Monday, January 31, 2011

Council of Professors Meeting

The Governance, Law and Public Policy Cluster of the Malaysian Council of Professors met today at the Perdana Room, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. The meeting which was attended by twenty professors was chaired by the Cluster Chairman, Prof Nik Ahmad Kamal from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). The group drafted forthcoming activities for the two years 2011 to 2012. Activities include roundtable discussions, seminars, workshops, roadshows, media articles, public engagement and close-door forums. In February 2011, a Roundtable Discussion on a topic related to Public Governance has been planned. The Program which will be held at the Perdana Leadership Foundation (PLF) Building in Putrajaya will be facilitated by renowned scholars and corporate figures. It is hoped that the Malaysian Council of Professors can play a significant role in supporting Malaysia's aspiration to become a high income and developed nation by 2020...

Sunday, January 30, 2011


ARI wishes to thank two officers: Mr Fuad and Ms Arni from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Bank Negara Malaysia for sharing their thought and experiences with our Master of Forensic Accounting & Financial Criminology students. The topics were related to anti money laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism initiatives. The Central Bank or Bank Negara Malaysia is named in the Anti Money Laundering and Anti Terrorism Financing Act (AMLATFA)as the competent authority in this country. In fact it is part and parcel of the FIU's initiatives to give public lectures to the public in order to increase public awareness on what constitutes money laundering and terrorism financing. It was indeed a very good session and the students had lots of questions to ask the two officers....

Saturday, January 29, 2011

PSPTN Meeting

Day Two
After a full day briefing yesterday, we had serious discussions among our group/CAP members on matters such as the identification of strategic objectives, listing of strategic activities & KPIs and setting targets for the next five years. For both the CoE and Top Business School(TBS) CAPs, we are moving towards becoming regional and international players.
In essence, our KPIs are very similar: Number of post graduate students; Amount of external grants; Number of Principal Investigators; Number of Indexed Publications; Number of Intellectual Properties; Number of Innovations and International Linkages. Moving beyond 2013, CoEs and TBSs need to draw their roadmaps towards autonomy...These are important initiatives to support Malaysia's aspiration to become a high income nation by 2020. Yes, we can....

Friday, January 28, 2011

ARI Participation in MOHE's PSPTN

Day 1
It is such an honour that ARI has been invited to participate in the "PELAN TINDAKAN PENGAJIAN TINGGI NEGARA - PSPTN" or the National Higher Education Action Plan Phase Two (2011 - 2015). Basically, participants at the two-day workshop were assigned and grouped into different "Critical Agenda Project or CAP". There were altogether 23 CAPS that the participants had to discuss. Premised on the outcome of PSPTN's first phase results and other government transformation agenda (2007-2010), the groups discussed among others, on the strategic objectives, Key Performance Indicators (KPI), Key activity and targets for the years 2011 to 2012. At the end of the two-day workshop, CAP participants are to submit a written documentation that represents MOHE's five-year strategic implementation project....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

ARI'S Polygraph Laboratory

ARI is still in the process of setting up its own Polygraph laboratory in Universiti Teknologi MARA. With the laboratory expected to be ready by May or June 2011, we hope to conduct a lot of research related to fraudsters' behaviour. Today we visited the Akhbar & Associate Polygraph Academy, the sole agent that supplies polygraph machines in Malaysia. We brought along some officers and technicians from the university's facility office to examine the technical requirements that need to be complied with. Dato' Akhbar Satar took us for a tour of his office and explained to us the specifications that need to be fulfilled when setting up an effective polygraph room. When completed, ARI will be the first research institution in Malaysia that has its own polygraph laboratory. Polygraph will also be offered as an elective course for our Master in Forensic Accounting & Financial Criminology program....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

HICoE Meeting

The first HICoE meeting which took place in November 2010 was initiated and organized by Prof Dr Abdul Rahman, the Director of UMBI at UKM. After a successful first meeting, UMPEDAC (another HICoE which is based in Universiti Malaya) volunteered to host the second meeting. The meeting was held today at the Crystal Crown Hotel in Petaling Jaya. All the HICoEs were represented and we basically presented and shared with the group all significant activities carried throughout 2010 and what we plan to do for 2011. It was also agreed that we will publish a HICoE Bulletin to highlight events and activities. UMBI has agreed to be the secretariate for the first Bulletin...

