MOU Signing Ceremony Between Labuan Financial Services Authority And Universiti Malaysia Sabah

Encik Ahmad Hizzad Baharuddin
Labuan FSA

15 MAY 2013,

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh and Salam Sejahtera.

Y.Bhg. Prof. Datuk Dr. Mohd Harun Abdullah
Vice- Chancellor, University Malaysia Sabah
Y. Berusaha En. Zainul Abidin Abdullah
Authority Member, Labuan Financial Services Authority
Y. Berusaha Lt. Col. Associate Prof. Dr. Ismail Ali
Director, Labuan International Campus
Deans and Senior Officers of University Malaysia Sabah

Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen, 

  • It is my great pleasure to be here today on this occasion of the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and the Labuan Financial Services Authority (Labuan FSA). Indeed, it is an honour and pleasure for me to be given the opportunity to say a few words on this auspicious occasion. My appreciation and thank to UMS particularly UMS – Labuan International Campus branch for their dedication and efforts in making the signing of this MOU a reality. 

  • The signing of the MOU today builds on and further strengthens a previous MOU that was cemented between Labuan FSA and UMS-Labuan International Campus in June 2000, on the smart partnership initiatives on working together towards fulfilling the medium and long term capacity building requirements of the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (LIBFC). This includes giving of study awards by Labuan FSA and the Labuan industry players to UMS students who excelled in their studies as a mean to recognise and encourage the achievement of excellence among the students. 

  • The enhanced MOU also paves the way for continued collaboration and cooperation between Labuan FSA and the UMS, focussing on common areas of interest that are beneficial to both parties. Areas covered in the MOU encompass capability and capacity development programme which include internship and training to equip new undergraduate to be more employable and marketable, research programme, management training including mentoring, study awards and joint public education programme.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

  • As you are aware, Labuan FSA was established to spearhead and coordinate the government’s efforts to promote and develop Labuan into an international business and financial centre. The development of new initiatives and policies by Labuan FSA could not bring the desired results in deepening the business activities in the LIBFC if there is not enough professionals and expertise in the industry. The availability of skilled professionals to support and drive the highly skill-intensive industry through innovation in products and services remains an important element for success. In this regard, concerted efforts on training and continued educational programmes need to be enhanced to encourage greater development of human resources in Labuan. 

  • The UMS, both in Labuan and Kota Kinabalu, are excellent centres to create the pool of knowledge and professional workforce for the industry by offering specialised courses such as private trusts and foundations, international financial market and international taxation. In addition, the university can provide a cost-effective opportunity for employers in Labuan to enhance the existing skills of their employees by organising in-house practical training courses for the industry players, including Labuan FSA’s staff. The university could also market programmes such as international legal and accounting seminars and conferences, relevant to the Labuan business industry. Through these engagements, UMS surely will develop a bond with the Labuan financial business community.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • It is through this bond that UMS can capitalise the pool of international players with various expertise in Labuan IBFC. We would like to encourage UMS to invite more eminent industry players to provide hands-on knowledge on specific subjects in the form of lectures and seminars to the students. I am sure Labuan FSA and the market industry players will gladly continue to assist UMS in imparting the knowledge on the relevant topics. This will expose the students to practical knowledge in addition to the academic curriculum in their pursuit of enhancing their knowledge. 

  • The MOU also provides that Labuan FSA and the industry leaders will assist UMS where necessary to make changes to the academic curriculum in meeting the current needs of the industry including the setting-up of new study programmes. This could be in the area of international finance and many other subjects that are important to the industry. I would also encourage UMS to form strategic alliance with Institute Bank-Bank Malaysia (IBBM), Malaysian Insurance Institute (MII) and Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM) as these institutions have long standing experience in providing quality programmes in the fields of banking, insurance and Islamic finance.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • As the business in the LIBFC becoming more challenging and complex, and intense competition from other business and financial centres are fast emerging, there is a need for LIBFC to create and find other business proposition or model to cater for the increasing demand from potential investors for more innovative products and services. In this respect, with the expertise and resources available at UMS, the university could collaborate with Labuan FSA and industry leaders to undertake research projects on certain topical areas that require further development for the benefit of the LIBFC industry. With the contribution of our resources, I am sure that the synergistic effort would culminate into successful and practical identification of facilities and services needed by the industry players.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • As part of Labuan FSA’s effort to enhance the development of higher education in Labuan, Labuan FSA together with the Labuan industry players have been involved in the “UMS Excellent Student Award” since 2000. These awards seek to recognise and encourage achievement of excellence among UMS students. As a motivation for the students to continue excel in their studies, Labuan FSA and the industry players will continue to support this initiative under the MOU. It is our hope that more students will attain the study awards and could be considered for possible employment with the Labuan FSA upon graduation. 

  • Another area of collaboration for Labuan FSA and UMS is to assist each other in the organisation of seminars, conferences, workshops and public forums to the community at large as part of corporate social responsibility program. This could be in the area of educating the public on relevant issues which may include financial management, consumer rights and protection, financial fraud and Islamic finance. As an example, last year, Labuan FSA with the support of UMS, Labuan International Campus organised with Bank Negara Malaysia a talk on prudent financial management.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • Education plays an important ingredient in building knowledge and talent among students for the future of our country and society. In this regard, UMS has played an important role since it was established by producing graduate students in various fields of studies for the needs of the country. Labuan FSA is proud of this achievement, and the signing of the MOU today is a testimony of our support to the UMS. 

  • Before I end my speech, I pray and do hope that the signing of this MOU will foster closer bond between Labuan FSA and UMS, as we endeavour our journey in this challenging times. My best wishes also to UMS in its effort to become a centre of education excellence that will contribute to the national growth.

Wassala mu’alaikum warah matullahi wabarakatuh.
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