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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Syariah banking getting little support from mass media

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) - The mass media has been giving little support to the development of syariah banking in Indonesia although the financial system has proven its ability to survive amid the world crisis, ANTARA News Agency chief Ahmad Mukhlis Yusuf said here Monday.

"Syariah banks began to exist in Indonesia since the early 1990s but the mass media are still giving little space to the development of syariah banking," Ahmad said at an international seminar on Islamic economics in Indonesia, Jordan, Palestine and Malaysia.

Due to the lack of support from the mass media, syariah banks have been able to build only a small amount of assets compared to that of conventional banks although they had existed in Indonesia for almost 20 years, he said.

Data from Bank Indonesia shows up to the end of 2010 the assets of syariah banks in Indonesia only amounted to Rp100 trillion or about 3.2 percent of the total assets of conventional banks.

Ahmad Mukhlis also gave some notes which could be applied by the mass media for the development of syariah banking in Indonesia.

Syariah banks were highly resilient as proven during the world crisis, he said, adding that the mass media were expected to give interpretation on the fact about syariah banks and issues on economy.

"With continuoud coverage, the mass media could help develop the syariah economy in our beloved country," he said.

A member of the Writers Association of Jordan, Umar Muhammad, said on a separate occasion. after the financial crisis in the world in 2008, syariah banks continued to grow in European and American countries.

However, evaluation of the weak point should be made in the practices of syariah banking for the development of syariah banks in the future which are based on the principles of justice, good human morality and the character of the banks.

According to him, syariah banks were still weak in innovation of products which are offered to customers, and thus there must be an evaluation based on Allah?s justice, balance and efforts to avert any damages.(*)

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