KUALA LUMPUR — February 11, 2019: MCA president Datuk Seri Dr. Wee Ka Siong has fired another shot to cast doubts on Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s status as an accountant, based only on a provisional membership of the Australian Society of Accountants.
According to Wee, such a membership is one of the first steps to take the necessary programme modules and examinations to qualify first as an accountant and then full membership in the Australian society.
Australian-based accountant Melissa Tan corroborated Wee’s arguments, adding that in Australia one needs to accumulate three years of experience and sit for several exams before one can be called a certified accountant.
Said Wee at Facebook : “Therefore a provisional membership is far from being a fully certified chartered accountant or even an accountant. You cannot call yourself using either designation,” adding that neither is Lim a member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) .
Wee’s post was in response to a press conference today by Lim’s political secretary Tony Pua, who produced a membership document as proof of Lim’s purported status as an accountant and warned Wee of a possible lawsuit if he continues to harp on the issue.
Lim is among several Pakatan Harapan ministers whose academic credentials have come under public scrutiny since two weeks ago. He was shoved into the limelight after Malaysians began sharing a screen-grab in social media showing the absence of Lim’s name in the MIA database.
This does tally with details stated at Lim’s website limguaneng.com which claims that he is a chartered Malaysian accountant.
Section 25 (e) of the Accountants Act states that it is a criminal offence for any individual or organisation to call himself an accountant unless he or she is registered with the MIA. The punishment is RM10,000 or a year jail time or both.
In March 2012, Lim, at business forum, recounted how he had only worked at an accounting firm in Malaysian for less than a week before joining politics following his sacking from the firm.
“Since then, there is no evidence that he has ever worked in any other accounting firm nor of him ever having taken the compulsory modules or professional exams needed for him to qualify as a duly certified accountant or chartered accountant,” wrote Wee.