31 Mei 2020
by Aidi Izham, CFP®, MIFP
What determine an investment, “a syariah-compliant investment”?
All Raiz investment portfolios are investing in unit trust funds managed by Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad (ASNB), a wholly-owned subsidiary company of Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB).
The funds have invited two views;
FIRST, from the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), the statutory body that is responsible to regulate and develop the Malaysian capital market — the funds are NOT considered compliant.
Mainly because PNB’s strategic investment in Maybank, considered a non-syariah compliant financial services stock. For SC to say a fund is compliant, they look at the business activity benchmarks and financial ratio benchmarks, while at the same time account for qualitative aspect which involves public perception or image of the company’s activities.
However, the SECOND view coming from the Islamic local councils in Malaysia, both at state (Jawatankuasa Fatwa Negeri) and federal level (Jawatankuasa Fatwa Majlis Kebangsaan) — the funds are “harus”, for these obvious reasons;
- PNB’s mandate is to enrich the lives of the Bumiputeras, which majority are Muslims. PNB has some 14 million unitholders, of which about 80% are Bumi.
- PNB does not invest in “haram” shares” such as alcohol, gambling or tobacco stocks.
- There are limited number of syariah-compliant equity instruments on Bursa Malaysia considering how much money PNB has to invest — PNB has RM312 billion to invest, but Syariah-Compliant securities on Bursa Malaysia is only RM1.1 trillion (as at 31 Dec 2019).
- If PNB pulls out its share from Maybank due to its non-syariah compliance, that would have a major negative economic impact on Bumi Muslims.
- If PNB did not have majority shares in Maybank, for instance, it will lessen the acceleration of Islamic finance in the country – Maybank Islamic is the largest Islamic banking group in Malaysia and ASEAN by assets.
Therefore, for the above obvious reasons, after considering and prioritising wider public interest (maslahah), keeping the investment in Maybank is regarded as an essential (dharuriyyah) – hence the ruling “harus”.
- From the SC – the funds are not Syariah-compliant
- From the Jawatankuasa Fatwa – the funds are “harus”
- There is no force if one wishes to invest or, indeed, to not invest at all. That’s why the principles of needs (hajiyyah) provide a certain flexibility and freedom (although not absolute) for the individual to choose.
Bursa Malaysia, FAST BNM
PNB Annual Report 2019
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