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National Annual Corporate Report Awards
2019 Awards Presentation Dinner


Speech By

The Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
28 November 2019


YBhg. Datuk Muhammad Umar Swift
CEO of Bursa Malaysia Berhad

En. Ahmad Zahirudin Abdul Rahim
Chairman of NACRA 2019 Organising Committee

Mr. Stanley Teo
Chairman of NACRA 2019 Adjudication Committee

Mr. Hwang Shze Jiun
President of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants

Dr. Veerinderjeet Singh
President of The Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good evening and Salam Harapan.


1. The promotion of excellence in annual corporate reporting has a long history in Malaysia. The National Annual Corporate Report Awards or NACRA has evolved over the past 34 years. We have seen vast improvements in corporate reporting standards since the merging of the National Annual Report Awards (NARA) and the Malaysian Corporate Report Awards (MACRA) in 1990 to form NACRA.

2. This year, we have 43 public-listed entities and 2 non-listed organisations participating in NACRA, with 7 new participants joining us tonight.

3. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the three organising bodies, namely The Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA), the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) and Bursa Malaysia for all the hard work in making NACRA a continued success.


4. Tonight’s event is not about who has the best cover, or who has the thickest report. On the contrary, we are celebrating something more fundamental than that. We are recognising those upholding the principles of competency, accountability and transparency.

5. The Government has implemented various initiatives to raise transparency within the public sector, including the application of open tenders in the public sector and the ongoing shift towards accrual accounting from cash-basis accounting that should be completed by 2021.

6. In terms of reporting, the Government since 2018 has published the Fiscal Outlook and Federal Government Revenue Estimate, on top of other pre-existing publications to update the public on fiscal parameters used in preparing the yearly budget. The new document raises the level of transparency within the public realm through regular detailed reporting that is freely and readily available online.

7. Our institutional reforms have borne fruits. In the latest World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) published in October 2019, Malaysia emerged as one of the best improved countries among 214 nations. The improvement was contributed by our strong and credible anti-corruption measures, together with adherence to the rule of law over the past year.

8. The WGI is a widely used global metric measuring the institutional quality of a country. It directly feeds into the calculation of credit rating scores. Together with the Government’s transparency and prudent fiscal management, our performance in the WGI has convinced the three international credit rating agencies, namely Fitch, Moody’s and S&P to retain our sovereign credit ratings at A3 or A- with a stable outlook.

9. As announced in the 2020 Budget, the Government is confident that we will be able to cut our fiscal deficit from 3.7% of GDP last year to 3.4% this year. In 2020, we are reducing it further to 3.2% of GDP as part of our medium-term fiscal consolidation plan.


10. Over the next 5 years, the Government will be providing RM50.3 billion to put Malaysia back in business and Malaysians back to work amid the reorienting of global supply chain and technological changes. This RM50.3 billion plan over the next 5 years was announced in the 2020 Budget, which was approved by Parliament today.

11. The RM50.3 billion plan over the next 5 years will be spent on two key tranches. The first tranche consists of the installation of physical hardware in the form of RM21.6 billion investment into the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP). The NFCP investment done through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) from 2019 until 2023 will provide Malaysians with wider coverage of high-speed and reliable broadband at affordable prices throughout the country. More importantly, the NFCP will lay down the groundwork for a comprehensive implementation of 5G technology in Malaysia. We hope not only to connect everyone, but to give opportunities to all.

12. The second tranche includes RM20.7 billion worth of cash and non-cash incentives over 5 years to raise Malaysia’s productivity. Amongst others, the Government is providing RM3.7 billion for the digitalisation of SMEs, RM5 billion for large local companies especially those venturing into export markets to become regional and global champions, RM5 billion for multinationals to invest in hightech high-value sectors in Malaysia with the provision that they create 150,000 high quality jobs in Malaysia, as well as RM450 million for digital stimulus for consumers in order to encourage digital adoption in the domestic market. This RM450 million will be available to those using e-wallets and we hope to have at least 15 million subscribers of e-wallets when the digital stimulus package ends in February next year.

13. Additionally, the Government is spending RM6.5 billion encouraging the creation of new job opportunities and augmenting Malaysian youth and women’s income through the Malaysia@Work programme amid the digital disruption. Malaysia@Work hopes to create 350,000 jobs over the next five years spending RM6.5 billion in the form of wage incentives up to RM500 every month to Malaysian workers and up to RM300 every month to employers to encourage employers to employ Malaysians. This will help unemployed graduates to find jobs. Over the period of two years, we hope this will be able to equip them with the necessary skills so that they can become marketable in the labour market.

14. For SMEs, the Government is offering the RM3 billion Automation Process Guarantee Scheme through Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan Bhd (SJPP) to encourage automation, digitalisation and the modernisation of business process. There is also the RM3 billion Industry Digitalisation Transformation Fund through Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd, which offers term financing for the adoption of Industry 4.0 technology like Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

15. We hope that companies can take full advantage of this RM50.3 billion incentive package and infrastructure spending that will put Malaysia on track in the digital economy over the next five years.


Ladies and gentlemen,

16. Earlier this week, I launched the Securities Commission’s 5-year Social and Responsible Investment Roadmap for the Malaysian capital market (SRI Roadmap).

17. Sustainable development is more than just about conserving the environment, as it also accounts for social well-being of communities and ensuring equal opportunities. Social and Responsible Investment (SRI) emphasises not just on financial returns, but also its positive impacts on the environment, governance, culture and social development. In this context, the Government’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV 2030) is an overarching philosophy advocating development for all by addressing wealth and income disparities to create a united, prosperous and peaceful nation.

18. Two years ago, NACRA introduced a new award category for Integrated Reporting or IR. This is geared towards the next generation of corporate reporting, which should be embraced by all in the corporate sector.

19. I understand that there are some major changes coming ahead in NACRA 2020 aimed at raising the bar for corporate reporting. I look forward to finding out what these changes are, and how organisations can use this platform to challenge themselves for the betterment of not just their own companies, but for the nation at large, as we wish to continue to woo investors to Malaysia.

20. Finally, integrity in business will always be profitable in the long-run. Not only will it help to uphold the important social capital of trust, which is essential towards laying the foundation of rule of law as well as creating an orderly and trustworthy society, it is also good for business. “What you see is what you get” will make Malaysia proud once again that we are no longer a global kleptocracy, but instead a normal democracy taking our rightful place among the civilised community of nations.


21. I look forward to the awards presentation ceremony later this evening. Once again, thank you for all your hard work and commitment in promoting competency, accountability and transparency in the Malaysian corporate sector. This government is a clean government, and we believe that honesty is the best policy.

22. Your commitment will go a long way in building a better Malaysia for everyone.

Thank you.