Welcome Speech at Launch of the Malaysian Investor Website
18 February 2002 |   By : YBhg Datuk Ali Abdul Kadir, Chairman, Securities Commission
Launch of the Malaysian Investor Website

Welcome speech

YBhg Datuk Ali Abdul Kadir
Chairman, Securities Commission

18 February 2002
Auditorium, Securities Commission

Honoured guests, students and faculty members, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for including the Securities Commission (SC) into your busy schedules this morning. In particular, I am very pleased to see some students from the universities and colleges here with us today.

This is a significant event, which I am proud to be a part of. Today's launch of the Malaysian Investor Website, www.min.com.my, marks an important step in the SC's continuing efforts to foster a financially literate and educated community in Malaysia, where investors make informed decisions about capital market products and services and identify and avoid scams and schemes.

SC and investor education

Ladies and gentlemen,

Whilst the securities market develops and grows by leaps and bounds, the number of schemes and scams and fraud has also increased. One of the primary objectives of the SC is to protect investors and maintain the integrity of the securities market. As more and more first-time investors turn to the market to help secure their financial future, these objectives are more compelling than ever. Since the SC was set up almost nine years ago, our mandate to ensure the protection of investors has been at the forefront of many of our major initiatives. Through its education programme, the SC has been steadily enhancing the level of investor awareness about the Malaysian capital market. Investor education also compliments the work of the SC in the areas of enforcement, compliance and supervision. Educated and informed investors also play an important role in raising the standard of corporate governance in this country.

The importance of investor education is further encapsulated in the Capital Market Masterplan released a year ago. We firmly believe that providing individuals with the education they need to become more informed about the capital market is an important responsibility and we mean to deliver on this. The SC wants to enhance the understanding of ordinary Malaysians about opportunities to invest, to build wealth, to save for education and retirement, in other words, to use the capital market as a channel to make their money work for them. We want to demystify the world of investments, and the jargons that too often obscure it. We also want to help ensure that developing realistic market expectations is an essential component of the investing process.

Through its training arm, the Securities Industry Development Centre or SIDC, the SC will intensify its investor awareness and outreach programmes to fulfil its mandate of ensuring investor protection. Our ultimate objective is for the Malaysian investing community to be continuously aware of the need to be informed, educated and active by being alert to what is going on in the market place, knowledgeable about their rights and obligations as shareholders, and to be savvy about the products and services they invest in.

New dimensions in investor education

Ladies and gentlemen,

The capital market today is a far more demanding and complex place than it was ten, fifteen years ago. This is especially so with the emergence of newer and more sophisticated information and communication technology or ICT. Technology has enabled on-line trading, not only of goods, but also of services. Financial transactions can now take place in milliseconds, and just by clicking the mouse.

For the investor, the ICT revolution has brought with it a proliferation of choices, whether it is how and where you invest or how and where you shop. In the financial world, investors wanting to plan for their retirement, their financial future or to manage their wealth have many tools and an array of products and services to chose from, some complicated and complex, some seemingly simple. Those who are new to the investing scene can often be overwhelmed by these choices. As the Internet is being utilised by companies and individual to sell products and services on-line, regulators all over the world are also fast catching up to the idea that the Internet can become an effective and efficient way for them to 'sell' investor education.

In Malaysia, while it is true that Internet hosting is still relatively low, its use especially among the young is growing, and it is response to this growth that the SIDC has added the Internet as part of its delivery mechanisms for investor education. In doing this, we would like to assure those that still prefer to get their information about investing from traditional methods, that the SIDC will continue to deliver training and education among others via the print and radio media, through road shows, exhibitions and face-to-face seminars and workshops.

The Malaysian Investor website

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Malaysian Investor Website, www.min.com.my launched today is a website tailored for the general public. Anyone - young or old, housewives or students, young professionals or retirees - can learn and understand the intricacies of the securities market and be on the way to be an informed investor. As many young adult Malaysians are ICT savvy, we especially target the website to them. These are people who are starting out in their careers, and therefore keen to find out more about ways to build a secure financial future. We are also targeting the teenage population and to inculcate in them the importance of saving for their future. Having that in mind, a part of the www.min.com.my is filled with interactive games and articles specially dedicated for the younger generation, and we hope that you find these interesting as well as educational. An interesting point to note is that this website also has a mirror site in Bahasa Malaysia called Pelabur Malaysia, probably the first of its kind in this country.

Of course www.min.com.my is not the ultimate solution to all your questions on investing. What we hope to do is to instil interest, create awareness, and give you a broad sweep of knowledge, tools and resources to help answer some of your financial planning questions. We hope it will at least whet your appetite and make you want to learn more about the intricacies of investing in the capital market. This will no doubt help you when you need to make choices about your investments.

An informed investor is a wise investor

Ladies and gentlemen,

Awareness through education we believe is one of the best defences against fraud and abusive practices. As the proverb goes, prevention is better than cure. Education by its very nature is a continuous process, and thus it is the responsibility of every investor to continue building their knowledge base not only to benefit from the opportunities that are available in the capital market but perhaps more importantly, to ensure that they avoid being cheated.

This website will not make one a savvy investor overnight. At the end of the day, investors must use the information they have at their disposal, including information from the website, to make their own decisions. The SC, as the regulator of the capital market makes sure that the market operates within a framework that is intended to facilitate both the investor and the issuer/fund-raiser. It ensures that everyone plays by the rules, but it cannot be responsible for bad investment decisions made by individuals. The SC will however, enforce the securities laws to ensure proper behaviour by the market professionals.

To the members of the media here today, we would like to encourage you to use the powerful tool at your disposal to help inculcate the habits of savings amongst the young, and to promote financial literacy in this country through education.

Thank you.

I am very pleased to officially launch the Malaysian Investor web site.
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