Polemik Hudud di Malaysia: Satu Tinjauan

Polemik Hudud di Malaysia: Satu Tinjauan

Zulkifli Hasan

1.0 Pendahuluan

Setelah beberapa tahun isu hudud tenggelam dalam perbincangan arus perdana, ianya kembali hangat diperkatakan sejak akhir-akhir ini. Kenyataan tegas Dato’ Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat Menteri Besar Kelantan terhadap komitmen untuk melaksanakan undang-undang hudud telah menimbulkan polemik di kalangan masyarakat. Seiring dengan polemik ini, pelbagai pihak telah mengambil kesempatan dalam isu ini sama ada untuk menimbulkan persoalan atau bantahan mahupun pernyataan sokongan terhadap perlaksanaan undang-undang Hudud di Malaysia.

Melihat kepada isu ini secara lebih jujur dan adil, pandangan yang bersandarkan kepada ruang lingkup undang-undang, realiti masyarakat, bidang kuasa dan kehendak rakyat umum perlu diberikan perhatian serius. Respons yang beremosi dan tidak sensitif tanpa ilmu hanya akan memburukkan lagi keadaan bahkan akan mengakibatkan kesalahfahaman masyarakat pada isu yang sepatutnya diselesaikan secara hikmah.

Seiring dengan hasrat untuk membincangkan isu ini secara ilmiah dan jujur, penulis telah meninjau dan membuat analisis ringkas terhadap kenyataan dan pandangan ahli politik, agamawan, peguam serta orang awam terhadap isu hudud ini. Di samping itu, penulis juga berkesempatan menemubual Pakar Undang-undang Perlembagaan Malaysia, Profesor Andrew James Harding, Profesor Undang-undang Universiti Victoria, Kanada baru-baru ini. Berdasarkan kepada sorotan literatur, analisis kenyataan dan pandangan pakar perlembagaan ini, penulis merumuskan bahawa perlaksanaan undang-undang Hudud di Malaysia boleh dilaksanakan dengan beberapa pendekatan. Bagi membincangkan topik ini, artikel ringkas ini dibahagikan kepada empat bahagian iaitu pendahuluan, analisis kenyataan di akhbar, pandangan pakar perlembagaan dan kesimpulan.

2.0 Analisis Kenyataan Akhbar

Sebelum analisis dibuat, penulis menyenaraikan kenyataan dan pandangan pimpinan kerajaan Barisan Nasional dan Pakatan Rakyat, Agamawan, Peguam dan Orang Awam yang dilaporkan di akhbar arus perdana. Ringkasan yang dimuatkan dalam artikel ini akan dapat memperlihatkan komitmen dan tasawwur individu ataupun parti politik dalam berbicara mengenai undang-undang hudud di Malaysia.

(a) Kenyataan Ahli Politik Barisan Nasional

Perdana Menteri, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak: Kerajaan tidak akan laksanakan hukum hudud. Elemen undang-undang Islam telah pun dilaksanakan di Malaysia

Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyidin Yassin: Malaysia tidak bersedia untuk laksanakan hudud

Presiden MCA, Dato Chua Soi Lek: MCA akan keluar BN jika UMNO laksanakan hudud.

Menteri Pertahanan, Dato’ Seri Zahid Hamidi: Hukum hudud belum dapat dilaksanakan kerana masalah kesesuaian dalam masyarakat majmuk negara ini.

Ketua Pemuda UMNO, Khairy Jamaludin: Gesa agar kerajaan pusat meminda perlembagaan bagi membolehkan kerajaan Kelantan melaksanakan hudud.

Ketua Pemuda MCA, Datuk Wee Ka Siong: Mesyuarat majlis pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat berkenaan hudud sebagai usaha yang tidak berguna kerana setiap parti anggota pakatan itu mempunyai pendirian dan ideologi berbeza dalam pelaksanaan hukum hudud.

Ketua Pemuda Gerakan, Tan Keng Liang: Pemimpin PAS mempunyai “impian peribadi” untuk melaksana undang-undang tersebut. PAS harus sedar bahawa Malaysia merupakan sebuah negara yang berbilang kaum dan agama. Adalah tidak wajar PAS memaksa pandangan mereka ke atas semua rakyat Malaysia yang berbilang kaum dan agama.

