The definition of ‘unprofessional conduct’ is explained within the purview of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (Disciplinary) (No.2) Rules 2002 [‘the Disciplinary Rules’] (article published on 23 April 2023). Once a member is found to be guilty of unprofessional conduct, the Disciplinary Committee (‘DC’) shall have the powers to impose any one or any combination of the disciplinary punishments specified under Rule 18(3) of the Disciplinary Rules. The punishments that the DC can impose are as follows:
Rule 18(3) – For the purpose of subrules (1) and (2), the Disciplinary Committee shall have the power to impose any one or any combination of the following disciplinary punishment:
- Subject to the provisions of subrule (4), order the name of the member to be removed from the register and he shall cease to be a member of the Institute;
- Subject to the provisions of subrule (4), suspend the member for a period not exceeding three years;
- Order the practicing certificate of the member to be cancelled;
- Impose upon the member a fine not exceeding five thousand ringgit;
- Order the member to be admonished, censured or reprimanded;
- Order the member to pay the Institute such sum it deems fit and reasonable in respect of costs and expenses of and incidental to any disciplinary hearing before the DC and any investigation conducted by the Investigation Committee; or
- Order the member to attend a course of instruction approved by the Disciplinary Committee for a period of time to be determined by the Disciplinary Committee.
Briefly, the punishments are explained below:-
- Member is removed from the Register and no longer a member of the Institute.
- Member shall surrender his certificate of membership or practicing certificate, as the case may be, to the Registrar within 14 days from the date of the notification of such removal.¹
- Member may reapply for readmission after expiration of five (5) years after removal and in considering an application, Council shall exercise its discretion and the Council’s decision shall be final².
- Member is suspended for a specific period not exceeding three (3) years.
- Member shall continue to pay all fees that are due and payable during the suspension period. However, a member shall cease to enjoy any benefits conferred by the Institute during suspension period and it shall immediately be restored at the expiry of the suspension period³.
- Member shall surrender his certificate of membership or practicing certificate, as the case may be, to the Registrar within 14 days from the date of the notification of such suspension.¹
c. Practicing Certificate to be Cancelled
- Member’s practicing certificate issued by the Institute will be cancelled for a period of time and is not allowed to provide any public practice services as defined in Rule 2 of the MIA (Membership and Council) Rules 2001.
- Member shall surrender his certificate of membership or practicing certificate, as the case may be, to the Registrar within 14 days from the date of the notification of such cancellation.¹
e. Admonish, Censure or Reprimand
- A form of warning issued in writing.
f. Costs & Expenses
- The DC is empowered to impose all costs and expenses of and incidental to any disciplinary hearing and the investigation conducted by the Investigation Committee (‘IC’).
g. Attend Course of Instruction
- Member is ordered to attend the relevant courses for learning and improvement purposes.
Generally, each case before the DC is distinct and when imposing punishment(s), the DC will decide based on its own facts and circumstances of the case. In considering the nature of punishment to impose, the DC will also consider the following (these lists are not exhaustive):
Once the DC imposes the appropriate punishments and if the decision against the member has taken effect, the DC shall proceed to publish the decision and in that, the name of the member will be published⁴.
¹ Please see Rule 22 of the MIA (Disciplinary) Rules 2002
² Please see Rule 23 of the MIA (Disciplinary) Rules 2002
³ Please see Rule 20 and Rule 21 of the MIA (Disciplinary) Rules 2022
⁴ Please see Rule 30 of the MIA (Disciplinary) Rules 2002