Accountants laud Budget move to boost Malaysia as Islamic finance hub

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct ― The establishment of the Special Committee on Islamic Finance (JKKI) will definitely provide further impetus to further promote and develop the Islamic finance (IF) ecosystem and strengthen Malaysia’s leadership as a centre of excellence in IF, said the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA).

One of the objectives of JKKI, which was established this year, is to organise outreach initiatives and professional courses to promote deeper understanding of Islamic finance nationwide.

“This is in line with MIA’s ongoing IF Pupillage Programme as well as the development of our upcoming Islamic finance textbook which have the aim to build competency and capacity in Islamic finance among accountants,” said MIA in reaction to the 2020 Budget tabled by Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng yesterday.

The national accountancy body also said it supports the government’s commitment to channelling resources to improve governance and service delivery in line with its principles of Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT).

It added these are integral to good governance and building trust in public institutions, a key driver in attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs) and assuring investor confidence.

To strengthen trust and bridge the trust deficit, it is important that these public institutions provide accurate and complete financial and non-financial information, in order to demonstrate accountability and stewardship and to reinforce their credibility.

The reliability and transparency of financial reporting is also important in attracting FDIs, it said, adding accountants play a pivotal role in these areas either as preparers, auditors, regulators or those charged with governance.

On building capabilities for local accountancy firms, MIA said it was constantly exploring ways to improve their productivity.

“Building regional alliances is one means of building capabilities and will enable local firms to tap the growing potential of Asean and Asian markets,” it added.

MIA said the government’s move to raise the ceiling on Market Development Grant (MDG) by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) to RM300,000 will be very useful in incentivising and supporting local accountancy firms to go regional.

“The cap on entry to export exhibitions has also been raised to RM25,000, enabling better access to export marketing opportunities and formation of regional alliances and networks for local accountancy firms,” said MIA.

Overall, Budget 2020,  the second under the Pakatan Harapan administration, is clearly designed to grow the Malaysian economy sustainably and to future-proof key stakeholders for the digital revolution and developments, it added. ― Bernama

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