Monday, December 26, 2011

of Shadow Play...Proxy Battles and One's Ego!!!

The last Quarter of 2011 was an interesting one from this Blog's Weltanschauung!
Ever since, a Content Advisory mandate for an Islamic Finance programme were accepted by AHM CREATES for a media company...members of the IF industry would just divulge more info to a certain Consultant Producer than what is normally revealed during "normal" conversation.

In November, the 5th International Islamic Capital Market Forum was held at Lanai Kijang, KL. What was interesting was the wordings in the Forum's flyers - "....., where much of its product structures essentially replicates that of conventional finance. These structures have been based on debt-based contracts and leverage; and are further exposed to the fractional reserve banking system. ........"

Read 2nd Page, 4th Para:-

To the uninitiated, Islamic Finance purists had slowly but surely over the years put forward the argument that debt-based contracts is NOT the way forward for IF but rather equity-based contracts. The purists had also indicated that Fractional Reserve Banking is " BACKDOOR RIBA" !!!

A week later, the Tun Ismail Ali Chair Public Lecture was held at Sasana Kijang, KL. The topic for the lecture was "Conceptual & Analytical Issues on IF from the Perspective of Conventional Economic ".

Not mincing his words, Prof.Emeritus Ajit Singh said during the Press Conference - " is difficult to differentiate between speculative and non-speculative elements in the share market. Hence, close down the market(s) and let the banks step in......."

It might just be a coincidence and critics would accuse the writer of making a mountain out of a mole hill BUT, to the keen observer....this academic banter sure sounds like "shadow play" between the regulators. Add to the grapevines that representations have been made to the powers that be to have a nominee from the Central Bank to head the SC once the existing Chairman's tenure is over and one can see why the fireplace is starting to smoke!!!

On another matter, it's sad that someone's ego gets in the way of propagating Islamic Finance and ultimately Islam. This was what happened when a person of authority cancelled an interview which was supposed to publicise the respective institution Islamic Finance courses and ultimately Islam itself!

Friday, November 11, 2011

"RISK-SHARING" - 5th International Islamic Capital Market Forum

In November, the 5th International Islamic Capital Market Forum was held at Lanai Kijang, KL. The 5th IICM Forum is organised by the Securities Commission of Malaysia (SC).

What was interesting was the wordings in the Forum's flyers - "....., where much of its product structures essentially replicates that of conventional finance. These structures have been based on debt-based contracts and leverage; and are further exposed to the fractional reserve banking system. ........"

Read 2nd Page, 4th Para:-

What was interesting about the theme this time around was the fact that risk-sharing and risk-sharing contracts like Al-Mudhrabah or, Al-Musyarakah is given prominence as opposed to numerous times where debt or assets-based products like the Sukuk is normally in the limelight.

This blog would like to put on record our appreciation to the Islamic Capital Market(ICM) Unit of the Securities Commission of Malaysia for the kind invitation to attend and cover the event.

Syukran as well to Dr. Abbas Mirakhor, Prof.Aslam from IIUM and Bro.Omar Sheikh of RHT Partners, Dubai for kindly consenting to be interviewed.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


UPDATE: 25/10/2012 - Soalan mengenai perkara ini Akan dikemukakan semasa sesi pagi acara HIKMAH pada hari Ahad, 4/11/2012.

( BENDERA, Negeri-Negeri Melayu Bersekutu. 1894/95 )

( JATA, Negeri-Negeri Melayu Bersekutu )

54 Tahun MALAYSIA Merdeka!
Juga GENAP 500 Tahun EMPAYAR MELAYU MELAKA tumbang!!

Amat Gembira TanahairKU Sudah MERDEKA!

Akan Tetapi "MINDA" kita masih diJAJAH melalui instrumen Bekas Penjajah seperti "PERLEMBAGAAN", "MATAWANG KERTAS", "TAULIAH" dll

Saya tergerak menulis pandangan saya mengenai catatan tertera di atas setelah ada rakan taulan yang meminta saya mengutarakan logika saya yang telah saya ketengahkan melalui "fb wall" saya sempena "fb post" pada hari Merdeka yang ke 54.

