By Susan Loone
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng related a sob-story today on how he was a “failed accountant” although he graduated in economics and accounting in Australia.
Lim (right) said it was difficult for him to get an auditing post in a ‘Big 8’ accounting firm in 1984, as compared to his classmates.
He was delighted that after months of failed interviews with top accounting firms he finally landed a position with a ‘Big 8’ firm.
“However, my delight was short-lived as I was unceremoniously sacked without any professional reason after less than a week in the job, when they found out who my father was,” he said in his speech to 150 accountants affiliated to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in Penang.
“For some of you who may not know, I am the son of the DAP leader Lim Kit Siang,” he said at the business forum ‘Finance Transformation: Expert Insights on Shared Services and Outsourcing’.
Lim said following his sacking, “I was obviously deemed not qualified to be an accountant as I was feared to share my father’s unhealthy passion for integrity, transparency, full disclosure as well as giving a fair and true view.”
This, he added, definitely disqualified him as an accountant with the ‘Big 8’ firms as the 1980s was a time of financial hanky-panky and cover-ups such as the scandal of massive Bank Bumiputra losses.
“Needless to say, I was devastated when I found out I could not get a job as an accountant,” said the DAP secretary general.
“But all’s well that ends well. After failing to make the cut as an accountant, I had no choice but to join politics and became the chief minister,” he added, with applause from the crowd.
Lim, who is also Bagan MP, then congratulated the accountants for making the grade, adding “if you do not make the grade, do not despair”.
“You can always be like me and hope to become Penang chief minister.” – Mkini