Indonesian VP says Trump’s Muslim comments could spark retaliation


John Chalmers and Kanupriya Kapoor

INDONESIA’s vice president on Monday voiced concerns over U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump’s comments on Muslims, saying “discrimination according to religion” could prompt retaliatory policies from other countries.

Jusuf Kalla told Reuters in an interview that the government was “not happy with Trump’s opinions” – the first critical remarks from a top official in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, which come as Trump called for more profiling in the U.S to battle crime.

“Any country, especially big countries, seen making policies about ‘radicalism’ or discrimination according to religion will be a bad issue,” Kalla said in an interview with Reuters.

“There will be ‘vice-versa’ policies from other countries,” he said, adding an impact would be felt on economy and trade.

Trump’s inflammatory remarks on Muslims, including wanting to temporarily ban them from entering the United States, on foreign policy and on international trade ties have raised concerns in some Asian countries over a potentially “isolationist” United States.

In Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, politicians and lawmakers are already thinking about restricting U.S. trade and investment if Trump becomes president. An online petition, urging a ban on the billionaire and his businesses from the country, has received nearly 47,000 signatures.

The real estate developer also has partnerships to operate luxury resorts on Bali and in Java, which Indonesian officials have said could be threatened by his rhetoric.

Trump Hotel Collection last year announced a partnership with Indonesia’s PT Media Nusantara Citra to manage new luxury hotels on Bali and in West Java, the Trump unit’s first foray into Asia.

“Of course there will be an impact, not for Indonesia, but for his business,” Kalla said, when asked about Trump’s involvement in the resorts.

But the Indonesian government was in wait-and-see mode, Kalla said, adding Trump’s comments could be seen as posturing as part of his presidential campaign.

“We still see this as campaign strategy. Campaigning is one thing and realization is another thing,” he said.

(Editing by Nick Macfie)


Monday, 20 June 2016

JK trump-hotel-collection-bali

The Trump Hotel Collection has signed a management agreement with MNC, one of Indonesia’s leading investment groups, for a luxury resort and residential development in Bali. Located on the southwest coast of Bali, the six star property will be the Trump Hotel Collection’s first resort in Asia. It will join a portfolio of 14 Trump properties worldwide. (Picture:





‘Quranic Agroforestry ‘

buku kebun al-quran

Vera Salim

WHEN one tries to follow through what has been contemporarily written about scientific proofs in the Quran, one can’t help but being reminded of the 109th ayah in Surah Al-Kahfi:

“If the sea were ink for (writing) the words (*) of my Lord, the sea would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if We brought the like of it as a supplement.” [* The Saheeh International edition of the translation of the Quran explains the “words” (al-kalimaat) of Allah as the words of Allah’s unlimited knowledge or words describing His attributes and His grandeur or praise of Him Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.]

Scientific Proofs?
Indeed, there’s no aspect whatsoever of our existence that is not encompassed by the Quran in one way or another. Attempts at explaining the ayaat of Al-Quran from just one perspective – say, a scientific approach – that people have already carried out are but a speck of dust in the unlimited oceans of Allah’s knowledge.

We hold in awe some experts’ attempts at explaining, say, the proofs of embryology or oceanology in the Quran. For instance, there have been many discussions about the verses of “two seas.” In Surah Ar-Rahman (55): 19-20, Allah says: “He released the two seas meeting (side by side); Between them is a barrier [so] neither of them transgresses.” Also, Surah Al-Furqan (25): 53 where Allah says: “And it is He who has released (simultaneously) the two seas (i.e., bodies of water), one fresh and sweet and one salty and bitter, and He placed between them a barrier and prohibiting partition.”

Early Muslim scholars such as Ibn Kathir of 7th century Hijrah Syria, or even the much later scholars such as Muhammad al-Tahir ibn Ashur of Tunis in the 20th CE century, have explained what the “two seas” mean.

