By Sakina Mohamed

This is the first of a two-part series on Grameen Bank, the first in the world that gives out loans to those who live below the poverty line and revolutionised banking worldwide. The first part explains a brief history of the bank as well as its latest updates and efforts, as revealed by its founder during his recent visit to Malaysia.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 (Bernama) -- Who has heard the story of a bank that has loaned over USD10 billion to the poor without collateral, yet has a repayment rate of over 98 percent? For those who have yet to hear the story of Grameen Bank, the world's first micro-credit organisation, is indeed an extraordinary one.

Despite defying all the rules of conventional banking, Grameen Bank has single-handedly lifted the Bangladesh poor from poverty. More amazingly, it has even reformed social development and economy not only in the country but across the world.

The man that came up with the idea is now befittingly a Nobel Laureate. Professor Dr Muhammad Yunus, founder and Managing Director of Grameen Bank, started the bank while his country was going through famine in the 1970s. And his inspiration came one morning in 1976, while he was walking past a village to the university in which he served as an economics professor.

"I encountered a poor woman who explained to me that she earned only two cents a day from making these beautiful bamboo chairs, all because she had to borrow from a loan shark. The loan shark had demanded that she sell her products to him at a price so low that she made a profit of only two cents a day".

Muhammad said at that moment, he needed to pay the loan shark only USD1 to set her free from debt and help her out from that cycle of poverty. And so he did.

The happiness and relief in the poor woman inspired him to look for other people in the village who owed the moneylender. He found 42 people who needed a total of only USD27 to pay off the loan shark, as well as to buy raw materials for their businesses. With that amount of money they managed to become debt free and at the same time sell their products to the highest bidder, thus improving their economic status.

In doing so, he found that he had helped the first woman make a profit of USD1.25 a day, instead of only two cents. Thus began a journey for Muhammad to set up Grameen Bank which breaks the cycle of "low income, low saving and low investment".

Muhammad shared the inspiringly famous history of the bank during a luncheon in Malaysia recently, while delivering a keynote address titled "Social Business and Poverty Reduction". The special luncheon was organised by Khazanah Malaysia and the Malaysian Directors Academy (Minda).


Grameen means "rural" or "village" in Bangla. Its tagline is "Bank for the Poor". It provides micro credit to the rural poor in Bangladesh, so that they may start or finance their business and keep their income growing.

Muhammad says the bank lends tiny loans of USD200 per month to about 8.3 million borrowers all over Bangladesh and are paid back in weekly instalments. Amazingly, although the bank lends out to those living below the poverty line, it manages to recoup nearly 98 percent of its loans.

The economics professor says one basic fundamental of the banks since inception is that banks should go to the people and not the other way.

"We meet all these 8.3 million borrowers at their doorsteps. They don't have to go anywhere. We meet them every week and do banking at their doorstep.

"It's a big task. But it's the only way we can get them to do banking with us, as over 97 per cent of our borrowers are women. If you ask them to come to our office, it won't happen. The men will take over, being the mobile ones. Women usually stay home trying to settle numerous tasks in care giving", he explained.

An inevitable question arises: why does Grameen Bank tend to give out loans to women? The bank's website addresses this frequently-asked-question with the following answer:

"Women in Bangladesh are neglected by society. Through the opportunity of self-employment and the access to money, Grameen Bank helps to empower women. In addition, studies have shown that the overall output of development is greater when loans are given to women instead of men, as women are more likely to use their earnings to improve their living situation and to educate their children".


Today Grameen Bank is owned by the rural poor whom it serves. Borrowers of the bank own 90 percent of its shares, while the remaining 10 percent is owned by the government.

While watching the success of Grameen Bank in elevating the living standards of its borrowers, another question came to Muhammad's mind: what will become of the future of their families?

It was a natural question to ask, considering that the parents are mostly illiterate. This almost guarantees the perpetuation of the traditional cycle of poverty, ill health and other social maladies that come with it.

"We decided that we must ensure the children of all these families go to school in order to break out of that cycle and move on to a different direction", he says. So that plan was then set into motion.

Then a wonderful and unexpected thing happened. The children not only went to school, but thrived and excelled in their studies. They soon found themselves going to high schools and subsequently, colleges.

"There were thousands of them, flourishing and excelling in school. We didn't at all expect this as we thought having them go to primary school was the best achievement we could hope for from these Grameen kids. But the reality turned out to be much better than we expected", he says.

But then another problem surfaced. While parents were happy that their children were progressing academically, they soon realised that the cost of tertiary education was beyond their means.

"So then we had scores of children who were academically excellent but couldn't further their education. We debated within Grameen bank on how best to ensure that they stay on, and we came up with this solution - to introduce the education loan. Now, nobody is left behind".

As a result, there are now more than 50,000 students with Grameen education loans in medical schools and engineering schools in universities across Bangladesh.

Muhammad believes that children from wealthy families are no different than the poor ones in terms of capabilities. However, opportunity-wise, there is a big difference.

"And that makes all the difference in their lives.

"If the poor children could go to the best schools in the world and compete with their best talents, they'll be as capable and as talented as everyone else."


Muhammad speaks fondly of Malaysia and his relationship with Khazanah Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar. The former has visited Malaysia many times, even before the Grameen idea took off outside of Bangladesh.

"Malaysia is almost like my second home. In fact, the first time the Grameen idea was taken outside of Bangladesh was in Malaysia, with the first application in Penang", he revealed.

In 1994, Malaysia bestowed Muhammad the Tun Abdul Razak award in recognition of his remarkable contribution to the world. Since Grameen Bank's inception in 1976, he founded 25 companies, all of which aimed at improving the living situation of the poor.

He says on hearing his sentiments on education, Azman immediately come up with idea of providing scholarships to Grameen students to study in Malaysia.

Today, Yayasan Khazanah sponsors 10 students who are children of Grameen Bank employees in select universities in Malaysia via the Khazanah Asia Scholarship. The foundation also continues to annually select five students from families that are served by the Grameen Bank to be recipients of the scholarship.

"The students that get this fantastic opportunity are from families with very low income", explains Muhammad.

He describes the programme as one that binds both Grameen and Khazanah very closely and says he is happy with the partnership.

Today, the bank is the source of ideas and models for many institutions in the field of micro-credit. But in Bangladesh, it represents a whole lot more.

"It is the future of the second generation of borrowers", says Muhammad.

"Of where they can go, and what they can be. They no longer have to go back to age-old cycle of poverty. They can now take it forward".


Posted by Mr Thx Wednesday, December 29, 2010 0 comments

Who doesn't like the fresh start of a new year? A clean slate and an optimistic outlook make January 1 a magical time. The only problem is that every year we vow to take care of our finances, but we ultimately get sidetracked with excuses. But this year will be different, and to help, here are some smart money moves for the New Year.

Review the previous year
What better place to begin a new year than to reflect upon the past? Take a look at last year's budget, identify the good and bad money moves you made last year and resolve to make the necessary improvements for the upcoming year.

Set one financial goal
Keep it simple this year and set at least one goal you'd like to achieve by the end of this year, then put all of your focus and energy towards achieving the goal.

Some financial goals could be to:

— Automate your finances
If your money seems to slip through your fingers before you can save any of it, putting yourself on an automatic savings plan to debit even $50 per month from your account is a good way to save without feeling the pinch. If you don't see the money, you won't miss it and before you know it, that $50 per month in savings will be $600 at the end of the year.

If your problem is more that you keep forgetting to pay bills and end up paying interest on overdue bills, you can also automate your bill payments by calling the companies directly to ask if they can debit your account every month, or talk to your bank about automating your recurring bill payments.

— Improve your investing knowledge
This is probably the area most people are afraid of. Of course it will all look confusing to begin with if you want to tackle everything under the sun in a short amount of time. So start slow and simple with something like learning what bonds, stocks and mutual funds are. For each topic, apply your newfound knowledge towards your money so that the information becomes relevant to you.

Your company might also offer free seminars to understand your finances better. You can also go online to learn the basics at your own pace.