Another Joint-Collaboration with CIMA

ARI wishes to congratulate Ms Irene Teng, the newly appointed CIMA Regional Director, South East Asia and Australasia. Ms Teng and her team came for a visit to Universiti Teknologi MARA today. We discussed several possible collaboration that both parties can participate in. CIMA or the Chartered Institute of Management Accountant has a long-standing relationship with UiTM since way back in 1956. In fact, one of the pioneer programs offered by the MIDA College then (now known as UiTM)was the Institute of Work Accountants. Today, UiTM is the only public university in Malaysia that offers CIMA professional programs. Today's discussions focused among others on developing new master program and the expansion of the Certificate in Islamic Finance (CIF) to other staff and students of UiTM. Currently, the CIF program is only being offered to members of ARI and the Faculty of Accountancy of UiTM.

Friday, January 21, 2011

ARI First Meeting in 2011

ARI welcomes three new research fellows who are just being appointed this year(2011): Associate Prof Dr Zaiton Hamim and Ms Habibah Kiprawi from the Faculty of Law and Dr Mohamad Norman from the Faculty of Information Management. Both Dr Zaiton and Ms Habibah are legal experts and we hope that they can contribute their expertise by undertaking research projects related to the study of financial criminology. Dr Norman on the other is an expert in information management and his expertise is certainly handy in facilitating ARI to document research related to fraud incidents. Such documentation is extremely important for researchers to identify trends and to enable them to propose fraud prevention programs. Though today is the first ARI's meeting for 2011, members' attendance was good - an almost full house. What a way to start the new year. The meeting basically discussed the draft contents of ARI Strategic Planning 2011-2015 document, reviewed ARI's performance & KPI for 2010 and planned for training and other activities for 2011....

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy Thaipusam Holiday

Happy Thaipusam to all our Hindu colleagues at ARI: Dr Indra Devi and Dr Ganisen and happy holidays to our other members.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Another Congratulatory Message

ARI congratulates another PhD student, Dr Sharifah Norzehan for passing her doctoral examination today, with minor correction. We are targeting that she will be able to graduate in the forthcoming convocation in May 2011. Sharifah's thesis is on Management Accounting Innovation and Zakat Management: A Case Study of a State's Zakat Centre in Malaysia. Insyaallah, ARI hopes that Dr Sharifah Norzehan will soon be able to participate actively in ARI's research niche area in Financial Criminology and Islamic Accounting/Finance. In her thesis, Dr Norzehan identifies several Islamic theories and models that support management accounting innovation. We look forward to your active participation. Seen here are Dr Sharifah's calm photograph during the viva presentation and a photo taken after the viva with her supervisor (Assoc Prof Dr Nora'zam), external examiners (Prof Dr Hajah Mustafa and Assoc Prof Dr Asyrah Wajhi),internal examiner (Prof Dr Ibrahim Kamal), PhD Coordinator (Dr Amrizah) and viva chairperson (Prof Dr Normah Omar). Congratulations from all of us

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Congratulations Dr Mohd Ariff Kassim

ARI wishes to congratulate our PhD student Mohd Ariff Kassim who passed his PhD examination and Viva today with minor corrections. Mohd Arif's thesis is titled "Enterprise Risk management In Malaysian High Performance GLCs: A Study of the Status of Implementation, the Role of Internal Audit and the Impact on Organisational Performance". Congratulations Mohd Ariff and his two supervisors - Associate Prof Dr Asmah abdul Aziz and Associate Prof Dr Isahak Kasim

Monday, January 17, 2011

Welcome Prof Janice

ARI wishes to welcome the Faculty of Accountancy's visiting Professor Dr. Janice How, from the School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Australia.
Prof How will be visiting the university for one week. Whilst here, she will be evaluating PhD students' progress research presentation; discussing with our researchers on possible collaborative research topics in capital market and finance; reviewing drafts of publishable journal articles and giving consultation to students and staff on research techniques and data analysis. ARI hopes to initiate research collaboration with QUT through Prof How...

ARI-IPN Collaboration

Today, the new director of the Institut Perakaunan Negara, Puan Norezan and her officers Dr Shahril, En Shahrin and En Abd Aziz paid a courtesy visit to ARI and the Faculty of Accountancy, UiTM.
Basically we discussed on the progress of our two collaborative research projects - Financial Reporting of Local Authorities and Skills and Traits of Forensic Accountants in the Public Sector.
It was decided that a public seminar will be held in July 2011 where we will be launching two research books. In addition, we also discussed on the possibility of developing new collaborative training programs in forensic accounting for the public sector.

