Welcome address by
Datin Zarinah Anwar
Deputy Chief Executive, Securities Commission

At the Securities Commission Dialogue
with Diplomatic Missions

10 September 2003
Securities Commission

Your Excellencies,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies & Gentlemen,

A very good morning to you.

I would like to welcome all of you to the Securities Commission’s Dialogue with the Diplomatic Missions. From the foreign diplomatic corps, we have with us representatives from five jurisdictions. And from the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange we have Mr. Abdul Hamid Sheikh Mohamed, who is their Chief Financial Officer. I thank you all for taking time off your busy work schedules to attend this dialogue. It is indeed a pleasure to have you with us today at the Securities Commission (SC).

This is an important occasion for the Commission and I would like to begin today’s session by sharing with you our objectives in having this dialogue. We at the Securities Commission have been engaging with the diplomatic corp very regularly. This is the second dialogue for the year-we met some of your colleagues earlier in July to discuss and brief them about developments in the Malaysian capital market. We have also had the pleasure of many heads of missions come to visit the Chairman or myself at the SC to learn more about the SC and the Malaysian capital market. We value these engagement sessions and the relationships we have built with the foreign diplomatic corp along the way. Through these dialogues we hope to reach out to a larger cross-section of the diplomatic community, to provide them with direct information and enhance their understanding of the Malaysian capital market.

Communication is essential for progress and we hope to assist you today through this dialogue to be fully apprised of developments in the Malaysian capital market. We have deliberately kept the size of this gathering small to enable free dialogue among all present. Indeed I am ready to admit that this is indeed for our benefit as much as for yourselves. In the last dialogue, we were able to provide our views on policies applying to the Malaysian capital market and in return we were informed of views and perspectives the foreign community held in relation to us as policy makers and regulators as well as in relation to the capital market as a whole. Your views are important to us as you represent a very important stakeholder group in the continued success of our capital market.

I once read a speech by a colleague of mine who said that globalisation is a network of domestic markets and is as strong as its weakest link. A very true observation. Globalisation has melted away jurisdictional lines and has brought about increasing levels of interaction across traditional geographical, cultural and jurisdictional boundaries, bypassing even the barriers of differing time zones. And so, we cannot run away from the fact that we are now inter-dependent. We need to co-operate, collaborate and share information and experiences to ensure that the global financial market remains stable, effective and efficient.

We are, therefore, here today for three very important reasons. Firstly, understanding our capital market helps you make an assessment of the quality of our market and investments in the country. Secondly, understanding the needs of the community you represent helps us improve our market and our companies. And thirdly, establishing a good relationship between us will provide a foundation for future collaboration and co-operative initiatives among our countries.

You may know that the SC already works very closely with the securities regulators from your countries. We participate actively in the international regulatory and policy-making arena and are involved in the work undertaken in many international fora such as the International Organisation of Securities Commission (IOSCO), ASEAN and APEC. The Chairman of the SC presently Chairs the Asia Pacific Regional Committee and the Islamic Capital Market Task Force of IOSCO. The SC also takes its role in assisting other emerging capital markets very seriously. We have a yearly training session for regulators and policy makers in new and emerging capital markets known as the Emerging Markets Programme. Our next programme will be held in October. So you may see our international role as two-prong-firstly to develop the international financial market into one where smaller markets, such as ours, play an active and relevant role, and secondly to assist emerging markets in developing their markets further, a contribution we feel we can make in removing the weakest link.

We have also continued to enhance bilateral ties with our international regulatory counterparts through entering into Memoranda of Understanding that facilitate mutual co-operation and assistance. To date, the SC has entered into 16 MOUs with our counterparts from Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and Africa.

The SC recognises the importance of active and direct engagement in an effort to strengthen confidence in Malaysia’s capital market. We have conducted and been involved in multiple roadshows abroad, closed-door sessions and one-on-one meetings as well as other forms of engagement with opinion-leaders, investors, critics; etc. over the past years. We have also recently launched a newsletter, titled Capital.My, catering to the information needs of the international investor. You will find a copy of it in your briefing folders.

I will not take any more of your time. I hope that from my introduction you now have a clearer idea of the purpose of today’s event. The SC looks forward to more future engagements with you. It has been a privilege to address you. With that, I have pleasure in inviting Shareena Sheriff, Manager of the International Affairs Department to present today’s briefing to you.