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Monday, 19 April 2010

Develop Prudent Management Of Islamic Finance, Says Dr Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 (Bernama) -- Islamic nations must develop a prudent management of the Islamic financial system. It should be better than the present conventional system, able to withstand shocks and not manipulated by rogue players.

With industry players seeking ways for financial rejuvenation, the global financial system itself is in dire need of a proper management, says former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"I think Islamic finance is set to grow but the challenge will be prudent management and a better system. Don't follow the conventional system that has been dealing in everything," he told Bernama when met recently.

Dr Mahathir will deliver a special lecture in Manama, Bahrain, on May 3 and address current issues in global Islamic finance during the Malaysia Showcase session in conjunction with the Seventh Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) Summit on May 4-5.

With his 23 years of leadership and success in putting Malaysia on the global radar, the presence of Dr Mahathir at the summit is highly anticipated by industry players, eager to get his perception on the development of the global financial landscape.

While other countries like Singapore and Hong Kong are eyeing a share of the Islamic finance industry, Malaysia on the other hand, has a comprehensive system built on over 30 years of industry-driven experience.

In this case, who will understand better the issues, than Dr Mahathir?

Among his constant call to Islamic countries, is the use of the gold dinar as an alternative, to reducing dependency on the US dollar as a global currency for trade.

During the Malaysia Showcase, Dr Mahathir will share his thoughts on the future Islamic finance landscape, its development as well as the role that Islamic countries can play to further develop the industry.

In previous lectures, he said Islamic banking, is a better alternative as it cannot be manipulated by rogue players while being different from the conventional banking system because of the ethics and morality issues involved.

Dr Mahathir said wealth-creating growth and development promoted by Islamic banking is circumscribed by morality and ethics that can curb greed.

However, ethical and moral values must be sustained as there are as many greedy people among Muslims as there are, among others, he added.

At the IFSB Summit, top financial regulators from the IFSB countries will convene in Manama to discuss among others, changes in the financial regulation landscape, macro-prudential surveillance issues for Islamic finance as well as the new Islamic financial architecture.

Malaysia is one of the founding members of IFSB, which currently has 191 members.

The members comprise 50 regulatory and supervisory authorities, six international inter-governmental organisations and 135 market players, professional firms and industry associations operating in 40 jurisdictions.

Malaysia has two full members, Bank Negara and the Securities Commission, while the remaining 29 are associate and observer members.

So far, more than 200 participants have confirmed participation in the Malaysia Showcase. It is expected to attract about 300 to 350 participants.

Those interested in joining the Malaysia Showcase, can contact the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) Promotion Unit's Azilah Ahmad (03-26944304) or Roziah Mohd Haniffa (03-26945961).

To position Malaysia as the international hub of Islamic finance, the MIFC was launched in 2006.

Under the MIFC initiative, industry practitioners can use the country as a base for sukuk origination, Islamic fund and wealth management, international Islamic banking, international takaful and human capital development.

-- BERNAMA



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