Speechs in the year
Tarikh/Date	:	15/10/2003
Versi 		:	ENGLISH
Penyampai	:  	PM 

   In the name of God, the Compassionate and the Merciful,
   Your Excellencies; Distinguished Guests; Ladies and
   I  am  delighted to be given the opportunity to  be  here
   today  with  you, the distinguished business guests  from
   the OIC countries.
   2.   Allow  me  to express my appreciation to  ASLI,  the
   Malaysia  South-South Association (MASSA) and  Malaysia's
   Foreign  Affairs Ministry for their efforts  to  organise
   this  Business Forum, held on the sidelines of  the  10th
   OIC  Leaders  Summit.  Tomorrow, 16th  October  2003  the
   10th  Meeting  of   the  OIC  Leaders  will  begin,   the
   meeting  of  an organisation established  by   Heads  and
   Leaders  of  Muslim Nations with the aim to  promote  the
   well-being   of   the  Muslim  Ummah   in    all   fields
   3.   Islam  is not just about the performance of  certain
   rituals.    Islam as we all  know is a way of   life.  An
   Islamic way of  life must be a  good life, free from  the
   misery   of  poverty,   ignorance and   weakness.It  must
   involve    every   human   activity   needed    for   its
   sustenance.  The Islamic way of life certainly  must  not
   lead  to   the misery of  oppression and  humiliation  by
   4.   There are many elements which can contribute to  the
   hassanah  in  this world, the good life of  the  Muslims.
   Among  them  is  the  need  to create  wealth  so  as  to
   relieve  the poverty among us. We are enjoined   to  care
   for  the   needy  through zakat and sedekah.  Only  those
   with  wealth  can  perform these injunctions  of  Islam.A
   Muslim community of poor miserable people incapable of
   paying  zakat  and  sedekah or  charity  cannot  be  very
   Islamic.  Indeed we are warned that poverty can  lead  to
   loss of faith.
   5.   But  we must also admit that wealth too can make  us
   forget  the obligations of our religion and our  duty  to
   the  community and humanity at large. We see  this  often
   enough.  But  simply because of this we  must  not  think
   that our  salvation, our adherence to our  faith lies  in
   self-deprivation  and  rejection  of   the  bounty   that
   Allah  has  bestowed upon  humanity. In Islam we  do  not
   need  to be ascetics or mendicants to express the  depths
   of our faith.
   6.   We  must not forget that it was a trader who brought
   the  message of Islam to us. He was al-Amin,  the  honest
   one,  who  travelled far across the deserts to trade  for
   his  employer who found him so honest that she  took  him
   for a husband.
   7.   The  history of Islam is not of self-denying poverty
   but  of  wealth  generously employed in  the  service  of
   Islam.  Such  was  the  way  of  Osman  ibni  Affan,  the
   companion   of  the  Prophet.He  gave  his   camels   and
   contributed  his   wealth  to  the   struggles   of   the
   8.   The role of trade, i.e. business is so important and
   so  great that Islam is the only religionwhich prescribes
   in  detail the way that business should be done.  Nothing
   is  more  ethical than the Muslim way of doing  business.
   If  Muslims  follow the injunctions of  Islam  they  will
   certainly become not just wealthy but they would   create
   an  equitable  and honourable society. Long before  there
   was  any  idea  of  a redistribution of   wealth  through
   income   and    corporate  taxes,   Islam   had   already
   prescribed a  wealth tax and charity.
   9.   In  the early years of Islam, the Muslims  were  the
   greatest  traders, carrying theirgoods  across  thousands
   of  miles  of  deserts  and oceans,  enriching  not  just
   themselves but the ountries and the peoples they   traded
   with. As a bonus they gained converts to Islam. Had  they
   been  poor  and illiterate, had they come as beggars  and
   ignorant  people,  Islam would not  have been   accepted.
   As  it  was,  without fighting a single  battle,  without
   conquest  and colonisation, the traders spread the  faith
   even  as they enrich themselves  through trade. That  was
   how  the  Malay and Indonesian Rajas  and their  subjects
   10.   Trade,  i.e. business, is therefore much encouraged
   by  Islam.  But  despite the natural wealth  endowed  the
   Muslims  by  Allah, we Muslims are generally poor.We  are
   not  making full use of the opportunities afforded us  by
   the  many  resources at our disposal. We have now  become
   dependent  on others, many of whom are not well  disposed
   towards  us.  It is they who developed the technology  to
   extract  Allah's bounties in our land and to market  them
   at  considerable profit for themselves. Without  them  we
   would be even poorer today.
