KUCHING: As of 31 January last year, the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) has noted that there are only 1,848 qualified accountants in Sarawak.
Second Minister of Finance Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh who revealed this said that out of that number 571 (30.9 percent) are members of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
“A study in 2010 estimated that based on the manpower requirement for Sarawak Corridor Of Renewable Energy (SCORE), Sarawak would require a significant amount of accounting technicians and professionals by 2030.
“We would need 6,620 at degree or professional level, 14,720 at diploma level, and 24,970 at certificate level.
“To meet these numbers, we need institutions of higher learning like University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) and Kolej Sunway Kuching to continue to produce more high-quality, industry-relevant accounting graduates,” he said.
Wong said this during the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between UCTS and Kolej Sunway Kuching which was held at Riverside Majestic Hotel here yesterday.
Wong, who is also UCTS chairman, said that by signing the MoU with Kolej Sunway Kuching, UCTS is reinforcing its commitment to facilitate students’ access to an affordable world-class education.
“I hope that today’s collaborative arrangement will help produce more accountants for Sarawak and provide local students with more opportunities to complete a worldwide and internationally recognised professional accounting qualification locally at an ideal cost,” he said.
Meawhile, Kolej Sunway Kuching CEO Joseph Lim said that he sees great potential for his students to pursue undergraduate degree programmes at UCTS once they had completed their diploma at Kolej Sunway Kuching.
“Our college remains committed to promoting ACCA as the qualification offers students the fastest and most economical route to becoming a professional accountant.
“In the weeks and months to come, I look forward to working with UCTS to stimulate interest among UCTS undergraduates to pursue accountancy and finance as a career and to come onto the ACCA programme,” said Lim.
The MoU will see the two institutions collaborate on two fronts, with the first being Kolej Sunway Kuching’s Diploma in Accounting graduates being offered an articulation pathway into Year 2 of the Bachelor of Accountancy (Hons) programme at UCTS.
The second will be Kolej Sunway Kuching offering and preparing UCTS students for the ACCA Professional Qualification.
Also present at the event were Sunway Group Exco Member Puan Sri Datin Seri Dr Susan Cheah, UCTS Vice-Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Abdul Hakim Juri, and UCTS Dean of School of Business and Management Associate Prof Dr Mohd Zainal Munshid Harun.