Ng: Accountants must be proactive

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen said the accounting profession must be proactive in discharging its professional duty, moving beyond the quality of accounting and disclosure. 

“The Government has sought to encourage this by providing a regulatory framework for whistle blowing,” said Ng in her keynote address at the Association of International Accountants’ (AIA) National Conference yesterday. 

“In Malaysia, the issues that gave rise to the need for whistle blowing provisions in the law were identified and addressed in the context of auditors in the report by the Finance Committee on Corporate Governance,” she said. 

The report included the recommendation to enhance the current provisions in the Companies Act 1965 to extend the auditors’ duty to report to include any serious offences in addition to breaches of the Act, she said. 

Additionally, the deputy minister said it was recommended that the subjective element be removed and the auditor be required to base his decision on his professional opinion. 

She added that the report also recommended that protection be afforded to auditors against defamation suits in respect of the reporting obligation. 

Ng said that the Securities Commission (SC) has also proposed to amend the securities laws to impose a similar obligation on auditors. 

The proposal was in respect of breaches in securities laws with the requisite protection from being sued in any court for any report made in good faith and in the intended performance of such obligations. 

“There was also a need to extend the protection of the law to key employees of the company privy to such information, such as the chief executive officer, company secretaries and internal auditors,” Ng said. 

“It is with this in mind that the SC has included whistle blowing provisions in the amendments to the Securities Industry Act 1983, which formed part of the law reform package that has since passed second reading in Parliament this month,” she said. – Bernama  

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