All posts by theartofcontemporary

AFFIN INVIKTA – An Unforgettable Experience Truly Befitting that of Affluent Customers

Nazri Bin Othman

 Executive Director, Community Banking, AFFIN BANK

As part of Affin Bank Berhad’s (“the Bank” or “AFFIN BANK”) transformative journey, the Bank announced its first affluent segment called AFFIN INVIKTA on 8 March 2021 for its High Net Worth customers in Malaysia. The Bank’s first flagship AFFIN INVIKTA Centre began its business operations in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. 

Let us speak to the man behind the force, who made this journey possible for the Bank – En. Nazri Othman, Executive Director, Community Banking of AFFIN BANK.


“Invikta”, translated from the Latin word, carries the meaning of “The Undefeated and Unconquered”, and the name instantaneously describes what AFFIN INVIKTA is all about. Despite embarking on the Premier Banking segment only early this year, it does not stop us from delivering what matters most – EXCEPTIONAL Service with EXCLUSIVE Benefits. With the tagline of “Venture into a New Banking Horizon”, AFFIN INVIKTA has been designed to deliver not only the best, but also unforgettable banking experience for our customers. We put our best foot forward to ensure that our customers receive undivided attention in every aspect of our banking services.

How does AFFIN INVIKTA support the delivery of exceptional customer experience?

Being part of AFFIN INVIKTA is just as exclusive as it sounds. Membership is by invitation only, with our team of dedicated Relationship Managers who are happy to assist our new affluent members on the onboarding process. Thanks to our enhanced system, the experience is as seamless and paperless as it can be, half an hour is all we need before our members resume their busy schedules and go on to enjoy the finer things in life or, enjoy a warm cup of gourmet coffee freshly brewed at our AFFIN INVIKTA Centre.

From the moment they set foot in the Centre, members will be attended to by our Customer Service Ambassador. There is a palpable sense of stepping into tranquillity, as a refreshing scent imbues the luxurious interiors within. Plush, bespoke armchairs embrace our members as they soak in the charming ambience and appreciate the artwork or simply unwind over a cup of coffee. Whether our members prefer to chat in a quiet spot or have a private discourse in one of our discussion rooms for a personalised financial planning advisory tailored to their needs, our dedicated Relationship Managers would be delighted to assist in any matters.

Opening ceremony of the first AFFIN INVIKTA Centre in Taman Tun Dr Ismail attended by (foreground from left) Nazri Othman, Executive Director Community Banking; Dato’ Agil Natt, Chairman; Datuk Wan Razly Abdullah Wan Ali, President and Group Chief Executive Officer. In the background is Calvin Goon, Managing Director Wealth Management & Customer Proposition

Of course, AFFIN INVIKTA members who patronise our existing AFFIN BANK branches shall benefit from our Greenlane process – a priority lane service that offers faster banking transactions. En. Nazri explained that rather than having members to wait in line, they may proceed directly to any Greenlane counters flanked with an AFFIN INVIKTA name plaque to sort out their banking transactions.

With the Covid-19 Pandemic, what are the safety measures in place?

All surfaces at our AFFIN INVIKTA Centre are scrupulously inspected and sanitised frequently. We have recently engaged a renowned Indoor Air Quality Specialist to inspect and sterilise the Centre thoroughly with Smart Coat Sterilise Solution treatment application, which covers all touchable surfaces and enhances self-sanitisation ability for up to 12 months so that biological contamination is out of the question. With this, we can safely say that protection is guaranteed for the whole year round.

What other perks can AFFIN INVIKTA 

members expect?

We continue to pride ourselves in delivering the best form of services to our customers for unparalleled banking experience not only from customers’ journey perspective. Our aspiration is to also raise the service delivery standards of Premier Banking which goes side-by-side with growing our members’ wealth via our exclusive product offering, curated financial solutions, preferential interest rates, invitation to private events, and worldwide recognition of AFFIN INVIKTA Credit Cards – just to name a few. We want our members to not only bank with us, but also to discover new business horizons as we progress to more outstanding successes together. 

Are you optimistic despite the 

current pandemic?

While we may be new in the Premier Banking segment, we are not taking any baby steps when it comes to AFFIN INVIKTA. Having launched the segment only on 8 March 2021, we have grown leaps and bounds, with almost 10,000 members to-date, and optimistic that we can achieve signing up to 20,000 AFFIN INVIKTA members by December 2021. 

