Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Congratulations ACAMS Qualifiers

ARI wishes to congratulate seven students who have recently passed their Association of Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialists(ACAMS)examination. ACAMS is an international US-based professional certification specifically targeted to equip graduates with an additional qualification. The Faculty of Accountancy and ARI are offering the ACAMS professional program to our post-graduate and undergraduate students as part of the university's enhancement program - to make our graduates more marketable and ready to face the job market. The ACAMS qualification is a preferred certification to increase competency of compliance officers and financial fraud investigators globally. Today, Ms Hue Dang from ACAMS presented the results to the university. Congratulations to the following students for passing their recent examination: (1) Ms Nor Diyana Md Amin, (2) Mr Amirul Hanif Bin Mohd Nasir, (3) Ms Nur Latifah Binti Arif Shah, (4) Ms Intan Dahlia Binti Ahmad Kamal, (5)Mr Muhammad Afiq Bin Annuar, (6)Ms Noraishah Binti Musa and (7)Ms Nur Liyana Binti Abdul Kahar Kamal.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Research Faculty: A Strategic Focus

One of the initiatives undertaken by the universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) to leap frog its research focus was to name and recognize seven faculties as "research faculty". The seven faculties are namely all four Engineering faculties (Chemical, Civil, Electrical & Mechanical), Faculty of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Accountancy. For the Faculty of Accountancy, it is working very closely with the Accounting Research Institute (ARI). One of the most important strategies to be utilized by research faculties is to fully understand the requirements of the MyRA Instrument that has been developed by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). . Understand the KPIs and the deliverables. Effectively, among the many items stressed by the MyRA instrument include: Number of Principal investigators; Number of Research Projects; Amount of Research Grants; Number of Staff with PhD qualification; Number of Staff with professional qualification; Number of post-graduate students; Number of PhD students enrolled & graduated; Number of Indexed publications (i.e. publications in journals and conference proceedings that are indexed by SCOPUS & ISI Thomson); Number of publications in refereed journals; Other publications; Innovation & IPR; Linkages & Networking; Awards & Scholarships; International Collaboration and Up-to date resources.
Hence, research faculties must strategically focus of the right things. All faculty members play a strategic role. A lecturer may want to focus on teaching, but he or she must still, nevertheless update his/her knowledge by writing academic books that could be used as reference materials. His or her research may not be empirical in nature, suffice to update his/her knowledge through critical review of the latest literature. A minimum MyRA score of 75 must be maintained at ALL time.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

ABS's Countering Financing of Terrorism Seminar

The seminar has been impressive. Organised by ABS and supported by the Consortium for Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CCFT), today's CFT seminar marked the consortium's 8th annual event. With more than 300 participants, comprising mostly senior bank officers who are directly responsible to oversee the banks' AML/CFT procedures and measures, the seminar's main objective was to continuously increase the bankers' awareness level on AML/CFT practices. The opening remarks was delivered by Mr Ray Ferguson, Vice Chairman ABS/Regional CEO, Singapore & SEA, Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore. A keynote address titled "Old Threats, New Threats: Do We Need New Solutions and Counter Measures?" was presented by Mr Michael Chandler, International Consultant - Security and Terrorism, Germany. This was followed by a seminal paper "Issues and Trends in OFAC Sanctions Risk" by Ms Wendy Wysong, Partner, Clifford Chance US LLP, USA. Then, there was a Panel Discussion to discuss on the issue of "Terrorism Financing - Credit Card, Bank and Cheque Frauds". The panel discussion was moderated by Mr Ian Wong, who is the Assistant Director, Financial Investigation Division, Commercial Affairs Department, Singapore.
Meanwhile, the three panelists were namely Prof Dr Normah Omar, ARI Director; Gen Rodolfo Mendoza, President, Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence & Terrorism Research and Police Col Dr Seehanat Prayoonrat, Acting Secretary General, AML Office, Thailand. After the lunch break, participants were divided into two interactive workshops covering the topics (i) What More Can Banks and Financial Institutions Do and (ii) Monitoring and Surveillance. Prof Rohan Gunaratna, Head of the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research NTU delivered the final seminar paper titled "Terrorist Financial Infrastructure in South East Asia". The closing remarks were iterated by Ms Yvette Cheak, Chairman, ABS Standing Committee on Self-Governance and Compliance. Congratulations ABS for a very successful seminar.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

