Monday, February 21, 2011

VCSP Deliverables 2010

ARI is glad to have participated in two of UiTM's Vice Chancellor Special Projects (VCSP)under the project title "Strategic Alliances with Top Notch Research Centres". The first collaborative research project "A Survey on Target Costing and Balanced Scorecard Practices of Asian Manufacturing Companies" had involved several top notch Asian universities. They are namely National Taiwan University, Seoul National University, University of Chullalongkorn, Singapore Management University, University of Xianmen China and Konan University, Japan. In addition to the research project, an MOU will be signed between UiTM & National Taiwan University for possible staff and student exchange programs. The second project, "Accountability and Financial Reporting of Non-Profit Organisations" had involved a reputable research centre, International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. For the second project, ICPVTR has agreed in principle to sponsor a research workshop in Kuala Lumpur in May 2011. Whilst the two projects fulfilled the deliverables for UiTM's VCSP project, more importantly, ARI as a HICoE had successfully initiated two very important international collaborations....

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Understanding Financial Procedures

In view of the many small problems or "hick ups" often faced by ARI researchers in managing their research budget, ARI invited a Senior Assistant Bursar, Ms Rosnani Razak to give a briefing on financial procedures to all ARI members and research assistants. . The talk was one of the agendas of ARI's monthly meeting which was held yesterday. Participants were told of the "do's" and "dont's" in research financing. One very common mistake that researchers often do is to obtain "advances" to pay for "past expenses". As the name "advances" implicates, the money are meant to be used for future or forthcoming expenses and researchers must make their respective reconciliation within a period of two months...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Islamic Finance 101

ARI wishes to thank Mr Roslan Abdul Razak, Director, Training and Professional Development of IBFIM (an associate agency of the Central Bank of Malaysia) for accepting our invitation to give a half-day training on Islamic Finance. The training, appropriately named "Islamic Finance 101" provides some very basic understanding on the evolution and dvelopment of Islamic Finance in Malaysia. We were also introduced to some very basic and general terms and glossaries often used in Islamic Finance transactions. The training was attended by all ARI fellows, post graduate students and other ARI associate members. Operating in a dual banking system, Islamic Finance in Malaysia provides the right "footing" for Malaysia to be the global Islamic Finance Hub. Today, Islamic finance is operating in more than 300financial institutions and in more than 80 takaful operators globally. With some very impressive statistics such as: (i) Estimated size of Islamic Assets of more than USD$1.0 Trillion; (ii) Global market capitalisation of DJIMI worth more than USD 10 trillion; (iii) 350 Shariah-compliant funds established globally; (iv) Islamic finance growth of 15% to 35% globally, Islamic finance has enormous potential in business opportunities....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

HICoE Meeting

In view of our common roles and responsibiliaties in leading researches in the respective niche areas assigned to us by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), the six national Higher Institutions' Centres of Excellence (HICoE) took the initiatives to meet up and discuss our strategic plans, achievements, challenges as well as thinking of ways of forging research and other collaborations with each other. For ARI, we have found our research partner as we are currently working closely with another HICoE, the Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine INFORMM) on a possible LRGS project. It has also been decided by the HICoE team members that the next HICoE quarterly meeting will be held in April 2011 and to be hosted by INFORMM in its Kubang Kerian campus

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Red Flags in Financial Fraud Investigation

ARI wishes to thank the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM)and in particular Mr Aznorashiq Mohammed Zin, director of the investigation division of CCM for accepting ARI's invitation for a guest lecture to our Master in Forensic Accounting & Financial Criminology. The lecture entitled "Finding the Evidence & Red Flags in Financial Fraud Investigation" provides real-life exposures to the students. The use of financial fraud red flags will certainly provide relevant indicators to investigating officers (IOs) and management. Students were told that if the red flags are being continuously assessed, monitored and being treated as an important element of the company's internal control system, financial frauds can be mitigated and minimised.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Autonomy and Academic Excellence

Day Three
More exciting things happened on the third day of the academic conference. In the morning, participants were presented with two topics namely "Virtual University" by the director of INeD and the "Students Online Evaluation Survey" by the director of I-Learn. Whilst Virtual university discussed the role of the distant learning mode for undergraduate studies, the online student evaluation deliberated on the recent results. The Honorable Minister of Higher Education, YB Dato' Seri Khaled Nordin graced and officiated the conference. ARI has a "place" in his speech as one of the first few remarks that he gave was to acknowledge ARI's research contribution and performance which had qualified it to be recognised as one of the six Higher Institutions' Centres of Excellence (HICoE).
Soon after the official opening, the honorary minister gave away academic excellence awards to desrving academics. One of ARI associates, Prof Dr Muhd Kamil Ibrahim was awarded for his book publications. The main academic excellence recognition was awarded to the vice chancellor, Dato' Professor Ir Dr Sahol Hamid. Congratulations.....

