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Monday, 19 November 2007

Malaysian Government Takes 5 Steps To Make Islamic Financial Bodies More Dynamic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 (Bernama) -- The government today outlined five measures to put more vigour into the development of Islamic finance in the country.One is for Islamic finance institutions to have fulltime syariah experts so that matters can be readily referred to them and to ensure that their advice is in line with an organisation's vision and thinking, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Husin."They cannot come once a month to discuss what can or cannot be done. They must think about the issue everyday," he told reporters after opening the Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum discussion on Islamic Finance Advisers here.Another measure is for the advisers to be accorded proper standing in an institution, "if not chief executive then at least deputy chief executive."The third measure, Awang Adek said, is for Islamic finance institutions to promote research and development on a full-time basis so that they are always at the forefront in creating a diverse range of banking products.Malaysia, he explained, needs to preserve its position as one of the global drivers of Islamic finance but this cannot be achieved if the players are slack.The government has also directed that the make-up of syariah panels should be of both Malaysian and international advisers. "This is important not only in terms of expertise but also in the expansion of the system we use to other places," he said."This will create an impact in terms of understanding and openness. We must encourage this and I think our banks are big enough to pay for foreign experts," Awang Adek said.The fifth measure, according to him, is for these institutions to have more programmes like today's discussion which take on an international profile so that Malaysia can become a global referral centre for Islamic finance.

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