CFT Workshop in Singapore

The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), in collaboration with the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, Nanyang Technological University will be organizing a one-day seminar on Counterinf Financing of Terrorism tomorrow. Themed "Terrorism: Continued Vigilance", the seminar will be held at the Suntec Convention Centre, Singapore. ARI Director, Prof Dr Normah Omar has been inivited to participate in a panel discussion on a topic: Terrorism Financing - The Use of Credit Card, Bank and Cheque Frauds. In the afternoon, Prof Normah will be facilitating a workshop titled "What More Can Banks and Financial Institutions Do". Today, all the speakers were invited to a welcome dinner at a restraurant in Marina Bay.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

UiTM-MIT Partnership

ARI wishes to congratulate Universiti Teknologi MARA for being chosen and entrusted by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE)in an international collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a world famous university from the USA. The international collaboration is in the form of the establishment of a Malaysian Institute for Supply Chain Innovation (MISI). One of the main aims of MISI is to support Malaysia's aspiration to become an educational hub in this region. It is also one of the government initiatives to make Malaysia a high income nation. With MIT and MISI, it is hoped that the country will be able to attract the world's and the region's best talents to enroll in research and post graduate programs here. With two successful track records in the establishment of similar collaborations in Spain and Columbia, MISI is expected to be a wini-win venture for MIT and Malaysia. The launching and the MOU signing ceremony were witnessed by the YAB Prime Minister at his office yesterday. Today, both the Vice Chancellor of UiTM, Dato' Prof Ir Sahol Hamid and the Director, MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, Prof Yossi Sheffi presented and explain the collaboration to the university's senior officers.

Monday, March 21, 2011

CoEs for Lawyers?

One of the most interesting responsibilities that the Accounting Research Institute as a HICoE has to undertake is to play "big sister", to mentor and to coach aspiring centres of excellence to go to greater heights. Today, ARI Director, Prof Dr Normah Omar was invited by the Faculty of Law, UiTM to share our experiences and "journey to HICoE". The Faculty of Law is one of the oldest faculties in the university. It plays a significant role in producing a large number of qualified Bumiputra lawyers for the country. There are also many very experienced and qualified lecturers and researchers at the faculty. To name a few, they include Prof Dato' Shad Faruqi, Prof Dr Lim, Prof Dato' Hussein and Associate Prof Dr Zaiton, who themselves are towering personalities within the law fratenity. In her briefing, the Dean, Associate Professor Saudah indicated that there are currently three Research Interest Groups (RIGs)in the faculty. The Faculty of Law also took pride in its refereed journal, UiTM Law Review. With the appointment of a new Deputy Dean (Research & Networking), the Faculty of Law is moving very fast to establish its own centre of excellence. Forming a CoE is no rocket science. But members of the faculty must work in synergy and should deliberately inculcate effective teamwork culture. Insyaallah, God willing, a dynamic centre of excellence will soon be formed....

Forensic Final Project Presentations

Today, the AFC713 students from Master of Forensic Accounting and Financial Criminology program presented their final projects. A total of nine projects were presented.
The focus of the project was to highlight the use of investigation tools and methods of analysis in financial crime investigation. For doing this assignment, the students were required to select real-life local cases and examine the cases by proposing new investigative techniques. Through such techniques, investigators would be able to gather relevant evidences for their investigation. The presentations were very impressive indeed. It was evident that the students had done their research fairly well. Some have even conducted face to face interviews with the regulators and other enforcement agencies.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"We Care" Program

The undergraduate students of the Faculty of Accountancy, UiTM organized a one-day "WE CARE" program today. It all started as a class-project for Associate Professor Dr Nafsiah's Public Sector Accounting course (PM Dr Nafsiah is the Head of the Public Sector Accounting Research Centre). The project hopes to inculcate good value among students. The students visited orphanages, participated in community work and even organized fun run for other students. Then one of Malaysia's major media and newspaper, Utusan Malaysia helped to campaign and the students received a lot of support and sponsorships from outside agencies. The MINISTER OF WOMEN, FAMILY AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT , Dato' Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil came to know about the project and she proposed it to be a national event. So today, YB Senator Dato' Seri Shahrizat came to officiate the event. It was heart warming indeed to see the "other side" of our students' capability . Yes, we all care. Congratulations all, it was indeed a very impressive event