— Get out of debt
For anyone who is in debt, it is really better knowing what your financial situation is than to stay in the dark. Next, create a budget listing your net income per month and where you plan to spend your money in each category.

Once your budget is done and you know what you have to work with, make a separate plan to get out of debt. Start by listing all of your debts, their interest rates and minimum monthly payments.

Now minus the total amount of minimum debt repayment you'll have to make each month, and whatever is leftover should be applied to either the lowest debt balance you have or on the debt with the highest interest rate.

As you clear each debt, take the amount you used to pay towards that debt and apply it to the next debt in line until you're debt-free.

You may find that your minimum payments equal or exceed 15 percent of your net income. In that situation, you will need to adjust your budget percentages and cut back on your housing, life or transportation costs, or simply make more money.

Don't rob your savings category in the beginning to pay down your debt. You should save a minimum of $1,000 for emergencies before adjusting your savings. Top 5 budgeting questions answered

Make a plan
Keep it simple and make sure you've covered all the bases for each goal. For example:

Goal: Save $5,000 by the end of the year for an exotic holiday vacation.

Step(s): Save an additional $417 per month, or $208.50 per bi-weekly paycheck.

The Plan: Review your budget and set up an automatic withdrawal from your paycheck into a savings account.

The bottom line
There are plenty of other goals out there, such as buying a home, a new car or going on a European vacation. The main thing to remember is that without a plan, your goals will always be dreams.


Posted by Mr Thx Monday, December 27, 2010 0 comments

STANDARD Chartered Plc and Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd plan to offer Shariah-compliant derivatives in Malaysia that will allow investors to hedge against interest rates and commodity prices.

Standard Chartered, the U.K. bank that earns most of its profit from emerging markets, will begin selling contracts in the first quarter that provide protection from fluctuations in the cost of items such as rice and oil, according to an e-mailed reply to questions yesterday. Bank Islam Malaysia, the country’s oldest Islamic lender, will offer swaps that allow two parties to exchange different forms of payments from an underlying asset.

The lack of such Shariah products is hindering industry growth, Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, chief executive officer of Kuala Lumpur-based CIMB Bank Islamic Bhd., said in an interview on Dec. 20. The market will be limited to hedging after derivatives contributed to the global financial crisis, which resulted in $1.8 trillion of credit losses and write downs.

“The industry has gone through a set of innovations over the past 10 years to offer Shariah-compliant solutions and today the industry can say we have Islamic derivatives,” Syed Alwi Mohd Sultan, director of origination at Standard Chartered Saadiq Bhd, the bank’s Kuala Lumpur-based Islamic banking unit, said in a telephone interview on Dec. 15. “A wide acceptance of the standards will bring greater convergence of the industry.”

Derivatives are contracts whose values are tied to assets including stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies, or events such as changes in interest rates or the weather.

Regulatory Approval

Standard Chartered started offering its commodities-based contracts in the Persian Gulf in March as the International Islamic Financial Market, a Manama, Bahrain-based agency that sets guidelines, provided standardized legal documentation for Shariah derivatives the same month. The U.K. bank will be the first to provide the products in Malaysia and is awaiting regulatory approval, according to the e-mail.

Islamic contracts can’t be traded or used as a speculative investment under Shariah law, said Aznan Hasan, assistant professor at the Kuala Lumpur-based International Islamic University of Malaysia, in an interview on Dec. 20. Standard Chartered’s products are vetted by a Shariah panel of experts to ensure compliance and that they are backed by a real underlying asset, Syed Alwi said.

“Customers need hedging instruments; if you have a customer who needs to make payment in the future for properties the company bought overseas, they have to hedge their currency,” said Aznan, who sits on several advisory boards including the one at Malaysia’s central bank.

Asia-Pacific Market

The Asia Pacific overtook North America as the biggest market for derivatives in the six months through June and accounted for 38 percent of the global total, according to data from the Washington-based Futures Industry Association published in September. That compares with North America’s 33 percent market share.

CIMB Islamic, the world’s top sukuk arranger this year, is “exploring” Shariah-compliant credit-default swaps to complement the bank’s Islamic profit-rate swaps, cross-currency swaps and cross currency profit-rate swaps, Badlisyah said.

“It’s still very early days for the market but we’ve been receiving interest for our derivatives products from institutional investors as well as companies who need to hedge their positions,” Badlisyah said. “Without effective risk management, Islamic financial institutions cannot grow in a stable and aggressive manner.”

Sukuk Returns

Malaysia, the Asian hub for Shariah-compliant finance, accounts for more than 50 per cent of the $144 billion of outstanding Islamic bonds, or sukuk, globally, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Total sales of the securities, which pay asset returns to comply with the religion’s ban on interest, have dropped 24 per cent to $15.3 billion this year.

Shariah-compliant bonds returned 12.4 per cent in 2010, according to the HSBC/NASDAQ Dubai US Dollar Sukuk Index. Debt in developing markets gained 11.7 per cent, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI Global Diversified Index shows.

The difference between the average yield for sukuk and the London interbank offered rate shrank two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 305 on Dec. 21, according to the HSBC/NASDAQ Dubai US Dollar Sukuk Index. The spread has narrowed 163 basis points this year.

Rising Demand

The yield on Malaysia’s 3.928 per cent Islamic notes due June 2015 rose two basis points to 3.10 per cent today, according to prices from Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. The debt has returned 5.8 per cent since it was issued in June.

The difference in yield between the Dubai Department of Finance’s 6.396 per cent sukuk due November 2014 and Malaysia’s Islamic note was little changed at 339 basis points today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The gap shrank 59 basis points this month.

Demand for services complying with Shariah law is increasing by about 15 per cent a year and assets will rise to $1.6 trillion by 2012, from around $1 trillion currently, according to the Kuala Lumpur-based Islamic Financial Services Board.

Bank Islam Malaysia plans to introduce new contracts that will allow an exchange of profit or return rates between two counterparties, Hizamuddin Jamalluddin, the bank’s assistant general manager, said at a seminar for Islamic derivatives on Dec. 14 in Kuala Lumpur. These will be in addition to its existing Shariah-compliant hedging contracts, he said.

Record-low borrowing costs in the U.S. may rise in 2011, providing a “timely” opportunity for banks to issue swaps- based derivatives, Hizamuddin said.

“It is very critical that holders of sukuk have access to hedging solutions that would enable them to counter the challenges in a rising interest-rate environment,” he said. “Interest rates seem to have hit rock bottom.” - Bloomberg


Posted by Mr Thx Wednesday, December 22, 2010 0 comments

Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) unitholders will receive a dividend of 7.50 sen per unit for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2010 compared with 7.30 sen declared last year.

The 7.04 million unitholders who currently hold more than 82.72 billion ASB units will also receive a bonus of 1.25 sen, similar to last year.

Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) Chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid said the income distribution portion involved a total payout of RM5.93 billion while the bonus portion RM603.34 million.

Up to last Friday, he said, the scheme registered a gross income of RM6.58 billion.

"Dividend income from investee companies contributed RM3.27 billion or 50 per cent of the gross income, and profit from the sale of shares contributed RM2.78 billion or 42 per cent," he told a press conference here today.

He said the remaining eight per cent or RM0.53 billion was derived from investment in short-term instruments and other investments.

PNB President and Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman said this year''s earnings were supported by the increase in dividend contributions from subsidiary companies particularly Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) which amounted to 55 sen compared with eight sen a year earlier.

Dividend contribution from Sime Darby Bhd, meanwhile, dropped to 10 sen from 20.3 sen in 2009.

"In terms of income, last year's dividend was less than 50 per cent but this year, we managed to achieve 50 per cent resulting from dividend returns from our investee companies.

"This year's performance was quite fortunate. Even though Sime Darby paid less than last year, we received a higher dividend from Maybank which had been gradually recovering," he said.

Asked on Sime Darby's performance, Hamad said: "We are always hoping that the performance of our companies will improve.

"If we look at Sime Darby's performance, they have projected the situation to get better in the future and we hope this will can help us get better returns." -- BERNAMA

Posted by Mr Thx Tuesday, December 21, 2010 0 comments

Thursday, December 16, 2010
From Bloomberg:

Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. plunged more than 12% in New York trading after the Federal Reserve Board proposed rules that may slash debit-card interchange fees by 90%.