Friday, February 11, 2011

Academic conference - Continues

Day Two
The second day of the academic conference saw more presentations by the University's top management officers. In the morning, the registrar, Dr Zaharah Mokhtar presented the governance model for the university. The understanding of the model is pertinent especially in view of the university's plan to award the autonomy status to all uitm's 12 state campuses by 2015.
In 2011, four state campuses namely UiTM Perak, UiTM Perlis, UiTM Terengganu and UiTM Sarawak will be given the autonomy. Mr Sanip Wahid, the university's Bursar next presented a paper on "Lean Financial Management". Despite the tight financial budget, the aspiration to increase student enrolment will continue. As such, the Bursar Office emphasized the need for all UiTM staff and students to always consider risk factors in all their activities. Lean financial management also call for all responsibility centres to eliminante non-value added activities, to minimize their expenditures and to maximize their efficiencies. A forum entitled "Rejunevating Academics Cultures in Universities" saw three prominent speakers: Dato' Zaini Hassan from Utusan Malaysia, Dato' Mior Kamarul Shahid from Berita Harian and the UiTM Vice Chancellor, Dato' Professor Ir. Dr Sahol Hamid participating in a lively discussion on the topic. Mr Fahrin Ahmad, an prominent artist and an alumnus of UiTM moderated the forum. In the afternoon, participants were briefed on academic plans as well as results of a recent survey on UiTM graduates. Another event which was held in the afternoon was a fashion show by the Faculty of arts and Design...

VC New Year Address, Academic Conference and the Beautiful DATC

Day One
It has been an amazing and an eventful day for all of us at UiTM. First it was the Vice Chancellor's new year 2011 address for staff. It is usually during such event that all staff get together and have a listen to the VC's vision and aspiration. Immediately after his address, Dato' Sahol launched the university's RMK10 document which outlines UiTM's strategic plan for the years 2011 to 2015. Two other initiatives were also launched. The second event was the Academic Conference 2011. Interestingly, the two-day academic conference is used by the university's top management to deliberate, share and discuss the university's vision, aspiration, strategies and key performance indicators with all staff.
Staff, in turn are given the opportunity to ask questions, to make comments or to even give suggestions. Such two-way communication is extremely important for an effective strategic management process. On the first day, all four deputy vice chancellors presented their plans. Some of the important deliberations included: autonomy status for four UiTM state campuses, new futuristic programs, Research & post-graduate campus for UiTM Shah Alam, the use of index to measure students' soft skills, Employability vs employerability of graduates and students' mobility program. The vice chancellor further shared his vision and dream for a "Super Hospital" in the Puncak Alam campus. But what made it so special today was when all these dreams, vision and aspiration were shared in the university's newly built convention centre - the Dewan Agong Tuanku Canselor - DATC. What a beautiful sight... ARI is extremely proud to be part of this vision. As an only HICoE from a non-research university, we certainly give hope and inpiration to other centres of excellence in this university....UiTM di hatiku

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Research Collaboration with INFORMM

It was indeed an honour for ARI when Professor Dr Rusli Ismail, the Director of the Institute For Research In Molecular Medicine (INFORMM), a leading HICoE at Universiti Sains Malaysia invited ARI to participate in a collaborative research for the forthcoming LRGS funding. Though INFORMM's research projects are basically science-based, this is an opportunity for ARI to contribute its expertise. One element that our members is very good at is to conduct a "cost-effectiveness" study of any project. . Since the LRGS funding requires universities or research centres to collaborate with one another, ARI hopes to conduct collaborative research with other research centres, particularly those from the research universities.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year

ARI wishes a Happy Chinese New Year Greeting to all its members who are celebrating this occasion: Associate Professor Dr Wee Shu Hui, Associate Professor Dr Pok Wee Ching, Associate Professor Dr Huang Chin Choo and Associate Professor Dr Lai Ming Ling - Xing Xi Fa Cai

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

IKAZ Strategic Planning

Today, a centre of excellence, Institut Kajian Zakat (IKAZ) Universiti Teknologi MARA organised a one-day "Strategic Direction" workshop. The main aim of the workshop is for IKAZ members to chart the coe's own direction and for them to work towards achieving IKAZ's strategic objectives. In doing this, IKAZ has invited other centres of excellence to share their experiences. Other CoEs that were present included Accounting Research Institute (ARI), Institute of Science (IOS), Malaysia Institute of Transport (Mitrans) and IKUS (Research Institute in Natural Remedies). To facilitate our discussions, IKAZ has also invited the Deputy Bourse, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation), Associate Professor Dr Zaini Abdullah and Assistant Vice Chancellor (RMI), Professor Dr Abu Bakar Majid to participate in the meeting. In tandem with the PSPTN, we were briefed on the strategic direction of the university. One immediate action to be taken by all coes in the university is to qualify themselves as a responsibility centre (PTJ). To qualify for this status, coes will need to go through and pass the MYRA assessment exercise...