Thanks to the Internet, we can read their scholarly explanations any time. Their works will continue to benefit themselves and us, InsyaAllah, in understanding Allah’s Words. However, we understand also that the painstaking endeavors of the scholars do not scratch even the surface of Allah’s knowledge. The commandment that we ponder the Quran remains on our shoulders.

Even in Farming
It is through this perspective we should view current attempts at obtaining the huda (guidance) and mau’izhah (instruction) from the Quran for any life aspects, from politics to social building and even farming. The farmers and agriculture experts of today should, for instance, read Kitab Al-Filahah by Abu Zakariyyah Yahya ibn Muhammad or Ibn al-‘Awwam.

Ibn al-‘Awwam hailed from Ishbilia (Seville) in Muslim Spain in the 6th century Hijrah. The book Kitab al-Filahah became a more comprehensive and encyclopedic work on agriculture and agronomy because Ibn al-’Awwam cited quotations from the earlier sources wherever he could. He followed in the footsteps and benefited from the work of agricultural scholars of fifth century Muslim Spain such as Muhammad al-Tighnari or Ibn Wafid of Toledo and Abu ‘Umar Ahmad.

About 100 years after these pioneers, Ibn al-’Awwam collected information supplied by them and from other sources in his Kitab al-Filahah which is more comprehensive and up-to-date. It gained wider publicity and was considered so important that Ibn Khaldun also referred to it in the Muqaddimah. Don’t forget, Muslim Spain was one of the most glorious periods of the Muslim world. These past scholars’ treatises made Al-Quran their main source of instruction at all levels of their studies.

The Garden of Al-Quran
There is today the beginning of a wave to return to Al-Quran as our main instruction in agriculture; one of the proponents of this wave is Muhaimin Iqbal of Jakarta, Indonesia, whose sustainable farming scheme iGrow won a prize in the recent StartupIstanbul competition in Turkey and was written about in Forbes by Federico Guerrini.

Iqbal coined the term “Quranic Agroforestry” and culled from the knowledge he has gained from years of farming as well as studying the Quran both theories and practices that he wrote about in his book, Kebun Al-Quran (The Garden of the Quran).

In the book, he explains various aspects of farming from the Quranic perspective, from how to revive the dead or barren land to how the fruit date prevents starvation as mentioned in the hadith of Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to how Islamic farming actually is multicultural farming!

Here’s a small excerpt from the book:

“We see green everywhere, but why is it not enough? This is because the green (the trees) are planted simply for the sake of making things green or for the sake of logging, or fruit harvesting.

(When it comes to the question of food insecurity), our search for answers often results in some vested interests’ gains. This quest has not given maximal returns to the whole community.

What if we now seek the guidance of Allah about what to plant? Does Allah give detailed guidance? We must believe that Allah provides detailed answers about every question, including food security, such as in the following ayah:

‘And within the land are neighbouring plots and gardens of grapevines and crops and palm trees, (growing) several from a root or otherwise, watered with one water; but We make some of them exceed others in (quality of) fruit. Indeed in that are signs for a people who reason.’ [Ar-Ra’d (13): 4]

So there are plots, plants or gardens that thrive next to each other. Some exceed others in producing foods for humans. All we need to do is identify what plants should be placed next to one another and which will give optimal yields for humans.

Agricultural experts know that multicultural farming – as opposed to monocultural – provides the best yields but also is better able to withstand diseases.”

Underlying the idea of multicultural farming is the knowledge that each plant variety obtains the maximal photosynthesis with only 1/10 of the sunshine it receives. Iqbal then refers to the food forestry in Morocco that has existed for thousands of years in which different varieties of plants grow together. This is similar to today’s sustainable plants composition that is known as permaculture, whose description can be found in the illustration 1 from http://www.spiralseed.

“Compare (these farming schemes) with what Al-Quran specifically says about certain plants,” Iqbal writes. “The first plant as the canopy is date palm plants. The low tree can either be olives (zaituun), pomegranate (rummaan) or figs (tiin). The number 3 plants are various fruit plants or sweet flowers that are known as raihaan in Surah ArRahman (55) ayah 12.

