Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Two New Post-Doc Appointments at ARI

ARI wishes to congratulate two researchers who have been appointed as Post-Doctoral Scholars at the Accounting Research Institute. The first candidate is Dr Yaseen Al-Janadi, our former Phd student who has just recently graduated. Dr Yaseen commenced his post-doctoral program on 1st March 2011. The second candidate is Dr Kighir, A.E. from Nasrawa State University Keffi, Nigeria. Dr Kighir will start his appointment on 1st July 2011. One of the main tasks of post-doc scholars is to publish research articles in reputable journals that are indexed with SCOPUS and ISI Thomson. They are also to facilitate ARI in getting international collaboration and international research funding. As a director of ARI, I am confident that they will both produce their deliverables. Welcome aboard...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

ABS Invitation

I really felt honoured for being invited to speak at a recent seminar in Singapore. The Counter Financing Terrorism (CFT) seminar was being organized by the Consortium of Counter-Financing Terrorism group (CCFT) comprising the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore. I was asked to share global research findings on terrorism financing. My most valuable experience in Singapore was the ability to network with experts in this area. In our effort to become a research reference centre in areas related to financial criminology, it is vital that ARI networks with the world's best in this area. Thank you ABS for sponsoring my trip and my three-day stay in Singapore...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

AML-CFT Workshop in Malaysia

The CFT seminar in Singapore has been very successful. The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) as the main organiser of the seminar has been very instrumental in the success of the seminar. Every year, ABS would organize seminars for its members. Following yesterday's successful seminar, the forthcoming seminar on Financial Crime is already scheduled for 1st July 2011. What is more impressive is the ability of ABS to attract members to participate in its event. ARI hopes to be able to attract bankers in Malaysia to participate in our forthcoming workshop in May 2011. The inaugural CFT workshop is jointly organized by ARI and the CCFT - a consortium in which ARI is its newly invited member. In essence, the workhop will basically emulate the successful seminar in Singapore. Our hope is that our Malaysian bankers will be supportive of our initiative and will be as enthisiatic as their Singaporean counterparts....

Friday, March 25, 2011

Islamic Accounting & Muamalat Research Centre: A New Kid on the Block

The formation of the Islamic Accounting and Muamalat Research Centre (IAMRC)was to support ARI's research capability in Islamic Accounting, Islamic Finance and Shariah Audit.
Initially formed as an SIG in early 2010 and upgraded to a full blown research centre in March 2011, IAMRC is indeed a "new kid on the block". IAMRC is currently headed by Dr Nawal Kasim and assisted by Associate Profesor Dr Mohd Azam from CITU. Though new, IAMRC constitutes an important smart collaboration between ARI, Centre of Islamic Thought & Understanding (CITU)and other Islamic-based agencies in the country. Upon ARI HICoE being entrusted with a niche research area of Islamic Financial Criminology, I knew for a fact that ARI needed to quickly set up its research capability in Islamic Accounting and Finance. Our first "stop" for help was to discuss with CITU on possible research topics that the two entities can collaborate on. Then ARI researchers went on a full "tour" to visit and discuss with many officers and researchers of Islamic-based institutions and agencies in Malaysia. Included in our visits were: Baitulmal, Zakat Centres, IKIM, JAKIM, YAPeIM, ISRA, IBFIM, INCEIF, Bank Islam, SC-Islamic Compliant and several mosques. We have also invited several international scholars and researchers as visiting professors at ARI. As a result of those visits, ARI is currently pursuing several research projects funded by the ARI HICoE research fund. The year 2011 will see IAMRC going international with potential research collaborations with universities in Bahrain and the United Kingdom. ARI Deputy Director, Professor Dr Rashidah has initiated several "early-wins" collaborations with four universities in the UK. They are namely, Oxford Centre of Islamic Studies, University of Oxford; University of Dundee; University of Durham and University of Birmingham. IAMRC's journey towards internationalization will be further supported and expedited with the appointments of several international scholars and post doctoral students in the second half of 2011. As a director of ARI, I am confident that IAMRC has the potential of going international....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