With the unwavering support from our customers, we plan to expand our affluent segment reach nationwide by opening more AFFIN INVIKTA Centres, including one in Penang which is currently in the process of being set up. 

This is a testament of our devotion to our premier customers and to elevate our service standards.



Group Chairman, Media Prima Berhad & Group Chairman, Western Digital Malaysia Operations

Rephrasing a quote by a well-known American broadcaster Walter Cronkite, ‘Success is more  permanent when you achieve it without compromising your principles’. Datuk Seri (Dr) Syed Hussian Aljunid attributes much of his achievements to the trust and confidence gained from his stakeholders throughout his professional career and he firmly believes this is down to the principles he holds very dear to his heart. These include consistent determination, never ending quest for knowledge, unwavering loyalty and commitment to integrity. These are the values that are consistent with those of the multinational and local companies he has been associated with, which todate has spanned across multiple industries including insurance, digital technology and media. They are the same values that remain true to this day, as he currently helms the chairmanships of Media Prima Berhad and Western Digital Malaysia Operations.

With YB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the Media Prima – IJN Medical Outreach Programme and Health Screening for the people in Langkawi.
Courtesy call to YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Pulau Pinang discussing a variety of topics including Penang 2030.

Holding two key positions in two separate established corporations, comes with a certain responsibility of its own most do not see. Sure, in hindsight, it may translate to power but behind closed doors, it is double the responsibility and most of all, expectations. Reality is such that it is easy to lose sight as visions become distorted in a dynamic business world but Datuk Seri (Dr) Syed not only maintains his core principles but goes above and beyond to give back to the nation by making use of his platform and voice. Datuk Seri (Dr) Syed does not sit around and think of how his roles can benefit him but rather is concerned about what he can do with his current roles to give back to the society.

Having said that, he has participated as a delegation member in numerous trade missions overseas organised by the Ministry of International Trade and Industries and Malaysian Investment Development Authority to bring foreign investors to Malaysia. His continuous involvement with key associations and chambers of commerce is also testament to his unwavering commitment. Capitalising on the trusted relationships and global networking built over the years, Datuk Seri (Dr) Syed hopes he can play a small but meaningful role and complement the strong effort made by the government to promote Malaysia as a country with strong economic potential. Given his current role as Group Chairman of Media Prima Berhad, Malaysia’s leading integrated media company, he is also actively pushing the same ideals to help build confidence in the country’s abilities among foreign and domestic investors through the company’s various media platforms. This would ultimately benefit society as a whole via jobs and business opportunities.

Launching of Segerak VIII Utopia art showcase, officiated by His Royal Highness Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfur-lah, TheSultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan.

Datuk Seri (Dr) Syed’s areas of expertise are not just limited to economics and investments but rather talent development as well. With years of experience and knowledge, he contributes to the nation by nurturing the Malaysian youth so that they may come out prepared for today’s job market. This is done through his active associations with five local universities and higher education institutions. As the Group Chairman of Western Digital Malaysia Operations, he and his colleagues have undertaken programmes aimed towards developing local talents through a structured industry training programme, thus giving students the opportunity to gain international exposure to the best manufacturing practices of global technology companies. A collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education, enabled the company to provide on-the-job training opportunities for over 300 Malaysian students from local universities and polytechnic institutions. In terms of international exposure, more than half of the students were fortunate to be placed at Western Digital’s operations in Thailand. He is also very much involved on the ground level by dedicating his time and energy to Technical University of Malaysia Melaka or Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, better known simply as the abbreviated UTeM. He often participates in on-campus activities sharing knowledge via a series of talks. There, he offers his experience and expertise as an industry veteran. This would later on transpire beyond programmes as he also conducts lectures in his capacity as an Adjunct Professor for UTeM, serving on a pro bono basis.

There is no talk about giving back to society without shedding light on the community. Datuk Seri (Dr) Syed is very much involved in various community engagement projects such as helping those in need of assistance both personally and through the companies to which he is affiliated. At Media Prima, he is involved in various community aid activities through programmes such as Bersamamu TV3, which hopes to raise awareness of the hardships experienced by the less fortunate countrymen, whether due to poverty, natural disasters or medical requirements. Media Prima also helped thousands of Malaysians through the Covid 19 Media Prima-NSTP Humanitarian Fund initiative, with a collection of more than RM2.5 million. The money generated was then used to purchase medical equipment and Personal Protective Equipment distributed to hospitals across the country. Similarly, Western Digital also donated medical equipment and personal protective equipment amounting to RM2 million.

