Thursday, October 30, 2014

More News on GIFA 2014

It was such as honour for the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) of UniversitiTeknologi MARA for winning the Global Islamic Finance Awards 2014.  A full list of winners has been prepared by Edbiz Consulting the organiser as follows:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Best Paper at APMAA 2014

The Accounting Research Institute and Faculty of Accountancy, Universiti Teknologi MARA congratulate our PhD student Mr Hussein Hussein Sharaf-Addin for winning the Goodman School (of Brock University, Canada) Best Paper Award for his paper entitled "The Relationship Between Organizational Capabilities and Target Costing Implementation Decision: An Empirical Study of Malaysian Automotive Industry".  Mr Hussein presented his paper at the APMAA Conference 2014 in Bangkok.  The Best Paper Award came with an Award certificate and Prize money of USD300 and a 10,000 Baht PhD Colloquium scholarship from Chullalongkorn Business School of University of Chullalongkorn.  Congratulations Hussein.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Prestigious GIFA 2014 Award for ARI

The Accounting Research Institute (ARI), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) was awarded the Best Islamic Finance Education Provider 2014 at the Global Islamic Finance Award (GIFA) 2014 on 27 October 2014 at the award ceremony held at the prestigious H Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The award was accepted by the Vice Chancellor of UiTM, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Prof Ir. Dr Sahol Hamid Abu Bakar. Also present at the award ceremony were the Deputy Directors of ARI, Associate Prof Dr Zuraidah Mohd Sanusi and Associate Prof Dr Jamaliah Said, Head of one ARI’s research centers, the UiTM-ACCA Asia-Pacific Centre for Sustainability (APCeS), Associate Prof Dr Faizah Darus and one of ARI fellows Dr Norazida Mohamed. As a HiCOE, ARI aspires to be an international research center focusing on research in its niche area of Islamic Financial Criminology (IFC). Among the research areas in Islamic finance that ARI has been actively involved in research is in the area of Islamic microfinance, Islamic Corporate Social Responsibility (i-CSR) and Shariah audit.  Global Islamic Finance Awards (also known as "GIFA") are one of the most prestigious awards in the Islamic banking and finance sector.  The objective of the GIFA is to highlight the best practices in Islamic banking and finance and celebrate the success of institutions and individuals, with the ultimate objective of promoting social responsibility, Shari’a authenticity and commitment to Islamic banking and finance. This award recognizes and celebrates the achievements and contributions of individuals and institutions in the Islamic financial services industry.  Congratulations all

Monday, October 27, 2014

APMAA Conference 2014

The 10th annual conference of the Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association (APMAA) is hosted by the Chullalongkorn Business School of the University of Chullalongkorn Thailand.  Themed "Management Accounting in a Global, Dynamic Environment: Challenges and Opportunities", the 3-day conference (27-30 October 2014) is to be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Lumpini, Bangkok.  APMAA was formally established in 2004 in Fukuoka, Japan with founding committee members from Kyushu University (Japan), Kyushu Sangyo Univesity (Japan), Universiti Teknologi MARA (Malaysia), University of Chullalongkorn (Thailand), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and Seoul National Universty (Korea).  Members of APMAA take turn to host the annual conference.  The 2014 conference is attended by 200 participants.  One of the greatest characteristics of the APMAA conference is the fact that all submitted and approved papers are assigned discussants to constructively review the papers so that the papers will be further improved for publication in good academic journals.  Preceding the actual conference itself is a PhD colloquium, where PhD students are encouraged to present their research projects and get feedback from experts in the research areas.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