(b) Kenyataan Ahli Politik Pakatan Rakyat

Ketua Pembangkang, Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim: Hasrat Negeri Kelantan mahu melaksanakan hudud sewajarnya dihormati.

Pengerusi DAP, Karpal Singh: Tidak bersetuju dengan pendirian Dato’ Nik Abdul Aziz yang mahu menegakkan hukum hudud dan menubuhkan negara Islam.

Menteri Besar, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat: Tetap dengan pendirian untuk menegakkan hukum hudud dan penubuhan negara Islam walaupun mendapat tentangan hebat daripada DAP

Ketua pemuda PAS, Nasrudin Hassan: Mempertahankan hak PAS untuk melaksana undang-undang berkenaan – Enakmen Jenayah Syariah II Kelantan 1993 serta Enakmen Jenayah Syariah Terengganu 2003.

Pakatan Rakyat: Pakatan Rakyat menghormati inisiatif PAS untuk laksanakan Hudud. Untuk melaksanakannya, ia perlu capai kata sepakat dan seterusnya pinda perlembagaan.

(c) Kenyataan Agamawan

Presiden Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia, Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing: Tiada bantahan untuk melaksanakan hudud selagi mana terpakai kepada Muslim sahaja.

Mantan Mufti Perlis Profesor Madya Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin: Pelaksanaan hukum hudud memerlukan ijtihad ataupun tafsiran baru dengan mengambil kira aspek perubahan zaman dan tempat.

Mufti Perak, Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria: Menyokong hasrat Pas mahu melaksanakan hukum hudud di Kelantan

Mufti Perlis, Dr Juanda Jaya: Melaksanakan hukum hudud adalah kewajipan orang Islam dan tidak boleh dipersoalkan

(d) Kenyataan Peguam dan Orang Awam

Presiden Majlis Peguam, Lim Chee Wee: Hudud tidak boleh dilaksanakan dalam kerangka Perlembagaan Malaysia dan undang-undang sedia ada.

Mantan Presiden Majlis Peguam, Haji Sulaiman Abdullah: Hudud tidak boleh dilaksanakan di Malaysia pada waktu ini berdasarkan kepada status Malaysia yang tidak berciri Islam sepenuhnya.

Pengerusi Kelab Penyokong Pas, Hu Phang Chaw: Menyeru kerajaan Kelantan untuk membuat referendum bagi meninjau kehendak rakyat terhadap undang-undang Hudud.

2.1 Analisis Ringkas Kenyataan dan Pandangan

Secara umumnya melalui pemerhatian dan pembacaan berdasarkan kepada kenyataan pelbagai di atas, kesimpulan yang boleh dirumuskan adalah seperti berikut:-

(i) Pimpinan Barisan Nasional konsisten menolak perlaksanaan hudud dalam kerangka undang-undang dan realiti masyarakat. Walaupun Khairy Jamaludin menyatakan pendirian untuk menggesa kerajaan meminda undang-undang untuk membolehkan perlaksaan hudud di Kelantan, ianya mungkin tidak boleh diambil kira untuk mewakili kerajaan Barisan Nasional atas dasar pandangan peribadi dan juga kedudukan beliau di dalam kerajaan.

(ii) Pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat PKR dan PAS nampak seia sekata dalam isu ini dengan menghormati hasrat kerajaan Kelantan untuk melaksanakan undang-undang Hudud. Namun begitu, DAP tetap konsisten dengan pendirian mereka menolak sebarang idea perlaksanaan hudud termasuk penubuhan negara Islam. Dalam ketidaksefahaman dan perbezaan ideologi ini, Pakatan Rakyat telah bersepakat untuk menghormati pendirian masing-masing dan bersetuju untuk mendahulukan agenda yang disepakati.

