SHAH ALAM: Apart from doubling the number of professional accountants in Malaysia by 2020, the Government wants to boost the number of bumiputras in the profession, from only 8% currently.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar said there was a “gross under-representation” of bumiputra accounting professionals in the country.
There are now 32,000 accountants registered with the Malaysian Institute of Accountants, of which 19,144 are members of profesional bodies. Of this number, only 1,602 or 8% are bumiputras.
Abdul Wahid said there were many reasons for the shortage of bumiputra accounting professionals, with lack of exposure and perceived difficulty of the examinations the leading causes.
“One reason I would say is exposure. Not many bumiputra students are exposed to the accountancy profession, and this is why we have undertaken a number of outreach programmes.
“Some are afraid to take up accountancy, as it is seen as a difficult profession, in terms of examinations, for example. It requires a high level of numerical literacy – you must be very good with numbers and many students may be afraid of this,” he said.
Another reason, he said, was that many students may be put off by the low passing rate, which is still below 50%.
“Our view is that if we can get more people interested and familiar with the profession, and we combine it with good teaching faculties, I think we can increase the number of professional accountants,” he said after launching the Malaysia Professional Accountancy Centre.