HICoE Meeting with Director General, Dept of Higher Education MOE

The Accounting Research Institute (ARI), together with directors of six other Higher Institutions' Centre of Excelelnce (HICoE) recently met up with the Director General, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Professor Dato' Dr Asma Ismail.  The meeting discussed  among others: MOE's plans about current HICoEs;  Criteria to measure Regional and International participation and benchmarking of current HICoEs. Also presence at the meeting was Prof Dr Raha, director of BPKI.  ARI was represented by Prof Dr Normah Omar (Director), Associate Professor Dr Zuraidah Sanusi and Associate Professor Dr Jamaliah Said (Deputy directors).  The other HICoE directors who were present were: Prof Dato' Dr Abdul Rahman Jamal (UMBI), Prof Dr Abdul Rahman Omar (IBS), Prof Nasruddin (UMPEDAC), Prof Sharif (CDR), Prof Mohamad Azmi (INFORMM) and Prof Lukman (ENOS).  Moving forward, all existing HICoEs are to move to greater heights by placing the HICoE agendas to the international arena.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Islamic Microfinance Project with Yayasan DiRaja Sultan Mizan

The Accounting Research Institute (ARI) thanks Yayasan DiRaja Sultan Mizan (YDSM) for inviting our fellows to participate in a collaborative project involving Islamic Microfinance.  Islamic Microfinance Governance is one of ARI's research clusters within its research niche of Islamic Financial Criminology.  YDSM was established on 11th May 2005 as a charity organisation.  One of the main aims for its establishment is to elevate the socio-economy status of Terengganu subjects.  There has been numerous entrepreneurial activities undertaken by YDSM.  ARI's Islamic Microfinance model, a collaboration between ARI, Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) and Mydin Holding may suit YDSM's need to facilitate entrepreneurs in Terengganu.  Discussions were held in Kuala Terengganu  on the weekends between ARI fellows and officials of YDSM.  Possible local financiers as well as local suppliers and marketeers have been identified to enable ARI's microfinance model to be emulated in Terengganu.  ARI's entourage was headed by Associate Professor Dr Jamaliah Said, who is also ARI Deputy Director.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Seminar Presentation on Money Laundering

The Accounting Research Institute (ARI) congratulates students from the AFC713 class for a very creative seminar presentation on money laundering. The so-called "Tell-lah" talk show aims to educate professionals such as accountants, lawyers, real estate agents, precious stone dealers and company secretaries on their responsibilities to mitigate money laundering activities.  Today, money launderers have shifted their modus operandi from using financial institutions to using these professionals as conduits in their money laundering activities.  The "Tell-lah" talk show highlights the responsibilities of professional accountants, also known as "Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions or DNFBPs" who as reporting institutions, must at least do the following basic tasks: (1) Keeping detailed records of transactions, (2) Conducting Customer Due Diligence and (3) Reporting Suspicious Transactions.  The class had earlier conducted an online questionnaire survey on professional accountants and shared their research findings in the "Tell-lah" talkshow. Interestingly, the survey found that in general, the professionals are aware of the legislative requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti Financial Terrorism Act (AMLATFA 2001).  On the questions as to why the compliance rate on AMLATFA is low among DNFBPs, the survey highlighted three very important findings.  Firstly, the cost of compliance, which involve high cost in providing awareness on AML-CFT Compliance programs.  Secondly, ineffective training CPD program to highlight real money laundering typologies and finally,  relates to their perceptions on the ineffective enforcement of the law.  Another interesting observation is the fact that they (the professionals) do not think that their clients "are involved in money laundering activities.  The "Tell-lah" talkshow provided some interesting recommendations which included introducing talkshows and short anti-money laundering campaigns in advertorials in the media.  Congratulations class for job well done.