(iii) Menarik untuk diperhatikan ialah tatkala ada juga pimpinan Islam yang mempersoalkan perlaksanaan hudud, pandangan Paderi Paul jelas memperlihatkan bahawa sekiranya ada kefahaman yang baik dalam memahami isu ini, perlaksanaan hudud bukanlah satu perkara yang boleh menimbulkan keresahan di kalangan bukan Islam di Malaysia. Para Mufti pula amat konsisten dan sangat bertegas kepada keperluan melaksanakan hudud di Malaysia keranya ianya merupakan tuntutan akidah.

(iv) Merujuk kepada pandangan peguam dalam isu ini, mahu tidak mahu kita perlu akui bahawa sebarang usaha ke arah perlaksanaan hudud di Malaysia mempunyai halangan dari segi ruang lingkup undang-undang. Isu halangan undang-undang ini perlu diberikan perhatian kerana sekiranya tiada pindaan dan perubahan pada beberapa undang-undang sedia ada, hudud tidak akan dapat diimplementasikan di Malaysia.

(v) Pandangan dari Kelab Penyokong Pas, Hu Phang Chaw menunjukkan kematangan dari segi memahami realiti masyarakat di Malaysia. Idea yang menggesa referendum tinjauan kemahuan dan kehendak rakyat di Kelantan boleh dijadikan kayu ukur dan penentu kepada hasrat rakyat serta penerimaan masyarakat terhadap perlaksanaan hudud.

3.0 Pandangan Pakar Perlembagaan

Berkesempatan menemubual Profesor Andrew Harding di mana karya penulisannya menjadi buku teks wajib undang-undang perlembagaan kebanyakan fakulti undang-undang di Malaysia, pandangan beliau yang lebih bersifat ‘legalistic’ dan tidak berbau politik sangat baik untuk dimanfaatkan. Walaupun banyak isu-isu yang dibincangkan semasa sesi dialog dengan beliau, penulis hanya ingin menyatakan pandangan beliau berkenaan dengan perlaksanaan hudud di Malaysia.

Amat menarik perbincangan kami apabila beliau dengan tegas menyatakan bahawa Perlembagaan Malaysia tidak bersifat sekular. Ini menunjukkan bahawa terdapat pengiktirafan pada Islam yang terkandung di dalam Perlembagaan. Bahkan tidak ada perkataan yang menyatakan Islam sebagai agama rasmi negara tetapi apa yang termaktub ialah Islam adalah agama persekutuan. Namun begitu, beliau berpandangan peruntukan ini tidak boleh dianggap sebagai mutlak bagi membolehkan perlaksanaan hudud di Malaysia. Implementasi hudud memerlukan pindaan perlembagaan dan beberapa undang-undang sedia ada yang sekiranya dilihat dalam konteks komposisi kerajaan dan pembangkang sedia ada agak sukar untuk dimaterialisasikan.

Menurut pemerhatian beliau, kebanyakan pandangan yang dilaporkan diakhbar adalah bersifat politik dan ini tidak banyak memberikan manfaat. Beliau lebih cenderung untuk membicarakan isu hudud ini dari aspek perundangan dan disesuaikan dengan realiti masyarakat di Malaysia. Walaupun ada pandangan yang melihat bahawa Perlembagaan sedia tidak perlu dipinda untuk melaksanakan hudud, beliau sangat tidak bersetuju dengan pandangan ini. Beliau dengan serius menyatakan bahawa perlembagaan harus difahami secara menyeluruh dengan mengambil kira faktor aspirasi penggubal perlembagaan, pentakrifan, penafsiran dan banyak faktor perundangan yang lain. Idea ‘simplistic’ yang mengambil pendirian bahawa hudud boleh dilaksanakan di Malaysia berdasarkan kepada peruntukan Islam sebagai agama persekutuan adalah tidak tepat.

