Welcome address by

Datuk Ali Abdul Kadir
Chairman, Securities Commission
At the Securities Commission Dialogue
with the Diplomatic Missions
14 July 2003
Conference Hall, Securities Commission

Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Mustapa Mohamed, Executive Director, National Economic Action Council,
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 inaugural Dialogue with the Diplomatic Missions. This is indeed an important occasion for the Commission. Perhaps, to begin with, I would like to share with you our objectives in having this dialogue. We at the Securities Commission have been engaging with the diplomatic corp very regularly. I have had many of you here come to visit the SC to learn more about the SC and the capital market. We value these engagement sessions. However, we feel it is timely that we begin to reach out to a larger cross-section of the diplomatic community. The Securities Commission feels that you are a very important stakeholder group and wish to work towards having a relationship where we share information, thoughts and opinions on matters that affect us both. Communication is most important towards progress and we hope to assist you today to be fully apprised of developments in the Malaysian capital market. And so, here we are today.

I am happy to welcome to the Securities Commission representatives from 11 High Commissions and Embassies from Asia Pacific, North and South America, Africa and Europe. I thank you all for taking time off your busy work schedules to attend this dialogue. It is indeed an honor and pleasure to have you with us today at the Securities Commission.

I shall not wax lyrical about the impact of technology on globalisation, integration and connectivity of markets. I am sure that this is an issue which is fully appreciated by this audience. Suffice to say that the impact of globalisation is prominently felt in the financial world. We have witnessed an increasing tendency for national markets to have cross-border linkages. We have also seen the successful establishment of multi-national exchanges and clearing institutions. Admittedly, globalisation and advances in communication and technologies have brought about increasing levels of interaction across traditional geographical, cultural and jurisdictional boundaries. Even national exchanges no longer exist nor operate in isolation.

What is perhaps most important is that our companies and investors are no longer restricted by geographical boundaries either. And we feel that this is one area where the SC can add value. We are here today for two very important reasons. Understanding our capital market helps you make an assessment of the quality of our market and investments in the country. Understanding the needs of your stakeholders helps us improve our market and our companies. We believe that the diplomatic corp is an important conduit in facilitating this understanding and I hope that we will be able to have an open and frank discussion today for our shared benefit. We also hope that strengthening relations with the diplomatic corp will allow for a good foundation for future collaboration and co-operative initiatives among our countries.

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. I presently Chair the Asia Pacific Regional Committee and the Islamic Capital Market Task Force of IOSCO. Through these fora, among others, the SC has expanded its international ties with the international regulatory community in areas of standards formulation, research and release of international reports, technical assistance and exchange of information, particularly in the area of enforcement of market transgressions.

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

The SC recognizes the importance of active and direct engagement with major participants in an effort to strengthen confidence in Malaysia’s capital market and we have sought to approach this area in a wholistic manner. In the interests of ensuring accurate communication and promotion of the Malaysian capital market, we have either conducted or been involved in multiple roadshows abroad, closed-door sessions and one on one meetings as well as other forms engagement with stakeholders and opinion-leaders 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 am pleased to say that these efforts have borne fruit and our efforts are increasingly being recognized. CLSA’s 2002 Report on Corporate Governance gave Malaysia improved scores across all aspects of corporate governance including enforcement, political/regulatory environment, adoption of international accounting standards and corporate governance culture. McKinsey’s survey of 188 emerging markets companies – gave Malaysia the highest score for transparency among six emerging markets and second highest for Board oversight. ABN Amro in May 2002 mentioned that “Apart from Korea, Malaysia could be the best regulated and most transparent market in Asia right now.”

I hope we will have a productive discussion today. We are honoured to have with us today to have the Executive Director of the National Economic Action Council to address us. The SC looks forward to more future engagements with you. It has been a privilege to address you today. With that, I would like to invite Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Mustapa Mohamed to present his special address – Yang Berbahagia Dato’.