Friday, March 18, 2011

Visitors from University of Wales at Bangor

We wish to welcome Ms Sarah Jones, the International Officer, Bangor University Wales who visited the Faculty of Accountancy and ARI today. Ms Jones was accompanied by two other officers from the Bangor University, Wales Malaysia Office: Ms Anna Shanti (Business Development Manager) and Mr Mohd Norazmi Hj Mohd salleh (Country Manager). The three officers visited the university to discuss possible students exchange program between UiTM and Bangor University, Wales. We also discuss on a possible research collaboration in the area of Islamic accounting & finance....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Training Rasch Model Experts

The two-day workshop on Rasch Model ended today with some very positive feedback from researchers, research assistants and post-graduate students. ARI hopes to facilitate our researchers to continue using the Rasch Model by equipping our research lab with the appropriate software. Those who attended the two-day workshop are expected to train other researchers in the near future. Congratulations everyone and well done...

Rasch Models for Research Analysis?

In our effort to improve the quality of our research, ARI organizes a two-day workshop on the use of Rasch Models for data analysis. For that purpose, we have invited an expert in Rasch Model, Mr Saidfuddin to conduct the workshop. Participants are mainly ARI's post-graduate students, research assistants and researchers. For social science research in particular, Rasch models are used to analyse data from assessments to measure variables such as attitutes, perceptions and personality traits. For example, they may be used to estimate a student's reading ability from answers to questions on a reading assessment. In another research, the models could be used to measure the level of compliance and conformance on corporate governance requirements by public listed companies. The use of some forms of rubric in Rasch Models supports the objectivity of the research measurements. Most importantly, the use of Rasch Models will force researchers to think on the "logical" aspects of their analysis rather than to just focus of the statistical interpretations of their statistical procedures. For serious researchers, it is always good to be knowledgeable in multiple data analysis.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Publishing in Top Accounting Journals

In our effort to encourage our researchers to publish in good, reputable accounting journals, the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) and the Faculty of Accountancy, Universiti Teknologi MARA are in the process of developing a reward mechanism for them. A short meeting to discuss an effective mechanism was held today. We have invited Associate Prof Dr Norzaidi Daud, one of the university's prolific researchers and authors to brief us on concepts such as "indexed journals", "indexed publications", "Impact Factor", "Journal Citation", "JCR" and many others. One of the good website that one could refer to when deciding on which top accounting journals to publish in is There we learned that the top eighteen accounting journals are namely:
1. Journal of Finance
2. Journal of Financial Economics
3. Review of Financial Studies
4. World Bank Economic Review
5. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty
6. Journal of Accounting and Economics
7. Mathematical Finance
8. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis
9. Journal of Accounting Research
10.Accounting Review
11.Journal of Money, Credit and Banking
12.Fiscal Studies
13.Accounting Horizons
14.International Journal of Finance and Economics
15.Accounting, Organizations and Society
16.Journal of Industrial Economics
17.Journal of Futures Markets
18.Contemporary Accounting Research

All ARI and faculty members are surely expected to target publishing in these journals... The carrot is really nice.

Accounting Design and Innovation Competition 2011

ARI and three other organizations namely Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), Malaysian Association of Accounting Academics (MYAA) and the Malaysian Accounting & Research Education Foundation (MAREF) will be organizing a joint-project: Accounting Design and Innovation Competition 2011. Basically, the competition is open to all staff and post-graduate students of Malaysian universities. The aim of the competition is to showcase and recognize practice solutions that would be useful to solve business problems and issues. As such, researchers are encouraged to produce research spin-offs that are relevant to the industry. Once the organizers decide on the terms and conditions for the competition, researchers will be invited to participate...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Frasers Hill Workshop