4.0 Kesimpulan

Polemik hudud di Malaysia telah menimbulkan pelbagai spekulasi dan isu yang membelenggu rakyat Malaysia hingga kini. Isu ini dijuarai oleh ahli politik walaupun sepatutnya ia dibicarakan secara jujur, ilmiah, ikhlas oleh segenap lapisan masyarakat terutama mereka yang pakar dan berautoriti. Walaupun tidak dinafikan polemik hudud ini memberikan kesan negatif kepada persepsi masyarakat kepada undang-undang Islam, tetapi dalam masa yang sama ianya boleh menjadi pencetus kepada usaha ke arah penanaman pemahaman masyarakat. Ini dibuktikan dengan sokongan paderi Paul dan Hu Hu Phang Chaw, wakil kelab penyokong Pas berbangsa cina yang secara terang-terangan tidak mempunyai sebarang masalah atau kegelisahan kepada idea perlaksanaan hudud di Malaysia. Hal ini juga dibuktikan di Switzerland di mana Daniel Streich, seorang ahli politik yang anti-Islam membantah pembinaan menara masjid dan sebagainya, akhirnya memeluk Islam dan kini menjadi aktivis yang sangat aktif bergiat memperjuangkan Islam di Eropah.

Semoga dengan perbincangan ringkas di dalam artikel ini akan dapat memberikan kefahaman yang sewajarnya dalam memahami dan menghadami isu perlaksanaan hudud di Malaysia. Bagi orang-orang Islam, mereka tiada pilihan kerana perlaksanaannya adalah tuntutan akidah. Manakala bagi orang bukan Islam, mereka perlu menghormati ideologi dan akidah umat Islam seperti mana Muslim menghormati agama mereka dan ini termasuk dalam hak-hak untuk melaksanakan undang-undang Islam. Sikap hormat-menghormati, berlapang dada, tidak emosi, bersandarkan kepada ilmu dan realiti masyarakat merupakan faktor penentu kepada keharmonian beragama di Malaysia.

Regards
ZULKIFLI HASAN

With Professor Andrew James Harding, Professor of Law, University of Victoria, Canada

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Islamic Finance Industry will need 25 percent more experts in a decade

Sharia MBAs on the rise as 25% more experts needed

By Bloomberg 26 September 2011 Available at: http://www.arabianbusiness.com/sharia-mbas-on-rise-as-25-more-experts-needed-422173.html?page=1

A Bahraini group that sets standards for Islamic finance in 45 countries is helping universities start Sharia-compliant business courses to avert a shortage of experts in the $1 trillion market.
The industry will need 15 percent more personnel over the next five years and 25 percent more in a decade, said Khairul Nizam, deputy secretary general of the Accounting & Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions.

Pakistan is offering its first doctorate in Sharia banking, while the United Arab Emirates has introduced an Islamic Masters of Business Administration.
“There is a shortage of people in the industry at the entry level,” Nizam said. “We will need to make sure there are enough heads in the future.”

Sharia-compliant bonds returned 6.9 percent this year, according to the HSBC/NASDAQ Dubai US Dollar Sukuk Index, outpacing the 5.9 percent jump in emerging-market debt, data compiled by JPMorgan Chase & Co shows. Countries including Nigeria, Thailand, Australia and France plan to introduce legislation to facilitate Islamic financing, moves that will boost demand for scholars to certify that the products meet Islam’s ban on interest payments.

“If you don’t have quality people, then growth in the industry won’t be sustainable,” said Azahari Kamil, the chief executive officer of Kuala Lumpur-based Asian Finance Bank, a unit of Qatar Islamic Bank. “Governments and central banks should encourage universities to come up with more professional courses.”

The Canadian University of Dubai is offering a UAE- accredited MBA in Islamic banking, Foteini Lavda, the institution’s marketing manager, said in a statement. The International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan, started its doctorate course in Sharia banking to compliment its Masters program in August, said Shagufta Haroon, the director of academics. La Trobe University, based in Melbourne, began courses in the subject last year.

Experts in Singapore are also setting up an association focused on Sharia-compliant investments to foster links between bankers, lawyers and investors in the Arabian Gulf and Asia, Raj Mohamad, managing director at Five Pillars, a consulting firm in the city-state, said in an interview yesterday. Mohamad will be the secretary of the new body.

The Accounting & Auditing Organization, known as AAOIFI, has more than 200 members and its standards are used in Islamic finance in Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Sudan and Syria, according to its website.

The organization may issue 35 Sharia standards for Islamic institutions in 2012, according to a Sept 7 statement, citing Secretary General Mohamed Nedal Alchaar.