Risk Indicators for Trade Mispricing

Trade Mispricing, which is a form of money laundering is the deliberate over-invoicing of imports or under-invoicing of exports by entities in a country, usually for the purpose of avoiding paying tax or levies in that country. In fact tax evasion constitutes one of the predicate offences included in the anti-money laundering legislation of most countries globally.  In January 2012, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (the OECD) published a guideline entitled "Dealing Effectively with Transfer Pricing".  Useful checklist of risk indicators implying the occurrence of transfer price manipulation or trade mispricing include the following:
(1) Intangible assets utilized by group companies but no royalty paid, 
(2) Cost sharing with no foreseeable benefit, 
(3) Companies involved in transactions that might be overlooked, 
(4) Companies making losses over a number of years, 
(5) Sustained losses by local entities, but (overall) profits in the group, 
(6)  Margins suddenly decrease with no rationale, 
(7)  Companies with overseas subsidiaries with start-up losses,
(8)  No formal agreement for services or finance provision with no recharge of costs, 
(9)  Secondments undertaken on “non-commercial” terms (i.e. no recharge and no agreements), 
(10)  Companies with related party transactions where the related party has a low marginal tax rate and makes payments which appear to be large in reference to the relationship, 
(11)  Debt levels, intra-group loans and guarantees that are “non-commercial”, 
(12)  Trading debtor balances – intercompany, long term, interest free, 
(13)  Dormant companies with intercompany creditors and net assets/investments, 
(14)  There are additional risk indicators flagged by tax authorities as requiring audit, 
(15)  Companies paying large management fees or paying royalties or other charges for the use of intellectual property, (16)  Companies undertaking contract R&D on a cost plus basis – tax authorities may challenge the basis of remuneration and argue that a local country is contributing towards the creation of an intangible, 
(17)  Group members who have acquired, created or enhanced an asset that is used by other group members, perhaps by incurring expenditure on research and development leading to the creation or enhancement of intellectual property, (18)  Companies with innovative business structures, 
(19)  Significant group reorganizations involving business transfers overseas, 
(20)  Transactions with tax havens or shelters, 
(21)  Companies in a commercial relationship with a related party where non-tax factors provide incentive for manipulation , 
(22)  Loss making companies in commercial relationship with a lower marginal rate taxpayer where the loss is as a result of payments to that entity, 
(23) Risks arise where transfer pricing policies and methodologies are not up to date and do not or no longer accurately reflect the operation and management of the business. 
These are indeed useful indicators that researchers and anti-money laundering agencies can use to develop possible typologies for money laundering offences.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Farewell Prof Dr Rashidah Abdul Rahman

The Accounting Research Institute (ARI) thanks our beloved fellow, Professor Dr Rashidah Abdul Rahman who recently took optional retirement.  Prof Rashidah was involved directly with the establishment of ARI way back since 2002 when she formed the Corporate Governance Special Interest Group.  The SIG was later "upgraded" when a MOU was signed with the Chairman of the Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance  
(MICG), Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin in early 2003.  Spearheaded from that event was the establishment of more research centres.  Today, there are eight research centres in ARI: (1) UiTM-MICG Corporate Governance Centre , (2) UiTM-CIMA Management Accounting Cente, (3) UiTM-ACCA Financial Reporting Centre, (4) UiTM-CPA Australia Public Sector Centre, (5) Forensic Accounting Centre, (6) Islamic Accounting & Muamalat Centre, (7) Sustainability Research Centre and (8) GLC Research Centre.  Prof Rashidah was ARI's Deputy Director until her recent retirement.  As a research at ARI HICoE, Prof Rashidah was the head of the Shariah Governance Research Cluster.  Through her leadership, a new business model of Islamic Microfinance was developed by ARI HICoE.  The business model was pilot-tested through a collaboration with the Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) as microfinance financiaer and Mydin Holding as supplier and marketer.  The Tanjung Karang tailoring business project is Prof Rashidah's landmark success in promoting Islamic Microfinance as a strategic tool to alleviate poverty among the Ummah.  Professor Rashidah has gone to many countries to promote the business model.  Today, two countries namely Philippines and Tunisia have indicated their interest to emulate the Tanjung Karang project to their respective countries.  Within the last 5 years as ARI fellow, Prof Rashidah has published more than 100 papers in indexed journals and presented key note papers in many international conferences. We will certainly miss you Prof Rashidah, God bless you always.


The Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), an associate of the Financial Action Task Force will be conducting a fourth round of mutual evaluations for its members based on the New FATF Recommendations (2012).  In line with these new Recommendations, FATF has recently published a new guideline entitled "PROCEDURES FOR THE FATF FOURTH ROUND OF AML/CFT MUTUAL EVALUATIONS".  Essentially, the guidebook details out (i) the Methodology to be used for Assessing Compliance with the FATF New Recommendations and (ii) the Analysis Effectiveness of AML/CFT Systems (2013).  Malaysia as a country is expected to undergo the APG Mutual Evaluation in August 2014. As set out in the Methodology segment of the Guidebook, the scope of the evaluations will involve two inter-related components for technical compliance and effectiveness. The technical compliance component will assess whether the necessary laws, regulations or other required measures are in force and effect, and whether the supporting AML/CFT institutional framework is in place. The effectiveness component will assess whether the AML/CFT systems are working, and the extent to which the country is achieving the defined set of outcomes.  A country's level of compliance is generally categorized into four (4) levels namely "C = Full Compliant", "LC= Largely Compliant", "PC = Partial Compliant" and "NC = Non-Compliant". Simplistically, a country's score is considered "good" if its number of "Full Compliant" and "Largely Compliant" is at least 70% of the total 40 Recommendations.   

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sharing Corporate Integrity System Instrument with Indonesia

It was such an honour when the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) was recently invited to share one of its HICoE collaborative research projects with the Malaysian Institute of Integrity (IIM) to a group of Indonesian professionals and academics at Universitas Merdeka Malang.  Prof Dr Normah Omar, ARI Director shared with the group the development of the Corporate Integrity Assessment Questionnaire (CIAQ) and how several Malaysian companies have benefited from the instrument.  By enhancing corporate integrity awareness and commitment among employees, companies will be able to mitigate fraud and corruption at workplaces.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

ARI-AIM-Mydin Islamic Microfinance Rountable

The Accounting Research Institute (ARI) thanks its collaborative partners, Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) and Mydin Holding for a recently held successful Roundtable session with Microfinance players.  Among the invited agency participants included ISRA', Bank Negara Malaysia, Bank Simpanan Nasional, TERAJU, MARA, INCEIF, Bank Islam, SME Corps, SME Bank, AgroBank, TEKUN and many others.  The main aims of the Roundtable session were to (i) For ARI to showcase its proposed Islamic Microfinance Model; (ii) Share research findings related to a microfinance pilot project in Tanjung Karang, hence highlights challenges and prospects related to the business model and (iii) Obtain feedback from the participants for the inclusion of shariah-based governance to ARI's existing framework.  Effectively, the Roundtable session was very successful.  In addition to Mydin Holding, a few more agency participants have in principle agreed to become future collaborative partners in this project.  Collaborative partners can participate either as Microfinance financiers, Suppliers or Marketers.  A Shariah-based contract has been proposed to be used to bind all business partners.  Islamic Microfinance represents one of ARI's research clusters which hopes to become an effective tool to alleviate poverty among the Ummah. Thank you all participants for your most precious feedback and input.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Congratulations Winners

The Accounting Research Institute (ARI) congratulates all ARI Contingent members who have participated in the 3-day Invention, Innovation and Design Exposition 2014 (IIDEX 2014) and won big: five golds, six silvers and second runner up for the best contingent awards (from a total of 45 contingents).  Lists of  winning products are as follows:
1. Composite Integrity Index (CII) for Public and Private Sector Organisations: The New Frontiers (GOLD)
2. i-TRITS - Individual Tax Return Integrity & Transparency System (GOLD)
3. Self Governance Assessment Tool for Social Entrepreneurs (GOLD)
4. Risk Management Assessment Tool for Social Entrepreneurs (GOLD)
5. FINDS: Fraud Digital Forensic Tool (GOLD)
6. Integrated Accountability System (SILVER)
7. i-CSR Statement of Recommended Practice (SILVER)
8. Financial Health Check-Up Kit for Local Authorities towards Better Governance (SILVER)
9. Apis (SILVER)
10. sRQ Reform (SILVER)
11. Social Collateral Analyser (SILVER)
Well done all winners.  In its effort to drive its research in Islamic Financial Criminology, ARI inculcates the culture of innovation. Innovation is the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, in-articulated needs, or existing market needs. This is accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies or ideas that will be made available to markets, businesses, governments and the society. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