The plant number 4 is various herbal growths, the number 5 plant can be ginger as found in Surah Al-Insan (76) verse 17. The plant number 6 in the illustration depicts various shrubs as found in Surah ‘Abasa (80) verse 31. The last plant in the illustration is grapes and other vines as indicated in Surah AlAn’am (6) verse 141,” Iqbal writes.

Ultimately, the answer to food insecurities affecting the world today, Iqbal argues, lies in a people’s Iman (faith) and Taqwa (consciousness or fear of Allah). Iqbal cites:

“And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened (i.e., bestowed) upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied (the messengers), so We seized them for what they were earning.” [Surah Al-A’raf (7): 96]

Allah knows best.

Islamia/The Brunei Times

Friday, 4 December 2015


RPT-Indonesia, Turkey, IDB to form sharia infrastructure megabank

AIIB founding members
Hidayat Setiaji

INDONESIA is prepared to contribute at least $300 million to a new Islamic infrastructure bank that the Southeast Asian nation will co-found with Turkey and a Saudi-based multilateral lender, the country’s finance minister said on Tuesday.

The idea for the proposed bank comes as Asian nations seek to boost cross-border lending for infrastructure, with China taking the lead with its Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Improving Indonesia’s creaking infrastructure is one of President Joko Widodo’s main priorities. In his first budget in February, Widodo allocated 290 trillion rupiah ($21.96 billion) for capital spending.

“It will be like an infrastructure bank, but with a sharia approach, with the republic of Indonesia, Turkey and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) as founding members,” Indonesia’s Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro told reporters.

Sumantri Brodjonegoro

Sumantri Brodjonegoro

Both Indonesia and Turkey have pledged to put at least $300 million into the bank. It was not immediately clear how much the IDB would contribute.

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said the bank would be a “megabank”, the country’s state Anadolu Agency reported last week.

Ali Babacan

Ali Babacan

Indonesia has said it needs $455 billion during Widodo’s five-year term to upgrade dilapidated facilities, and multilateral lenders have offered to provide more funds to the country.

On a visit to Jakarta last week, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim offered up to $12 billion in new financing to 2019.

Indonesia also plans to form a separate state-owned infrastructure bank, and it wants to play a big role at the AIIB, from which the country is expected to receive major funds.

The AIIB is also discussing with the IDB the use of Islamic financing as part of its lending tools, the IDB’s president Ahmad Mohamed Ali told Reuters.

($1 = 13,205.0000 rupiah) (Additional reporting by Bernardo Vizcaino; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Nicholas Owen and Shri Navaratnam)

Tue, May 26, 2015

aiib ind tur

IDB initiative can drive investments

Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani

Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani

Fitri Shahminan

BRUNEI needs to capitalise on the Reverse Linkages Initiative introduced by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to drive more investments in the country, a senior IDB official said yesterday.

IDB Group Chairman and President Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al- Madani said the Reverse Linkage Initiative can help Brunei collaborate with other emerging economies in Africa, Middle East and Central Asia.

The IDB head said that this initiative can help foreign investors find potential investments in the Sultanate while at the same time assist local investors who are keen to invest abroad.

“Since this Reverse Linkage Initiative is a win-win situation for both the provider and the recipient countries, I urge Brunei to support this IDB initiative,” Dr Ahmad Mohamed said in a press briefing held during the IDB Group Day.

IDB launched the Reverse Linkages Initiative to encourage its member countries to exchange know-how, investments and specialist services to promote growth.

Dr Ahmad Mohamed said this initiative is in line with IDB’s mission “to enhance cooperation and solidarity among its member countries.”

“There are things that you (Brunei) have expertise in that other countries don’t have,” he said.

For instance, Brunei can share its knowledge of the oil and gas industry and its ability to maintain high standards of social development with other IDB member countries.

In return, the Sultanate may benefit from knowledge and experience of other member countries in the areas of public-private partnerships and the development of small and medium enterprises.

He added that Brunei can also share its knowledge on the halal industry, as it’s a key player in the lucrative global halal economy which is valued at US$3 trillion to US$5 trillion.