The Academic Affairs Department of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and Internationalisation) office of Universiti Teknologi MARA organises a three-day workshop to discuss criteria, possible activities and possible deliverables of university's external appointments. The external appointments of visiting professors, external examiners, research/creative scholars, Post doctoral, guest speakers, academic advisors and adjunct professors are all efforts to (i) propel academic excellence, (ii) stimulate linkages and (iii) spearhead scholarships. A pre-senate committee headed by the deputy vice chancellor, Prof Dr Azni Zain Ahmed has been entrusted by the university's Senate to overlook at the effectiveness of these appointments. ARI's director, Prof Dr Normah Omar is a member of the pre-senate committee. The three-day workshop has been very effective indeed. A member of the university's Integrated Information Centre Centre (PSMB) has also presented a digitalized application and reporting of these external appointments known as e-Perlantikan. Frasers Hill has been a perfect meeting place for our committee.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Japan Devastating Tsunami 2011

It was less than a month ago where we saw how the earthquake had badly shaken the city of Christchurch in New Zealand. Yesterday we heard a devastating tsunami hiting Japan after an 8.9 ritcher-scale earthquake. Thousands of lives have been lost. Many more are still unaccounted for. According to global news, this massive event is the worst in Japanese history. ARI is in constant contact with our associate members in Japan: Prof Akira Nishimura from Beppu University, Professor Susumo Ueno from Konan University and Professor Monden from Majero University in Japan.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

More Networking Visits

As Professor Dr Rashidah, ARI Deputy Director will be attending the Fraud Summit 2011 in Conpenhagen in April this year, she has arranged to meet up with some scholars in the United Kingdom who have agreed in principle for possible research collaboration with the Accounting Research Institute. To date, four universities and research centre that have agreed for a meeting and discussion are namely Oxford Centre in Islamic Studies, Islamic Finance Department of the University of Durham, University of Dundee and University of Birmingham. Prof Shidah has also been invited to give talk and seminar on Islamic Accounting & Finance at the University of Dundee and University of Birmingham. Congratulations Prof Shidah. We hope 2011 will bring more international networking and collaborations for ARI...

Friday, March 11, 2011

ARI-CCM Collaboration

The Accounting Research Institute and the Company Commision of Malaysia (CCM) has agreed in principle to conduct a joint research project on "The Governance and Financial Management of Non-profit Organizations in Malaysia". As far as ARI is concerned, we have initiated our research by visiting the Singapore Charity Comission and non-profit organization office last January. Through imterviews and site visits, we learned first hand how Singapore has beem succesful in managing its charity and non-profit organizations. To date, a concept paper on NPO Governance has been prepared by ARI reseachers. A one-day research seminar cum workshop to meet up and discuss with non-profit organizations has been arranged either on 19 or 25 May 2011. A meeting to discuss the workshop will be held on 11 March 2011 at the CCM.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Visit to SAHABAT

In this new collaborative research with INFORMM, ARI researchers had to learn many new things. Some of these new things require us to re-assess our own thought-processes. Prof Dr Rusli Ismail who is heading this collaborative research reminded us to get rid of our own negative perceptions and stigma about HIV patients and other drug users. Whilst in the most ideal situation we want them to "turn over and become normal again", in reality it is not easy for these hard core addicts to "turn over". Our forthcoming research collaboration focuses on "Intervention and Harm Reduction programs". For HIV patients, two of the most popular harm reduction programs are namely "methadone" and "Needle Syringe Exchange Program or NSEP". After our morning discussions with INFORMM researchers, we were taken to visit one of the NSEP centre in Kota Bharu - SAHABAT. SAHABAT is basically funded by two NGOs, Malaysian AIDS Council & Malaysian Aid Foundation. It was interesting to learn that SAHABAT employs youth, some of whom were former drug addicts themselves. Through SAHABAT, researchers are able to identify core factors that contribute to drug addictions. Our "harm reduction" research is an effort to "contain" the negative effect of HIV. Whilst our primary focus should always be to educate and to prevent our youngters from drug ediction, efforts should also be deliberately done to "contain" HIV from becoming an epidemic. After some briefing by staff at SAHABAT, we were shown their beautiful vegetable farm nearby. What a heartfelt experience. The visit to SAHABAT makes us realize that this forthcoming research is an important milestone and a significant corporate social responsibility on our part. After all, research is not just about publication. We will be just as happy if our findings contribute significantly to our society and our beloved country :]

