Friday, February 20, 2009

Yusuf Islam and Me – Part 3

Since I was informed by MN earlier about Yusuf’s plan to open an office in Dubai Media City (DMC), I had a clear idea on how to be more proactive.

I did not mention about MN at all and I found out later, MN never had a chance to ‘introduce’ me to Yusuf. Therefore, my encounter with Yusuf was pure coincidental and fated.

After introducing myself, I told Yusuf that I was one of his million fans and was honoured to meet him person. Yusuf was polite and humble to say thank you. I then mentioned those favourite songs especially ‘Morning Has Broken’!

We conversed on other issues like his visits to Dubai etc before Yusuf put forward his intention and plan. I immediately provided him with full procedures and required actions. I had to control my excitement and act normal. That was not that easy.

Being one of the pioneer staff of both Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media city (as well as Samacom), I had the required information at my finger tips. Some of the procedures were formulated by me as the business strategy and planning manager.

Even one of the reasons I was hired in early 2000 was my write-up, “Learning From Malaysia’s Mistakes (in MSC)”. It was based on my personal bad experience in applying for MSC status for TV3. After business plan submission and three presentations to three different ‘consultant’ teams, TV3’s application was rejected.

What a joke as most of those ‘Arthur Andersen’ consultants were fresh graduates and they did not understand the nature of our proposed business. They asked stupid questions and they decided against giving TV3, the most popular TV station in Malaysia, an MSC-status!

And guess what; TV3’s application was based on a business plan to set-up a teleport in Cyberjaya…..something that I had executed successfully in Dubai only few years later!

Yusuf had to prepare a business plan as part of submission. Just for formality. In DMC, under free zone laws, any persons can own, register and establish any companies, 100%. Outside free zones like in Dubai city itself, all companies required local sponsors (Emiratis only) who would be given free 51% equity. But both have no restrictions on funds as well as visas for employees.

And then I made my move.

“If you need any further assistance, please contact me any time. I can prepare the business plan for you. Free of charge!”

Yusuf smiled. I was sincere. I would like to work with him for a good cause like this, promoting Islam through ‘entertainment’ medium.

“I had done similar ones numerous times for DIC and DMC….and I know all of DMC staff from CEO level!”

Well, with his name, Yusuf would not need me to get his company registered. With his global brand, DMC would welcome him with red carpet.

The deal was sealed. Yusuf agreed to assign me for preparing a busines plan. It meant, I would met him again on personal basis.

To be continued.

Are ASN and ASB Schemes HARAM?


Assalamualaikum wrt wbt and Salam Sejahtera,

Dear all,
The above matter refers. Kindly take note that the Shariah Advisory Council of Securities Commission has decided that the above-mentioned schemes do not comply with the Securities Commission Guidelines on Islamic Unit Trust Fund. Therefore, pursuant to the said decision, our internal Shariah Committee hereby advise the Bank not to offer any financing for Muslims, that relates to the ASB and ASN schemes purposes. While for non-Muslims, Shariah Committee decision remains unchanged. Attached herewith is the letter from Securities Commission dated 12 February 2009.
This decision will be circularized to all staff in due course.
Allah swt knows the best and wassalam.
Hafiz Hj. Fauzi
Shariah Committee
Bank Muamalat Malaysia Berhad
Tingkat 4, Menara Bumiputera
Jalan Melaka