Money Laundering Cases

Today, the new group of Master of Forensic Accounting & Financial Criminology students who are taking the AFC713 course presented their first case study assignment. A total of nine cases were presented in class. Since AFC713 is focusing on Money Laundering and Financial Criminology, the students had to choose money laundering cases. They were also to explain the cases by associating them with possible fraud theories - fraud triangle theory, fraud diamond theory, reasoned-action theory, potato chip theory, icerberg theory etc.
Through their own research, the groups evaluated the effectiveness of the company's (selected cases)internal control system. Some groups even produced their own videos to substantiate their argument and to impress the audiences. Well done....

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Talk on Research in Islamic Accounting & Finance

Today we invited Prof Dr Humayon Dar, a visiting professor from the United Kingdom and who is now attached with the Centre of Islamic Thought and Understanding (CITU) to give a talk to our researchers and students on Researchable topics in Islamic Accounting & Finance. Among the topics being recommended include (i) Benchmarking of Islamic Finance Products Through Accounting Indices, (ii) Impact of Islamic Finance on the economic reforms of Islamic Scholars, (iii)Financial Criminology from the Perspective of Islam and (iv) Development of New Breed of Human Resources Through Islamic Banking.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Welcome Prof Sakthi

ARI wishes to welcome our visiting Professor Dr Sakthi Mahenthiran from Butler University USA who will be meeting our PhD students today. He is one of the panel members who will be assessing the students' research progress. The PhD research progress presentation is organized every semester and the students need to produce the required deliverables which include conference papers, journal articles and other forms of academic or professional publications. In addition to PhD students' presentation, we also had the opportunity to discuss possible student and staff exchange program with his university

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

ACAMS Enhancement Program

One of the university's initiatives to enhance the marketability of its graduates is to introduce "value-added" programs. One of the programs that just took off in December 2010 is the USA-Based Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist which is offered and organized by the Association of Anti-Money Laundering Specialists. Thirty selected final semester students from the Bachelor of Accountancy program are currently undertaking the enhancement certificate program on weekends. ACAMS focuses on critical thinking, data interpretation and establishing and analysing case studies. Today, Ms Hue Dang, Head of Asia - ACAMS and Mr Aaron Lau (ACAMS - Malaysia)visited the university and met up with Prof Dr Rozainun who coordinates the program at our end. We had a short discussion on the progress of our special enhancement program (Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist). God willing, upon completion of this program, the graduates will be among the pioneer group being trained by ACAMS in Malaysia. ARI hopes that the students will do well in their examination....

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Successful Visit

It was indeed a very successful visit to Singapore. First and foremost, meeting our collaborator, ICPVTR was an important milestone for ARI. Beside the research project on Non-Profit organizations, we will certainly establish a new research group that will be leading and focussing on research projects related to Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT). ARI will be collaborating with ICPVTR in organizing workshops and seminars on AML/CFT in Malaysia. Secondly, through ICVPTR, we were connected to other important networking partners: ABS & Charities Commission. It was indeed lessons worth learning. Thank you friends for your kind hospitality...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

NPO Research & Singapore Visits

Day Four

As part of our collaborative research with ICPVTR, we were introduced to two very important entities in Singapore: The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS - a non-profit organization) and the Charity Commission of Singapore. In the morning, we met with two officers from ABS - the Managing Director, Mrs Ong-Ai Boon; Ms Diana Chong(Executive Officer) and Ms Jane Foo, Head of Compliance from ANZ Bank. We learned how ABS plays a very strategic role in creating awareness to all member banks about the importance of paying attention to preventive measures related to anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). Beside seminar and workshops, ABS works very closely with research centres such as ICPVTR and other related agencies. In the afternoon, we visited the Charities Commission of Singapore, which is a government agency under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Community Development, Youth & Sport (MCYS). We were told that there's only two countries in the world that have successfully established a dedicated Commission for Charity organizations. Basically, the Charities Commission is entrusted to oversee the running of charity organizations in Singapore. There, we met up with Ms Kristy Ho Khui Keng, a deputy director of the Commission and we were briefed of the roles of the commission in ensuring that charity organizations maintain a certain level of transparency and accountability to their stakeholders and the government.