PAIB Articles Merit Award

The Accounting Research Institute (ARI) congratulates researchers from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)  for winning various awards for "PAIB Articles Merit Awards 2013".   Prof Dr Normah Omar, Director of ARI attended the prize giving event which was held at the Malaysian Institute of Accountants' office in Kuala Lumpur.  The two winning articles are respectively titled "Voluntary Risk Disclosure and Firm Value Creation of Malaysian Firms" and "Governance and Financial Reporting Framework of Non Profit Organisations in Malaysia". Congratulations all and well done. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

ARI-PBBM International Training - Day Eleven

Final Day

Today is our final day in Amsterdam.  We were taken to experience two "must dos" in Amsterdam: (i) Windmill and (ii) Canal excursion.  The Netherlands is synonymous for its windmills, clogs, tulips, canals, cheese markets… practically everything that you would expect to find in a charming and utterly picturesque country. But, whatever image you associate with the lowlands, the first thing likely to come to mind is the windmill (also known as molen). For centuries, windmills have helped the Dutch fight water shortages so it is little wonder that they were the first to develop ‘windmill technology.’ In the glory days, the Netherlands
boasted more than 10,000 mills but the molen population today stands at a mere 1,000. 

Many of the remaining mills are open to the public and a couple have even been transformed into homes.  In the morning, we were taken to visit a village famous for its windmills.  Later in the afternoon, we took the canal excursion in Amsterdam city.  In the evening, the group left Amsterdam for our lovely country Malaysia.  Home sweet home, but what a wonderful experience we had in England and Holland.

Friday, April 18, 2014

ARI-PBBM International Training - Day Ten

Day 10

Our last training destination is Amsterdam.  As the commercial capital of the Netherlands and one of the top financial centres in Europe, Amsterdam is considered an "alpha world city" by a recent study group.   The city is also the cultural capital of the Netherlands. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters there, and 7 of the world's top 500 companies, including Philips and ING, are based in the city.  In Amsterdam, the training participants were taken to visit the tulip plantations in Keukenhof. Covering some 79 acres (32 hectares), the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens is the world’s largest flower garden. We were told that during the springtime, the meandering, wooded gardens are visited by some 800,000 flower-lovers, who come to soak up the blaze of color that envelops the park, its greenhouses, brooks and shady ponds and
winding paths. It’s truly a memorable sight. At Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, nature’s talents are combined with artificial precision to create a wonder of landscaping, where millions of tulips, along with narcissi and daffodils, hyacinths, bluebells, and many others blossom perfectly in place and exactly on time. And if the temperatures have been wilting, don’t worry: fresh blooms are planted by helping hands for the duration of the season. Special exhibits are held in the pavilions around the site, and there are cafes and refreshment stands throughout.

Later in the evening, the participants had their group

presentations.  The participants were basically divided into six groups namely: (i) Bank Simpanan Nasional, (ii) Inland Revenue Board, (iii) Tabung Haji, LTAT and MAWIP, (iv) IPTAs, (v) Service Federal Agency (MTIB, Lada, SME Corp and MIDA) and (vi) FINAS and Perkeso.  The group basically reflected on the trainings that they have undertaken and indicated how they will improve on their operations, governance and leadership so that they will obtain much better performances in the future.  Well done everyone. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

ARI-PBBM International Training - Day Nine

Day Nine

Today, it's a different form of training.  The participants were taken for a fieldwork at the Manchester United Stadium Football Club at Old Traford in Manchester.  We were taken in for a professional tour and briefings  of the second largest stadium in the United Kingdom.  Manchester United Football Club (MUFC) is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. The training participants were told that MUFC was founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878 and later, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.
 Being one of the most successful football clubs in the United Kingdom, MUFC have won twenty League titles, a record eleven FA Cups, four League Cups, and twenty FA Community Shields. The club has also won three European Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup, and
one FIFA Club World Cup. In 1998–99, the club won a continental treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League, an unprecedented feat for an English club. Just like any other business and government entities, MUFC  inculcates good governance and leadership in managing its football club.  Manchester United is the third-richest football club in the world  in terms of revenue,  and the second most valuable sports team in 2013 It is one of the most widely supported football teams in the world. 
After being floated on the 
London Stock Exchange in 1991, the club was purchased by Malcolm Glazer in May 2005 in a deal valuing the club at almost £800 million. In August 2012, Manchester United made an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.  Later in the afternoon, the group left for Amsterdam.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

