THE local Islamic financial market can grow at a faster rate with the development of wakaf backed by a conducive legal framework.
CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd executive director and chief executive officer Badlisyah Abd Ghani said Malaysia should take an example from Turkey for the growth of wakaf here.
"Wakaf has been in existence in Turkey for many years and it is huge there.
"If we can have the same thing here, it will definitely differentiate our financial market, especially the Islamic financial market, from the rest of the world," Badlisyah said.
He was speaking after the launch of the Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance forum by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday.
Badlisyah said the Islamic financial market here is the biggest and broadest in the world as Malaysia has comprehensive legislation, regulation, syariah and legal frameworks.
But what is missing in the market today is wakaf in a commercial manner, backed by a proper legal framework, he said.
"We have wakaf done under the state but in the financial market, wakaf is the missing segmental product. We need to have a legal framework that will allow wakaf to operate in an effective manner," Badlisyah said.
The government proposed the corporate wakaf master plan in the 2013 Budget.
Since its announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, there has been no new development as to how the corporate wakaf master plan is to be implemented.
"If we have wakaf, given time, it should be the biggest component of the Islamic financial market, as was seen in the golden era of Islamic globalisation in the past.
"Now we can only do wakaf at state level. We can do it... it is not an issue but it becomes very cumbersome as we have to go to each state separately," Badlisyah said.
Johor has wakaf because there are legal provisions allowing the Islamic religious council to authorise companies, such as Johor Corp, to establish a corporate wakaf.
The Waqaf An Nur Corp Bhd set up by Johor Corp has as of end-2012 collected shares worth RM575.9 million from listed and unlisted companies, clear proof that the private sector can successfully manage corporate wakaf.