Secara dasarnya, FITRAH Orang ISLAM (dari Zaman Nabi Muhammad S.A.W.) dan Orang MELAYU (dari Zaman Empayar Melaka) adalah orang Berniaga / ENTREPRENEURs.

Hujah yang selalu digembar-gemburkan oleh penulis British / Barat yang kononnya Penjajahan telah menyebabkan melayu (dengan izin) "to be a better farmer or fisherman" sebenarnya adalah satu tipu daya atau "smokescreen" untuk memperkotak-katikkan bangsa Melayu agar mereka terhutang budi dengan penjajah sekaligus melupakan fitrah kita adalah "ORANG BERNIAGA".

Pada hemah saya, Penjajah telah "Influence" Perangka Perlembagaan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu (sebelum digubal kepada Persekutuan Malaysia pada tahun 1963) agar hal-hal berkaitan Jual-Beli termaktub di bawah bidangKUASA "Federal List"...walhal 9/10 rezeki adalah dari urusan Jual-Beli atau Perniagaan.

Perlembagaan Persekutuan membezakan antara "FEDERAL" List dan "STATE" List. Islam dan hal-hal berkaitan Islam telah diletakkan dibawah bidangKUASA negeri atau "State List". Artikel 73-79 Perlembagaan dibawah tajuk "LEGISLATIVE POWERS" telah menetapkan perbedaan antara "FEDERAL List (List I)", "STATE List (List II)" dan "CONCURRENT List (List III)".

Justeru itu, saya ingin bertanya - kenapa SKIM PERBANKAN ISLAM diKAWALSELIA oleh Kerajaan Persekutuan Malaysia(Federal Government). Bukankah "ISLAM" termaktub dibawah bidangKUASA kerajaan negeri-negeri Melayu yang berdaulat?

Waima dengan penerimaan Perlembagaan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu pada 1957, saya dapat merumuskan - justeru itu juga Penjajah telah menanam unsur sekularisma tanpa disedari Perangka Perlembagaan dan "meremehkan" Islam kepada hal2 keluarga & fahaman/kepercayaan orang Islam sahaja!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

IMaC 2011 at TTI-Kuala Terengganu, Participated!

Participated in the IMaC 2011 held at Taman Tamadun Islam, Kuala Terengganu. It was the first time for me at the venue and more than 10years since I last went to KT during the days I was helping EON Finance's branches to launch and promote their respective Interest-Free Banking Scheme(IFBS) otherwise known as "Skim Perbankan Tanpa Faedah-SPTF" (the precursor of today's Islamic banking).

Though the Minister's NO-SHOW was a letdown to organisers, overall the Conference was well-run. In addition, the venue of IMaC 2011 enabled me to visit the much talked about Taman Tamadun Islam and allowed me to pray at the Crystal mosque.

The talk by the first keynote speaker i.e. Tan Sri Muhammad Ali Hashim was interesting.Who would have thought that a parking operator (Metro Parking) had sales exceeding RM100m with presence in ASEAN countries+Hong Kong and remarks like " Bisa Di Atur, Kita Yang Bisa "(in reference to doing business in Indonesia)and "there's only ONE Anak Johor in Johor Corp" and proceeded to show the photo of an employee whose father is named "Johor" had the audience in stitches. Tan Sri Muhammad also elaborated on the concept of "Business Jihad" and stated that "...TRUST, should be given to those MOST deserving and NOT just limited to Johoreans and/or Muslims ".

I would like to thank the following for the kind sponsorship and enabling the Islamic Finance blogger to participate in IMaC 2011:-
-for Financial Contributions made when established institutions were NON-responsive.
(2) OP Mazri Ayub
-for invaluable assistance and services rendered from 15-18 April 2011.
(3) OP Razuan Sahan, CEO of Chester Phila Sdn Bhd (
-for ICT Support in Conference Presentation & Related Promotions.

(4) Mr. Taufiq Khalid, Managing Partner of M/S AriffinShahzad, Advocates & Solicitors (ASAS)
-for providing space and related infrastructure to prepare for IMaC 2011.