AFARe: InternationalizationThrough Smart Partnership

In comparison to our other research centres, the Asia-Pacific Forensic Accounting Research Centre (AFARe)is fairly new. Co-established with two international partners, The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE - USA) and The Centre of Forensic Science (University of Teesside -UK)in 2008, AFARe's core activities include research, training & consultancy, yearly international conference, product innovation and publication. AFARe was also formed to support our premier post graduate programmes: Master in Forensic Accounting & Financial Criminology and PhD in Forensic Accounting. Though newly established three years ago, AFARe receives tremendous support from various national and international partners. At the national level, one of our earliest supporters was the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC). Whilst still an SIG, researchers from the cluster conducted three cohorts of forensic accounting programs with MACC for the years 2003 to 2005. The 3-month program was to train MACC's senior officers. Upon completion of the program, MACC established its own forensic accounting unit. Our successful collaboration with MACC was later echoed by seven other government agencies namely the Inland Revenue Board, The Royal Malaysian Police, The Royal Malaysian Customs, The Auditor General Office, The Accountant General Office, the AG Chambers and the Central Bank of Malaysia, when they too organized some programs to train their senior officers in the area of forensic accounting. In fact I am proud to say that UiTM, through ARI and the Faculty of Accountancy has been responsible in the development and enhancement of human capacity in the areas of forensic accounting and financial criminology for the country. In addition to our training collaboration with various agencies, we have also successfully produced five cohorts of the Master in Forensic Accounting and Financial Criminology graduates. By June 2011, an association named Malaysian Association of Forensic Accounting Experts (MACFE) will be established by our graduates. To date, AFARe has been successful in organizing three international conferences in Financial Criminology (ICFC)for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010 respectively. A forthcoming ICFC is already scheduled in June 2011. At the national level, AFARe and ARI are in partnership with agencies such as MIA, MAREF, CCM, FIU, CONG and IBFIM. In term of international collaborations, our partners include the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE, USA); The Association of Certified Anti-money laundering Specialists (ACAMS, USA); The Forensic Science Centre, University of Teeside UK; Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Under the leadership of its current head, Professor Dr Rozainun Abd Aziz, more international collaborations will be forged within the next few years. AFARe aspires to go fully international by 2015....

Monday, March 21, 2011

AMARC: An Evolutionary Journey Towards Internationalization

The CIMA-UiTM Asian Management Accounting Research Centre (AMARC) is one of the earliest research centre formed by the university in 2002. In fact I was AMARC's founding head. When AMARC was first established, it was a synergistic collaboration between the Faculty of Accountancy and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). CIMA gave a seed funding amounting RM10,000 and the university matched that amount. With RM20,000, it was fairly comfortable for AMARC to kickstart its activities. AMARC and CIMA worked tirelessly to complete two collaborative research projects in the first year of AMARC establishement. Upon completion of our two projects (i) Management Accounting Practices in Malaysia and (ii)Job Profiles and Job Characteristics of Management Accountants in Malaysia, a lot of papers were published in professional journals, refereed journals and book chapters. Some other papers were presented at national and international conferences. Our first year activities caught the attention of CIMA president in the UK and I was invited to present what I consider the "landmark" paper at the first CIMA International Conference in Kuala Lumpur.
Meanwhile, in early 2003, AMARC was invited by Professor Akira Nishimura, from Kyushu University in Japan to participate in an international management accounting research which was sponsored by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). Upon completion of our project, I was sponsored by JSPS to undertake another research project in Japan which focussed on Japanese Management Accounting in the Automobile Industry. For that project, I collaborated with four Japanese universities namely, Kyushu University, Kyushu Sangyo University, University of Konan and University of Tsukuba. The internationalization of AMARC was spearheaded by these collaborations. As AMARC founding members, Prof Ibrahim and I, were invited by Prof Akira Nishimura to form an international association called the Asia-Pacific Management Accounting Association (APMAA). The founding members of this newly formed association comprised ten international professors from Japan, Korea, China, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.

With some international reputations, Dean Professor Dr Ibrahim convinced the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA), CIMA and NPC to work collaboratively with AMARC on a national benchmarking project called the National Award for Management Accounting (NAfMA). NAfMA was launched by CIMA president during CIMA's second international conference in 2004 and the first NAfMA competition began.

Today, both AMARC and APMAA work closely together to bring our two entities to much greater heights. Our focus now is not just limited to the Asian or Asia-Pacific regions. Under the leadership of Prof Datin Dr Suzana, AMARC will venture into more international research collaborations with professors from the USA, Australia, Africa, New Zealand, Canada and Europe. We have targeted to be fully international by the year 2015...