The new rules, posted today by the Fed on its website, may aid retailers and cut profit for lenders who reaped about $15 billion from such charges last year. Terms outlined by the Fed include a plan with caps of 12 cents per transaction. The fees currently average about 1%.

The result could be an 80% to 90% drop in the fees that Visa and MasterCard pass on to banks, according to Tien-tsin Huang, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Jason Kupferberg, an analyst at UBS AG, said investors had been expecting a 40% to 60% reduction.

"Visa is still reviewing the specific elements of the recommendations," said Will Valentine, a spokesman for the San Francisco-based company, in an e-mailed statement. "We cannot comment in detail on the proposed regulations until we have had a chance to fully consider their implications."

Visa fell $9.82, or 13%, to $67.12 at 3:08 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the most in two years. MasterCard dropped as much as 12%, its biggest one-day slide ever, before recovering to $222.04, an 11% drop.

The central bank is crafting the caps on "swipe" fees, also called interchange, to comply with financial curbs that Congress passed in July. Analysts have said the limits could erode profit for Visa and MasterCard. By contrast, the new rules may cut costs for retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp.

Network Choice

"Setting a cap ensures that no issuer is able to receive an interchange fee at an unreasonably high level," said Janet Yellen, Fed vice chairman, in a memo outlining the proposals.

The Fed also proposed rules that would let merchants choose from at least two independent debit networks for routing transactions, potentially creating more competition for Visa and MasterCard.

To compensate for the lost profit, banks may eliminate rewards on debit cards and charge some customers for using them, increase fees on deposit accounts and promote other products that aren't covered by the regulations, such as charge cards that require consumers to pay their bills in full each month, McDonald said.

The debit caps were part of a measure pushed by U.S. Senator Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat whose new rules permit retailers to refuse credit cards for purchases of less than $10 and offer discounts based on the form of payment. It exempts lenders with assets of less than $10 billion and reloadable prepaid debit cards, which are used to distribute government benefits such as Social Security.

Credit Cards

The industry has escaped attempts to regulate interchange on credit cards, which average about 2% per transaction, saying the fees are needed to compensate for the risk of lending money. Debit fees don't have that problem because cash is immediately deducted from the consumer's checking account.

The so-called Dodd-Frank financial overhaul requires the Fed, which writes regulations on electronic payments, to complete the rules by April 21 and implement them by July 21. Today's vote will open a public comment period, after which the Fed board will meet to vote on the final rules.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Eichenbaum in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at

Posted by Mr Thx Friday, December 17, 2010 1 comments

The Story of the Sukus and the Tukus

gold coins

There were once two neighbouring islands far away in the oceans. One was called Aya and the other Baya. A certain people called the Sukus lived on the island of Aya . It was a fertile island with lush vegetation and tropical fruits. There were numerous waterfalls and rivers that provided the people with clean water and places for family retreats and recreation. The surrounding seas were unpolluted, with abundant fish and other seafood. The island also had gold and the Sukus, particularly the womenfolk, loved gold, They used pieces of gold as money since everyone treasured gold. Their tribal leadership led by a man named Saka, minted the gold coins. They lived a simple cooperative life and there were no interest charges for lending and borrowings among themselves. Occasionally, some tidal waves and strong winds destroy some property, particularly homes, but the community would immediately help themselves to rebuild or repair the damaged property. Other than that, it was a peaceful community of people who went about their life gracefully.

The island of Baya , on the other hand, was inhabited by a people called the Tukus. Their leader was an elderly man named Taka. The island of Baya was fertile too and the Tukus were mostly farmers who worked rice fields or kept cows, sheep and poultry. Some of them were good at handiwork and produced a variety of household items. They too lived a very peaceful and cooperative life, mutually helping each other for survival. The Tukus were, however, not so sophisticated as the Sukus, in that they merely did barter trade. The Tukus realized that the Sukus were much wealthier, healthier and had towns that were much more sophisticated than their own. They had always thought that the Sukus were more gifted and superior beings than themselves. Even though they barter traded their goods occasionally with the Sukus they never got the idea of money. However, their women-folk too loved gold, particularly the gold jewellery that the Sukus made.

One day, two smartly dressed men arrived in a ship on the shores of the island of Aya . Their names were Gago and Sago. The Sukus being a very hospitable people welcomed their new guests. Gago and Sago impressed the Sukus with the stories of their extensive traveling. They showed them some gold coins from other parts of the world and also some printed papers that were apparently used by some far-away people as money.

The Sukus had never seen paper before. The paper money even had pictures of bananas on it – their favourite fruit. The two strangers also showed them a machine that prints such money. Wow! That got the Sukus’ attention. There were awed because they had never seen anything like that before. The islanders loved Gago and Sago and invited both to live with them on the island.

Gago and Sago convinced the people that an institution called a bank would benefit the people immensely. They explained that a bank would provide a place for keeping their gold money safe while uplifting their economic conditions by making the savings available to others for productive use, which otherwise would remain idle. The Sukus, being a people who loved to help others, thought that was a great idea. Gago and Sago then built a small building structure with a vault in it and started operating the first bank on the island of Aya .

They celebrated the occasion by giving the islanders a great feast along with a colourful festival of events. The people thronged to deposit their gold coins with the bank. Depositors were given a piece of printed paper for every gold coin they deposited, with the assurance that they could redeem a gold coin for every paper they turned in. The people were excited with the paper “money” they got because it even had a picture of their leader Saka beside a banana tree. No doubt Saka was very pleased too!

The people deposited all their gold coins, a total of 100,000 pieces and hence an equivalent number of pieces of paper were given out. Now the people used the paper as money and found that it was much more convenient than the heavier gold coins that they used before. The paper money printed by Gago and Sago, therefore, became the dominant currency of the island. Nobody used the fold coins anymore. The people were pleased with the ease with which they were able go about doing their businesses. They trusted Gago and Sago very much because each time they brought in a piece of paper for redemption their request was indeed honoured. Gago and Sago became very respected and honoured in their society.

The Tukus who heard about the whole thing became excited and pleaded with Gago and Sago to help them out too. Gago and Sago smile to each other and told the Tukus that they would indeed be very pleased to do so. They then set up a similar building in Baya, and Sago was placed there as the manager. The difference between Aya and Baya was that in Baya the Tukus had no gold coins to deposit. Sago told them that was alright. He would however, give 1,000 paper notes to each family to use as money. Since they were a hundred families in Baya, so 100,000 paper notes were given out. However, Sago reminded them that at the end of the year each family must return 1,100 paper notes, the 10 per cent extra being a charge for the services he was providing. The Tukus found the paper money truly to be like magic. It made their business dealings so much easier compared to their previous barter trade. People spent much less time looking for counter parties to trade with. Now they were able to specialize in jobs they were good at. Their economy began to grow rapidly. Now Gago and Sago decided that the time was ripe for them to do their “trick”.

Gago noticed that in Aya, on average only 10 per cent of the fold deposits were redeemed by the Sukus at any particular time. The other 90 per cent remained in the vaults. Noticing that their printed papers were circulating as money, Gago printed an extra 900,000 certificates to be circulated as money too! Gago had calculated that with the extra papers, a total of 1,000,000 pieces of paper would be outstanding and if the people came to redeem their normal 10 per cent, then the 100,000 original deposit of gold coins would be readily available for redemption.3 Gago loaned out this extra 900,000 paper money to some “needy” Sukus at an interest charge of 15 per cent.

