| Danial Norjidi |
THE Centre for Islamic Banking, Finance and Management (CIBFM) held the Fiqh Muamalat Professional Programme (FMPP) roundtable mentorship yesterday.
Held at the ILIA Building on the Universiti of Brunei Darussalam campus, the event was attended by Dayang Hajah Lily binti Haji Kula, the Acting Managing Director of Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD).
Also present were members of the Syariah Financial Supervisory Board and senior officials from various ministries and AMBD, academicians and representatives from financial institutions.
The event began with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah followed by a wel-coming remark delivered by CIBFM’s Chief Executive Officer, Makhtar bin Abdullah.
In his speech, he first provided a global backdrop, highlighting, “Islamic finance, which started with just about US$150 billion assets in the mid-1990s, has steadily grown to US$1.8 trillion currently and estimated to tip the US$6.5 billion mark by 2020.”
“The growth would require an estimated one million professionals by 2020 as mentioned in a recent Kuwait Finance House report,” he said. “Talents are crucially required not only to lead the Syariah unit of Islamic institutions but also to serve as Syariah auditors, researchers, reviewers, product structures, regulators, compliance analysts and many more.”
The task and trust in the mentioned roles are unique as the individuals must have a knowledge combination of a strong Fiqh Mua’malat foundation, Syariah, economic, financial, legal, IT, risk management and other relevant disciplines, he said.
Realising the potential and demand, it is here that CIBFM, “applying blue ocean initiative”, structured a programme to produce professionals that can interact between financial institutions and Syariah scholars, he continued.
“The ‘middle person’ function is vital to ensure the smooth communication and excellent operation of Islamic finance institutions,” he said.
As the CEO explained, the eight modules of Phase 1 cover a wide scope of Islamic finance structured with the support from reputable international Fiqh Muamalat experts. This first phase includes face-to-face classroom sessions conducted by practitioners and experts to minimise the gap between theory and practical based on industrial best practices.
The second and third phases involve practical exposures with local and international Fiqh Muamalat experts and issues.
“The FMPP has the potential for international participants based on its own unique characteristics,” he said. “Since the programme is supported by AMBD and referred to the Brunei Syariah Finance Supervisory Board, CIBFM is looking forward to having more participants from relevant government agencies, the private sector and academicians.
“Today, the first cohort of 22 students has completed their programme and will share their knowledge with the industry,” he added. “FMPP students will also serve in the succession plan and research support to existing Fiqh Muamalat experts.”
Yesterday’s roundtable mentorship programme was a follow-up to Phase II of the FMPP, where the students had the opportunity to interact with established Islamic finance scholars, as well as present Islamic financial solutions relevant to Brunei Darussalam as an alternative to current conventional financial solutions.
During the proceedings, two sessions saw students discuss topics pertaining to Islamic finance as an alternative option for public/private infrastructure development projects in the country, as well as how Islamic finance can support local SME development.
The event also saw the AMBD Acting Managing Director presenting certificates to students coming from the banking, law, investment and regulatory fields who have successfully completed the programme.
The FMPP is the first programme of its kind in the world, and is a signature programme introduced by the CIBFM. Endorsed by the AMBD and Syariah Financial Supervisory Board, the part-time programme is divided into three phases: Theory, Mentorship and International Exposure.
The CIBFM is currently opening up registration for the second intake of FMPP.