Opening Address at the SIDC Business Foresight Forum 2022

Speaker: Dato’ Seri Dr. Awang Adek Hussin, Chairman, Securities Commission Malaysia
Location:  SIDC Business Foresight Forum 2022
Delivered: 19 October 2022

Note: This is the speech as drafted and may differ from the delivered version


Malaysia must invest in knowledge, innovation, talent, and sustainability as it transitions to a high-income, high-value-added economy. This is important given the uncertain environment, said SC Chairman Dato' Seri Dr. Awang Adek Hussin today at the SIDC Business Foresight Forum 2022. Here are highlights from his opening address:

  • For the SC, facilitating digital adoption among new entrants to the capital market industry is a serious responsibility, but it must not come at the expense of market integrity.
  • Capital market intermediaries must ensure system resilience and accountability to maintain investor confidence in online platforms and market access points.
  • The SC is working with intermediaries and fintech providers to improve market efficiency through the use of RegTech and SupTech tools.
  • To address the shortage of skilled capital market resources, the SC will launch a multi-year Capital Market Graduate Programme to enhance the marketability of up to 9,000 Malaysian graduates.
  • To improve diversity and inclusion at all levels of organisations, including boardrooms, a structured training programme for female talent will be developed, with the cooperation of the MoF, the SC and market stakeholders.
  • New product structures and innovations in the capital market, such as the SRI-Linked Sukuk Framework, can support the green and sustainable transition of the nation.


Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

  1. Salam sejahtera dan selamat pagi.

  2. Terima kasih kepada pihak SIDC atas jemputan untuk menyampaikan ucapan pembukaan. Tema forum tahun ini yang menyeru perniagaan meningkatkan inovasi bukan sahaja penting untuk kemampanan syarikat, malah ianya amat diperlukan untuk meningkatkan daya saing ekonomi. Pencapaian tersebut juga akan mendorong pertumbuhan masa depan negara.

Market-based Budget Measures to Support Innovation

Esteemed speakers, ladies and gentlemen,

  1. In transitioning to a high income, high value-added economy; knowledge, innovation, talent and sustainability are essential. It is perhaps no coincidence, that these elements feature prominently in Budget 2023, which aims to strengthen recovery, facilitate reforms and reinforce resilience.

  2. This is especially important, given the uncertain global environment that we are in today. Worldwide, we are faced with immediate challenges of persistent inflation, volatile and tightening financial conditions, and geopolitical conflicts. For many economies, recession is increasingly at their doorstep. This is on top of the longer-term challenge of climate change, as well as military and political conflicts around the globe.

  3. Fortunately, Malaysia is expected to register respectable growth next year, thanks to our strong economic fundamentals. GDP growth projected to be in the region of 4 to 5 percent in 2023. Given the challenging external environment, we must intensify efforts to uplift the economy to ensure sustainable growth moving forward.

  4. Among others, this calls for greater financing of technology and innovative solutions. Given the risk inherent in such investments, it will increasingly fall on the private sector to source suitable funding mechanisms.


Capital Market Digitisation Push

Ladies and gentlemen,

  1. New innovations and technologies typically disrupt the status quo. They are, however, important tools for progress. Therefore, the entry of new players into our capital market and industry, digital adoption is a responsibility that the SC does not take lightly.

  2. Given growing demand for online products and services, progressive early steps have ensured relevant regulations and safeguards, including for trading of digital assets in Malaysia, were developed. Since 2015, we have registered 10 equity crowdfunding operators, 11 peer-to-peer financing platforms, four digital asset exchanges and two initial exchange offering operators, to provide a variety of alternative fund raising and investment products.

  3. As a result of operational disruptions during the pandemic, digitisation of conventional market segments has also picked up. Existing intermediaries have stepped up their digital offerings, alongside new entrants, particularly in the provision of digital investment management services.

  4. However, this digital push cannot be at the expense of market integrity. It is paramount that continued investor confidence in online platforms and market access points, be preserved. Therefore, we expect intermediaries to practice high standards of accountability, as well as to take appropriate measures to ensure the resilience of their systems.

  5. Concurrently, the SC will continue to closely monitor market activities and transactions. From a reporting and supervisory standpoint, there exists opportunities for increased use of technology. Moving forward, we intend to work together with intermediaries and fintech providers to employ Regulatory Technology (RegTech), as well as Supervisory Technology (SupTech) tools, towards enhancing market efficiencies.


Talent and Sustainability Initiatives also Important

Ladies and gentlemen,

  1. An underappreciated driver essential for corporate sustainability is people. Tomorrow’s business demands will require new skills and capabilities, to navigate an increasingly complex environment.

  2. A pressing concern for Corporate Malaysia is talent retention. The Critical Skills Monitoring Committee, led by TalentCorp, highlighted that the most critical and hard-to-fill skilled positions are those at the managerial and professional levels. Skilled workers for green and other fast-growing industries are also in demand. Towards this end, we welcome initiatives to ensure professional excellence and standards, such as the development of Compliance and ESG certifications.

  3. Unfortunately, the domestic capital market also suffers from a shortage of skilled resources. A holistic talent pipeline is sorely needed. As announced in Budget 2023, the SC will introduce a multi-year Capital Market Graduate Programme to enhance the marketability of up to 9,000 young Malaysian graduates within the domestic capital market. An attractive talent pool will raise awareness of industry career opportunities, and strengthen the long-term sustainability of our intermediaries.

  4. In addition, a structured training programme for women talent will be devised with the cooperation of the Ministry of Finance, the SC and market stakeholders. This will help enhance diversity and inclusiveness at all levels of the organisation, including boardrooms.

  5. In building future-ready and sustainable businesses, boards and management must also ‘walk-the-talk’ to integrate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices into all aspects of the business. Failure to do so may impact bottomlines in the short-term but will ultimately cost the company its long-term sustainability.

  6. Some of our listed companies already have had restrictions placed on their businesses for disregarding worker welfare. The sustainability demands of global business partners, as well as national governments, will only grow louder. Malaysian companies must take these demands seriously or risk losing future business opportunities.

  7. At the global level, the International Sustainability Standards Board or ISSB is working hard towards creating a baseline for consistent sustainability-related and climate-related disclosures. This will certainly plant sustainability deep into the corporate DNA. And we have no choice but to take a pragmatic approach to adopting these disclosure standards and adapting to suit the local environment.

  8. Domestically, the recently launched National Energy Policy, alongside the commitments outlined in the Budget, reiterates the government’s goal to be a carbon neutral nation. National policies will be directed at encouraging greater innovation around renewable energy, new energy sources, power connectivity and carbon market instruments.

  9. The capital market stands ready to support this green and sustainable transition with new product structures and innovations. In June this year, the SC introduced the Sustainable and Responsible Investment linked Sukuk Framework. The intention is to facilitate fundraising to address sustainability concerns. Additionally, this framework is meant to encourage further market innovation to support the transition to a net-zero economy. This is just one of the efforts by the SC recently. Many more initiatives will be introduced going forward.


Ladies and gentlemen,

  1. Innovation provides the opportunity for us to find new answers and better solutions to overcome challenges. It should be the lifeblood of Malaysian corporates.

  2. In building sustainable businesses of the future, we need to grab the opportunities, or risk losing out. I have no doubt that there are meaningful insights to be gained from conversations at this forum. Let us build tomorrow’s businesses today.

Thank you

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