Wednesday, May 19, 2010

" Gearing for Economic Resurgence ". 6th WIEF-KL, Attended!

1) WIEF - World Islamic Economic Forum
2) 6th WIEF 2010, Kuala Lumpur

Judging by the attendance of Presidents(Indonesia,Kosovo, Maldives and Senegal), Prime Ministers( Bangladesh and Malaysia )and the Sultan of Brunei in addition to the various facets of the plenary and parallel sessions available, the 6th WIEF have certainly evolved into a premier world-class economic forum for the international muslim community.

In Islamic Banking & Finance there seems to be a concerted effort and common mantra in calling for harmonisation of products and standards for IF products. Tun Musa Hitam started the ball rolling even before WIEF proper.

This is similar to the clarion call by most speakers be they from UK or Malaysia in the Inaugural SC-OCIS,UK Forum I'd attended in March 2010 at the Securities Commission.

Whilst I'm not opposing to the frequent calls for harmonisation, I have to disagree on how it is to be done. Why can't harmonisation be done in another I strongly believe in the "Unity in Diversity" idea. Why do Muslim countries have to "gear" their products in accordance to the oil-rich gulf countries edicts!!?? There is no one size fits all solution.

For example, an IBF Compliance Certification for products and services offered can be introduced similar to a halal certificate for food and cosmetics products. The compliance certification will then indicate whether the pertinent IBF product is in compliance with the teachings of Sunnah and any or all of the 4 mazhabs(Syafie, Maliki, Hanafi & Hambali). Wheteher the IBF product is in compliance with the edicts of Shiah will also be indicated. When the IBF Compliance Certification is introduced, then sophisticated Muslim investors can decide as to whether they want to invest in a particular IBF product or not whilst at the same time leaving the room for IBF innovation open for further advancement.

Hence, IBF products/contracts popular in certain countries or regions like the Al-Bai' Bithaman Ajil (BBA) can still be marketed and securitised as they appeal to a niche set of Muslim investors altogether. In addition, the BBA can take its place as a product/contract which helps in the asset-building process of an Islamic financial institution. I hope, the MIFC can take-up this proposal and introduce it as part of their capacity building initiatives.......SOON!


On an end note, I will like to thank Iskandar Development Region authorities for the kind invitation extended to me to attend the 6th WIEF in KL.

Friday, May 14, 2010


QS ASIAN UNI Rankings 2010
The Star

Again,One of Malaysia's if not the world's top university in Islamic finance i.e INCEIF were NOT included in the recent QS Asian Universities Rankings 2010.

In October 2009, I'd commented on the need for a WORLD UNIVERSITIES RANKING for Universities/Institutes offering IF training and programmes .

The inclusion of my alma matter i.e. IIUM is a welcomed relief.

Islamic Finance is one of the few areas where Malaysia have a Comparative Advantage compared to the rest of the world.

    Having confidence in its Islamic Banking system, BNM via MIFC should now further consolidate its first-mover advantage by introducing and/or sponsoring a World universities/Institutions rankings for IF. Am sure the 2 named universities...if not other local universities will feature in the top 50 IF institutions if such a ranking were introduced.

    BNM & MIFC, please expedite the Rankings for IF Universities and Institutes, less the advantage will be lost


    Author's comments re IF rankings at the Times Higher Education website. Refer:-

    comment under the name of "Amirul HM" on 21st October 2009.