Bank Rakyat Hosts 4th iSHAR 2022 To Help Harmonies,, Streamline Islamic Finance

Bank Rakyat hosted the 4th International Shariah Scholars Roundtable (iSHAR) 2022, in partnership with International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) and Derasat for Research and Consulting Islamic Banking (DERASAT).

This biennial meeting aims to assist the Islamic finance industry as a whole in offering suitable and strategic solutions on Shariah issues with regards to Islamic banking and finance aligned with Bank Rakyat under the Shariah Leadership blueprint values, whereby the visibility of the Bank as a pioneer in promoting thought-leadership programs will be globally acknowledged.

Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Tan Sri Noh Omar, who launched the roundtable, said this year’s topic on “Development in Contemporary Islamic Financial Transactions” is undoubtedly an apt and timely topic considering current challenges of the pandemic and transition to recovery.

In his launching speech, Noh Omar emphasised that Islamic financial institutions’ visions and mandates need to be properly evaluated and validated so that the countries can be supported in undertaking the transformative agenda.

“The Islamic financial institutions’ visions and mandates need to be properly evaluated and validated so that countries can be supported in undertaking the transformative agenda. There is an increase in the issuance of green susuk in the country too. This is a good beginning.

If we can offer concrete solutions to the current predicament, we have an opportunity to inspire change,” he said.

“Many people are also actively revisiting the concept of zakat, waqf, and other social safety nets. Besides that, several institutions have used zakat to contribute to micro-takaful contributions to the poor. This aims to leverage zakat to make microfinance lending much more robust and reduce default rates”, added Noh Omar.

The landmark event also witnessed the exchange of Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between Bank Rakyat, INCEIF, DERASAT and International Islamic University Malaysia (HIUM) to exchange areas of expertise and knowledge in the Islamic banking and finance industry.

“The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (KUSKOP) very much welcomes this collaboration with international organisations, capitalising on their extensive expertise in Islamic finance, especially in light of COVID-19 outbreak that is affecting Islamic financial institutions and other industry players. Thus, this kind of initiative may continue to prosper ‘Keluarga Malaysia’,” Noh Omar added.

This partnership is also aligned with Bank Rakyat’s vision to become ‘Malaysia’s No. 1 Progressive Islamic Cooperative Bank’, in which the bank believes in the importance of giving back to the community not just where it operates but the Islamic finance industry as a whole through sharing of knowledge.

Meanwhile, Bank Rakyat Chairman Datuk Haji Abd Rani Lebai Jaafar said, “In the backdrop of a changing technological and business landscape, the Bank embarked on a 5-year strategic transformation (BR25) in 2020 to achieve its vision.

“We also hope that this will further strengthen not only Bank Rakyat, but the Islamic finance industry as a whole and ensure the propagation of justice and shared prosperity as dictated by Shariah,” Datuk Haji Abd Rani added.

Asked on what was Bank Rakyat’s market capitalisation and in terms of Islamic financing, he said: As at 2021, the banks capitilaisation stands at RM119 Billion, a RM4 billion increase for the previous year.

During the event, Bank Rakyat also launched the third edition of ‘Studies and Recommendations of International Shariah Scholars Roundtable’ book, which was based on the discussions during iSHAR 2019 that aimed to address important contemporary issues faced by the Islamic financial services industry.

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