in Kuala Lumpur in 1997 is now
scheduled for completion. The ideal location of the building, with good public
transportation services – stations for LRT, KTM Komuter, PRT and buses—offers
the convenience of being a focal point for members and students of MAICSA. The
purchase of the premises is also necessary to house the expanding Secretariat
and to provide proper training and seminar facilities for the Association’s
various and comprehensive activities related to the profession.
In 1997, MAICSA collaborated with the ROC, this time to conduct
the first of a series of career talks on the profession of the company
secretary and the ICSA qualification. These career talks which received the
support and co-operation of the Ministry of Education were targeted at
secondary school students, counsellors and teachers and were held in Trengganu,
Kedah, Perak and Malacca. The objective of the roadshow was to encourage more
Bumiputra students to consider a career in company secretaryship and to help
address the continuing imbalance of Bumiputra company secretaries.
The year also saw the need for MAICSA 's constitution to reflect
the changing role of the body's leadership. Towards this end, the Constitution
was amended to rename the position of Chairman and the Management Committee to
President and the Council, respectively, at an Extraordinary General Meeting on
3 May 1997.
Under the presidency of Leong Eng Yee, MAICSA recorded yet another milestone in 1998
when the ICSA Qualification was recognised by Malaysian Exchange of Securities
Dealings and Automated Quotation Bhd. (MESDAQ), Malaysia’s stock exchange
specialising in growth companies particularly those involved in technology
based entrepreneurial business. Holders of the ICSA qualification with at least
three years working experience in the securities industry have been accorded
recognition to act as Compliance Officer in the category of relevant
recognised professional qualification under BR 508 (2) (c) of MESDAQ Business Rules.
In 1998 MAICSA demonstrated the MALAYSIA BOLEH spirit of our land when one of its
Past Chairmen, Edward Chan Kow Chian became the first Malaysian and the second
Asian to be appointed as the ICSA International President in the Institute's
107-year history. Edward Chan had been an active member of the Institute’s
Professional Standards Committee and the ICSA International Council. As
International President, he brought the ICSA International Council Meeting to
Kuala Lumpur. In conjunction with this meeting, he also organised the first
ICSA International Members Assembly in Kuala Lumpur in May. The objective of
the International Members Assembly was to provide a platform for ICSA members
from all over the world to meet and network with each other. Prominent
Malaysian speakers gave talks on topical issues relating to the Malaysian
economy and corporate sector developments. A grand dinner at the Kuala Lumpur
Tower was organised to celebrate this first gathering of International Council
members and ICSA members in Malaysia.
1998 also marked the 100th anniversary of the Registry of Companies, an
institution with which MAICSA has been closely associated and enjoys an extreme
good relationship. MAICSA together with other professional bodies provided
support and sponsorship for several anniversary events and its Council and
Secretariat staff assisted with the organisation of various events to
commemorate this landmark centenary celebration. The events included an
International Conference on Corporate Governance, official launch of the
Registry’s 100th anniversary celebrations, an exhibition and the Best Company
Secretary and the Corporate Governance Awards and seminar roadshows and a
series of regional activities.
At the closing ceremony of the celebrations held in November, the Best Company
Secretary and Corporate Governance Awards were presented by the
Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs. It was a proud moment for the
Association an four of its members clinched four of the five Best Company
Secretary Awards at the ceremony.
The rationale for the Best Company Secretary Award was to
give recognition and encouragement to Company Secretaries who had shown
competence and professionalism in discharging their duties and responsibilities
based on the principles of transparency, integrity and accountability.
The ROC Centennial celebrations provided a fertile medium for
the various professional bodies and industry groups to work together to promote
interests of mutual concern. During the year, the idea of establishing a body
to promote corporate governance was mooted. In March 1998, the Malaysian
Institute of Corporate Governance (MICG) was incorporated. MICG was one of the
five promoters of instrumental in the realisation of the idea and the
subsequent setting up of the Institute. MAICSA remains active in the Council of
Management of MICG to help drive the activities of the Institute.
March 1999 saw the launching of the Report on Corporate Governance by the Second
Minister of Finance, Datuk Mustapha Mohamed. The Association is indeed honoured
to be represented by Prof Abdul Manap Said on the High Level Finance Committee
on Corporate Governance, headed by the Secretary General of the Ministry of
Finance, which produced the first comprehensive report on Corporate Governance.
Other members of the Committee from the private sector include representatives
from Federation of Public Listed Companies, Malaysian Institute of Directors,
Malaysian Institute of Accountants, Malaysian Association of Certified Public
Accountants and Bar Council.
MAICSA is geared towards contributing to the implementation of
the proposals in the Report, particularly in the area of training and
educational development of directors and other key officers in the corporate
entities. As we approach the new millennium, the tradition of MAICSA-initiatied
activities to further the development of a healthy corporate Malaysia is still
very much alive.
Today MAICSA has been entrusted with the task of managing the
education and training of key corporate officers by the MICG in recognition of
the Association’s track record in training and professional development. The
Association’s successful collaboration with government authorities such as ROC,
SC, KLSE and
IRB in organising joint training programmes is testimony of its
commitment towards expanding its training activities. MAICSA is of the firm
conviction that training and education are key investments to secure the future
well being of the profession.
MAICSA ’s regular dialogue sessions with the regulatory
authorities have also helped the Association keep members abreast of new
developments related to the regulatory environment and to disseminate knowledge
and awareness of the same.
The move to bigger premises in Bandar Mid Valley shortly should
pave the way for greater expansion and development of the Association. It was
due to critical shortage of office space at its existing premises in Bangsar
Baru, acquired in 1992, that prompted MAICSA to consider the acquisition of the
new office building, comprising a Signature Office unit of 11 floors covering
approximately 21,564 sq. ft. The new premises will house a specialised library
on corporate law and administration, as well as state-of-the-art training
facilities to cater to the needs of members and students. Completion of the new
building is scheduled for December 2000.