@Halal May/Jun 2020 - Page 13

may-june. 2020 | @Halal Cover Story 13 enhancing the growth of Islamic finance in Malaysia, the products and services should be diversified in attracting every area to participate in Islamic finance. “There should be more effective initiatives for every sector in terms of providing precise and detailed encouragement as well as a clear explanation of the differences between Islamic finance and the conventional system. “Our Islamic finance system has been growing tremendously for the past few years, from retail to commercial Islamic banking and finance, to general and life takaful insurance and sectors of the Islamic capital market. So, it is not difficult to continue encouraging it if the approach for Islamic finance is appropriate,” he said. From time to time, he said, Islamic finance should be conducted more efficiently by reducing its limitations such as the conflicts between its implementation and the rule of Islamic law. He felt the related authorities should improve shariah governance through research and development. Also, the infrastructure to support further development of the Islamic financial industry in addressing the institutional capacity for the national and international levels should be strengthened to avoid complications and people’s reluctance to take part in Islamic finance. MDEC can help Malaysia, which is a global leader in Islamic Finance, drive the Islamic digital economy. Rais said as with most services in the B2C space, addressing Muslim consumer needs and pain points were critical to driving digital Islamic services opportunities, adoption and growth. “Digitally and commercially, Islamic finance, Islamic media, halal travel, modest fashion and halal food stand as the most attractive industry verticals with the most significant digital services activity and online market potential. For instance, the global revolution in communication technology (through social media, mobile and broadband technologies and smartphones) has enabled the Islamic Economy lifestyle sectors to achieve a wider global reach and exposure,” he revealed. He said MDEC could provide platforms for relevant businesses to enhance and improve their sales portal for modest fashion apparel and accessories. It can be as good as other giant e-commerce platforms like Amazon and eBay, since e-commerce, in general, was the most effective and fastest-growing digital service, not only in Malaysia but all over the world. There are also excellent opportunities in the Islamic economy education and Smart Mosque areas. Smart Mosques is where mosques are employing modern ICT technologies that enable them to interact with users in a way that enhances their understanding and improves their prayer experience. It also includes mosques which apply smart technologies to resolve practical issues to improve their efficiency, effectiveness, sustained operation and maintenance. through digital technologies. For example, the new skills training to overcome the challenges of Covid-19 with Digital Technology has been well-received by many individuals and businesses as the training programmes provide reliable solutions to be leveraged on such as digital income and e-learning. Last year, participants of MDeC’s GLOW (Global Online Workforce) programme generated an income of RM70 million by performing services mainly to international clients. What are your expectations for 2020? Although this year is challenging due to the rise of Covid-19 pandemic, there is nothing to worry about the performance of MDeC’s GLOW initiative. Instead, this comes in as an opportunity for Malaysians to be part of the online global workforce since most of them might have faced an unfortunate situation and lost their jobs during this trying time. Moreover, with the RM25 million government allocation to MDeC in the Penjana package, this can be utilised to drive incomes further through GLOW this year. however, I don’t have a specific number for it. How do you see the growth of digital payments and wallets in Malaysia? The emergence of e-commerce and technology-led initiatives, mainly since the pandemic are the key factors which are driving the digital payment market trends. In recent years, Samsung Pay, Google, Alipay and Apple have emerged as the top players in the digital payment market. But Malaysia is not too far behind as we have Grabpay, TnGewallet, and Boost to drive the local digital payment market. These players have undertaken massive investments in advanced technologies and have expanded their businesses in digital payment services. With the current situation, using digital payments can help you avoid physical touch, avoid wasting time from the long queues at the ATMs and some convenience stores, and of course eliminate the hassle of carrying cash. With the cashless payment adaptation, experts claim it would add more than three per centage points to the GDP. It is due to the increasing velocity of value transfers and the growing level of spending as making The related authorities should improve shariah governance through research and development. Besides, the infrastructure to support further development of the Islamic financial industry in addressing the institutional capacity for the national and international levels should be strengthened to avoid any complications and people’s reluctance to take part in Islamic finance.” expenses is now less tangible. To add on, a data research firm Statista has also projected digital payments in Malaysia to jump 19.1% to US$11,904 million (RM50,949 million) in 2020. It shows how valuable and “current” digital economy is now, and it is the way to move forward for Malaysia. Covid-19 has accelerated the migration of society from physical infrastructures into digital infrastructures, turning into a cashless society. nonetheless, the built-in of excellent digital infrastructures like stable mobile applications or online banking system is vital as its absence can be a hindrance for society to adapt to the cashless payment. When do you expect the Shop Malaysia Online campaign to take off? I can see that it is progressing. Some of the online platforms have recently started the initiative announced in Penjana. Lazada Malaysia has teamed up with TnG digital to launch an RM6 million programme named #KitaBantuKita to accelerate spending among Malaysian consumers on local products. I am positive that this campaign will benefit our local businesses and help them to recover from this crisis.