UKM Urged To Launch Economic Jihad

TUESDAY, 10 JANUARY 2012 11:03

By Abdul Ghani Nasir

Pix by Ahmad Shahiddan Saidi

BANGI, 9 Jan. 2012 – A corporate figure has suggested UKM champion for an Islamic economic crusade as a move to replace and transform the Western economic system which have been proven to be unjust, rotten and immoral.

The agenda, said Tan Sri Ali Hashim, needed advanced planning from now so that Malaysia will be ready to make the switch towards implementing the economic change based on Islamic precepts in 20-30 years’ time.

The Western economic model being practiced today though untenable cannot be changed or discarded as yet since we are still not ready with the alternative, he said.

Tan Sri Ali, a recepient of an Hon PhD from UKM, made the proposal at a round table discussion “Strengthening the Malay Identity Through Islamic Civilisation” here late last week.

He said the university needed to act to pave the way for accceptance by the society as it was now becoming obvious that the world economy built by the West based on capitalism is beginning to crumble as the perpetration of the system had destroyed the finances and economies of many countries.

”Islam is built on two pillars. One is the civilisation in the form of Islamic empires and secondly the markets which is the economy. Sad to say the market and economic aspects had been sidelined and forgotten.

“We lost to the West because they had already dominated the market in line with their perceptions to meet their needs. We are responsible and should rightly be able to interpret the mechanics of the market according to what is enjoined by Islam.

“We should not be apologetic and reluctant to strive for an economic crusade in the spirit of jihad. Jihad is not about going to war or to take up arms.

“Our jihad is about transforming the market according to Islamic precepts, principles and needs. We will have to study and teach the economic aspects of Islam,” he said during the discussions of a survey carried by a Research Group on Challenges in Building the Nation (UKM-AP-CMNB).

The closed door discussion was attended by former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi; Emeritus Professor Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Khoo Kay Kim; Professor Datuk Dr Zainal Kling from Sultan Idris Education University (UPSI); Prof Dr Idris Zakaria of UKM, Dr Mohd Razak Idris from an NGO and two student leaders Ahmad Fahmi Mohd Samsudin and Ahmad Muzammi Muhd Hairi. It was chaired by Professor Zakaria Stapa, from the Faculty of Islamic Studies (FIS) UKM.

The survey by a group of students from FIS involved 560 executive officers who are the products of the national education system. It found that most of those surveyed who worked whether in the government service or the private sector are knowledgeable especially on matters concerning Islam and Islamic civilisation.

Those involved in the discusions were invited to give their input on the result of the survey.

Ali Hashim said that the Islamic banking system – one of the aspects of applied Islam – have been over exposed and thus big banking groups like OCBC and HSBC were also now offering financial products based on Islamic precepts.

With their strength, immense capital and extensive networks they are today in full control of Islamic banking which had also attracted their non-Muslim clients, he said.

“And not just Islamic banking, even the halal food market is being dominated by multinationals like Nestle which is also producing numerous halal products.

Ali Hashim also wants the Muslims to change their perception that worldly gains are not important. The wealth generated could be distributed through zakat and alms while some of the properties of the rich Muslims be given out as wakaf for the benefit of the ummah rather than just apeing the West to become rich and materialistic.

He expressed disappointment at instances of Muslims seeking to become rich by misappropriating zakat funds and others who indulged in corruption.