ARI-PBBM International Training - Day Eight

Day Eight

After a successful first day event, the ICGSM 2014 continues with the Keynote Speech by Prof Rob McCusker, Director of the Centre for Fraud and Financial Crime, Teesside Business School, on a topic titled "Risk Management and Corporate Governance: More Apparent than Real?".  This was followed by a Plenary session titled "The Global Diffusion of Public Governance Public Practices" with two prominent speakers.  Tan Sri Prof Ir Dr Sahol Hamid Abu Bakar shared his experiences through his talk entitled "Management and Governance of a Large University" where he needs to ensure that being big does not mean that the
university has to sacrifice on its quality of education. Tan Sri Sahol elaborated on the strategic planning and governance undertaken by Universiti Teknologi MARA in ensuring that the university graduates are highly employable and some become employers themselves.  Prof Dr Mishra from the Institute of Public Enterprise (IPE) India, spoke on "Issues and Challenges of Governance in Public Enterprises in India".  The plenary session was followed by questions and answers session where training and conference participants had the opportunity to ask questions and discuss with the renown speakers.  later in the afternoon, Tan Sri Sahol Hamid met up with UiTM scholars who are currently pursuing their post graduate programs in the United Kingdom.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

ARI-PBBM Integrated Training and Conference 2014 - Day Seven

Day Seven

After an interesting leadership discourse in Cambridge University, we traveled to Manchester City for the next event: International Conference on Governance and Strategic Management (ICGSM) 2014.  The two day conference is to be held  at the Manchester Conference Centre,  On the first day of the conference, there were slots for four "honorary lectures" on (i) Governance Policies of the WTO, (ii) Leadership and Governance in Change Management, (iii) Integrity in the Public Sector: Progression for Enhancement and (iv) "The Desire for Money is the Root of All Evils";  three concurrent sessions on (i) Corporate Governance & Public Sector Management, (ii) Strategic Management, Business and Finance, and (iii) Financial Criminology and Ethics.  In the afternoon, Ms Katrina A. Prentice gave another leadership Talk on "Enhancing Networking Skills in the Global Cross Culture Setting".  Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi MARA, Tan Sri Prof Ir Dr Sahol Hamid Abu Bakar and a few other researchers from the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) traveled to Teesside University to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
 At Teesside University, the group members were greeted by top officials of the university.  The MOU was effectively signed by the two vice chancellors later in the afternoon.  In the evening, conference dinner for participants was hosted by PBBM and the guest of honour being the deputy chairman, Tan Sri Prof Ir Dr Sahol Hamid Abu Bakar.

Monday, April 14, 2014

ARI-PBBM Integrated Training and Conference 2014 - Day Six

Day Six
We were warmly greeted by top officials at Cambridge University.  After an official photo shoot, we were taken to the Judge Business School.  Cambridge Judge Business School, formerly known as the Judge Institute of Management Studies, is the business school of the University of Cambridge.  Established in 1954 as Management Studies in the Engineering Department, and in 1990 as Judge Institute for Management Studies, and in 2005 as Judge Business School. the School is a provider of management education and is consistently ranked as one of the world's leading business schools. It is
named after Sir Paul Judge, chief founding benefactor of the school.  At Judge Business School, we were given two interesting leadership talks: (i) Leadership in Context - Prof Jochen Runde and (ii) Leadership and Governance - Dr Philip Stiles. Giving Cambridge University as a case study,  Prof Runde elaborated on the concept of "collaborative leadership" in a highly "networked organisation".  Leaders in such organisations therefore need to be people-oriented, dynamic, global, competitive and technology savvy.  Dr Stiles stressed that the effectiveness of governance depends on relationships
not just structure.  He further elaborated that "Board effectiveness depends on the behavioural dynamics of a board, and how the web of interpersonal and group relationships between executive and non-executive directors is developed in  particular company contexts.  Creating and sustaining accountability within the boardroom is heavily dependent on the attitudes and actions of executive directors to their non-executive colleagues, the work of the chairman in creating the conditions for effectiveness, the experience, skill and judgment of directors and the manner in which they bring these to bear on the conduct of the company".  After lunch, the training participants were taken for university and city tours in Cambridge.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

