Bank Islam

Bank Islam was the first Shariah based bank in Malaysia and South East Asia. The bank has been playing the leading role in developing Malaysia’s Islamic banking industry and has already provided technical assistance in setting up a few of the Islamic institutions in countries around Asian region such as Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Islamic banking business is defined as a banking business with aims and operations that do not involve any element that is contrary to the Islamic religion. This business can be traced back to as early as before World War 2 when Muslims in Malaysia were already looking for an alternative financial system that will comply with the Shariah requirements. However, it was not until 1969 when the Pilgrims Management and Lembaga Urusan dan Tabung Haji or Fund Board was established. This was the first Islamic financial institutions in Malaysia during that time and its purpose was to encourage savings and investments among the Muslim community and also to help depositors to perform hajj.

Bank Islam was then established on 1st of July 1983 with the primary objective of assisting the financial needs of the Muslim community in Malaysia. The inception of Bank Islam was an effort of intense determination that was inspired by the Bumiputera Economic Congress that was held in 1980 and followed by Concept of Development in Islam that was held in 1981. The initiative was also coupled with the commitment and tireless effort that was put in by Tabung Haji and PERKIM, a non-governmental organization that is committed to taking care of the Muslim community’s welfare in Malaysia. Bank Islam was established with an RM500 million initial authorized capital and a paid in capital of RM79.9 million. Since then, Bank Islam has gradually increased the authorized paid up capital to RM2 billion and the paid in capital to RM563 million according to Wikipedia. Tun Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia officiated the launch of Bank Islam and the official opening was also graced by YM Raja Tan Sri Mohar Raja Badiozaman, Bank Islam’s first Chairman and Dr. Abdul Halim Haji Ismail, Bank Islam’s first managing director.

During Bank Islam’s first year of operation, the bank only had 30 pioneer staffs and had to conduct its operations at a temporary headquarter located on the 1st floor of Kompleks Jemaah Haji in Subang, Selangor. Things went well and by the end of the first year, Bank Islam has already set up 4 operating branches in different states around Malaysia including Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Terengganu, Alor Setar and Kota Bahru and the total number of employees increased from 30 staffs to 272 staffs. Since then, Bank Islam has gradually extended its services to the non-Muslim community and came up with the Banking for All principle. However, in November 2005, Bank Islam reported a significant loss of RM480 million which was largely due to the non-performing loans from the Labuan’s offshore unit. Bank Islam did conduct an investigation on the loss but no other details were provided after that.

Today, there are more than 70 different types of innovative and sophisticated banking products and services that are based on Islamic principles offered by Bank Islam to the Muslim community and the non-Muslim community totalling more than 5 million customers. Bank Islam list of products and services range from savings, traditional financing to investment solutions that are exclusively catered to individual customers by fulfilling the fast-changing financial needs of modern day customers from all categories such as micro financing, capital market, wealth management and structured products.

In order to serve its customer base that is ever expanding, Bank Islam currently has 145 branches and more than 1,000 self-service terminals in Malaysia making it the widest dedicated Islamic Banking network in Malaysia. Bank Islam’s vision is to be the global leader in Islamic banking and it strives continuously provide the best service and catering to the different needs of customers.

As of this moment, the key people involved in Bank Islam are Dato’ Mohd Bakke Salleh as Chairman, Dato Sri Zukri Samat as managing director, Ustaz Dr. Ahmad as Syariah Chairman and Supervisory Council. Dubai Islamic Investment Group is also currently involved as they have taken a 40% stake in Bank Islam. Bank Islam’s headquarters is located on Level 32 of Menara Bank Islam in Kuala Lumpur.




Recently there has been a proposal that all PTPTN (Perbandanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional) loan defaulters to be blacklisted in CCRIS. This move came as no surprise as there are more than 400,000 defaulters who had failed to repay more than RM 2.8 billion of loans.

CCRIS is actually a centralized database consists of loans, hire purchase, credit card records. This would be the official medium for banks and financial institutions refer when checking a person’s financial record.

This move will actually dampens PTPTN defaulters ability to obtain loans from financial institution in the future. The government has proposed the blacklist to be implemented soon. Fortunately, PTPTN is also giving a 30% discounts for any loans this is settled on September ,2013.