Datuk Seri (Dr) Syed is more than just the role entrusted to him. That is to say he is more than just the chairman. Empathy fuels connections and sympathy drives disconnection. It is his ability to empathise with the nation on all levels and his drive to give back to the community is what makes Datuk Seri (Dr.) Syed the person that he is today. Though Covid-19 remains a global concern, Datuk Seri (Dr) Syed remains optimistic about the future. He believes the future for Malaysia remains bright despite the challenges we are facing as the small ray of hope lies in the fact that one can continuously learn to adapt and improve in spite of adverse conditions.

Hand over of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worth RM2m from Western Digital to YB Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Muhyiddin bin Mohd. Yassin, former Malaysian Prime Minister in the fightagainst Covid19

Just like how the lotus flower is able to blossom in muddy waters, Media Prima has managed to achieve a mini turnaround of its fortune despite the economic downturn. In the moment of crisis, albeit easier to just lose all hope and leave it as it is, the people of Media Prima chose to face the pandemic head on. United in spirit, drive, passion and most importantly principles are what made this possible. This small feat is mainly due to the hard work and determination of everyone at the company. Every single one of them in Media Prima has a role to play no matter how big or small they are. Similarly, Western Digital Malaysia has confidence that the country will emerge from the pandemic as it continues to expand its presence in Malaysia as demand for storage solutions increases despite the global uncertainties. This is done through expanding its presence in Malaysia when in 2020, the company announced a fresh investment of RM2.8 billion in Malaysia which will benefit the country.

Remaining true to your principles does indeed have its benefits.

Skinnergy Resources From Traditional to Globalisation

Dr Kelvin Liew

Co-Founder, Skinnergy Resources

Dr Kelvin Liew, co-founder of Skinnergy Resources, comes from a family of practising physicians who has been in the business of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) bone setting and preparation of traditional Chinese medicine for more than 80 years.

As a third generation practitioner, Kel vin started as an apprentice during his primary school days where he learnt medicine preparation and throughout the years that followed, earnestly trained and learnt the TCM bone setting techniques to treat musculoskeletal injuries.  However, he was only more personally involved in patient cases much later on, when he was in his thirties. Kelvin acknowledges that there is still much to learn, and he is still actively involved in this profession.  They meet and treat over 100 patients daily; whilst it can be a tad tiring at times as they open daily throughout the week, it is gratifying to know and see that their patients recover well and benefit from their services. 

Having always aspired to be an entrepreneur of a scalable business, not bounded by the time and sole expertise of the individual, he seized the opportunity to join his partners in co-founding Skinnergy in 2016.

Skinnergy is currently into its fifth year; although much of what they learnt has been through their hands-on experience of running the day-to-day operations of the business, Kelvin believes that the right strategies which were in place since the inception of the company, helped the company thrive during the current economic situation amidst the pandemic.  Aside from ensuring that they have a competitive product line-up with which their business associates can leverage on, there are two other pertinent areas which they paid much attention to.

Mr Lokman Hakim B. Ali, MITI Secretary-General accompanied by Chng Huck Theng presenting the CHT International Awards 2020 for CHT Emerging Entrepreneur Award 2020 to Dr Kelvin Liew, Co-Founder, Skinnergy Resources.

The first being the decision to use a mix of social media and web presence for market outreach. Having their business associates familiarise themselves with these tools from the get go has prepared them unexpectedly for the situation where social distancing and travel restrictions are the norm. Also, with a strong backend team to expediently resolve customer issues and acquire feedback has helped the company build trust with their associates and customers as well as generate new product ideas.

These are  challenging times, especially for budding entrepreneurs, but if you believe in your dream and your vision, I urge you to persist on

The other focus area is investing in a robust e-commerce system. Kelvin views it as the backbone of the company, something in which their associates expect from them and it is his and his partners’ responsibility to ensure it is well-oiled and working smoothly. As much as they anticipate challenges, never did they expect that a nascent company like Skinnergy to be cyber-attack targets, however events as such did happen. Fortunately they have established reliable partners who helped them tide over those episodes and they have since strengthen their systems.

Kelvin shares, “These are challenging times, especially for budding entrepreneurs; some may blame it as bad timing, however if one still believes in his/her ideas or vision, I would like to encourage you to persist on. And if the strength of the individual is insufficient, find like-minded partners/investors to join you on your journey – this is to do justice to the effort and capital you’ve invested so far.” “Entrepreneurship is a voyage, after building the ship and christening it, the most important part is how you navigate it through the vast, fickle sea ahead.” says the good doctor.

