In his role as deputy governor, Mohd Razif played a pivotal role in the development of Islamic finance in Malaysia. As deputy governor he was responsible for overseeing the regulation and development of the Malaysian financial sector, including Islamic finance and the development of financial institutions.
Mohd Razif was also a member of the BNM board of directors as well as serving on the management committee and the monetary policy committee. He was also said to be a potential candidate to succeed Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz as the central bank’s governor.
He was the first chairman of the technical committee of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) as well as sitting on the board of the International Center for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF). As such he was a keen proponent of the joint efforts between academia and the Islamic banking industry to conduct research, and to explore and deliberate on issues relating to the development of new Islamic financial products.
Mohd Razif led the way for further progress in fostering cooperation and collaboration among scholars; in particular, to address important Shariah issues faced by the Islamic financial services industry. He expressed that it was his aim that this kind of dialogue would become the platform to deliberate cross-border Shariah issues and to reach a common agreement to facilitate the smooth running of Islamic finance globally.
A strong passion to promote Islamic finance saw him participate in numerous conferences and related functions organized by those who shared his vision. His involvement with Redmoney began with the inception of our forum, the Malaysian Islamic Finance Issuers & Investors Forum, in 2006.
Since then he has been an honorary guest at the annual forum, with his last appearance being the IFN 2010 Issuers & Investors Asia Forum.
He was instrumental in promoting greater cross-border collaboration and promotion of Islamic finance beyond Malaysia, sharing his experience with other regions embarking on the promotion of Islamic finance.
The former deputy governor’s last documented appearance was at Bank Indonesia’s annual seminar on international Islamic finance, held in Yogyakarta on the 20th and 21st April 2011. During the session, he spoke on the role of the Malaysian government and the central bank in developing Islamic banking.
Mohd Razif’s extensive experience in the banking industry spans over three decades, having first joined Bank Negara Malaysia in 1976 and holding several senior positions including the chief representative of BNM’s London representative office, the director of the bank regulation department and the director general of the Labuan Offshore Financial Services Authority (LOFSA) from 1999 to 2001.
In 1999, then serving as assistant governor, he was appointed deputy governor, a position which he held until his passing. An announcement from BNM acknowledged: “Razif’s contribution to central banking and Malaysia has been immeasurable.”
As part of Malaysia’s endeavor to become an international Islamic financial center, Mohd Razif has overseen Malaysia’s rise to prominence, having helped put in place a comprehensive Islamic financial system, comprising all the various components running in parallel with the conventional system.
His most recent endeavors include working to issue a large scale global Islamic financial institution, or Islamic megabank, in order to fully capitalize on Malaysia’s Islamic hub status.