   11.   We should not think of an economic war against non-
   Muslims.  But we do need to maximise the return from  the
   resources  that  we have. Take the oil industry.  Despite
   the   fact  that  much  of  the  oil  comes  from  Muslim
   countries,  we  are  seemingly  incapable  of  exploring,
   producing,  processing and retailing our own oil.  We  do
   not  have  the  technology and  the  marketing  kills  to
   maximise  the return from this, our unique resource.  For
   decades  we sold our oil at ridiculous prices, while  the
   oil  majors waxed rich and dominated the oil business and
   in  many instances dominated our countries. Even  now  we
   are  dependent  on  others although we  now  have  better
   returns from our resources.
   12.  It is the same with other businesses. We missed the
   industrial revolution completely and we are still not
   doing  much to catch up. While we dilly-dally  the  world
   of  business  is  moving fast. The Industrial  Revolution
   has now been replaced with the Information Revolution.
   New technologies and new ways of doing business are
   being introduced which boggles the mind. Yet despite  the
   possibility  to start at the same time, we  are   missing
   that  opportunity  and  we  are  once  again  being  left
   behind.  Will we ever learn?
   13.   The  speed  of jet travel and instant communication
   has brought about a need for speed in business, in
   decision  making,  and in learning the  new  technologies
   and business methods. World business is now conducted 24
   hours  a  day,   irrespective of  where the  business  is
   done. Failure to follow the trend or the development
   anywhere  in  the world can mean losses in  millions  and
   billions  of  dollars or dinars or whatever  currency  we
   14.   Globalisation is no doubt the result of  the  speed
   of  travel  and  communications. We should have  realised
   the  meaning  of a shrinking world in terms  of  business
   early.  But other people saw it first and they have  come
   up  with  new  ideas  and strategies  to   enhance  their
   business.   We   have  not  seen  the  implications   and
   consequently  the  type of globalisation  that  is  being
   proposed  and promoted can be detrimental to  us  for  we
   are  all from developing countries. Again we face a grave
   threat  to our role in the business world.  As  with  oil
   and other resources with which we are richly endowed,  we
   are  again  going to lose the opportunities presented  by
   them.  Unless we work together the form  that world trade
   would  take  would,  if  not  impoverish   us,  certainly
   deprive us of the share to which we are entitled.
   15.  Recently in Cancun, Mexico, the poor countries for
   once were united  in resisting the  plans of the rich
   countries. We succeeded in preventing them from  imposing
   on   the  world their  self-serving  policies. But saying
   no  is  not  enough.  We have to come  with  alternatives
   which  will  ensure that the wealth   of  this  world  is
   more  equitably  distributed. The Muslim  countries  must
   work closely with other developing countries in order  to
   formulate  international  trade  and   financial  regimes
   which could benefit rich and poor alike.
   16.  To gain influence in the international arena Muslim
   countries  must  be economically strong.  This  can  only
   come about through good administration and the skills of
   our  business community. Although the industrial age  may
   be   over,  but  industrial  capacities  are  still  very
   important.  We  must  industrialise even  as  we  involve
   ourselves  in  the  business of the information  age.  We
   have  a tremendous capacity to industrialisev because  we
   have  the intellectual skills and the business acumen  to
   build  and  operate the industries which  can  supply  us
   with  our needs. After all we have seen how Japan,  Korea
   and  China  have industrialised and are set  actually  to
   dominate the world. We are not  inferior to them  in  any
   way.  What  they  can do we can do.   In the  process  we
   will  enrich  the  Muslim world and a rich  Muslim  world
   will  provide a market for us and the other countries  as
   well.  A  rich market is a power in itself. Part  of  our
   salvation   lies   in   the  capacity   to    shape   the
   international  economic regimes through the  richness  of
   our market and through the natural wealth
   that we have.
   17.  Today no country can develop all on its own.
   We  are  all  interdependent, though  some  may  be  less
   dependent than others. The rich are as dependent on the
   poor  as  the  poor  are dependent on the  rich.  Pooling
   resources  is essential when doing business.  Outsourcing
   is the name of the game today. We can participate in
   this  process.  We  can also provide complementary  roles
   among ourselves in the production of industrial goods
   so  that  we  can  avoid costly duplication.  If  we  are
   jointly  involved  then it would be  natural  for  us  to
   accept our own products for our market. There is nothing
   like a strong home market to support and ensure the
   success  of products. And we theoretically have a  market
   of one-sixth of the people of the world, a fair
   proportion of whom are rich.