Are you a Winner in this Pandemic?

by Coach K

Founder of Wisdom Woods®️

Some people may take offence at the title of this article, claiming it to be rather unsympathetic towards many people who are not doing so well due to the surrounding circumstances. I would urge you to think otherwise. In fact, I am writing this piece for everyone who may not think one can be a winner, with the hope of turning you into a winner!

First of all, you’d agree with me that there are winners, especially those in the so called ‘right’ industries like e-commerce, healthcare, selected technologies, last-mile deliveries and a few others.  If industry is the only defining factor, why are there businesses within the above-mentioned industries which are not doing just as well?  On the other hand, there are also businesses in other industries that are out-performing the rest, increasing their market values in 2020.  Check out Tesla, China Tourism Group, Fortescue Metals Group and many others.  Nike even recorded their 50-year historical best in their most recent fiscal quarter. 

If you are not convinced that you can be in the same league as the businesses above, let me give you more good news. About a year ago, we would read reports that the world economies will be facing contractions, with the exceptions of China. Fast forward to today, according to the Global Economic Prospects published by the World Bank Group in June 2021, economies are forecasted to enjoy positive growths across the globe. The statistics seem to suggest that we are beginning to kickstart an upward trend. The question now is are we ready to ride the wave of growth?

Source data: The World Bank (June 2021)

So, snap out of it!  Please don’t use the Pandemic as the excuse!  You’ve got to start by believing that you can be a winner! We cannot just hope that everything will just automatically return to normal one day but we do need to believe that the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. We’ve got to commence actions to adjust our trajectory towards the winning direction. Some might be asking their astrology masters when is the right time? No timing is better that NOW!  

So, what can we do? My friends, that’s another story… 

Saving or Investing Your Money in 2021

by Calvin Goon

Head of Wealth Management, Affin Bank Berhad

Which Strategy Works Best for You?

In early 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic came as a global shock that tore many peoples’ lives asunder and left all of us worried about our finances. During these uncertain times, many would perceive cash as king, holding on to as much of it as possible to play it safe.  

But is this really the best strategy?

In fact, one key indicator of the growing economic uncertainty this year is the fact that Bank Negara Malaysia has recently reduced the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) by 125 basis points to a record low, a level that was last seen only during the 2008 global financial crisis. This move is one of several aggressive monetary measures, aimed at injecting liquidity back into the economy and thus putting it on the road to recovery. As a result, fixed deposit rates have been lowered at all Malaysian banks.

These developments, together with the undetermined duration of this prolonged pandemic and the adverse effects of a low interest rate environment, may make a person doubt their wealth strategy, which is why having an actual plan for your money has become more crucial than ever.  One way to solidify your wealth involves saving and investing interchangeably, but with key differences; it is important to note that these two instruments serve different purposes.

The Differences Between Saving and Investing:

In a truly solid Wealth Management plan, savings and investments should not be a question of one or the other, but rather a blend to complement each other. If you are a big fan of fixed deposits, you may need to consider diversifying your funds into investments as well in order to let the money work harder for you.  Ultimately, the best strategy involves understanding the characteristics, benefits, and risks of saving and investing.  Subsequently, you should choose the best ratio that combines both to suit your risk tolerance. 

Remember, don’t put everything into one basket!

Oftentimes, the “killer” of your wealth management strategy is not how you invest, but the misconception and myths most people have heard about investments. As such, it is always important for a person to fully understand the risk-reward trade offs before making any commitment to an investment. As risk appetite may vary for different people (clients), it is essential to categorise their individual risk profile into categories: Conservative, Balanced, Growth, and Aggressive to effectively plan a unique investment portfolio. For example, utilising equities as an investment to generate higher potential returns works for a client with an Aggressive risk profile, while utilising bond investments is more suited to a client with a Conservative risk profile. Without exception, recognising the type of risk a client has is of utmost importance for investment portfolio planning, as a client with a lower risk tolerance may not be able to stomach a strategy with higher risk.

If you’re ready to start or improve your wealth management strategy, consider AFFIN INVIKTATM; we are experts in recognising a client’s risk profile and tapping on available investment options to sculpt a portfolio that is best suited to your risk appetite and personal financial aims.

With us, it is always about you, your money and achieving your financial goals.