The Sukus suddenly found that the prices of things were rising. This baffled them and no one could figure out why.4 Some of them who had borrowed money form Gago were not able to pay back their debt even though they worked very hard trying to earn that extra money.5 Business became increasingly competitive and the society became less compassionate and less caring towards others than previously.6

The Tukus too found similar things happening to them. Initially, they did not notice any price increase but they noticed some behavioural change in their people. They became very competitive in their attitude and less caring towards their fellows. Even with hard work and such competitive behaviour, some of the Tukus still defaulted on their loans. They were not able to acquire enough money to pay back their total debt.7 Now Sago began to confiscate real wealth from the loan defaulters –like land, cows, sheep, etc. Their elderly leader Taka was among those who defaulted. But Sago gave him and some other Tukus additional paper notes as a rescheduling of their loans. This increased further their indebtedness. Later Taka defaulted again and had his loan rescheduled again. Now Taka began to avoid meetings with Sago. He felt ashamed and found his former power, pride, courage and dignity falling.8

On the contrary, he found that Sago was slowly becoming very wealthy by acquiring the people’s assets. In fact, he found that the power, pride, courage and dignity that he lost were now enthroned on Sago.

After a number of years, Gago and Sago who once arrived on the shores of the island of Aya with only a printing machine, were now the owners of most of the land and property in both Aya and Baya. The people were reduced to mere workers, some of them now living in poverty. Many worked long hours just to make ends meet. They now had less time for family, friends or for religious activities. Social problems were widespread.

People cared less for other. It goes without saying that with poverty, other social ills like crime, prostitution, etc. began to thrive. Their cultures were gradually replaced because Gago and Sago introduce a new “superior” culture of a “superior” people to which they belonged. This was the end of the caring and loving people of the two islands Aya and Baya, who had earlier lived a peaceful yet graceful life before Gago and Sago arrived with a printing machine.

Gago and Sago did not stop there. They continued to spread their wings to other peoples and societies. Their ultimate dream is to become the Global Supreme Rulers by establishing a single global bank with single global money.

We postulate here that in the current global monetary system, developing nations would go through somewhat similar events as pictured above.


3 This is how money is created in the current banking system in aggregate. If the reserve requirements is 10 per cent, then for a deposit of 100,000 a total loan that can be created is given by 100,000/0.10 = 1,000,000

4 This is easy to see with the help of the equation of exchange, MV = PY. In this example, with the sudden increase in the money supply M, without a corresponding increase in real output of goods and services Y, the prices levels, i.e. P thus tend to increase ( the velocity of circulation, V, is assumed unchanged and constant).

5 The loan (principle plus interest) is not repayable in aggregate because the interest portion does not exist in the form of money. Notice that the interest of 15% on the 900,000 principal equals 135,000. Therefore the total amount repayable is 1,035,000 but nonetheless, only 1,000,000 exist in total as money in the whole system. Accordingly, some defaults on the loans are sure to take place.

6 Since interest charge do not exist in the form of money, competition for money therefore ensues, reflected in increase business competition.

7 Again, this is because there is not enough money in the system as a whole such that debt is not repayable in aggregate.

8 Imagine that you borrowed RM10,000 from a friend. Do you think your behaviour toward the friend would change, say when you meet the friend in the street? Particularly when the stipulated time for the return of the loan had expired?

Credit To Prof Ahamed Kameel Mydin Meera for his book The Theft of Nations – Returning to Gold

Posted by Mr Thx Tuesday, December 14, 2010 0 comments

By Tengku Noor Shamsiah Tengku Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 (Bernama) -- The ringgit is expected to touch RM2.20 against the greenback by 2012, following the continued strengthening of the local currency, says Malaysian Investors Association (MIA) president, Datuk Dr P.H.S. Lim.

"The ringgit, together with other Asian currencies, are getting more spicy and hot caused by further financial problems in the European Union and the slow economic momentum in US," he told Bernama here Monday.

Lim said Asian gross domestic product was expected at 7.1 per cent against the global average of 4.8 per cent for 2011.

He said the US Federal Reserve was mopping up Treasury bills worth US$600 billion and at the same time, printing more new notes.

"This has made some governments to call for gold to be used as reserves and this is driving gold price to all-time high of US$1,364 per troy ounce," he said.

Lim said the US government kept presuring China to strengthen its renminbi to make Chinese goods less competitive.

However, Lim said, currency was not the only factor in production and services.

"US wages are too high, making up 60 per cent of their total production and service costs," he said, adding that trade war and currency were intertwined.

"We had seen US-Japan trade war in the 80s and history keeps repeating itself. Some countries have called for US greenback to be replaced as international currency and reserves," he said.

In fact, many central banks are placing more reserves in other currencies and gold, he said.

He said fund managers, international investors kept buying gold and hot money are chasing Asian and Brazil, Russia, India and China assets, causing inflation fear.

Lim said the EU faced another round of financial crisis and needed 440 billion euro (1euro=RM4.14) to bail out its indebted members.

The EU and the International Monetary Fund had set up a 750 billion euro fund to help Greece in May, he said.

"Now Spain is facing a possible meltdown. Some member countries are not too happy to provide additional funds to boost European financial stability.

"This situation may further drive up Asian currencies and gold prices," he said.


Posted by Mr Thx Wednesday, December 1, 2010 0 comments

Monday, November 29th, 2010 19:23:00

KUALA LUMPUR: Pelaburan Hartanah Bhd (PHB), a subsidiary of Yayasan Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera, today launched a RM1 billion investment fund to help Bumiputera entrepreneurs own properties.

The "Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera" launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri NajibTun Razak is open to Bumiputera entrepreneurs with an initial investment of only RM500.

"Under the Syariah-compliant investment scheme, Bumiputeras will indirectly have an opportunity to own equities in major properties. The unit trust will be sold at RM1 a unit," said PHB managing director and chief executive officer Kamalul Arifin Othman at the launch of the scheme.

He said PHB was collaborating with Maybank to facilitate smooth transaction of the scheme.

"Bumiputera entrepreneurs who are keen to participate in the scheme can go to the 400-odd Maybank branches nationwide to buy the AHB units," he said.

On AHB returns, Kamalul Arifin assured investors that the returns would not be less than six per cent per annum based on the property sector's performance at the Golden Triange area.

He said the PHB would continue to identify business opportunities through acquisition of premier assets and developing properties particularly in thecommercial property development sector.

"We are also looking to grow the fund size by another RM500 million by next year," he added.

Established in May 2006, PHB is an investment holding company, which currently owns properties worth in excess of RM1 billion in and around the Klang Valley.

source HERE

Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera (AHB)

A fund that seeks to provide Unit Holders with a regular and consistent income stream whilst preserving the Unit Holders’ investment capital

Fund type / Category:

Min initial investment:
500 units

What is Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera?

  • A Shariah Compliant Unit Trust
  • An opportunity to benefit from rental income of prime commercial properties.

Investment Objective

The Fund seeks to provide Unit Holders with a regular and consistent income stream whilst preserving the Unit Holders' investment capital

Investment Strategy

The Fund will seek to achieve its investment objective by investing primarily in the beneficial ownership of real estate in Malaysia from the Sponsor in particular commercial properties including but not limited to office buildings, shopping complexes, commercial centres, logistics and industrial complexes. The Fund will also invest in Shariah-compliant money market instruments and equivalent instruments and hold cash to meet its liquidity requirements

Fund Manager

Mayban Investment Management Sdn. Bhd.

Potential Investors

  • Investors who seek capital preservation
  • Investors with low risk tolerance
  • Investors who wish to benefit from prime commercial property, via rental income.


  • Malaysian Bumiputera:
    • Akaun Dewasa (18 years and above)
    • Akaun Remaja (18 years and above as legal guardian for minors age three (3) months and above but below 18 years. Both legal guardian and minor must be Malaysian Bumiputera)
  • Bumiputera institution¹
    ¹Any Bumiputera institution's investment in the Fund is only by invitation from the Manager and the Sponsor

Minimum Initial Investment

500 Units

Maximum Investment

Limited to 200,000 Units per Unit Holder

Minimum Additional Investment

100 Units

Minimum Balance of Units

500 Units

Minimum Redemption

500 Units

Frequency of withdrawal

Once in a calendar month


The above details applicable to Individual Unit Holders only

source HERE

source HERE

AHB Financing-i
The new Islamic financing facility for the purchase of Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera unit trust fund

AHB Financing-i provides financing for the purchase of Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera (AHB) unit trusts based on the Shariah principles of Bai' ‘Inah (sale with immediate repurchase).