ARI-PBBM Integrated Training and Conference 2014 - Day Five

Day Five

 In the morning, we visited more interesting sites of London City - London Bridge, Tower of London, Albert Hall, Kensington Palace and Wembley Stadium.  Later in the afternoon, we traveled to Cambridge, a city which is about one hour away from London. The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia, on the River Cam, about 50 miles (80 km) north of London. Cambridge City has a population of about 150,000 (including 30,000 students). Cambridge is most widely known as the home of the University of Cambridge, founded in 1209 and consistently ranked one of the top five universities in the
world. The university includes the renowned Cavendish LaboratoryKing's College Chapel, and the Cambridge University Library. Tomorrow, we will have a whole day event at Cambridge University.  Interestingly, there is no "boundry line" between the university (the gowner) and the town (towner).  In fact, there is no specific location of what constitutes the "university campus".  The university and the city represent a unique blend of history, knowledge and development. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

ARI-PBBM Integrated Training and Conference 2014 - Day Four

Day Four

Today is dedicated for an in-house training where participants are involved in the so-called "Inter-Agency Forum -the Sharing of Best Practices of Corporate Governance of Malaysian Statutory Bodies".  Since the theme of the training program is "Untangling the Divergence", the focus of discussions is on diversity and how an institution should work on employees' strengths and expertise.  To showcase personal diversity, the participants are also introduced to the concept of personality theory.  Specifically, the model used by Florence Littauer was discussed.  In her book titled "Personality Plus", Florence Littauer introduces four personality types namely (i) Perfect Melancholy, (ii) Peaceful Phlegmatic, (ii) Happy Sanguine, and (iv) Powerful Choleric.  In Personality Plus, Florence Littauer gives us valuable insight for appreciating your one-of-a-kind, God-given personality. She includes a Personality Profile test that reveals how our unique blend of traits affects our emotions, work performance, and relationships.  More importantly, participants were encouraged to understand others, particularly their employees on these diverse personality.  After all, a successful organisation needs to work in teams. After the forum, participants were taken for London City visits.  

Friday, April 11, 2014

ARI-PBBM Integrated Training and Conference 2014 - Day Three

Day Three
Three important events have been organised for the third day of the training program: (i) visit to the UK Parliament and (2) Leadership Talk and (iii) Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and the Statutory Bodies Association Malaysia (PBBM).  At the parliament House, we were taken to both the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
We were given special briefings by two dedicated parliament guides on the roles and functions of the two Houses. In the afternoon, Tan Sri Abdul Shukor Mahfar, the Chaiman of PBBM and CEO of the Inland Revenue Board Malaysia (LHDN), together with Tan Sri Prof Ir Dr Sahol Hamid Abu Bakar,
Deputy Chairman of PBBM and the Vice Chancellor of UiTM, each gave a leadership talk to the participants.  Apart from the thirty training delegates, some other seventy Malaysians residing in the United Kingdom were also invited to attend the event.  Whilst Tan Sri Sahol Hamid spoke on the topic "Leading Intellectuals at a Large University: Case Study of UiTM"; Tan Sri Shukor showcased LHDN for his talk on "Smart Leadership".  Both leaders spoke of the fact that "Good leaders are made not born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience" Later in the afternoon, the two leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding to signify smart collaborations between UiTM and PBBM.  UiTM, through the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) has been appointed by PBBM to organise its training program for leaders at the statutory bodies in Malaysia.  In between the events, some researchers from ARI met up for a research discussion with Professor Paul Palmer from the Cass Business School, City University of London.  Prof Palmer is a leading researcher in the United Kingdom with respect topic related to non profit and charity organisations.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

