Be brave in raising red flags, Bursa chief tells CFOs

13 Jun 2019 / 19:13 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Chief financial officers (CFOs) should be brave enough to voice out about any wrongdoings in a company, Bursa Malaysia Bhd chairman Datuk Shireen Ann Zaharah Muhiudeen (pix) said today.

The CFOs according to her, need to be the gatekeepers of their company to ensure transparency and instil investors’ confidence into the industries and capital markets.

“Governance is the baseline of transparency. If you are transparent in your processes, people will feel confident and once you have confidence, people will reinvest, whether it is long term, foreign direct investments (FDIs) or through equity markets. That is what we want.

“If CFOs are tough and are saying no, or if they see red flags, they must escalate it. It cannot be a situation where CFOs are frightened to say anything... even auditors are so scared,“ she told reporters after delivering her keynote address at the CFO Conference 2019.

Shireen also stressed that it was important for everyone to come together as a group to empower each other to stand out and became stronger.

“When we are stronger, then we can get to a platform where people know that the CFOs are not going to tolerate nonsense, not going to tolerate questions of contracts and that they are going to say things that doesn’t look right... and they will get legal counsel. These are all important attributes of a CFO,“ said Shireen.

On bringing in more investors into the country, the Bursa chairman said the recent bad press on the country needs to stop.

She urged companies to start talking about the good reputation that Malaysia possesses.

“Malaysia is a country that people should invest in. We shouldn’t be looked upon the way we have been looked up of late. That needs to change. We don’t deserve that.

“We are a country that have people with great skills, a lot of resources and good institutions,“ she said.

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