Under Islamic law, commercial transactions can take place as long as the provisions don’t violate the Koran. The charging or receiving of interest on a loan or bond is banned and investment in businesses that deal in tobacco, gaming or alcohol are prohibited, making conventional stock and bond indexes off limits to those wanting to invest in accordance with Islamic principles. “We have been speaking with a few universities to help them introduce some courses on Islamic finance and we are helping other universities to improve the courses they offer,” AAOIFI’s Nizam said. “We are also offering our own courses.”
Assets that comply with Islam’s tenets are estimated to almost triple by 2015 to $2.8 trillion, according to the Kuala Lumpur-based Islamic Financial Services Board.

Global sales of sukuk have risen to $17.4bn in 2011, from $10.7bn in the same period last year. Issuance reached a record $31bn in 2007.
Islamic banking assets in Malaysia, which pioneered financing along religious guidelines 30 years ago, have grown an average 20 percent annually since 2006 to 350.8 billion ringgit ($111bn) in 2010. The Southeast Asian nation accounts for 66 percent of global sukuk outstanding, according to the central bank’s annual report issued in March.

Australia and Thailand are pushing through legislation to remove tax barriers on Sharia-compliant products that would pave the way for issuance of Islamic bonds. Nigeria’s Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, a unit of South Africa’s Standard Bank Group, has been issued with a preliminary license to offer Islamic banking services.
Stanbic would be the African nation’s second lender to gain approval.

The International Islamic University of Malaysia offers postgraduate and Ph.D. courses in Sharia-compliant banking and finance, according to its website. The UK’s Durham University, also offers Islamic finance courses, while Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, runs an Islamic legal studies program through its law school, according to data on their websites. The Paris-based French Institute for Islamic Finance in partnership with the French Institute for Management is providing vocational training in Sharia-compliant finance through 15 programs, according to its website. “There’s been a surge in Islamic finance courses,” said Nik Norzrul Thani, chairman and senior partner of Kuala Lumpur-based legal firm Zaid Ibrahim & Co.

Regards
ZULKIFLI HASAN

Economics, politics spur Islamic banking in Oman

Economics, politics spur Islamic banking in Oman

By Martina Fuchs and Shaheen Pasha Available at: http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFTRE78D3U720110914?sp=true

MUSCAT/DUBAI (Reuters) – For religious reasons, Omani clerk Ali al-Sulaimi does not believe in paying interest on borrowed money, but he badly wants to build a house for his family.

Islamic banks “should open today already”, said Sulaimi, dressed in a white dishdasha robe and traditional Omani woven hat called the kuma, as he went to prayers at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in the capital Muscat.

Now an edict issued by the central bank in May this year is set to meet demand from Sulaimi and other Omani Muslims who have long called for the sultanate to embrace the Islamic finance industry, which operates according to the religion’s sharia law.

Oman, home to roughly 3 million Muslims, is seen as an untapped opportunity for Islamic finance, which prohibits the lending of money for interest and other activities that violate religious principles.

The Islamic finance market has grown to nearly $1 trillion (634 billion pounds) globally, analysts estimate. But unlike neighbouring states such as the United Arab Emirates and Iran, which have embraced the industry, Oman until this year remained stubbornly secular in its approach to finance. Its central bank head said in 2007 that “banks should be universal.”

Oman reversed its stance after seeing a steady trickle of investment money flow to nearby countries with well-established Islamic banking sectors. The decision was also seen as one way of appeasing its population, after the sultanate faced several public protests demanding more jobs and an end to corruption — demonstrations which prompted the government to promise to boost spending by $2.6 billion.

Setting up Islamic banking is not an overnight proposition. Legal and banking experts said it could take between three to five years for the industry to gain momentum in Oman as financial institutions acquired expertise and brought in experienced professionals. Many banks appear to consider the effort worthwhile, however.

“There is a lot of opportunity for Islamic finance in Oman, with almost every bank considering launching an Islamic window and one or two full-fledged Islamic banks being launched,” said Ashar Nazim, leader for Islamic financial services in the Middle East and North Africa at consultancy Ernst & Young.

