Kuala Lumpur, 3 October 2018
Honouring Excellence in Islamic Finance: The 2018 Royal Award Recipient, Tan Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz

His Royal Highness Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, the Sultan of Perak and the Royal Patron for Malaysia’s Islamic Finance initiative today conferred the Royal Award for Islamic Finance 2018 (The Royal Award) to Tan Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz. The award presentation ceremony was held in conjunction with the Global Islamic Finance Forum 2018 (GIFF 2018) in Kuala Lumpur today.

Tan Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz was honoured with the prestigious award for her achievements and exceptional leadership in expanding the frontiers of Islamic finance in the domestic and global financial arena. During her tenure as the Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, she was instrumental in:

  • Influencing the internationalisation of Islamic finance industry and strengthening the linkages of the domestic Islamic financial system with other financial centres in the international financial system. This was achieved via development of the domestic financial markets, greater liberalisation of the domestic Islamic financial system and advocating Islamic finance into the global financial arena;
  • Mainstreaming Islamic finance into the global financial system with growing international acceptability and recognition. This has been supported by the establishment of international standard setting body and liquidity management infrastructure which have gained global recognition; and
  • Harnessing professional and competent talent through the development of a comprehensive talent ecosystem for Islamic finance. This encompasses the establishment of the global university for Islamic finance (INCEIF) and a dedicated Shariah research academy for Islamic finance (ISRA).

It is my distinct honour to be the recipient of the Royal Award for Islamic Finance 2018. It has been my privilege to be part of the journey in the global development of Islamic finance. This honour however represents a recognition to all those who have travelled with me on this remarkable journey. I am truly most humbled to receive this award on their behalf. The Islamic financial industry has experienced a pace of growth and development that has been unprecedented over this recent three decades. It has also been dynamic and evolving to meet the rapidly changing requirements of the modern economy. As we continue this journey, we now need to venture into new frontiers towards bringing greater value to the economy, to society and to the environment,” said Tan Sri Dr. Zeti.

Commenting on the recipient of The Royal Award, Jury Chairman Tun Musa Hitam said, “The Jury went through a very stringent and rigorous selection process on the merits and achievements of each nominee before arriving at a final decision. Widely recognised for her role in the global advancement of Islamic finance, Tan Sri Dr. Zeti’s contribution, dedication and leadership in the development of Islamic finance industry serves as an inspiration for the next generation.”

Established in 2010, the Royal Award is a biennial award jointly organised by Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission Malaysia under the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) initiative to recognise and honour individuals who have excelled in advancing Islamic finance globally through their outstanding contributions and achievements.

Past Royal Award recipients are Professor Datuk Dr. Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim, CEO of the Capital Market Authority of Sudan (2016); Dato’ Dr. Abdul Halim Ismail, founding member of Malaysia’s first Islamic bank (2014); Mr Iqbal Khan, CEO of Fajr Capital (2012); and Shaikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, founder of the Dallah al Baraka Group (2010). The Royal Award in 2010 also recognised the late Dr. Ahmad El-Naggar who was often referred as the ‘Father of Modern Islamic Banking’, with a posthumous honourable mention.

Tan Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz receiving the Royal Award for Islamic Finance from His Royal Highness Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, the Sultan of Perak and the Royal Patron for Malaysia’s Islamic Finance.