Thursday, April 26, 2012
29-09-2003 KEYNOTE ADDRESS IN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON GOLD IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE
Keynote Address by Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Sanusi bin Junid in The Kuala Lumpur International Conference on Gold in International Trade: Strategic Positioning in Global Monetary System at Sheraton Imperial Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on 29th September, 2003
Assalaamu’alaikum Warahmatullaahi Wabarakaatuh
Chairman of the seminar,
Deputy Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia,
Secretary General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Rector of International Islamic University Malaysia,
Fellow participants of the seminar,
Ladies and gentlemen.
Failure of Bretton Woods
Between August 19th and 20th, last year, at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur, an international conference was held on stable and just global monetary system with the theme ‘Viability of the Islamic Dinar’ as a response to the 1997 East Asian economic and financial crisis by which Malaysia was ‘robbed’ of its economic well-being by the international currency speculators.
The gold dinar, whether Islamic or not, is propagated by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Honourable Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad . It is simply a gold payment system. This propagation is a reintroduction of the role played by gold, as money, before the United States President Richard Milhaus Nixon removed gold backing from the US dollar as there was insufficient gold belonging to the United States to back up the dollars needed to finance the Vietnam war. It was either an admission of the failure of the Bretton Woods’ system to support the us or just the arrogance of Nixon and his close advisors, in not wanting to use the system.
East Asia Economic Congress
Between the 4th and the 6th of August this year an international congress was held again at the Putra World Trade Centre where delegates from East Asian countries unanimously agree that there is a need for an East Asian fund to assist countries which are in financial or economic problems or crisis. This implies a prevailing distrust in the present economic system entrusted to the Bretton Woods institutions.
After that, between the 14th and 16th of September, representatives from sixty nations attended an international conference of young Muslim leaders held at the Renaissance Hotel, Kuala Lumpur where a resolution was passed to create a world Muslim economic foundation. This again proved that there is an overall discomfort, even among the young, on the economic plight of Muslims all over the world.
The above three events were all officiated by the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Our seminar today would have been graced by him too had he not been called to another unavoidable event sandwiched between his busy schedule overseas and the launching of the Langkawi International Maritime and Airshow
This seminar zeros into specifics. It is a seminar on ‘Gold in International Trade’ or GIT. With this seminar and previous seminars and conferences on related subject, our mind would have been prepared for the Organisation of Islamic Conference Summit next month.
Today we are gathered again to discuss the implementation of the gold payment system in international trade.
Historically, gold has held its value stable compared to any fiat currency. It was Roy Jastram, in his book “The Golden Constant” who showed that prices based on gold were relatively constant for 400 years.
Although at other forums we used the term ‘Islamic gold dinar’, we have excluded the words ‘Islamic’ and ‘dinar’ in the terminology for this forum, with the intention of removing the stigma and prejudice against gold. There was of course the Iraqi dinar before the fall of Saddam, although the Kuwaiti dinar is still in use. Hopefully the omission of the two words will remove the prejudice on gold, due to Western propaganda against Islam, thereby blurring their vision against a valuable commodity which can solve or minimise the world economic problems.
It must however be remembered that the word dinar is derived from the Latin word denarius which was the Roman Byzantine gold coin circulating among the Arabs during the time of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. It is therefore of western origin.
The dinar, equivalent to 4.25 grams of 22 carat gold (91.6 per cent gold alloy) remained the monetary unit for Muslims until the collapse of the Ottoman caliphate in 1924.
In Ihya Al Uloom, printed in Cairo (1939) Imam Ghazali stated:
The creation of dirhams and dinars (money) is one of the blessings of Allah s.w.t. They are stones having no intrinsic usufruct or utility, but all human beings need them, because everybody needs a large number of commodities for his eating, wearing etc. and often he does not have what he needs, and does have what he needs not. Therefore, the transactions of exchange are inevitable. but there must be a measure on the basis of which price can be determined, because the exchanged commodities are neither of the same type, nor of the same measure which can determine how much quantity one commodity is a just price for another. Therefore all these commodities need a mediator to judge their exact value. Allah The Almighty has created the dirhams and dinars (money) as judges and mediators between all commodities so that all objects of wealth are measured through them and their being the measure of the value of all commodities is based upon the fact that they are not an object in themselves. had they been an object in themselves one could have a specific purpose for keeping them which might have given them more importance according to his intention, while the one who had no such purpose would have not given them such importance, and thus the whole system would have been disturbed. That is why Allah s.w.t has created them, so that they may be circulated between hands and act as fair judge between different commodities and work as a medium to acquire other things. So the one who owns them, is as though he owns every thing, unlike the one who owns a cloth, because he owns only a cloth. Therefore, if he needs food, the owner of food may not be interested in exchanging his food for cloth, because he may need an animal for example. Therefore, there was needed a thing which in its appearance is nothing, but in its essence is every thing. The thing which has no particular form may have different forms in relation to other things, like a mirror which has no colour, but it reflects every colour. The same is the case of money. It is not an object in itself, but it is an instrument that leads to all objectives. So the one who is using money in a manner contrary to its basic purpose is, in fact, disregarding the blessings of Allah s.w.t. Consequently, whoever hoards money is doing injustice to it and is defeating their actual purpose. He is like the one who detains a ruler in a prison. And whoever effects the transactions of interest on money is, in fact, discarding the blessings of Allah s.w.t. and is committing injustice, because money is created for some other things, not for itself. So the one who has started trading in money itself has made it an objective contrary to the wisdom behind its creation, because it is injustice to use money for a purpose other than it was created for. If it is allowed for him to trade in money itself, money will become his ultimate goal, and will remain detained with him like hoarded money. And imprisoning a ruler, or restricting a postman from conveying messages is nothing but injustice. ‘
However, while propagating a return to gold in international trade we should look at the fate of propagators for anything different in monetary approaches.