...and last but never the least, UNISZA and especially the IMaC 2011 Secretariat for the assistance and hospitality extended throughout the duration of the International Conference. This blog hopes that it'll get a repeat invitation when the Conference is held again in 2013.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Another Question on Islamic Banking at 45th AGM of Public Bank

Attended Public Bank Berhad's AGM (its 45th) for the second time in as many years at the Shangri-la Hotel, KL.
( Read, last year/44th AGM 2010 AHM blog report:- Question/Comment on IBF at 44th PBB AGM )
Also read:- The EDGE, Malaysia & The STAR

Initially, attendees were briefed by Tan Sri Thong that the PBB Group were issued with a Joint Family Takaful licence by BNM with ownership in the ratio of 60% to the ING Group whilst PBB held the other 40%.

During Q&A Session, as per last year another question on Islamic banking were posed. Abdul Razak asked, " What is PBB Islamic banking Directions? Also for Takaful and Wealth Management? " ....... However, as per last year no specific answer were given.

Perhaps, PBB should get its act together and get one of the other Directors to respond. Twice in as many years, PBB FAILED to give a specific respond to the floor's question on Islamic Banking......rambling about and beating around the bush with no specifics does not do the PBB BOD justice especially when all other indicators are up.

Note: 1st time I went to an AGM where the attendees sang Happy Birthday and clapped in unison. At times, it reminds me of a Political Conference where the top echelons can do no wrong! Overall, Nice Door Gift and GOOD FOOD....perhaps this can be one of my wife's & I retirement plan i.e. buy syariah-compliant shares and attend AGMs where good food are served coupled with nice door gift!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

IMaC 2011 - Paper Abstract ACCEPTED - “Introduction of a Syariah/Halal Compliant Certificate for Islamic Finance Product”

The Centre of Research-Management & Innovation, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin(UNISZA) will be organising an International Management Conference aka IMaC2011 from 16-17 April 2011 in Taman Tamadun Islam, Kuala Terengganu.

The International Management Conference 2011(IMaC 2011)
themed “Innovation and Creativity in Management: Issues, Opportunity and Challenges”, is very apt and timely as Malaysia is in its transition to a new economic model based on innovation, creativity and high income nation.

Refer: IMaC2011 Official Website

After developing my idea over a few conferences and forums in 2010 (Inaugural SC-OCIS Forum in March 2010, 6th WIEF in May 2010 and culminating in my Public Suggestion during the Q&A Session with Syariah Scholars during 7th KLIFF in August 2010 )...I'd Finally, received GOOD News on the Academic/Research front.

The email received on 9th February(8.58am) from the IMAC 2011 Secretariat is as follow:-
" Assalamualaikum Wrt Wbt

Dear Amirul,

We are pleased to inform you that your abstract entitled “Introduction of a Syariah/Halal Compliant Certificate for Islamic Finance Product” is in line with the theme of the Conference and has been accepted for presentation at the International Management Conference (IMaC2011) to be held from 16 – 17 April 2011 at Taman Tamadun Islam (TTI) in the city of Kuala Terengganu, the capital state of Terengganu, Malaysia.

Please follow the submission guidelines in preparing your manuscript and submit your full paper before or by 1st March 2011 to the Secretariat IMaC2011, which is available at the Conference website.

Your full paper will only be included in the conference proceedings compact disc, after confirmation of registration. For your information,selected papers will be considered for the Best Papers Awards.

We look forward to meeting you at the Conference!

Kind regards,

The Secretariat
International Management Conference 2011
Faculty of Business Management and Accountancy
Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin
Gong Badak Campus
21300 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, MALAYSIA "

Now, all I need to do are:-
1) Finish writing my ideas;
2) Prepare my Presentation Slides(if any), and,
2) Look for Sponsors to cover incidental expenses, estimated at RM3,000-4,000.
Any Sponsors or Suggestions? In return, Sponsors will be given due credit in the Paper to be presented.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE: "Building Blocks of IF - Regulation & Shariah in Perspective", Public Lecture Attended!

On 25th January 2011, Amirul HM attended a Public Lecture held at the Securities Commission(SC) of Malaysia under the SC-UM Visiting Scholar Programme. The Lecture titled " Building Blocks of Islamic Finance: Regulation and Shariah in Perspective " was given by Dr. Volker Nienhaus from Germany.

