CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd CEO/ Executive Director Mr Badlisyah Abdul Ghani is the latest guest speaker at INCEIF’s Luncheon Talk Series, held at INCEIF’s Auditorium. His talk on `Malaysia: Becoming the Indisputable Global Hub for Islamic Finance’ was attended by nearly 100 INCEIF students and staff.
In his talk, Mr Badlisyah shared with the audience the winning formula on Malaysia’s ability to be a global hub for Islamic finance. He stated that Malaysia’ advantages include a comprehensive financial system that adheres to Islamic principles. The country’s banking and finance industry has an entrenched and institutionalised dual financial system which is achieved through an effective legislation and regulation within the legal and Shariah frameworks.
Mr Badlisyah delivering his talk.
Other plus points for Malaysia include its relatively high certainty and predictability of dispute resolution outcomes. There is also the talent enrichment and thought leadership infrastructures where numerous institutions dedicated to talent enrichment have been set up including INCEIF, ISRA and ICLIF.
Malaysia, according to Mr Badlisyah, approached Shariah in its purest form without being influence by personal bias and geographical boundaries. The country also comply fully to exhaustive and specific expressed prohibitions or limitations found in the Quran and Hadith.
“Malaysia recognises that Shariah is the easiest thing about the Islamic financial system as it is very rich and all encompassing. This is because Shariah is not just about the few limitations. It is about infinite possibilities as everything is allowed under the Shariah principle of Muamalat unless clearly and expressly stipulated as not allowed in the Quran and Hadith. The onus in Shariah committee deliberation is to prove something is disallowed instead of to prove something is allowed.
“And most importantly, Shariah does not make any Islamic financial products holy that it cannot be innovated upon. Innovations are not blasphemous. Shariah applies on a jurisdiction basis subject to locals laws of the land, customs, convention and circumstances that exist at any point of time,” Mr Badlisyah added.
The Islamic financial system in Malaysia caters to all customers irrespective whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim and if they are Muslim, irrespective of their aligned Shariah school of laws.
Moving forward, Mr Badlisyah listed additional components which would further strengthen Malaysia’s global hub status. The suggested components include an Islamic finance subsidiary within the public sector such as the Treasury with separate balance sheet and P&L. Malaysian Islamic financial institutions need to be more regional and global so that they are acknowledged in the international market.
Another component is the lifestyle. Expatriates, and even Malaysians currently abroad, could also be enticed to work or invest in Malaysia if and when Malaysia looks at ways to make the life-outside-work component more attractive than it currently is.
“Software is equally if not more important than hardware in making a financial centre viable and vibrant,” said Mr Badlisyah.