* Individuals age 18 years up to 59 years old
* Malaysian Residents
* Bumiputera

Financing Amount

* Min financing amount : RM10,000
* Max financing amount : RM200,000

Margin of Financing

Up to 105%

* 100% of nominal value of unit trust
* 5% on GRTT (premium capitalization)

Financing Tenure

* Payment period of up to 25 years or up to the age of 60

Profit Rate

Effective Rate:

* BFR - 1.65% (throughout financing tenure)

Selling Price Rate/Ceiling Rate fixed at

* BLR + 4.0% or 10%, whichever is higher

Payment Frequency

* Monthly

Payment Option

* Single installment only

Mode of Installment Payment

* Standing Instruction (SI)

AHB Income Distribution

* Income distribution (if any) will be made on a semi annual basis.
* AHB financial year ends September 30

Documents Required

• Application form
• Certified True Copy of Identity Card (both sides)
• Photocopy of latest 3 months' pay slip (only for financing above RM50,000)

source HERE

Posted by Mr Thx Monday, November 29, 2010 0 comments

This is a repost of an article from June which was written in the wake of the meeting of the Trilateral Commission in Dublin’s Four Seasons Hotel, an important event expertly ignored by our main stream media.

In light of last weeks peaceful student protests in Dublin and the disgraceful use of force by the Gardai we are reposting this article, as we feel it contains important information on what is actually occurring in our country and the world at this time. RTE viewers may remember the ‘storming’ of the Dail last May, an event which made it straight onto the six o’ clock news that evening. Violence by the public makes the news headlines. Violence by the Gardai doesn’t. Why not? This has been going on in Rossport for a long time and RTE and the other news media are not very interested in it. Why is that?

Here is the report RTE finally aired, and a video of the follow up protest to Pearce Street Garda station, not aired by RTE.

Now tens of thousands of students and members of the public have seen what happens in a ‘free’ country when peaceful people exercise their rights. And also, very importantly, the true nature of those who supply us with the information we use to form our world view. If the information we are supplied with to form our world view was accurate then things would make sense, and our country would not be in this incredible situation. Our media lie, and there is a reason for that.

Ireland is in economic tail spin and be advised everyone, we’re going down. The ‘experts’ in our ‘news’ media can say whatever they like, or rather whatever they are being told to say, we are crashing, and its not an accident. Green shoots? Free cheese? Who writes this stuff, I mean, seriously?

Last weeks events in Dublin have delivered a rude and painful awakening to 30,000 plus angry students and growing numbers ordinary people as the events finally get reported in our so-called ‘news’ media. One glaringly obvious fact sinking in is that our ‘news’ media are not impartial, not unbiased, and not truthful. They are propaganda, very clever, very effective, very selective. Please turn off the tv news, stop buying the newspapers. Its propaganda, an uncomfortable, dangerous fact, explained in this article.

As a brief summary, in light of additional information and events since this article was published, please consider the following:

This economic crash is not an accident, its been long planned. This is well documented and very evident. There is an agenda behind this which is extremely unpleasant. The reason this agenda has progressed is massively due to the stream of nonsense and lies we are being fed by our mainstream media. This is because these media outlets are either owned or controlled by those behind the agenda, also well documented. The information we base our world view on is coming from a small number of vested interests and it is almost entirely false and misleading. If the news we are fed was impartial then last weeks events should have been headlines, but they weren’t.

The root of this whole economic problem is the private ownership of the central banks and the staggering fraud which has been perpetrated on the whole world via the fractional reserve central banking system. There are solutions to this problem, peaceful solutions. The best solution to appear thus far is explained in exact detail in the recently released book ‘Blank of Ireland, this way out’.

Please read this book and pass it to everyone you know, the solution is contained within. This book explains in 84 pages exactly how to solve the debt problem. If you are in debt, loans, mortgage, you need to read this book.

Here is a video of the author interviewed about the book.

The debt is the problem. This book explains exactly how to redeem debts lawfully, how to wipe your debt, gone. Period. If you have a debt, mortgage, loan, student loan, this book explains how to settle it within the law, peacefully, simply by writing letters, by a man who has done it. This thread includes the letter from the bank verifying that his mortgage is settled and offering him further bank services.

All bank debts are fraudulent contracts. If the contract is fraudulent then it is invalid. We are within our lawful rights to ask for proof that our debts are valid, and if they are not then we are within our rights to not pay them. The banks do not suffer losses on loans, they are paid in full the minute we sign the loan application, believe it or believe it not, its true. Another must read, this book explains how the banks are paid in full when we sign the loan forms: How I Clobbered Every Bureaucratic Cash-Confiscatory Agency Know To Man, by Mary Elizebeth Croft.

And if a bank fails? So what? Is that not the nature of business? If your business is not run properly it fails, bye bye. Hard luck. Some other better run business will replace you, welcome to the free market. The world will not end if the banks fail. The banks don’t pay the sun to rise each morning yet.

We are free men and women. The banks don’t own us, neither do the politicians. And neither of them own our country, its OUR country, and we will NOT sit any longer and have it sold from under our feet and the feet of our children and the generations to come while we are mesmerised by the tepid ‘journalism’ and lies being fed to us every day by our trecherous media.

Bravo to the students who stood their ground on Wednesday and returned to voice their outrage at the actions of the Gardai outside Pearse Street station. And shame, eternal shame, on the members of the Gardai who blindly and ignorantly follow orders to beat peaceful students, from a group of people who the entire country, including YOUR former spokesperson Michael O Boyce, knows are simply a group of criminals. SHAME ON YOU. Redeem yourselves in the eyes of you country men and your families by arresting the criminals who have hijacked our government, sold our country and ours’ and our childrens’ futures. The entire country will applaud and protect you, go for it.

This article can be found at Ireland's problems can be solved, but only by exposing the real root.

Posted by Mr Thx Saturday, November 20, 2010 0 comments

Leading economists and financial experts say that our economy cannot recover until the too big to fails are broken up. See this and this. The giant banks have been sucking money out of the real economy and making us all poorer. But the government is refusing to even rein in the mega-banks, let alone break them up.

One of the too big to fails - JP Morgan - manipulates the silver market. See this, this, this, this and this.

According to the National Inflation Association, JP Morgan is “short 30,000 silver contracts representing 150 million ounces of silver. This is one of the largest concentrated short positions in the history of all commodities, representing 31% of all open COMEX silver contracts.” This could leave JP Morgan exposed if people go out and buy physical silver in large numbers.

Mike Krieger and Max Keiser have an idea for attacking the weak underbelly of the seemingly invincible too big to fail banks and market manipulators ... all at the same time.

Specifically, they say that if everyone buys just 1 ounce of silver, it will force JP Morgan - a giant manipulator of the silver market - to cover its short positions, and drive it out of business.

Silver is way down today, so it is a perfect time to buy.

source HERE

Posted by Mr Thx Tuesday, November 16, 2010 0 comments

By Terry Coxon, Senior Editor, Casey Research

By now you have plenty of reason to congratulate yourself for having boarded the gold bandwagon. The early tickets are the cheap ones, and you’ve already had quite a ride. The best of the ride, I believe, is yet to come, and it should be very good indeed. It should be so much fun that your wallet may start to feel a bit giddy – which can be dangerous. So it would be wise to consider, now, how things will be and how they will feel when the current bull market in gold reaches its “end of days.” Because it will end.

Buying at the right time is the key to building profits. Selling at the right time is the key to collecting them.

The 1980 Peak

In 1980, gold briefly touched the then record price of $850 per ounce. In terms of purchasing power, that would be $2,400 in today’s dollars. And for the value of the world’s entire gold stockpile to attain the same share of the world’s total wealth that it represented at the 1980 peak, the price would need to reach $5,800 per ounce.

But so what? Before you can look to those numbers for guidance about what the peak in gold’s bull market will look like, you need to consider how the process that drove the earlier bull market compares with what is happening today.

