Malaysia Launches Global Search for Most Outstanding Contributor to Islamic Finance

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Spearheaded by the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) initiative, Malaysia today launched a global search to recognise and honour the outstanding contribution of an exceptional individual in Islamic finance.

Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre

We hope in time this award will be regarded as a global benchmark in identifying the exceptional individuals who have inspired the development of Islamic finance worldwide

Spearheaded by the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) initiative, Malaysia today launched a global search to recognise and honour the outstanding contribution of an exceptional individual in Islamic finance.

Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia and Chairman of the MIFC Executive Committee (ExCo) said: "Inspired by universal ethical principles and driven by the real value propositions that it contributes to the economy that is appreciated by all, Islamic finance has become one of the fastest growing segments in international finance. It is timely for Malaysia to recognise individuals who have contributed towards shaping the global Islamic finance."

A special taskforce, headed by the Securities Commission Malaysia Chairman Zarinah Anwar, has been established to spearhead the implementation of this effort. "We hope in time this award will be regarded as a global benchmark in identifying the exceptional individuals who have inspired the development of Islamic finance worldwide," Zarinah said.

Unlike the commercial awards that are based on deals, this award is unique as it focuses on the individuals' record of achievement and outstanding contribution towards the development and advancement of Islamic finance globally. The selection process of this award will be rigorous and based on an independent international jury, chaired by the former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation Musa Hitam, to select the deserving individual.

Zarinah said the 7-member jury was carefully selected and they comprise eminent individuals, Shariah scholars, academicians and Islamic finance practitioners from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. Besides Musa Hitam, the jury consists of:

  •     Abdul Hamid Mohamad, former Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Malaysia and member of the Shariah Advisory Council of Bank Negara Malaysia and Securities Commission Malaysia
  •     Professor Dr. Volker Nienhaus, former President of University of Marburg in Germany
  •     Professor Dr. Abbas Mirakhor, former Executive Director of the IMF and Holder of the First INCEIF Chair in Islamic finance (2010)
  •     Dr. Mohamed Ali Elgari, Professor of Islamic Economics at King Abdul Aziz University in Saudi Arabia
  •     A. Riawan Amin, Chairman of the Indonesian Association of Islamic Banks
  •     Dr. Yahia Abdul-Rahman, Founder, Chairman and CEO of LARIBA Bank of Whittier, USA

With immediate effect, nominations from the global finance community can be made via the website "mifc.com/award". The closing date for nominations is 15 July 2010.

For Media Enquiries:
Securities Commission Malaysia
Corporate Affairs Department
Abdul Jalil Hamid / Tel: +603 6204 8931
Suresh Krishnan / Tel: +603 6204 8758
Fax: +603 6201 5078
E-mail: cau (at) seccom (dot) com.my

For Enquiries on Nominations:
IFA Secretariat
Badlishah Bashah / Tel: +603 6204 8373
Fax: +603 6201 5082
E-mail: IFA_Secretariat (at) seccom (dot) com.my

About MIFC
In August 2006, the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) initiative was launched to position Malaysia as a hub for international Islamic finance.

The MIFC initiative comprises a community network of the country's financial and market regulators, including Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank of Malaysia), Securities Commission Malaysia, Labuan Financial Services Authority and Bursa Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange), Government ministries and agencies together with industry participation from the banking, takaful, capital market institutions, human capital development institutions and professional services companies which are participating and working collaboratively in Islamic finance.

The MIFC initiative is supported by global legal, regulatory and Shariah best practices that enable industry practitioners to conduct international business in Islamic finance in Malaysia in the areas of Sukuk Origination, Islamic Fund and Wealth Management, International Islamic Banking, International Takaful and Human Capital Development, while enjoying attractive incentives.

The MIFC Executive Committee (ExCo) comprises a high-level group of officials from key Government ministries, and agencies; financial and market regulators and financial institutions. It aims to review/provide policy direction towards ensuring the efficient coordination and effective implementation of the MIFC initiative.

Log on to http://www.mifc.com for more information.

About Bank Negara Malaysia
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) was established in 1959, under the Central Bank of Malaysia Act 1958 (Revised in 2009). The central bank is principally entrusted to uphold monetary and financial stability and maintain oversight over the payments system in the country.

Over the years, BNM has significantly contributed to the development of a comprehensive, efficient and resilient financial sector that has been able to meet the increasingly sophisticated needs of consumers and businesses. Malaysia’s financial sector now distinctively encompasses both the conventional and Islamic financial services.

Focusing in Islamic finance where Malaysia has a comparative advantage, BNM has taken the lead in promoting Malaysia as an International Islamic Financial Centre. Within this initiative, BNM approves licences for the establishment of International Islamic Banks and International Takaful Operators as well as focusing on institutional building, including the establishment of the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) and International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) in promoting training, education and research to advance the talent development for the Islamic financial services industry. Meanwhile, the BNM Shariah Advisory Council ascertains applications of Shariah principles on Islamic financial services by providers under the purview of BNM and acts as an advisor to BNM on Shariah matters on such services.

Log on to http://www.bnm.gov.my for more information.

About Securities Commission Malaysia
Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), established under the Securities Commission Act 1993, is a statutory body that reports to the Minister of Finance, Malaysia.

The SC has direct responsibility for supervising and monitoring the activities of market institutions including the exchanges and clearing houses, as well as all persons licensed under the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007 (CMSA). Underpinning these functions is the ultimate aim of protecting investors. SC is also responsible to promote and develop securities and futures markets in Malaysia.

The SC spearheads the development of the Malaysian Islamic capital market (ICM) by establishing a Shariah Advisory Council (SAC) to advise on matters relating to Islamic capital market activities and products. Over the years, the SC has built a comprehensive and facilitative framework for Islamic funds and wealth management. In addition, the SC has been driving product innovation in the Islamic equity and sukuk (Islamic bond) sectors; on top of promoting education, training, consultancy and research for the ICM.

Log on to http://www.sc.com.my for more information.

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