“Islamic banking could be 8 to 10 percent of (banking) market share over the next three to five years. I’m comfortable with saying it could be at least a $6 billion industry in Oman.”

The commercial banking sector has seen steady gains in both deposits and assets over the past two years, according to central bank data. Total deposits at commercial banks reached 11.2 billion rials (18.4 billion pounds) at the end of June, up 14.3 percent from a year earlier, while total assets climbed 4.5 percent to 16.3 billion rials.

CHALLENGES

In an Islamic mortgage transaction, of the kind which may allow Sulaimi to build a house in the next year or two, a bank does not lend money. Instead, it might typically buy the asset from the customer and then resell it at an implicit profit, allowing the customer to pay the bank in instalments — a practice called Murabahah.

Ernst & Young estimates that Oman’s banking industry will need 500 bankers to cater to demand for Islamic finance. Designing and launching a full-fledged Islamic bank could typically take six to twelve months, Nazim said; obtaining capital and expertise could mean further delays.

Bank Nizwa and Al Izz International Bank, two lenders currently been set up, have received licences from the central bank to operate as wholly Islamic financial institutions but it is unclear when they will open their doors. Both banks will be sponsored by local investors in Oman; Al Izz has in the past raised the possibility of obtaining additional capital through an initial public offer of shares.

National Bank of Oman, the sultanate’s second-largest lender by assets, may seek board approval be the end of the year to open an Islamic branch, its chief executive said.

Bank Dhofar is also looking to apply for an Islamic banking licence before the end of the year, its acting chief executive Mohammed Redha Jawad told Reuters, although there are challenges in training staff and obtaining experienced bankers, he added.

“There has been growing pressure from investors for Oman to come in line with the rest of the region and allow Islamic finance,” said George Sanders, partner at international law firm SNR Denton in Muscat.

“We’ve come across transactions that were held up or modified because investors had been hoping to use Islamic finance and had to rethink the deal because Oman didn’t have it.”

Sanders said he expected large commercial financings to be the first Islamic deals in Oman, pending the opening of other Islamic banking services. Islamic bonds, or sukuk, have gained momentum in the region and could be a new source of funding for Omani companies.

Oman’s Capital Markets Authority “is in the process of coming up with new rules and regulations for (the sukuk) market”, said Yahya al-Jabri, executive president of the authority. “Beyond doubt, the sukuk plays a significant positive role in the development of the market.”

(Editing by Reed Stevenson and Andrew Torchia)

Is the Arab Revolution good for Islamic Finance?

Gadhafi’s exit to spur Libya’s Shariah banking

By Bloomberg News Available at: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110828/business/708289949/

Islamic banking in Libya, where rebels stormed the capital Tripoli this week, may benefit from the departure of Moammar Gadhafi, who stifled the industry’s growth, a former central bank chief said.
Gadhafi, who ruled Libya for more than 40 years, rejected proposals to develop the banking industry “without giving reasons,” said Farhat Bengdara, 45, who was central bank governor until he fled the country in February. The regulator awarded Doha-based Qatar Islamic Bank the only license to operate a Shariah-compliant bank a month before the start of the fighting. The country’s secular banks provide Islamic services.

Revolts that toppled leaders in Tunisia and Egypt and sparked uprisings in Syria and Yemen may help boost Islamic banking as regimes that blocked the industry’s growth are removed, according to Raza Agha, Middle East and Africa economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which was banned under ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s rule, will push the government to sell Islamic bonds. Libya, where almost all of the 6.6 million people are Muslim, has no stand-alone Islamic banks.
“I allowed banks to open Islamic windows with separate balance sheets when I was governor,” Bengdara said in an interview in Bloomberg’s Dubai office on Aug. 22. “Everything we did, we did gradually because the political decision-makers were against this. Gadhafi said ‘If we call them Islamic banks, so what about the banks we have? Are they infidel banks?’”

The $1 trillion global Islamic finance industry, which provides financial services and products that comply with the religion’s ban on interest and speculation, offers an alternative market to tap funding, Agha said.