The earlier bull market was driven by price inflation in the world’s reserve currency, the dollar, that reached an annual rate of 14%. The more expensive it became to use dollars as a store of value (i.e., the more rapidly the dollar’s purchasing power was declining), the more attractive gold became as an alternative way to store value.

The dollar is still the world’s reserve currency. (And not just for central banks. Among individuals and private businesses that want to diversify out of their home currency, the dollar is still Number One.) And the force driving the bull market in gold is once again price inflation. But this time it isn’t actual price inflation that is on the mind of gold buyers around the world. It is the potential for price inflation that is building up. That build-up is coming from:

  • Rapid expansion in the U.S. monetary base through the Federal Reserve’s asset purchases. Most of that expansion has yet to be reflected in a growth in the U.S. money supply. It is still sitting, like a charge in a capacitor, waiting for something to set it off. There was no similar liquidity bomb stored in the U.S. economy's closet during the years leading up to 1980.
  • Unprecedented growth in federal government debt, which adds to the political attractiveness of price inflation. There were federal deficits during the 1970s, but nothing like today's – just enough to give the party out of power at any time something to talk about.
  • The accumulation of U.S. Treasury debt and privately issued dollar debt in the hands of foreign investors. U.S. debt to foreigners wasn't a factor in the years leading up to gold's 1980 peak. This time around, it could be a powerful force for accelerating inflation. Even moderate inflation could spook foreign investors. Their sales of Treasuries and other dollar-denominated IOUs would push down the foreign exchange value of the dollar, which would raise the cost of imports coming into the U.S., which would further stimulate price inflation. A nasty feedback.

    And foreign holdings of U.S. debt operate as a second vector feeding the political attractiveness of dollar price inflation. Depreciation of the dollar can be framed as a clever way to shortchange foreign creditors. "It hurts THEM, not US" would be the slogan.

All those factors are working to make price inflation distinctly more severe than it was in the 1970s, which argues for a higher peak price for gold. When the metal does surpass its 1980 peak in purchasing power, the event is likely to be widely reported in the press. I suggest that you not attach any significance to the event. It won't be time to sell.

Sell Signals

But the time to sell will come. Here are the signs I'll be looking for.

Gold and gold-related financial products will be commonplace.

Even today, most financial institutions still hold the "barbarous relic" attitude toward gold. Yes, you can get GLD through any stockbroker, but with a few exceptions, the brokerage firm's heart isn't in it. They offer GLD for the same reason even the best seafood restaurants have a steak on the menu – they know someone will ask for one, even though that's not what they are in business to serve.

Before the bull market is over, that attitude will change. Mainline brokerage firms won't just have gold-related products available, they will advertise them. They will boast about them. They'll claim to specialize in them. And it won't be just the brokers. Your local bank will offer gold-related CDs. Your insurance company may be offering life insurance denominated in ounces.

Gold going mainstream won't mean that the bull market is over, but it will be a sign that it's getting long in the tooth. An early warning signal.

You'll be hearing gold chatter wherever people talk about investing.

The inhabitants of Financial News TV Land will be talking about gold approvingly, and each of them will be trying to suggest he was early in recognizing the gold bull market. You won't be able to get through a golf game or a cocktail party without someone talking about gold. Even your brother-in-law will want to explain it to you.

The gold standard will become respectable.

Today advocates of the gold standard are seen as standing to the good side of whacko, but not by a big margin. But as gold attracts more converts in the investment world, the politicians will want to associate themselves with it by proposing some brand or other of gold convertibility for the dollar. Respectability for the gold standard will be a sign that a majority of the people who are going to buy gold already have.

Other things will look cheap to you.

When gold nears its peak, even if you suspect that that's what's happening, you won't feel certain about it. But when you start seeing investments – probably conventional stocks – that look like strong bargains, treat those sightings as a sign it's time to start selling gold. You know the reasons that led you to buy gold. If you are tempted to sell part of your holdings to buy something whose low price seems to give it better prospects, then you probably will be selling at the right time. You could be selling to the last new buyer.

source HERE

Posted by Mr Thx 0 comments

THE FTSE Bursa Malaysia Composite Index (FBM KLCI) resumed its prior technical rebounds over the last four trading days. It continued to stay above its critical resistance of 1,450 when it closed at 1,466.97 points yesterday.

The FBM KLCI rebounded strong on Monday. The FBM KLCI gapped up at 1,439.26 points before closing at the day's high of 1,456.96, giving a day-on-day gain of 19.18 points, or 1.33 per cent.

Share prices on Bursa Malaysia continued to rebound higher for the second trading day on Tuesday. The FBM KLCI trended between its intra-week low of 1,456.79 to its intra-day high of 1,474.44. It closed at 1,474.44 points, giving another day-on-day gain of 17.48 points, or 1.20 per cent.

The market paused to consolidate within tight trading range on Wednesday. It trended from its intra-day low of 1,469.86 to its intra-day high of 1,474.00. It closed at 1,472.95 points, giving a day-on-day loss of 1.49 points, or 0.10 per cent.

Overall market sentiment on Bursa Malaysia weakened on Thursday. It closed marginally lower at 1,466.97 points, giving a day-on-day loss of 5.98 points, or 0.41 per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Averages (DJIA) rebounded over the last four trading days. The DJIA closed at 10,594.83 points on Thursday, giving a four-day gain of 132.06 points, or 1.26 per cent.

The tech stock heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rebounded in tandem with the general market trend over the four trading days. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 2,303.25 points on Wednesday, giving a four-day gain of 60.77 points, or 2.71 per cent.

The FBM KLCI rebounded in two of the four trading days over the week to close at 1,466.97 points yesterday, posting a week-on-week gain of 29.19 points, or 2.03 per cent.

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Small Cap Index gained 234.13 points, or 2.07 per cent, to close at 11,528.04 points while the FTSE Bursa Malaysia ACE Index gained 99.41 points, or 2.63 per cent, to 3,880.06 level on Thursday.

Following are the readings of some of its technical indicators:

Moving Averages: The FBM KLCI stayed firmly above all its 10-, 20-, 30-, 50-, 100- and 200-day moving averages at the market close yesterday.

Momentum Index: Its short-term momentum index continued to stay above the support of its neutral reference line yesterday.

On Balance Volume: Its short-term OBV trend continued to stay above the support of its 10-day exponential moving averages.

Relative Strength Index: Its 14-day RSI stood at the 79.32 per cent level yesterday.


The FBM KLCI hit its intra-week high of 1,479.59 yesterday, momentarily breached the confines of this column's envisaged resistance zone (1,441 to 1,475 levels).

A quick glance at the performances of the FBM KLCI's 30 components, its gainers managed to outpace its losers by 16 to 13. PPB Group, Genting, Public Bank and Hong Leong Financial Group's combined gains of RM1.06, 59 sen, 48 sen and 38 sen helped the FBM KLCI in tracing out a week-on-week gain of 29.19 points, or 2.03 per cent. Axiata remained the top performing component with a total year-to-date gain of RM1.51, or 49.51 per cent.

The FBM KLCI's weekly chart continued to stay above its immediate downside support (See FBM KLCI's weekly chart - A3:A4) at the market close yesterday. Also, it continued to stay below the support of its intermediate-term uptrend (A5:A6).

Chartwise, the FBM KLCI's daily trend continued to trend above its revised uptrend support (See FBM KLCI's daily chart - B3:B4) at the week's close yesterday.

The FBM KLCI's daily, weekly and monthly fast MACDs (moving average convergence divergence) continued to stay above their respective slow MACDs yesterday.

The FBM KLCI's 14-day RSI stayed at 79.32 per cent level on Thursday. Its 14-week and 14-month RSI stayed at 79.66 and 72.20 per cent levels respectively.

Last week, this column commented that the FBM KLCI was likely to consolidate above its psychological support of 1,400. It did. The FBM KLCI closed at 1,466.97 points yesterday.

Heavyweight index-linked counters will continue to play pivotal roles in consolidating their recent gains. The FBM KLCI is likely to consolidate above its psychological support of 1,400.

Next week, the FBM KLCI's envisaged resistance zone is at the 1,470 to 1,500 levels while its immediate downside support is at the 1,427 to 1,463 levels.

