Phuket, Thailand; September 14th-15th 2011 – Muzakarah Cendekiawan Shari’ah Nusantara (the Regional Shari’ah Scholars Dialogue) is an annual event that gathers prominent Shari`ah scholars from the ASEAN region, comprising Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore and Thailand.

This year, the 5th Muzakarah Cendekiawan Shari’ah Nusantara (MCSN) was organized on the 14th and 15th of September, 2011 at Phuket Graceland Resort and Spa, Thailand by the International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) under the patronage of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). The objective of the dialogue is to enhance the existing collaborative efforts on Shari`ah matters and strengthen the framework for cooperation and harmonisation amongst Shari`ah scholars.

he two-day event was officiated by Mr. Wutipongchai Sen, the Special Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Rt. Honorable Mr Yongyouth Wichaidit. The event was attended by 150 invited delegates including academicians and representatives of Islamic finance institutions, Dewan Shariah Nasional of Majelis Ulama’ Indonesia, the Council of Muslim Affairs of Singapore, Bank Islam of Brunei, and Muslim Cooperative Societies of Thailand, as well as students and staff of Prince Songkla University and others. This event was organised in collaboration with Prince Songkla University (PSU) of Thailand, headed by Assoc. Prof. Bunson Siri Bamrongsuk, President of PSU.

The theme of the 5th Muzakarah Cendekiawan Shari’ah Nusantara was “Equity as the Basis of Financial Instruments”.

The first day witnessed presentations by prominent speakers like Prof. Ashraf Hashim and Ust Lokman al-Hakim, Dr. Aznan Hassan and Dr. Zaharuddin Abdul Rahman. Views and experiences in applying musharakah in Thailand and Indonesia were elaborated in detail by Dr. Maroning Salaming and Pak Adiwarman A. Karim of Dewan Shariah Nasional Indonesia. This was followed by a discussion by the representatives of each country, including Brunei, Thailand and Singapore.

The second day’s discussion focused on the practical aspects of applying musharakah in the industry. The attendees heard from Pn Mexdelina of Kuwait Finance House (KFH) and En. Ismail Aminuddin of Friday Concept Sdn Bhd, who shared their views on the mechanism of applying musharakah in their respective companies. Dr. Hamim Syahrum Ahmad Mokhtar of Bank Negara Malaysia shared his personal experience to provide a regulator’s perspective. This was followed by discussant’s commentaries on the papers presented by Prof. Saiful Azhar Rosly of INCEIF and Mr Rafee Hanif, the CEO of HSBC Amanah.

The session ended with nine (9) resolutions that focused on the need to strengthen cooperation and develop a framework for Islamic finance among ASEAN Countries.