Day Three Strategic Alliance Visit

Day Three
The whole of today was dedicated to meetings and discussions with various researchers at the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) of the Nanyang Technological University. In fact ICPVTR is our main research collaborator for our research project related to Non-Profit Organizations. In the morning we were given some background briefing of ICPVTR activities and publications by the centre’s Associate Research Fellow, Ms Diane Russel Ong Junio. In attendance to our meeting was Dr Arabinda Acharya, a Research Fellow and Manager of Strategic Projects. As Dr Archarya was one of the two founding members of the center, he recounted the establishment of ICPVTR, one of which was as a result of the 9/11 bombing of the world trade center by extremists in the US in 2001. Basically the research center was set up as an initiative to understand why terrorism financing occurs and how it was carried out. Based on scientific analytical techniques,ICPVTR provides answers and proposes counter-measures and preventive mechanisms to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. Basically, ICPVTR research activities are premised on four core objectives: (i) To conduct sustained research and analysis of terrorist, guerilla, militia and extremist political groups and their support bases. To this end, the Centre collects and analyses literature seeking to politicize and mobilize the public into supporting extremism and participating in violence; (ii) To identify the strengths and weaknesses of international, state and societal responses in managing the threat of political violence; (iii) To provide high quality instruction and training for officials and future leaders engaged in combating terrorism and other forms of political violence and (iv) To advise governments and inform societies affected by political violence on how best to manage the current and evolving threat. In the afternoon, Prof Dr Rohan Gunaratna, the Head of ICPVTR joined the meeting and he shared with us his own encounters and investigations in terrorism-related research. We were convinced that ICPVTR is indeed a good benchmark for ARI. We agreed to set up a research group (at ARI) that will be focusing on research to counter terrorism financing (TF) in the country. Various programs have been planned for 2011. Later in the afternoon, we were brought to tour the facilities available at ICPVTR. Very impressive indeed…

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

ARI Strategic Alliance Visit

Day Two
There were three visits today. In the morning we held two separate meetings: Prof Dr Ibrahim and Prof Dr Rashidah met up with Prof Desai, Director, Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Associate Professor Themin Suwardy from the School of Accountancy, Singapore Management University – SMU. Prof Dr Normah and Dr Radiah met up with Prof Tan Hun Tong, Director, Centre of Accounting & Auditing Research of Nanyang Business School. In both meetings, discussions were specifically focused towards possible research collaborations between these centres and the Accounting Research Institute. In the afternoon, we met up with Mr Rohan Kamis, the Managing Partner of Rohan Mah & Partners, a medium-sized public accounting firm at Shenton Way. In attendance were his three other partners, Mr Amran Robani, Mr Abdul Jabar Mustafa and Mr Alfred Lee Tuck Mun.
It was interesting to note that the company has many multi-national corporations (MNCs) as their clients. Even most SME companies, who are not statutorily required to audit their books, have voluntarily gotten their books audited by the firm. The company is also involved with the audit of non-profit or charity organizations in Singapore. Later that afternoon, we met up with our two students Azwan and Abdul Azim. They are currently undergoing a compulsory six-month internship program at the firm. Both seem happy and satisfied with their experiences so far at the firm. Cheers…

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

ARI Strategic Visit to Singapore

Day One
Although the main purpose of our visit to Singapore was related to ARI’s collaborative research with the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) of the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, we have arranged our trip in such a way that we are also able to do other things: (i) to network with the Nanyang Business School of NTU and with the Singapore Management University (SMU), (ii) to hold further discussion with the ACCSB on the potential of accrediting our post-graduate programs and (iii) to visit a local accounting firm Rohan Mah & Co where two of our final year students are undertaking their six-month internship. Since Prof Dr Ibrahim went a day earlier than the other three ARI members, only he was involved with the first day agenda where he held a half-day discussion with the ACCSB. The main purpose of the meeting is to gain more insights on what needs to be done to prepare ourselves in gaining an international accreditation for our programs.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Strategic Alliance with Singapore Research Centres

Four ARI members namely Prof Normah, Prof Ibrahim, Prof Rashidah and Dr Radiah will be on a working visit to Singapore on 3/1 to 7/1 2011. The visit is mainly to discuss with ARI prospective partners at two prominent research centers at Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University on our collaborative research and international academic programs. In Singapore we will also be meeting with the Association of Banks in Singapore, the ACCSB and an accounting firm where our students are undergoing internship