57 full-time business students from Diploma in Banking & Finance and Diploma in Financial Informatics (Year 1 – Year 3), together with 2 lecturers – Ms Sylvia Liong & Mr K.K. Tan, embarked on a 4-Day Study Trip to Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur during the Semester Break from 20th – 23rd September 2016.
2 full days were spent on visiting key financial institutions in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s business district to learn more about Islamic Finance and to appreciate the banking landscape and culture in Malaysia. The financial institutions include Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Kuwait Finance House, CIMB Islamic Bank as well as Malayan Berhad (Maybank) Global Markets. The visits gave students a thorough insight into Islamic Finance and its latest developments in the Islamic state from perspectives of different institutions, namely the Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM) and the various market players. Students were also given a rare chance to walk through a trading room in one of the biggest bank in Malaysia – Malayan Berhad (Maybank), and experience first-hand on a day in the life of global traders.
During the final day of the trip, students had a chance to wind down in the historic town of Malacca before heading back to Singapore.
Below are excerpts write-ups by the students who have gone for the trip:
“… through this journey about Islamic Banking, I was extremely overwhelmed by a completely different banking system that is operated base on a single rule, Shariah laws. Islamic Banking focus on profit sharing and prohibition on collecting Riba or interest while all the products introduced are Shariah compliant.”
“The trip to Malaysia was a huge eye opener not only in an educational sense but also a cultural sense. Through this trip, I was about to learn about Islamic banking and global markets. The trip was very well organised and well planned. The banks that we visited were very insightful and friendly and I really enjoyed the trip a lot.”
“I like that I have learnt so much about Islamic banking. It is different than learning in school because it was, for the most part, more interactive and it was from the viewpoint of 3 different banks. The different banks made it easier for us students to understand as they cared enough to explain the meanings behind the different terms that we were unfamiliar with.”
“BEX was an educational and enjoyable trip. I did not only gain more knowledge on banking/Islamic banking; I even gained new friends and valuable experiences. If I was given a chance to go for another trip, even if it is to Kuala Lumpur again, I will.”
“This 4D3N trip to Kuala Lumpur was a unique and educational one. In SP during course time, we hardly get to visit banks and financial institutions on a regular basis and when we do visit places like GIC, we usually learn about banking in a local context. Visiting Bank Negara, CIMB Islamic and Kuwait Finance House opened my eyes to a completely new and unexplored territory of the banking industry outside of Singapore. It was interesting to learn about the different products under the Shariah compliance, especially in Kuwait Finance House where we could hear from the CEO personally about how Islamic faith can affect their banking decisions and how different it was from conventional banking. Islamic banking firms had to face the challenge of tight competition with conventional banking and thus their marketing strategies have to reach out directly to attract Islamic banking customers.”