“Poor people see a dollar as a dollar to trade for something they want right now. Rich people see every dollar as a ‘seed’ that can be planted to earn a hundred more dollars… then replanted to earn thousand more dollars.”   (T. Harv Eker, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind)

Malaysian Property Market Outlook FromPandemic To Endemic

by Kenny Teoh

Managing Director, Hectarworld Group

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, issues such as property price affordability and oversupply are already affecting overall Malaysian property market. The Movement Control Order (MCO) since March 2020 and closed borders due to Covid-19 have inevitably caused uncertain economic outlook, weak business and consumer confidence. As a result, prospective buyers and investors are currently adopting a “wait and see” attitude. All these factors have further exaggerated the overall sluggish Property Market since 2020.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to be under control by this year-end, supported by our National Vaccination Programme that has been going full force since June 2021. This roll-out of the vaccination programme will surely help speed things up and hopefully allow the country and its people to get back to their new normal lives and restart most business activities that were negatively affected since the beginning of this pandemic. At the time of writing this article, our new Health Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin claimed that 80% of the Malaysian adult population are targeted to be fully vaccinated by end of October 2021 and the country can expect to move from the Covid-19 pandemic into an endemic by then; a phase where we start living with the virus. 

The overall property market is expected to rebound and experience pent-up demand when our lives and business activities are progressively restored by year end. Property market growth depends very much on the country economic growth rate. The historical trend is a testament to this relationship. 

As shown in Figure 1 above, the Asian financial crisis struck our country in 1997 and the market did badly in 1998 at – 9.4% GDP Growth, but recovered almost immediately in 1999 at 6% GDP Growth. Similarly, the Subprime mortgage crisis in 2008 saw the market plunged in 2009 and again positively recovered by 2010 onward. During early 2020, Covid-19 pandemic hit our country and the GDP Growth started to decline at about -0.4% to -0.5% at Q1 2021 and expected to stay sluggish throughout 2021 due to the implementation of Full Movement Control Order (FMCO). Positive recovery is expected in 2022 when new normal is restored and the health crisis is brought under control through herd immunity.  

Regardless, current property market is quite conducive for first time home buyers and property investors due to the low-interest rate regime and “hit rock bottom” property price (as shown in the Figure 1 above) even in some matured locations. In addition, the government’s allocations in the Budget 2021 to revive and ensure the continuity of mega infrastructure projects and the extension of Home Ownership Campaign (HOC 2020-2021) till Dec 2021 would be much needed boosters to the overall property market. 

We will be at the end of the tunnel soon, and we expect the economy to reopen when the country achieves its targetted herd immunity by end of October 2021. Property market will start to rebound by year end and begin its positive recovery in 2022 onwards. 

Western Digital Malaysia – Awarded Global Lighthouse Network by The World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has recognised and awarded two Western Digital (WD) factories as the latest entrants to its Global Lighthouse Network (GLN). The smart factories are located in Malaysia and Thailand. Of the 90 total sites within WEF’s Lighthouse network, Western Digital factory in Penang is the first company to receive such esteemed recognition in Malaysia. CEO of WD David Goeckeler was delighted with the achievement and said that “It is an honour and a testament of our leadership efforts in 4IR with both technology innovation and workforce engagement.” “Western Digital, as a leading data infrastructure provider, is committed to enabling sustainable growth and transformation across our facilities around the world to deliver value to our customers, employees, and partners,” he added. 

At a press conference in Malaysia, Senior Vice President Global Flash Backend Operations – KL Bock, recalled that the solutions for lights-out were not available in the industry and the Malaysia team had to create their own blue-print from scratch to make it happen in order to provide cost efficient and effective enablers to support the growth taking shape in the global flash memory market. Arham Abdul Rahman, CEO of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) congratulated WD for this milestone. He mentioned in his speech that Malaysia is on board towards the 4th Industrial Revolution and Digital Economy and he is confident that this is an exceptional example to the rest of the industries operating in the country. 

The Global Lighthouse Network is a project that was initiated by the World Economic Forum and McKinsey & Co since 2018 that recognises production sites and value chains that are world leaders in the adoption and integration of the cutting-edge technologies of the 4IR.

A New Dior Exhibition Silk Room

The Dior Fall/ Winter 2021-2022 Haute Couture Show was presented against an exceptional backdrop installation designed by distinguished French artist, Eva Jospin, in the heart of the Rodin Museum in Paris. This backdrop of silk-embroidered panels perfectly harmonised with the threads theme that inspired Dior Creative Director, Maria Grazia Chiuri.

