KUALA LUMPUR: Despite threats of a potential defamation suit, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic) appeared unfazed, as he continues to raise questions on Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s credentials as an accountant.
Dr Wee, without mincing his words, pointed out that Lim is far from even being a certified or a chartered accountant.
The Ayer Hitam MP, in referring to documents released by Lim’s political secretary Tony Pua, pointed out that Lim’s membership into the Australian Society of Accountants in Feb 21, 1984 merely stated that he was admitted as a provisional member.
A provisional membership, Dr Wee said, is one of the steps required to enrol into programme modules and examination in order to qualify as an accountant and to qualify for a full membership into the Australian Society of Accountants.
“Therefore, a provisional membership is far from being a fully certified chartered accountant or even an accountant.
“You cannot call yourself using either designation,” said Dr Wee in a Facebook posting on Monday (Feb 11).
The Australian Society of Accountants is now known as CPA Australia (Certified Practising Accountant).
At the same time, Dr Wee pointed out that Lim was quoted by news portal MalaysiaKini in a report on March 2012 as saying that he was a failed accountant and had spent less than a week in an accounting firm in Malaysia before being sacked.
Dr Wee said there is no evidence showing that Lim has ever worked in any accounting firms, or having enrolled in any necessary education requirements to qualify as a certified accountant or a chartered accountant.
“In fact, online checks with the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) does not show Lim as being a member.
“In Malaysia, you cannot misrepresent yourself as an accountant unless you are a member of MIA.”
It is a criminal offence under Section 25(e) of the Accountants Act 1967 for any individuals or organisation to call themselves an accountant unless he or she is registered with the MIA, said Dr Wee.
At the same time, Dr Wee said that a report by English daily New Straits Times in June 2018 also pointed out that Lim had claimed to be a former accountant.
Meanwhile, Dr Wee also said that DAP’s website had misrepresented Lim as a Certified Accountant.
“Neither MCA nor myself have any interest in pursuing this matter any further as the declining economy right now is a more important issue to address.
“We leave it to DAP and the rakyat to judge if a legal offence has been committed.”
Earlier on Monday (Feb 11), Pua said that Lim is considering filing defamation suits against anyone, including media outlets and politicians if they continue to question the Finance Minister’s education credentials.
Lim’s qualification in accounting is the latest to come under scrutiny after a series of alleged false education credentials involving Pakatan Harapan leaders, including Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian, Tronoh assemblyman Paul Yong Choo Kiong, among others.