Phantasmagoric Accounting in Malaysia: A Case Study of ‘The Triumph of Hope over Experience’?
With the aim of detailing issues and problems that confronted accounting in Malaysia during the forty year period beginning from independence in 1957 and ending just before the onset of the Asian Financial Crisis 1997-98 and where the data came in the form of published and unpublished documents and interview findings, the study has found that there were confusion over the identity of the accounting bodies the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) and the Malaysian Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA), accountants shortage, the presence of bogus accountants, disciplinary quagmire and accounting standards confusion. To explain the goings-on, the view of accounting as a social practice imbedded in a socio-historical context is taken up. This leads to the conclusion that the elite group had played quite an important role in shaping accounting in Malaysia to be nothing more than the repeated case of ‘the triumph of hope over experience’. Their (mis)conduct is apparent in regard to the MIA being inactive for two decades, the brouhaha surrounding goodwill accounting standards and the formation of the Malaysian Accounting Standards Board (MASB).
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