14 Nov 2016
The Royal Awards for Islamic Finance 2016
Prof. Datuk Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim
Chief Executive Officer
International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation
14 November 2016
Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre
Bismillah ArRahman ArRahim, AlhamdulAllah rabulAlamin. Assalatu wa s-salam Syednna Moulana Mohammad saw Amma Baad
Your Majesty, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, King of Malaysia
Your Majesty, the Raja Permaisuri Agong, Queen of Malaysia
Your Royal highness, The Sultan of Perak
Your Royal highness, The Sultanah of Perak
Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim, Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia;
Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Ranjit Ajit Singh, Chairman of the Securities Commission Malaysia
Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman of the Jury for the Royal Award for Islamic Finance;
Your Excellencies, Tan Sri Tan Sri, Dato Dato, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu and a very good evening to all of you.
Ahamdulillahi bi ni’matihi tatimus salihat: Praise be to Allah who takes things towards perfection.
I am honoured to accept the Royal Award for Islamic Finance for the year 2016. I would like to express my deepest gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to my wife, family, close friends residing in Malaysia and the senior management team of the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation for coming to this occasion.
Without my family’s support and prayers, I certainly would not have been able to have come this far in my career.
I would also like to extend my thanks to the organising committee at both Bank Negara Malaysia and Securities Commission for developing such an award to recognise the contribution of those who dedicate their efforts and time to the world of Islamic finance. This prestigious award serves as an encouragement for me, as well as for students of Islamic finance, to excel further and bring glory to the Islamic financial services industry.
For some of you here who may know or have read my story, Islamic finance is an industry I chanced upon in the early 80s. My early academic work was with the late Professor Trevor Gambling who taught me at Birmingham University where I did my Master degree. We subsequently published a joint paper in an academic journal, the Journal of Business Finance and Accounting. Though Islamic finance had just surfaced at the time, my passion and thirst for knowledge on the subject matter encouraged me to pursue it further. As with the nature of people in academia and as a knowledge-seeking Muslim, I continued to research, study and write about Islamic finance because I believed it to be a viable form of finance that could be accepted by many experts and market practitioners in the global financial space – as has indeed turned out to be the case. This has formed the challenge that I have always attempted to address in my career.
I have been fortunate in my many years of being in the Islamic finance industry to have met distinguished people and have served in institutions which were developed to promulgate standards and push out the boundaries of Islamic finance.
In my opinion, the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM) have significantly helped in building the Islamic finance industry’s infrastructure. Today, Islamic finance is more established and resilient than before and the world can testify to this, particularly after the 2008 global financial crisis. I hope that with the continuous development of standards from such institutions, the work that the IILM is doing, and the establishment of supporting infrastructure by global financial hubs such as the Malaysian Islamic Financial marketplace, Islamic finance will continue to make its mark in the industry and stand at par alongside its conventional counterpart.
Once again, I am indeed grateful to be this year’s recipient of The Royal Award for Islamic Finance. I thank you all for your hard work in recognising Islamic finance and I hope that one day Islamic finance will grow to its fullest potential and will not merely be recognised globally, but will receive appropriate institutional support, in all jurisdictions.
Have a pleasant evening ahead. Assalamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.