Based on the unique design by Jospin, this 40-meter-long immersive gallery is entirely hand-embroidered by the highly skilled artists of the Chanakya School of Craft and Chanakya workshop in Mumbai.

This phenomenal work of art is the outcome of an extensive process with a dialogue of multiple voices. It also references both Virginia Woolf’s feminist manifesto ‘A Room of One’s Own’ and the Indian-inspired Embroidery Room at the Palazzo Colonna in Rome.

Images courtesy of

The Billionaires’ Space Race

Once upon a time the global space race was decided by the wealth of nations, but now billionaires have started taking over its future. The world’s wealthiest man, Jeff Bezos, has blasted into space in his own spaceship of his private space company, Blue Origin, on July 20, 2021. Bezos is the second billionaire in just over a week to travel to space, with Richard Branson being the first.

The rocket reached an astonishing height of around 107km, according to the Blue Origin telecast, which was higher by more than 17 kilometres of Branson’s Virgin Galactic ride, launched on July 11, 2021.

Although some have celebrated this occasion, many have vented their frustrations about these billionaires not investing in more important things that are currently happening in the world, for instance: climate change, environmental pollution, the pandemic, and many more.

Amongst the billionaire entrepreneurs leading this privately-funded race into space (also known as NewSpace) are South African-Canadian-American billionaire Elon Musk, American billionaire Jeff Bezos, and British billionaire Richard Branson.


by Aida Lim Abdullah, CEO of Penang Halal International Sdn Bhd, A State Govt Owned Entity

(CGMA, CIMA, CA, CFP, CSI, BA (Hons) Accounting & Finance (major in law))

Within approximately 45 years, the Global Modern Islamic finance has grown to an asset size of about USD2.5 trillion as reported in 2018, represented by almost 1,500 institutions worldwide (Islamic Finance Development Report 2019), whereas, “The Economic Outlook 2021” report published by the Ministry of Finance (MoF), Malaysia, shows that the Islamic banking industry in Malaysia has a total asset valued at RM1.03 billion and the total outstanding Islamic financing is about RM787.8 billion. 

Islamic Financing is not only for the Muslims.  It is a fast-moving industry, alongside the development of Syariah and Halal business activities.  The Islamic financial system operates with the principles of Shariah law where elements such as usury (riba), ambiguity (gharar) and speculation (maisir) are prohibited.  In this regard, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Securities Commission (SC) have prescribed approved Shariah principles that apply to banking, insurance and capital market products in Malaysia; for example:- mudharabah (profit-sharing), murabahah (cost-plus sale) and tawarruq (tripartite sale). 


The fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on the world’s economy surpassed that of the global financial crisis in 2008.  The unprecedented Covid-19 crisis created severe uncertainty and struck a dire blow on global economy and international trade.  The negative economic and human impact with far-reaching implications on consumer, corporate, and global trade finance dynamics swept around the globe with lightning speed.

Nevertheless, based on the MoF report, it is expected that Malaysia’s Islamic finance industry is likely to expand further with the continuous promotion of Shariah-compliant products.  As the financial industry and business environment evolves, there are more Shariah-compliant products introduced and are available in the local market for Muslim and non-Muslim investors and businesses.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also created awareness on the use of financial technology offerings in the area of Islamic finance such as Shariah-compliant digital assets, crowdfunding and peer-to-peer financing platforms with a suite of e-Commerce set-ups that offers Halal goods, like those initiated by Penang Halal International with its partners namely, Penang E-Mall@Shopee, Foodpanda, Food4U programme and Penang E-Bazaar@PGMall.

Globally, we are seeing some countries downsizing or even shutting down certain industries and sectors; the economic hardships observed have amplified and spilled over to all.  Those who can work from home mostly have stable incomes, but non-permanent or daily workers are at risk of losing their earnings, particularly in the most affected industries such as property, construction, tourism and service industry.  


One of the important wake-up calls in this pandemic is that many now realise the importance of embracing ethical and hygienic lifestyles, especially in the food chain process from manufacturing, processing to consumption.  As such, it would seem that the Islamic Finance will continue to develop and grow upwards alongside with Syariah, Halalan Toyyiban lifestyle, be it for religion or just an individual choice for ethical and hygienic lifestyle.  There appears to be a bright future for Islamic Finance and Businesses moving forward.