Brunei has successfully marketed a line of halal products in Europe through the Brunei Halal brand. The Sultanate is also known for developing a stringent halal certification process.

He said that Brunei, together with Indonesia, Malaysia and other ASEAN countries, can lead joint ventures to promote the industry and target the huge demand for halal products.

The IDB Group Day, held at The Empire Hotel & Country Club yesterday, aims to introduce IDB Group products and service to stakeholders in the Sultanate.

The Brunei Times
Thursday, September 18, 2014

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam (R) receiving in audience Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani (3rd L), president of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Prof Azmi Omar (2nd L), director-general at the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), and Kunrat Wirasubrata (L), acting director at IDB Regional Office Kuala Lumpur. BT/Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam (R) receiving in audience Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani (3rd L), president of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Prof Azmi Omar (2nd L), director-general at the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), and Kunrat Wirasubrata (L), acting director at IDB Regional Office Kuala Lumpur. BT/Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

Three key elements for treading Bangsamoro’s tricky investment terrain successfully

bangsamor1Cielito F. Habito

MUSLIM Mindanao, now known as Bangsamoro, had been an undiscovered gem in the rough through the years. It is endowed with key ingredients for a prime investment area, with superior agro-climatic conditions, abundant primary resources, large tracts of idle lands, and wage rates lower than elsewhere in the country. It also possesses vast scope for economic growth and diversification owing to its geographic and cultural connection to the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga). Yet this is a region where average incomes are among the lowest in the country, and where poverty incidence rose the fastest in the past decade.

The reasons for this contradiction are well-known. Persistent violent conflict had impeded economic activity and deterred investment from both within and outside the region. Infrastructure is poor and inadequate. Land access and security of tenure can be problematic with uncertain instruments of land ownership. The labor force is largely unskilled and unstable. Weak governance and institutions, marked by weak capacities and a checkered history of graft and corruption, further undermine the business environment. The result has been a vicious cycle of low investment and persistent poverty that the region must simply find a way to break out of.

Can the peace agreement turn the preceding sentences into the past tense? The clear need is to raise the level of investments in the region, both from within and outside. But even wealthy individuals from within the region itself, the most logical first investors therein, had preferred to bring their own wealth outside—to Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Metro Manila or overseas. This made it even harder to convince outsiders to overcome their reluctance to put their stakes there. But even the leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front must know that attracting greater investment in Bangsamoro by both locals and outsiders is the only way out of its poverty trap.

The fact is, a good number of firms, both large and small, have already shown that investing in the region need not be a bad business proposition, especially now that violent political conflict is expected to be behind us. Their experiences point to certain enabling factors, useful lessons and “secrets” that allowed them to thrive under the otherwise difficult investment environment in the area. In case studies I did on six such firms (see, three key elements emerge for treading Bangsamoro’s tricky investment terrain successfully:

First, partner with an influential and enlightened local leader. For an outside investor, finding and working with such a partner in a mutually beneficial business relationship is key. For the thriving La Frutera banana export enterprise in Maguindanao, it was the late Datu Toto Paglas. Beyond the benefit of working with one who “knows the terrain,” such partner can be essential in gaining secure access to needed large areas of land (for an agribusiness enterprise). He can also relieve the outside investor of having to worry about work force management. The respect that a datu or a person of traditional authority commands over locally hired workers is the most effective basis for asserting management authority and enforcing discipline in the workforce.

Second, invest time and effort in building trust and confidence with local partners, leaders and common folk. In Agumil’s palm oil enterprise in Buluan, Maguindanao, Malaysian founder C.K. Chang worked, ate and slept side by side with his workers; plant manager Phil Roy Malana did the same when he first set up the oil mill. A key part of such trust-building is bridging religious differences. Apart from personal gestures in this regard, La Frutera’s John Perrine, Senen Bacani and Ed Bullecer fostered religious understanding in the workplace by requiring their Christian and Muslim workers to spend time studying each other’s faiths. The Spencer family that established the long-standing Matling cassava processing firm in Malabang, Lanao del Sur, earned the trust and esteem of the local community through their sincere gestures of kindness and charity long before conflict arose in the area.