ARI-PBBM Integrated Training and Conference 2014 - Day Two

Day Two

One of the most important second day visits is to Oxford University.  Specifically, the delegates were hosted by staff and researchers at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS).  What is special about the visit is the fact that both the President and Deputy President of the Malaysian Statutory Bodies Association (APBM) are joining the delegates for the Oxford training program.  APBM's President, Tan Sri Mohd Shukor Mahfar (he is also the CEO of the Inland Revenue Board Malaysia) and Deputy President, Tan Sri Prof Ir Dr Sahol Hamid Abu Bakar (also the Vice Chancelor of Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia) dedicated time for the visit.  At Oxford University, we were greeted by a renown OCIS fellow, Dr Afifi, who is also a Malaysian.  Our first stop was a tour of the newly built OCIS building that is expected to be fully completed by December 2014.  Malaysia's contribution towards OCIS's new building is the new "Malaysia Auditorium" which would be able to seat 300 participants at any one event.  The auditorium truly reflects Malaysia's multiracial culture.The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies is a Recognized Independent Centre of the University of Oxford. It was established in 1985 to encourage the scholarly study of Islam and the Islamic world. HRH The Prince of Wales is the Patron of the Centre. It is governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of scholars and statesmen from different parts of the world, alongside representatives of the University of Oxford.  The Centre provides a meeting point for the Western and Islamic worlds of learning. 
At Oxford it contributes to the multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary study of the Islamic world. Beyond Oxford, its role is strengthened by a developing international network of academic contacts.  After an interesting tour of the new OCIS site, the delegates were taken to OCIS current building.  There, we were met by Prof Dr Farhan, OCIS Director; Registrar, Mr Richard Makepeace and OCIS Fellows, Dr Basil and Dr Shafi Antonio.  A forum title "The Prospects and Challenges of the Islamic Finance Industry: The Roles of Scholars in Developing New Islamic Finance Products" was moderated by Dr Basil and discussed by fellows Dr Afifi and Dr Shafi.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

ARI-PBBM Integrated Training and Conference 2014

Day One
We arrived London in the early morning of 9th April 2014.  A total of thirty participants have registered for the Integrated Governance and Strategic Management Training Program 2014.  The first day included London City tour and two very interesting training events:  (i) A visit and talk on "Sharing How Institute of Education (IOE), University of London became a Leading Global Reference Centre in Education" and (ii) Leadership and Personal Development Talk by Ms Katrina A. Prentice, a leading business coach in the United Kingdom.  The visit to IOE was arranged by the Malaysian Higher Education Leadership Training Academy (AKEPT). The Institute of Education is a world-leading university specialising in education and the social sciences.
Founded in 1902, the Institute currently has more than 7,000 students and 800 staff. In January 2014, the Institute was recognised by Ofsted for its 'Outstanding' initial teacher training across primary, secondary and further education.  In the 2014 QS World University Rankings, the Institute was ranked number one for education worldwide.  In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise two-thirds of the publications that the IOE submitted were judged to be internationally significant and over a third were judged to be "world leading". In the evening, after dinner at the Malaysian Student Department, the delegates welcome Ms Katrina A. Prentice for her stunning talk on "Leadership Styles of Successful and Effective Leaders".  Katrina has been designing and delivering bespoke business solutions for a broad spectrum of clients within the UK, Ireland, Europe, Africa, South Africa and the Middle East for over 15 years.
 Her dynamic, powerful and charismatic style has enabled her to lend her skills and expertise as a Business Strategist, Trainer, Keynote Speaker and Executive Coach to a variety of clients including Vice Presidents,Ambassadors and key political figures to global public listed companies, SMEs and micro-businessesDelegates were told that typically, an effective leader would motivate his or her subordinates to work on their strengths.  Such leader often "listen more" and "read more" as a way of continously improve his or her organisation.