Dato’ Dr Adnan Alias
Chief Executive Officer IBFIM
Information and knowledge are invaluable. Therefore, it goes without saying that this collaboration among knowledge bases and centres is commendable. IBFIM is pleased to be part of it. At IBFIM, the knowledge residing in our base – Knowledge Management Centre (KMC) – is more practical than theoretical. Combined with the fact that these are faith based, makes that repository of knowledge priceless. Knowledge per se is already dynamic; imagine the dynamism when there’s that synergistic effect. In the short term, IBFIM wants a porous boundary to be identified; it is necessary to lend meaning to each knowledge base existence, but by the nature of knowledge, it makes no sense for the fencing to be water tight. Within that boundary, each base then fathoms deeper into its bounded universe of knowledge. As the body of knowledge also expands and meets the other boundaries, synergies are created. In the medium term, IBFIM wants to see those synergies harnessed, particularly leading to some unlocked knowledge treasure chest. For example, archives are purposely locked treasure chests. Let’s open that up and link them to the bases. That should lead us to the longterm goal of witnessing all our KMCs transforming into real knowledge management centres.
By the grace of Allah, IBFIM KMC is already an industry recognised one-stop Islamic finance reference centre. By that, among others, we meant the lure IBFIM KMC poses to serious researchers. I’d like to stress the ‘word’ serious here. We started by operationalising the term or concept of KMC, manifesting the trajectory into our IBFIM KMC vision and translated that into milestones. We are in the last two miles, I must say, towards the final destination of total IBFIM KMC transformation. With the KMTF initiative, we believe the trajectory and its speed will remain but it’ll be an expanded trajectory and hopefully gaining more glow and longer tail-blazers.
There’s this integral and critical linkage between two KCs: Knowledge Centre and Knowledge Capita. The linkage is a two-way flow, each enriching the other. Since we are talking about knowledge, let me digress a bit. This is not a chicken-and-egg postulation. In that postulation, we argued endlessly on which comes first forgetting the fact that all knowledge started with the blessings of Allah in granting names to objects and phenomena. With names came knowledge. It has been ordained that capita emanates knowledge. We gave the KMC the name and it attracts and should emit and (legally) remit knowledge. At the outset, I said about our IBFIM KMC being more practical in nature; this is what the industry wants. For talent development, a KMC is the reference source for knowledge and in return, the talent (the person) enriches the KMC. Definitely, synergised KMCs via this KMTF contribute to quality talent development and by extension, quality talent.
Prior to IBFIM KMC being established, the Islamic finance knowledge fountain is said to be at the university campuses. There were not that many then and they didn’t actually meet the kind of thirst prevailing among practitioners. Where is the practical knowledge residing? The answer is, in the practitioners’ capita – tacit, very mobile, sporadic, too fluid and non-descript. IBFIM came with its KMC, captured the knowledge and made it tangible and accessible. With niching strategy, IBFIM KMC pools, manages and disseminates. Our KMC team under the leadership of entrepreneurial manager, En Zain, supported by dedicated knowledge missionaries like En Hanapiah and team, innovates all the time. Hitherto, IBFIM KMC attracts not only practitioners but also supporting professionals and serious academic researchers. IBFIM KMC has proven that a library can be transformed into a KMC and a KMC is not necessarily a cost centre. That in itself is an innovative contribution to Islamic economics, finance and entrepreneurship. With KMTF, IBFIM hopes to enrich its depository and to widen its reach.
A leader must innovate to stay ahead. IBFIM has been doing that. Islamic finance, for the first time, has witnessed an innovative qualifications framework and a progression route. That was a major innovation, in consonance with our vision. With the Framework, the capstone industry qualification in Islamic finance called CQIF (Certified Qualification in Islamic Finance) was also launched. IBFIM plans to further strengthen its three pillars namely, as a training authority, as a leading Shariah adviser and as a world class KMC. The task IBFIM is facing is daunting as IBFIM covers four sectors – Islamic banking, takaful, Islamic wealth management and Islamic capital market. I believe, our able staff has brought us there except we don’t beat our chest. In moving forward, we have to make our international presence felt. All along, the Islamic finance industry has been supportive. Bank Negara Malaysia in particular has been very passionate in leading, driving and supporting IBFIM’s causes which are Islamic finance causes anyway. For example, in talent development, I can’t recall another central bank that has a stable of variegated and dedicated entities and programs meant for the financial services sector. All these augur well for IBFIM to realise its vision. Thank you.