The Evolution Of Islamic Finance In Southeast Asia: The Case Of Malaysia

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Rika Nakagawa


Islamic Finance in Malaysia, Financial Sector Master Plan, New Economic Policy, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd., Islamic Banking Scheme


The purpose of this paper is threefold: to explain why the Islamic financial system was introduced in Malaysia; to outline how the Malaysian government has promoted this system; and to analyze the development of the Islamic financial system with a specific focus on the banking sector.  In Malaysia, the first Islamic bank, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd., was established in 1983.  One turning point of the Islamic financial system in the country was the Financial Sector Master Plan presented by the central bank in 2001.  The government, in accordance with the plan, has taken a strong initiative in the development of an Islamic financial system.  As a result, the country has succeeded in promoting a comprehensive Islamic financial system, banking and insurance sectors and capital markets.  In the banking sector, this paper reveals that the profit-sharing system does not seem to be popular in this country although the reward system is central to Islamic Finance.  In order for further development of the Islamic financial sector, the reasons why the percentage of contracts under the profit-sharing system is small need to be analyzed. 


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