Closing Address By Puan Shila Dorai Raj Chief Executive Officer Of The Malaysia Competition Commission

Closing Address by Puan Shila Dorai Raj Chief Executive Officer of the
Malaysia Competition Commission
1st MyCC Competition Law Conference – New Standards for Business in Malaysia
25-26 September 2013, KLCC, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 26 Sep 2013

1st MyCC Competition Law Conference – New Standards for Business in Malaysia
25-26 September 2013, KLCC, Kuala Lumpur

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Do allow me to begin by extending my heartfelt gratitude to our special guest, the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister, who graced this occasion with his presence and lent his stature for the launch of our Compliance Guidelines. My deep appreciation also goes out to all the invited speakers who never hesitated in agreeing to attend when I approached them on their availability to speak at this inaugural conference many months ago.

I am confident that you will agree with me that it has been an extremely enlightening 2 days and much knowledge and expertise has been imparted from our esteemed speakers both foreign and local. We do hope that all of the participants had the opportunity to network with our speakers. We deliberately carefully chose the speakers based on their expertise to enable participants to network with them and narrow the knowledge gap to some extent on some of the more complicated issues.

The discussions have managed to narrow in on many of the relevant issues in competition law and importantly for Malaysia as it is in the throes of serious implementation of this law. There has been many valuable take away for us, the MyCC in particular, and I have no doubt for most of you present here as well. The vital insights and observations exchanged here today have surely opened your minds to a whole set of new questions which would need more than these two days to reach answers.

The theme of the conference, “New Standards for Business in Malaysia”, was carefully chosen and as you would have noticed the sessions made a serious attempt to cover a strong variety of topics that touched on many pertinent issues. This was deliberately done with the emphasis being drawn from the strategic priorities for the MyCC in the next few years and also on the constant questions being asked on the various topics that we discussed over the last two days. As you may have come to realise, there isn’t always one standard answer or solution to competition issues, economies and markets differ from one country to another. But what I can say for sure is that while the issues remain

If I were asked to summarise these two days, I would say this:-

We have seen the evolution of competition law in Malaysia from its stages of infancy to it being actively enforced and been given an insight into how other jurisdictions have grappled with varied issues in their respective administration of this law.

The audience has also been exposed to the ill effects of bid-rigging in government procurement and the harm it poses to our economy. It has also heard both sides of the argument for vertical agreements, the debate on professional bodies being allowed to set fees for services and how SME’s need not see competition law as a burden but as tool to protect their own interests.

We all have also had the opportunity to be introduced to the complexities of vertical agreements in relation to distribution agreements and the consequences of resale price maintenance and the ever present conflicts between competition law and intellectual property rights. Most importantly we have seen how businesses themselves can encourage competitive environments that benefit the end consumer by putting in place competition compliance programmes in their own organisations

I would draw a parallel the proceedings of this conference and my experience with the MyCC since is establishment two and a half years ago. As every session has brought to light different facets of competition law and its own set of complexities, every day with the Commission has brought about new lessons and the ultimate lesson that there is still so much to be learnt

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

When we had the Deputy Prime Minister with us yesterday. He advised us of the following:-

  1. ​Engage a softer approach especially towards SMEs and the guilds or association as they have
    been in cartel like practices since the time of Adam.
  2. ​Advise the government where policies are going against the spirit of competition
  3. ​And try not to reach the standards of the developed country fast as we need to build the culture and allow for maturity of the law.

The compliance guideline launched yesterday serves as a useful tool for businesses. What we are trying to do as a Commission is to close the gap between the businesses and the MyCC and help them understand in simple language the obligations they have where the Competition Act 2010 is concerned. This guideline will be translated into three other language, i.e. the national language, Mandarin and Tamil.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

As we heard, there isn’t a single model for compliance strategies, or rather no one size fits all solution, as all businesses vary significantly due to their size and nature of business. We also know that companies must comply with many laws and regulations thus competition compliance efforts will necessarily form a part of a wider compliance programme. But because it has been proven that competition compliance programmes have the greatest potential in preventing and uncovering hard core cartels, putting one in place will mark a positive step towards embracing this new era of a competition law regime.

It also reflects a commitment to and an adoption of a culture of compliance. A top down commitment by managements on this end is integral in ensuring a successful competition compliance programme.

In closing, I must say this. It is indeed satisfying to have observed that the conference overall has been well attended. It could only mean one thing, the quality of the invited speakers as well as the line up of interesting topics that were discussed. I would like to express my sincere thanks to my conference secretariat from the MyCC Strategic Planning and International Affairs Division secretariat for showing their deep commitment in putting this conference together. My appreciation also goes out to all staff at the MyCC and the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism for lending a helping hand. Lastly my Chairman, Tan Sri Dato Seri Siti Siti Norma Yaakob for her trademark quiet yet steady support for us and the rest of the Commission members for their invaluable contributions in making this conference a success.

With that, thank you.