The subject expressed above is based on technical analysis and opinion of the writer. It is not a
solicitation to buy or sell.

source HERE

Posted by Mr Thx Saturday, September 18, 2010 0 comments

The toll in Pakistan's devastating floods rose to 1,752 till now.

The floods for the past six weeks have washed away almost everything in its path. Mud and land slides have swept away over 7,000 miles of roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, electricity poles, and contaminated water and food supplies. Many parts of Pakistan are cut off, hampering and frustrating relief efforts. It is the worst flooding in 80 years. A region the size of England has been flooded.

"According to new estimates following the most recent flooding in Sindh... at least 10 million people are currently without shelter," said Maurizio Giuliano, spokesman in Pakistan for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

"And this does not include those who already received emergency shelter supplies and those housed in schools," Giuliano told.

MERCY Malaysia Seeks More Funding to Assist Pakistan Flood Victims

MERCY Malaysia's local project assistant Zahid Tanoli Bashir (second from right) and volunteer doctor Dr Jitendra Kumar treating patients at the Nowshera static clinic

30 August 2010 - MERCY Malaysia is seeking more funding to assist Pakistan flood victims in response to the Pakistan floods that have devastated millions of lives in the past one month. MERCY Malaysia President said the money is needed to help provide emergency medical relief to flood victims in the southern parts of Pakistan that were affected by the flooding.

“We plan to go further down south to set up more mobile and static clinics since the need for medical attention is still widely needed but at the moment the funds are “trickling into” our Pakistan Relief Fund and it puts a constraint on the scale of our relief work in Pakistan” said MERCY Malaysia President, Dato’ Dr Ahmad Faizal Perdaus.

“I urge members of the public, corporations, foundations and organisations to come forward and help to alleviate the suffering of the people in Pakistan caused by the floods by providing financial assistance through our Pakistan Relief Fund,” said Dato’ Dr Ahmad Faizal.

"The MERCY Malaysia team in Pakistan is actively involved on the ground since they arrived on 4 August. To date, we have sent three teams to Pakistan and are currently working at two static clinics in the Nowshera and Charsadda districts. Each static clinic also runs a mobile clinic; we have served over 6,000 patients through our 4 clinics, and we expect the numbers will rise as more people are displaced by the flood,” said Dato’ Dr Ahmad Faizal Perdaus.

“Both our mobile and static clinics received overwhelming number of patients that seek medical attention since MERCY Malaysia gained the trust of the local communities there,” he said.

"We at the MERCY Malaysia headquarters received reports from our staff in Pakistan that there is a high number of cases relating to conjunctivitis, dehydration and diarrhoea as there is a shortage of clean and safe water to drink and use,” he added.

“Apart from providing medical relief to the affected communities, MERCY Malaysia is also distributing hygiene kits and conducting sessions for the flood survivors to educate them on cleanliness and hygiene. We assisted 200 families in Pabbi, Nowshera, and hygiene promotion sessions were done together with local students from the Peshawar Medical College. This is important to mitigate the spread of communicable diseases -like diarrhoea and scabies- that occur during floods.”

“Since the Government of Pakistan has announced that the emergency phase is until 30 September 2010, MERCY Malaysia will continue to provide emergency medical relief to as much affected communities as we can and we hope to continue provide our services in the recovery phase after the said date, if our funding permits,” said Dato’ Dr Ahmad Faizal.

Concerned individuals and organisations can donate to MERCY Malaysia’s Pakistan Relief Fund through:

1. The following bank accounts:

MAYBANK (account name: MERCY HUMANITARIAN FUND, account number: 5621-7950-4126,

ABA Swift Code: MBBEMYKLA), or

CIMB Bank (account name: MERCY Malaysia, account number: 1424-000-6561053,

ABA Swift Code: CIBBMYKL), or

Internet Banking

- CIMBClicks (via CIMB Cares), or

- Maybank2u (via registered biller), or

- AmOnline (via registered biller), or

- EON Bank (via registered biller).

2. Donations via cheque are payable to MERCY MALAYSIA

3. To donate online, please visit

(Kindly state, “Pakistan Relief Fund” at the back of the cheque, in the bank-in slip or at the reference column if transaction is via internet banking).

-------------------- ##### --------------------

About MERCY Malaysia

MERCY Malaysia is a nonprofit organisation focusing on providing medical relief, sustainable health-related development and risk reduction activities for vulnerable communities in both crisis and non-crisis situations. MERCY Malaysia recognises the value of working with partners and volunteers as well as providing opportunities for individuals to serve with professionalism. We uphold the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief and hold ourselves accountable to our donors and beneficiaries. As a nonprofit organisation, MERCY Malaysia relies solely on funding and donations from organisations and generous individuals to continue our services to provide humanitarian assistance to our beneficiaries.

Important Note to Media: Usage of Wordmark MERCY Malaysia

In order to avoid confusion with other organisation(s) that uses “Mercy” as the organisation’s name or part of the organisation’s name, please take note that in addressing the name of our organisation, the wordmark for MERCY Malaysia is with capitalised “MERCY”, followed by the word “Malaysia”. When describing the organisation, the term “MERCY Malaysia” must always be used in full, and should not be partially referred to as “MERCY”, or “Mercy”. Thank you for your cooperation.

For further information, kindly contact:

Mas Elati Samani, Head of Communications and Strategic Engagement,

MERCY Malaysia

Level 2, Podium Block, City Point, Kompleks Dayabumi,

Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, 50050 KL.

T: 6-03-2273 3999, F: 6-03-2272 3812, E: W:

Posted by Mr Thx Wednesday, September 8, 2010 0 comments

Abu Bakr ibn Abi Maryam reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say: "A time is certainly coming over mankind in which there will be nothing [left] which will be of use save a dinar and a dirham."
(The Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal)
1. History of the Dinar & Dirham

2. What are the Islamic Dinar and Dirham

3. Using the Dinar and Dirham

4. The Importance of Paying Zakat with Dinar & Dirham
1. History of the Dinar & Dirham

In the beginning the Muslims used gold and silver by weight and the dinar and dirhams that they used were made by the Persians.

The first dated coins that can be assigned to the Muslims are copies of silver dirhams of the Sassanian Yezdigird III, struck during the Khalifate of Uthman, radiy'allahu anhu. These coins differ from the original ones in that an Arabic inscription is found in the obverse margins, normally reading "in the Name of Allah". Since then the writing in Arabic of the Name of Allah and parts of Qur'an on the coins became a custom in all mintings made by Muslims.

Under what was known as the coin standard of the Khalif Umar Ibn al-Khattab, the weight of 10 dirhams was equivalent to 7 dinars (mithqals).

In the year 75 (695 CE) the Khalifah Abdalmalik ordered Al-Hajjaj to mint the first dirhams, thus he established officially the standard of Umar Ibn al-Khattab. In the next year he ordered the dirhams to be minted in all the regions of the Dar al-Islam. He ordered that the coins be stamped with the sentence: "Allah is Unique, Allah is Eternal". He ordered the removal of human figures and animals from the coins and that they be replaced with letters.

This command was then carried on throughout all the history of Islam. The dinar and the dirham were both round, and the writing was stamped in concentric circles. Typically on one side it was written the "tahlil" and the "tahmid", that is, "la ilaha ill'Allah" and "alhamdulillah"; and on the other side was written the name of the Amir and the date. Later on it became common to introduce the blessings on the Prophet, salla'llahu alayhi wa sallam, and sometimes, ayats of the Qur'an.

Gold and silver coins remained official currency until the fall of the Khalifate. Since then, dozens of different paper currencies were made in each of the new postcolonial national states created from the dismemberment of Dar al-Islam.

Allah says in the Qur'an:

And amongst the People of the Book there are those who, if you were to entrust them with a treasure (qintar), he would return it to you. And amongst them is he who, if you were to entrust him with a dinar would not return it to you, unless you kept standing over him. Qur'an (3,75)
Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn al-Arabi, the greatest authority on Qur'anic Law wrote in his famous "Ahkam al-Qur'an" about this ayat:

"The benefit that can be taken from this is the prohibition of entrusting the People of the Book with goods".