Points raised were good eye-openers for attending participants. Amongst them:-
1) Are the so-called "Building Blocks" for Islamic Finance - actually "BUILDING" or, "STUMBLING" Blocks?
2) CITIGROUP & AIG - Debate in the USA as to whether they(the US Government) should have supported "Islamists" movement when bailing out Citigroup and AIG as it contained the Islamic Finance operations as well.

3)LOW Retail Penetration. Examples:-
A. UK - After 5years of operations, the Islamic Bank of Britain (bailed out by Qatar), only had 50,000 out of a potential 2.5million customers in UK. Hence, a penetration rate of ONLY 2%.
B. Malaysia - 20% of deposits in the banking system is in Islamic deposits. However, ONLY 20% of the 20% are from private individuals.

4)Disturbing trend of using TRADE contracts (e.g. Commodity Murabaha, Tawarruq are a combination of trade/leasing contracts. Also sukuk) for FINANCING purposes.
5)Growth of IF is driven by NON-Islamic banks offering IF products.
6)Fatwa's change of opinion is NOT documented or, Updated. Thus, edicts are not accessible in this age of Transparency & Corporate Governance.

7)Conflicts of Interest in certain Financial Institution's Syariah Council.Examples:-
A. Brothers or members of the same clan sit in the Council.
B. Syariah Advisors sits on the Syariah Council of banks who are competing in the same market segment and/or competing to launch the same product first.
C. "Closed Door" Club.
Example:- A Syariah Advisor from Bank B2 will sit on the Syariah Council of Bank A1 in exchange for introducing one of Bank A1 Advisor to sit in Bank B2 Syariah Council.
D. Syariah Advisors sits on too many Syariah Council. Realistically, how much time can they spent for a particular institution.

At the end of the session, SC's Managing Director Dato Dr. Nik highlighted the difficulties the SC have been facing in collecting and collating the deliberations of the Syariah Council of the respective financial institution in endorsing or rejecting IF products.

I would like to put on record my appreciation to the Securities Commission-Islamic Capital Market(SC-ICM) and Mr. Wan Rahim for the kind invitation. It is my fervent wish that SC-ICM's invites me to future events and access to all the other Conferences and Forums as well.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Attended at TTDI, talk by Sheikh M.Nuruddin Marbu Al-Banjari Al-Makki on "RIBA dan Kesannya Terhadap Masyarakat".

Attended a talk by Sheikh Muhammad Nuruddin Marbu Al-Banjari Al-Makki on "RIBA & Kesannya Terhadap Masyarakat"(Riba and its Impact on Society) at Taman Tun Dr.Ismail-K.Lumpur on Sunday, 16 January 2011.

Sheikh M.Nuruddin's talk was a Good recap of the various riba i'd learnt many years ago in IIUM-PJ i.e. Riba Jahiliyyah,Fadl,Nasiah etc.

Also learnt interesting stories of Imam Ahmad and the stolen lamb and what happened subsequently for the next 7 years. Sheikh also pointed out the various categories/levels of riba prohibition in the Al_Quran from zero tolerance to multiple folds.

During Q&A Session, when asked as to whether Paper/Fiat Money is "halal" - Most currencies are "halal" as they are backed by a Guarantee and/or by Gold, Commodities & Other Currencies....with the EXCEPTION of the USD! GO Figure!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Attending Public Lecture on "ISLAMIC GOLD DINAR: MYTHS & REALITY" on 17 JAN. at BNM

UPDATE: 17 Jan. 2011. Please refer to DinarDirham Trade blog for Lecture Report.

Amirul HM is attending a Public Lecture on "ISLAMIC GOLD DINAR: Myths & Reality " to be held on Monday, 17 January 2011 (1000-1100hours) at the Auditorium - Bank Negara Malaysia, K.Lumpur. Lecture will be given by Prof. Dr. Murat Cizakca, a Professor of Comparative Economic History at INCEIF. Dr. Murat will present a thorough analysis of gold /silver coinage systems in history

Brief Report will be published at the GOLD DINAR & SILVER DIRHAM blog after the event.

Islamic Finance by AHM blog would like to thank INCEIF, ACIFP and OP Razali Ahmed for the kind invitation and updates.