As of 21st August 2013, the Malaysian cabinet has agreed not to push forward with the proposal as it was subjected to many criticism.


Best Credit Card in Malaysia









Best Credit Card Comparison

Before applying for a credit card, there are a few details customers should familiarize in order to select a card that suits the expenditure pattern. This is the main informationcustomers should get before deciding:

  • Annual fee
  • Cash Back
  • Rewards Points
  • Credit Card interest rate
  • Petrol rewards
  • Travel rewards
  • Balance transfer

Currently banks are providing customers with Cashback Credit Card or Rewards options.

Cashback Credit Card

A cashback credit card is quite simply a credit card that gives rebates in cash. Instead of collecting rewards for spending with the card via treat points and freebies, the bank will give a cash rebate.

Reward Points

Reward Points per RM basically means the points that will be credited into the card for every purchase. Excluding a few cards, the general conversion for most banks (and its cards) is RM1 = 1 Point.

Types of Rewards

  • Vouchers  : Ranging from shopping vouchers, food vouchers
  • General items : Household items such as kitchenware, travelling bags
  • Specific Items  : Items such as Petrol and Air Miles redemption (usually for specific cards with petrol and air miles features on them)
  • Credit Card Service Tax Waiver / Redemption and Annual Fee Waiver Redemption : Some banks offer to redeem the points in exchange for a government service tax redemption


Credit Card No Annual Fee

Most credit cards today waive of the annual fee however customers may need to double check before applying for the credit card.


Best Credit Card comparison for Cash Back

Hong Leong Wise Gold provides a 10% cashback from Hong Leong Wise which is the only credit card that rewards customers with 10% cash back.

  • Interest Rate : 15%
  • Balance Transfer : 6.99%
  • Cashback: 10%
  • Annual Fee: Free

Best Credit Card comparison for Rewards

Standard Chartered Worldmiles MasterCard delivers the fastest redemption for an air ticket at the lowest cost.

  • Special Offer: Save 15% at Asiatravel
  • Interest Rate: 15%
  • Balance Transfer: 2.99%
  • Cashback: No
  • Annual Fee : Free

Best Credit Card comparison for Low interest

Citibank Cashback Platinum provides a 5% cashback on petrol, groceries, phone bills and medical.

  • Interest Rate: 8.88%
  • Balance Transfer: 6.99%
  • Cashback: 5%
  • Annual Fee: RM195

Best Credit Card comparison for Petrol Rewards

Standard Chartered JustOne Platinum MasterCard provides rebate when customers charge fuel to the credit card. Customers will enjoy 10% Petrol CashBack at all petrol stations nationwide.

  • Interest Rate : 15%
  • Balance Transfer : 2.99%
  • Cashback : 10%
  • Annual Fee : RM250

Best Credit Card comparison for travel

Air Asia Citibank Gold Visa provides perks in the air and on the ground.

  • Interest Rate : 8.88%
  • Balance Transfer : 6.99%
  • Cashback : No
  • Annual Fee : RM180

Best Credit Card comparison for Islamic

AmIslamicBank Al-Taslif Visa Gold Card-I provides customers with  a new money manager and enjoy online banking, 0% easy payment plan on retail expenditure and automatic bill payments with AutoBillPay.

  • Balance Transfer : No
  • Cashback: No
  • Annual Fee : Free

Best Credit Card comparison for Balance Transfer

Maybankard Balance Transfer Program enables customers to save more with lower interest rates, choose the plan that meets the needs and enjoy a long repayment period of up to 36 months.

  • Interest rate includes upfront 3% fee
  • Interest Rate: 0%
  • Minimum Transfer: RM1000
  • Max. Duration: 36 months


Best Credit Card comparison for Premier Card

Citibank CitiPrestige provides 25% discount off business-class tickets and Insurance and up to RM1 million travel coverage. Customers also enjoy privileged access to 2,400 Golf courses all over the world.

  • General: RM1 spent = 1 Point, RM1 spent abroad = 2 Points
  • Interest Rate: 8.88%per year
  • Income : RM 1,000.00per year