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Establishement of the Islamic Accounting and Muamalat Research Centre (IAMRC)

In support of its HICoE niche research in Islamic Financial Criminology, the formation a new research cluster in Islamic Accounting & Muamalat was presented and approved today at ARI's monthly meeting.
Formally known as IAMRC, the newly formed research cluster is headed by Dr Nawal Kassim, a research fellow at ARI. Dr Nawal received her PhD in Shariah Audit from the International Islamic University . Dr Nawal is assisted by Associate Professor Dr Mohd Azam who graduated from the University of London in Shariah Law. As a director of ARI, I am fully convinced that the two leaders and researchers will be able to lead IAMRC to greater heights.
To date, IAMRC has gathered more than twenty members from respective faculties and academic centres at the university. A total of twenty one research proposals have been approved. The group has also published thirteen concept papers in Islamic Accounting and Muamalat prior to the formation of IAMRC. Congratulations all

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Talk Show at TV9

I was invited to a Live Talk Show on TV9. Though it was a fairly "last minute" thing, I obliged firstly, because the topic is very close to my heart and secondly, the publicity through the national media will be great for ARI. The topic, "Women's Position as Decision Makers in Corporate Malaysia". The talk show program called "Hujah" picks up current issue or issues and invite the public to participate in the discussion. Basically, the topic was chosen in response to the latest Grant Thornton International Research findings which saw Malaysia being ranked fifth in the world as far as women's role in senior positions in the country is concerned. Despite being ranked fifth, and 39% of Malaysian women were said to be holding senior positions in government and the private sectors, one must view the findings carefully. Whilst Grant Thornton study focuses on small to large private-owned companies, it did not investigate the position of women in public-listed or government companies. Yes, may be it is true that more Malaysian women are involved in businesses. Our recent survey with the Minority Shareholders Watchdog Group on 900 public listed companies indicates that more than 60% of PLCs do not have a single woman on Board and only 3 percent of them has at least 1 woman independent director. Surprise? Not really. But the bigger issue here is whether wowen are indeed less capable than men?. Are they given equal opportunity to achieve the highest possible position as decision makers?. Personally, I think women are just as capable as men decision makers. At the same time, there's ample opportunity for women to go up the corporate ladder. My personal view is that, women at one point or another in their career, will have to make some very personal, yet important and difficult decisions. Some may require sacrifices such that they may need to "postpone" their personal career agenda over motherhood. However, once they overcome their own challenges, they can become great leaders. Never mind the "low statistics". After all, being great is not necessarily through board rooms alone. The opportunity is always there....

Monday, March 14, 2011

Malaysian Top Business School.....

Today I participated in a group discussion organized by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE)to redefine what is really expected when one is considered a "Top Business School" or TBS. Also invited in the discussions were Deans and members of Malaysian Business Schools, practitioners as well as appointed assessors for the TBS. At the national level, TBS is part of MOHE's Strategic Plans for Higher Institutions in Malaysia. As part of the Economic Transformation Plan (ETP) Agenda, a TBS is expected to produce the necessary human capital for the country. A TBS is also to produce the right talent to uphold Malaysia's aspiration to become a "high-income" nation by 2020. MOHE wants top business schools to be self-sustaining and to generate their own income. In today's meeting, participants were basically encouraged to give their views, to raise issues and to address challenges often faced by Malaysian Business Schools. Forthcoming meetings will address these issues and find solutions to overcome them.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Collaborative Project with ASNAF

Today ARI and the faculty of Accountancy UiTM received three guests who are Malaysian members from ASNAF: Dato' Mohamad Aidid, Tn Hj Atarek Kamil and Mr Shamsul Khairi. ASNAF is the Federation of ASEAN Accounting Firms, an alliance of accounting firms in various countries across the ASEAN region and throughout Asia including Australia and New Zealand. The five founding members of ASNAF are representatives from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore (Thailand joined as the sixth member followed by Vietnam). We basically discussed on possible collaboration that our university can offer with the ASNAF's Malaysian Chapter. In view of the new and dynamic economic and business environment, accounting firms must invest in human capital. In today's business environment, accounting firms must think global and identify their niche. Some of the new competencies that accountants need to develop include forensic accounting, financial criminology, Islamic accounting, Islamic Finance and Shariah audit....