Third, respect and work within local cultural norms and practices, and turn them into positive enablers for the enterprise. To expect workers and the locals to adjust and adapt to the external investor’s enterprise culture is to court instability and failure. Matling was keenly sensitive to the sense of maratabat (honor) among the local populace, and harnessed this in providing effective security for their supervisors. Agumil actively involves local leaders (including datus and the local mayor) in settling conflicts in the workplace, in respect of the authority vested by cultural and historical tradition. La Frutera institutionalized the common practice of sumpat (sharing jobs with family members) by its workers, adjusted working hours during Ramadan, and used social hierarchies to advantage in defining the management structures for workers. BJ Coconut Oil in Sulu similarly ensured that those in supervisory positions inherently command the respect of their subordinates by virtue of social status vested by historical/cultural tradition or royalty.

Recent data indicate that investment interest in Bangsamoro is picking up. With the right enabling governance environment, and investors doing the homework to equip themselves to tread the tricky terrain, Bangsamoro could well be the key driver for inclusive economic growth that it has every potential to be.

Philippine Daily Inquirer
Tuesday, June 10th, 2014



bangsamor map

Read more:
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

Dubai Islamic Bank buys 25 pct of Indonesia’s Bank Panin

dubai paninDavid French

DUBAI Islamic Bank (DIB) has completed the purchase of a 24.9 percent stake in Indonesia’s Bank Panin Syariah from its parent firm, an executive at Bank Pan Indonesia was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

DIB, the largest Islamic bank in the United Arab Emirates, said last month that it was in talks to buy 25 percent of Indonesia’s only listed sharia-compliant lender, which it would jointly manage and operate with Bank Pan Indonesia.

In two separate statements to the Indonesian stock exchange, Bank Panin Indonesia said an unidentified buyer had acquired 10 percent of the Islamic unit on May 21 and 13.5 percent on May 22. No purchase price was given in the filings.

However, Roosniati Salihin, vice president of Bank Panin Indonesia, told The Jakarta Post that the buyer was the Dubai-based bank.

“The agreement (with DIB) was made official about two weeks ago,” Salihin was quoted as saying.

“Now DIB controls a 24.9 percent stake in Bank Panin Syariah, while Panin remains the majority shareholder with 64.01 percent,” she added.

The deal was said to be worth 251.79 billion rupiah ($21.2 million), the newspaper wrote.

DIB didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. ($1 = 11784.0000 Rupiahs)

Wed, Jun 4, 2014



Indonesia’s regulator prepares Islamic finance roadmap

ind isl finBernardo Vizcaino

INDONESIA’s capital market regulator is preparing a five-year roadmap for Islamic finance in an effort to expand the industry in southeast Asia’s largest economy.

The plan will help to boost the number of Islamic capital market products and expand the industry’s investor base, Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK), the financial services authority, said in a statement.

The OJK said it was seeking market input for the roadmap and would set up discussion groups with stakeholders including the central bank, the finance ministry, the stock exchange and the country’s national sharia board.

It also said it was refining rules for the issuance of Islamic securities, which it expected to be completed this year. These would include details on the settlement of Islamic financial transactions, disclosure requirements for sukuk (Islamic bonds), and guidelines for sukuk trustees.

Indonesia has 11 full-fledged Islamic banks and 23 Islamic windows operated by conventional banks. Their combined Islamic banking assets grew 24 percent to 242 trillion rupiah ($21.4 billion) last year, giving the sector a 4.9 percent share of total banking assets, OJK data shows.

Last month, the OJK said it would implement risk management guidelines for Islamic insurance companies and that it was now a full member of the Malaysia-based Islamic Financial Services Board, a major standard-setting body for the industry.

The OJK took over supervision of banks, brokerages and insurance firms from the central bank and the capital market watchdog Bapepam-LK in January this year.

Wed May 28, 2014