“If Gadhafi is toppled, and if there is a need, any future government could well try and tap that liquidity as well,” Agha said by email on Aug. 23. “There is no reason why Islamic finance could not prosper under a more representative government in Tripoli, although it seems we are still some way from that.”

The uprising in Libya, which has the largest proven oil reserves of any African country, began in February and spread from the eastern rebel stronghold in Benghazi. Libyan rebels stormed Qaddafi’s compound in Tripoli yesterday after battling loyalist forces for control of the capital in a third day of fighting.
Gadhafi, who vowed to “never to give up” in an Aug. 21 audio broadcast, remains at large.
The “era of Gadhafi is over,” Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the head of the rebel National Transitional Council, told reporters on Aug. 22 at a news conference in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

Even as the fighting continues, rebel and western leaders are looking ahead to a transition of power. U.S. President Barack Obama said on Aug. 22 that “the Gadhafi regime is coming to an end, and the future of Libya is in the hands of its people.”

“There’s a lot of money in Libya, there’s a lot of interest in Islamic banking coming from the Muslims there,” Nida Raza, senior vice president of capital markets at Unicorn Investment Bank BSC, said in a phone interview on Aug. 23 from Manama, Bahrain. “Before the uprising, the government was starting to work on getting the industry off the ground.”

Global sales of sukuk have jumped 71 percent to $16.8 billion in 2011 from the year-earlier period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The average yield on emerging-market sukuk dropped eight basis points, or 0.08 percentage point, this month to 3.57 percent yesterday, according to the HSBC/Nasdaq Dubai US Dollar Sukuk Index. The debt returned 6.6 percent in 2011, the data show.

Bonds in developing markets rose 6.8 percent this year, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI Global Composite Index shows. The Bloomberg Malaysian Sukuk Ex-MYR Index, which measures foreign- currency Islamic debt sold by companies and governments in Malaysia, climbed 6.6 percent in the period. The yield on the Dubai government’s 6.396 percent sukuk maturing in November 2014 jumped 15 basis points so far this month to 4.69 percent. The extra yield investors demand to hold Dubai’s bonds over Malaysia’s 3.928 percent sukuk maturing June 2015 widened 28 basis points this month to 236, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The U.S. backed rulers such as Mubarak in Egypt partly because they promised a bulwark against radical Islam. New governments in countries such as Tunisia and Egypt, which previously banned Islamic parties, may facilitate the development of a local Shariah-compliant banking industry, Agha at Royal Bank of Scotland said. “Syria, Tunisia and Egypt have had a long history of repressing Islamic parties,” Agha said. “A part of how incumbents sustained themselves internationally was by projecting themselves as secular governments. Libya is somewhat different because it appears a lot more tribal than Egypt or Tunisia.”

Libya’s economy suffered as much as $15 billion in damages during the conflict, according to former central bank chief Bengdara’s estimates. Oil output from Libya dropped to 100,000 barrels a day in July, down from the 1.6 million barrels pumped before the uprising started, a Bloomberg News survey showed.
The nation’s oil production will recover more quickly than forecast after the “sudden takeover” of fields and export facilities by rebels, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a report on Aug. 22. The country will probably boost supply to 585,000 barrels a day in the next 12 to 18 months, according to Goldman.
About 70 percent of Libya’s nominal gross domestic product is made up of hydrocarbon revenue, Royal Bank of Scotland’s Agha said. The economy grew 4.16 percent last year after contracting 2.3 percent in 2009, according to the International Monetary Fund. The Washington-based IMF doesn’t have a Libyan growth forecast for 2011.

“There is a huge opportunity for Islamic banking,” Bengdara said. “The Libyans are conservative and many of them don’t like dealing with interest so having full-fledged Islamic banks will be very attractive to them.” Qatar Islamic Bank declined to respond to calls through its public relations agency yesterday about the full-fledged Islamic banking license in Libya. The Persian Gulf nation’s biggest Islamic lender was to own a 49 percent stake in the bank, while 51 percent was to be sold on the Libyan Stock Exchange, Bengdara said. The challenge is “getting a stable government in place, and working on the regulations for Shariah-compliant banking, which will take time,” Unicorn’s Raza said.

Regards
ZULKIFLI HASAN