Visit to INFORMM

ARI wishes to thank the Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine (INFORMM - another HICoE) for their great hospitality during our recent visit there. ARI researchers: Prof Dr Normah, Prof Datin Dr Suzana, Associate Prof Dr Wee Shu Hui and Senior Lecturer Sharifah Fadzlon paid a visit to INFORMM office at the USM Kelantan campus. We were at INFORMM to discuss our forthcoming collaborative research titled "Drug Use Disorder - HIV Dual Epidemics: Cost-Effectiveness of Intervention". This research project will see a collaboration of two HICoEs: one whose focus is on molecular medicine and the other whose forte is in accounting. Such science & art collaboration will see new contribution to the body of knowledge. Though there's a fair amount of literature on "cost-effectiveness" in Drug Disorder studies,ARI's contribution will be mainly in three areas: Cost dimension, benefit dimension and effectiveness dimension. In the cost and management accounting literature, costs include both "direct" and "indirect" elements. Whilst some costs are easily measurable, others are harder to measure. In the case of "Drug Use Disorder" for example, some of the "hard to measure" indirect costs may involve "costs" such as "reputational lost", "frustration suffered by family", "lost of job", "divorces" and many other opportunity costs. How would one measures all these costs?. The collaborative study is about weighing the "cost of Intervention" with the benefits that we can bring about if the Drug Use Disorder can be effectively managed. Whilst our INFORMM scientist researchers support the "experiments" related to drug use disorder patients, ARI's researchers will provide a comprehensive social dimension of costs. All in all we have been very impressed with the research facilities available at INFORMM. Our next stage is to identify and approach possible national and international funders....If there's a will, there's a way

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Congratulations Tan Sri Dato' Sri Tay Ah Lek

ARI wishes to congratulate Tan Sri Dato' Sri Tay Ah Lek, the Managing Director of Public Bank Berhad over the conferment of Honorary Membership of CPA Australia. The event which took place this morning at the residence of Australias High Commissioner was jointly hosted by CPA Australia and the Australia High Commissioner HE Mr Miles Lupa. As a council member of CPA Australia in Malaysia, Prof Dr Normah was invited to the event. Congratulations Tan Sri..

Saturday, March 5, 2011

AML/CFT Seminar in Singapore

Prof Dr Normah Omar has been invited to speak at the Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Seminar in Singapore. The seminar which is scheduled to be held on 25th March 2011 is organized by the CCFT Consortium and will be hosted by the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS). As a researcher, Prof Normah will be sharing her research findings on global trends in ML/TF. It is indeed an honour for ARI to have received the invitation...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Eight PhD Graduates for May 2011 Convocation

ARI wishes to congratulate eight of our students who will receive their scroll during the forthcoming convocation in May 2011. The eights graduates are namely: (1) Dr Yaseen, (2) Dr Jamaliah, (3) Dr Aliza, (4)Dr Rapiah, (5) Dr Suhaily, (6)Dr Sharifah Norzehan, (7) Dr Siti Rosmini and (8) Dr Mohd Ariff. Congratulations all, we are very proud of you

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Congratulations Dr Tuan Zainun

ARI wishes to congratulate Dr Tuan Zainun who had recently completed her PhD in Management Accounting. Tuan Zainun was supervised by the very able Prof Dr Malcolm Smith from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia. We hope Tuan Zainun will be able to contribute significantly to the CIMA-UiTM Asian Management Accounting Research Centre (AMARC).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Congratulations MACC Chief Commissioner

ARI wishes to congratulate the Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Dato' Abu Kassim Mohamed for being named "100 Influential People in Business Ethics for 2010". The global recognition is given by a New York-based Ethisphere Institute. According to BERNAMA, Dato' Abu Kassim who is ranked 4th in the eminent list was adjudged for his role in the government and regulatory practices category. BERNAMA further reported that Dato' Abu Kassim who is the only Malaysian in the list dominated by mostly Americans and Europeans, has been selected along with 99 others who are said to have made a significant impact in the realm of business ethics. In our recent International Conference in Financial Criminology ICFC 2010), Dato' Abu Kassim was one of the conference speakers who had received a very high evaluation by participants. Congratulations Dato', we are very proud of you....