   18.  Our religion provides us with good guidance on
   how business should be conducted. In addition our
   religion  also  teaches  us good  values  which  we  must
   uphold all the time. There are some who think that
   the  only  way to  make a profit is  to cheat  or  to  be
   slightly dishonest. We may think that we may get away  if
   not  in  the next world at least in this world. We should
   disabuse  ourselves of this. Honesty is the  best  policy
   in  business.  We have seen how in the rich countries  of
   the  West  numerous  giant  corporations  have  collapsed
   because   of  dishonesty.  Muslims  must  establish   for
   themselves  a  reputation for  honesty and fair  dealing,
   not  by  words but by  deeds. There can be no doubt  that
   this   will  earn them  success in  business.  Ethics  in
   business   leads  to  trust   and  trust  leads  to  more
   business   and  more profits.  And there is nothing  like
   Muslim  values  and   ethics to bring   about  trust  and
   success to the  Muslims.
   19.  Greed is our  greatest enemy. We must avoid
   greed  like  a  plague. It will poison our  thinking  and
   lead  us to unethical  practices. We may gain in
   the near term but  eventually we  will have to pay
   a price, sometimes  a very high price,  now and in the
   next world.
   20.  Our business  practices should  be in accordance
   with Muslim  business ethics  and values. These we may
   know as a  general rule and  may even come  naturally  to
   us.    But modern  business is very  complex. It  is  not
   just about barter or  trading, about  selling and buying
   goods.  We deal a lot of times with  intangibles, about
   futures, about  speculations and  often face moral
   hazards.   Good business  practice for the  Muslims  must
   be    well   thought   out,    documented   and    taught
   systematically. It is good to quote from the   Quran  and
   the  Hadis but quite  often this merely  represents lip
   service. We need to practise in line with these
   21.  We can learn business at business schools. There  is
   nothing very wrong about what is being taught in the
   business  schools of the West. But there is a   need  for
   Muslim    business  schools  where  the  Muslim  business
   ethics     are    developed,    expanded    and    taught
   systematically. We need to know the rights and wrongs  of
   doing business as Muslims. We need to establish certain
   standards. We need to propagate these ethics and
   standards,   whether we do  business among  ourselves  or
   with   others. While we should develop Islamic   business
   ethics  we   must not reject  the ethics and  systems  of
   today  which are not  against the  teachings of Islam
   simply because we  want to be  different.
   22.   We  have  seen  how Islamic banking  has  now  been
   accepted.    Doing  business in conformity  with  Islamic
   ethics  would in time be accepted also. We need  not  try
   to  force  our  systems on others.  In the  same  way  we
   should  not  be  forced to do usiness  only  in  the  way
   prescribed  by   others if they  are unfair  to  us.   We
   should  resist  them not always because of our  religious
   piety,  but simply because they constitute bad and unfair
   practices.  There  is  too much gambling  in  the  market
   place  today  which results in the exploitation  of   the
   poor  by the  rich. There is too much greed. Profiteering
   and  usurious ractices are rampant. We must reject these.
   Business  is about making profits. But it should  not  be
   such   that  others  would  suffer.  Thus  the  kind   of
   currency  trading  which leads to the  impoverishment  of
   countries and people, to violence and destruction,
   should not be indulged in by Muslims. Reasonable profit
   through ethically acceptable trading practices
   should be our objective.
   23.   All these and more can be taught in Muslim business
   schools.  We should establish such standards as  to  give
   stature  and success to Muslim businesses. Just as  today
   we  go  to the great business schools of the West,  there
   may  come  a  day  when  Muslim  business  schools  would
   attract students of business from all over the world.  It
   would  not do world business any harm. It should in  fact
   stimulate  world  business once it  is  established  that
   Muslim  business practices would bring about success  and
   a  win-win situation. This is entirely possible.
   24.   This  should  be  the agenda of  the  OIC  Business
   Forum.  Going  to war and colonising other  countries  in
   order  to secure markets and resources should be rejected
   totally  by  us.  We  should seek  instead  to  create  a
   peaceful  and  prosperous environment where everyone  can
   gain  something for himself. God willing,  Insyaallah  we
   will succeed.
   Excellencies, Distinguished participants, Ladies and
   25.   I  hope  this   OIC Business Forum   will  generate
   goodwill  and  businesses which  will enrich  the  Muslim
   ummah and  the world.

   Sumber : Pejabat Perdana Menteri