Tuesday, 30 March 2010

MIA: Standing in the eyes of the world

FOR those who don't remember, Standing In the Eyes of the World was the official song of the 1998 Commonwealth Games held in Kuala Lumpur. Composed by Wah Idris and David Gates, the Malay version of the song was sung by our very own pop queen, Ella.





The lyrics of the song talk about sacrifice, hard work, passion, hope and dreams. How true these key words are when we reflect on the successes of our present sport stars such as Datuk Nicol David, Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Azizulhasni Awang.

All of them have to compete with the world's best without relying on any quota or special privilege. They have to make many sacrifices, work hard, have deep passion for success and carry not only their personal hopes and dreams but yours and mine as well. Success can only achieved if they are indeed the best in the world. A very high benchmark for average Malaysians like us.


Success breeds success. For the champions, winning means more sponsorships, access to better trainers and training facilities and being supplied with better sporting equipment. This is not much different from business.

Once a person has demonstrated that he or she can identify opportunities and able to realise whatever business plans that they had, they will open themselves to more opportunities and support. Like sports, sacrifice, hard work, passion, hope and dreams are equally important in business. No shortcut allowed.

There is so much we could learn about life from sports. One of the most important elements is we cherish our sport champions irrespective of the colour of their skin, religion and culture. Definitely there is merit for this sort of attitude to be actualised in other aspects of our society.

While Malaysia may not feature in this year's edition of the soccer World Cup in South Africa, our accountancy profession will be hosting the World Congress of Accountants (WCOA) in November. The WCOA is equivalent to the Olympics of the accountancy profession, held every four years in countries which won a global bid to be the host.

Winning the bid four years ago was an honour, not only for the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) which represents the accountants in this country, but reflects the trust of the global accountancy towards Malaysia as a whole. Now is the time for the MIA to deliver all the promises, and position Malaysia as a respectable investment and business destination.

The theme for the WCOA — Accountants: Sustaining Value Creation — would certainly provide opportunities for a wide range of issues and topics to be discussed by globally renowned accountants and other experts from related fields. Certainly, areas such as Islamic finance, where Malaysia has the competitive advantage, would be prominently featured. We should play to our strengths when there are opportunities to showcase ourselves to the world.

While we would certainly be anxious to watch how WCOA would unfold, our accountants should continue to enhance their roles in nation building. The challenges in implementing International Financial Reporting Standards, further enhancement of corporate governance and improvements in business integrity are among the areas which accountants are playing significant roles. The successful performance of our accountants in these areas would enable them to walk tall during WCOA.

It would also be interesting how our accountants position themselves in the new economic model which would be revealed soon. Given that the services sector would be playing more a important role in generating economic growth, accountants should prepare themselves for the new playing field and support businesses to compete and create more values to the society. This should be achieved without compromising the fundamental value of the profession, integrity.

It may be rather challenging to bring 4,000 foreign delegates to Kuala Lumpur for the WCOA, especially when some global organisations are still finding their footing after the global financial crisis. Not only do we want them to come, they should be convinced of our potential and be excited by the beauty of this country and our sincere hospitality. Like sports, one could not be a world champion if one chooses to avoid hardship when striving to be the best in the world.

The MIA has that opportunity to stand in the eyes of the world, and the WCOA would be the best platform for our accountants to make Malaysia proud and honoured.

This article is also published on the Edge Malaysia website here:

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