Qadi Abu Bakr said: "The question concerning entrusting property is legislated by the text of Qur'an." This means that the ayat is a legal judgement of absolute validity and of the greatest importance to the deen.

Entrusting wealth to non-Muslims is not allowed, but furthermore, taking a non-Muslim as a partner outside Dar al-Islam (where we stand over them) is extremely restricted, because they might cheat or might use our wealth in forbidden transactions.

Since paper-money is a promise of payment, can it be permitted to trust the issuers while they hold the payment (our property) outside our jurisdiction? History has also demonstrated repeatedly that paper money has been a permanent instrument of default and cheating the Muslims. In addition, Islamic Law does not permit the use of a promise of payment as a medium of exchange.
2. What are the Dinar & Dirham

The Islamic Dinar is a specific weight
of 22k gold equivalent to 4.25 grams. The Islamic Dirham is a specific weight
of pure silver equivalent to 2.975 grams.

According to Islamic Law...

The Islamic Dinar is a specific weight of 22k gold (917.) equivalent to 4.25 grams.

The Islamic Dirham is a specific weight of pure silver equivalent to 3.0 grams.

Umar Ibn al-Khattab established the known standard relationship between them based on their weights: "7 dinars must be equivalent to 10 dirhams."

"The Revelation undertook to mention them and attached many judgements to them, for example zakat, marriage, and hudud, etc., therefore within the Revelation they have to have a reality and specific measure for assessment [of zakat, etc.] upon which its judgements may be based rather than on the non-shari'i [other coins].

Know that there is consensus [ijma] since the beginning of Islam and the age of the Companions and the Followers that the dirham of the shari'ah is that of which ten weigh seven mithqals [weight of the dinar] of gold. . . The weight of a mithqal of gold is seventy-two grains of barley, so that the dirham which is seven-tenths of it is fifty and two-fifths grains. All these measurements are firmly established by consensus." Ibn Khaldun, Al-Muqaddimah
How are the Islamic dinar used?

1.- The Islamic Dinar can be used to save because they are wealth in themselves.

2.- They are used to pay zakat and dowry as they are requisite within Islamic Law.

3.- They are used to buy and sell since they are a legitimate medium of exchange.
3. Using the Dinar & Dirham

Gold and silver are the most stable currency the world has ever seen.

From the beginning of Islam until today, the value of the Islamic bimetallic currency has remained surprisingly stable in relation to basic consumable goods:

A chicken at the time of the Prophet, salla'llahu alaihi wa sallam, cost one dirham; today, 1,400 years later, a chicken costs approximately one dirham.

In 1,400 years inflation is zero.

Could we say the same about the dollar or any other paper currency in the last 25 years?

In the long term the bimetallic currency has proved to be the most stable currency the world has ever seen. It has survived, despite all the attempts by governments to transform it into a symbolic currency by imposing a nominal value different from its weight.


Gold cannot be inflated by printing more of it; it cannot be devalued by government decree, and unlike paper currency it is an asset which does not depend upon anybody's promise to pay.

Portability and anonymity of gold are both important, but the most significant fact is that gold is an asset that is no-one else´s liability.

All forms of paper assets: bonds, shares, and even bank deposits, are promises to repay money borrowed. Their value is dependent upon the investor's belief that the promise will be fulfilled. As junk bonds and the Mexican peso have illustrated, a questionable promise soon loses value.

Gold is not like this. A piece of gold is independent of the financial system, and its worth is underwritten by 5,000 years of human experience.
4. The Importance of Paying Zakat with Dinar & Dirham

"Islam is based on five: testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the prayer, paying the Zakat, the Hajj and the fast of Ramadan."

Zakat cannot be paid with a promise of payment

Zakat can only be paid with tangible merchandise, called in Arabic 'ain. It cannot be paid with a promise to pay or a debt, called in Arabic dayn.

From the beginning the zakat was paid with dinars and dirhams. Most significant is that the payment of zakat was never allowed in paper money during all the ottoman period right until the fall of the Khalifate.

Shaykh Muhammad Alish (1802-1881), the great Maliki Qadi, said that if you were to pay zakat with paper-money only its value as merchandise ('ayn), that is, its value as paper can be accepted. Therefore, its nominal value is irrelevant as payment of zakat.

"If the Zakat was obligatory by considering its substance as a merchandise, then the nisab would not be stipulated according to its value but according to its substance and its quantity, as is the case with silver, gold, grain or fruits. Since its substance [paper] is irrelevant [in value] in respect to the Zakat, then it should be treated as the copper, iron or other similar substances."

Fatwa of Shaykh Alish

Payment of Zakat is perfectly explained and regulated in the Islamic jurisprudence. For centuries when Islamic Law was enforced by a Caliph or an Amir, the Zakat was collected in gold and silver. When paper-money was being first introduced, during the last century by the colonial powers the traditional ulema rejected it as being opposed to Islamic Law. According to them paper money was to be treated as fulus or lower category of currency with limited used, basically just as small change. It is, for example, not allowed to make a qirad with fulus. Among those ulema, stands out the famous scholar of magrebi ascendance, Shaykh Muhammad Alish (1802-1881) who was the Shaykh of the Shaykhs of Maliki fiqh in the University of Al-Azhar in Egypt. He wrote in his Fatwa.

"What is your judgement in respect to the paper with the stamp of the Sultan that circulates like the dinars and the dirhams? Is it obligatory to pay Zakat as if it was a coin of gold or silver, or merchandise, or not?"

I responded exactly in the following way:

"Praise belongs to Allah and blessing and peace upon our Master Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah."

"Zakat is not to be paid for it, because Zakat is restricted to the flocks, certain type of grains and fruits, gold and silver, the value of rotational merchandise and the price of the goods withheld. What is referred previously does not belong to any of these categories."

You will find an explanation by comparison with the copper coin or fulus with the stamp of the Sultan which is in circulation and for which no Zakat is paid since it does not belong to any of the categories mentioned. It says in the "Mudawwana": "Those who posses fulus for over a year for a value of 200 dirhams does not need to pay Zakat unless is used as a rotational merchandise. Then, it should be treated as if it was a merchandise."

In the "At-Tiraz", after mentioning that Abu Hanifa and Ash-Shafi'i obliged to pay Zakat for the fulus, [is stated that] since both affirm that the payment of Zakat is from value, and considering that Shafi'i has two contradictory opinions about the subject, the opinion of the school is that there is no obligation to pay Zakat for the fulus since there is no discrepancies about the fact that what counts with respect to the fulus is not its weight or its quantity but only its given value. If the Zakat was obligatory by considering its substance as a merchandise, then the nisab would not be stipulated according to its value but according to its substance and its quantity, as is the case with silver, gold, grain or fruits. Since its substance [paper] is irrelevant [in value] in respect to the Zakat, then it should be treated as the copper, iron or other similar substances.

And Allah, ta'ala, is the Wisest. And may Allah bless and give peace to our Master Muhammad and his family.

(Translated from the "Al-Fath Al-'Ali Al-Maliki" pp. 164-165).

This Fatwa considers paper-money to be fulus, because it only represents money and does not have value as merchandise. It follows that since Zakat cannot be paid in fulus, which has no value as merchandise, it cannot be paid in paper-money, which value as weight of paper is null. On this basis, it becomes clear the urgent need to restore the use of the Dinar and the Dirham as payment of Zakat. If the millions of Muslims who now make their payment of Zakat in paper money would do it in newly minted Dinars and Dirhams, they will put in circulation millions of gold and silver coins into the mainstream of daily commercial activities of our communities. That single act will became the most important political act of the century, opening the path towards the establishment our own halal free currency breaking away from the usurious financial system.

The return to the payment of zakat in gold and silver is an essential part of the reestablishment of Islam.

source HERE

Posted by Mr Thx Wednesday, August 25, 2010 0 comments
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Sekapur Sirih Seulas Pinang

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Alor Gajah, Melaka, Malaysia
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