Initially we should note that many world leaders who meddled with the financial systems, from as far back as Abraham Lincoln, have met with fatalities.
There are many reasons offered for the rise and fall of leaders in history. For purposes of our conference let us recognise those reasons involving interference in the global financial system.
Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on 14th April, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth. He printed the US dollars in green ink, called the green-backs, and legalised the money through the House of Representatives. he annoyed the bankers and the financiers.
It is believed, even as late as August 2002, at the Church of England that Abraham Lincoln’s monetary policy from the year 1865, constitutes the perfect basis for any monetary system for any “Modern Nation” (including Britain ) regardless of race, colour, creed, timeframe or geography. Lincoln’s policy was based on Ricardo’s model of 1823, for the National Bank of England. The policy eloquently sums up the whole modern problem with its solution in only 536 words. The policy reads:
1. Money is the creature of law and the creation of the original issue of money should be maintained as the exclusive monopoly of national government. Money possesses no value to the state other than that given to it by circulation.
2. Capital has its proper place and its entitled to every protection. The wages of men should be recognised in the structure of and in the social order as more important than the wages of money. no duty is more imperative for the government than the duty it owes the people to furnish them with a sound and uniform currency, and of regulating the circulation of the medium of exchange so that labour will be protected from a vicious currency, and commerce will be facilitated by cheap and safe exchanges.
3. The available supply of gold and silver being wholly inadequate to permit the issuance of coins of intrinsic value or paper currency convertible into coin in the volume required to serve the needs of the people, some other basis for the issue of currency must be developed, and some means other than that of convertibility into coin must be developed to prevent undue fluctuation in the value of paper currency or any other substitute for money of intrinsic value that may come into use.
4. The monetary needs of increasing numbers of people advancing towards higher standards of living can and should be met by the government. Such needs can be served by the issue of national currency and credit through the operation of a national banking system. The circulation of a medium of exchange issued and backed by the government can be properly regulated and redundancy of issue avoided by withdrawing from circulation such amounts as may be necessary by taxation, redeposit, and otherwise. Government has the power to regulate the currency and credit of the nation.
5. Government should stand behind its currency and credit and the bank deposits of the nation. No individual should suffer a loss of money through depreciation of inflated currency or bank bankruptcy.
6. Government possessing the power to create and issue currency and credit as money and enjoying the right to withdraw both currency and credit from circulation by taxation and otherwise need not and should not borrow capital at interest as a means of financing governmental work and public enterprise. The government should create, issue and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy the spending power of the government and the buying power of the consumers. The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of government, but it is the governments greatest creative opportunity.
7. By the adoption of these principles the long felt want for a uniform medium will be satisfied. The taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest, discounts, and exchanges. The financing of all public enterprise, the maintenance of stable government and ordered progress, and the conduct of the treasury will become matters of practical administration. The people can and will be furnished with a currency as safe as their own government. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity. Democracy will rise superior to the money power.”
Lincoln’s epitaph should read:
“For successfully driving the money changes out of the temple and denying world finance its opportunity to profit from the war it had created Abraham Lincoln was shot three days later”.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated on 22nd November, 1963 by Lee Harvey Oswald. He did the same feat as Abraham Lincoln. He printed billions of us dollars and legalised them through the House of Representatives. He did not please the bankers. When the wife of Lee Harvey Oswald was asked whether she would blame Angleton for the assassination of the President, she replied that there was not enough money with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to finance the assassination of a President and that one should ask the bankers.
On 22nd February, 1974 Samuel Byck went to the nearest air-port near Washington D.C., shot the air-port security, went into an aeroplane, shot the air-hostess, shot the co-pilot, then persuaded the other pilot to fly to the White House to kill Richard Nixon at breakfast time. Samuel shot himself, after having shot that other pilot who had earlier informed the FBI by wireless on what was happening in the plane. The attempt to assassinate Nixon failed. The assassination attempt was not publicised and was quite unknown and easily forgotten. Monetarily, Nixon angered the bankers, because in 1971 he withdrew gold backing from the US dollars.
Nixon was brought down by the Watergate scandal, for lying, which was really a red herring.
On 25th March, 1975 The King of Saudi Arabia Al Malik Faisal, was shot by his nephew, Prince Faisal Mas’ud, while attending the Kuwaiti national day reception. Prince Faisal Mas’ud was acquitted on the first charge where he claimed that Al Malik Faisal was responsible for the death of his brother Prince Malik Mas’ud who was shot by the police while demonstrating at the television station because he had opposed the introduction of television to Saudi Arabia by King Faisal. The killing was done on the principle of an eye for an eye. It was an accepted act of vengeance.
But Faisal Mas’ud’s head was chopped off because he was guilty of the second charge which was not made known to the public.
Al Malik Faisal is of course known for his intention to introduce the petro-dollar, which would have been a competitor to the US dollar, even before the Euro.
If the lady minister of Sweden, who is not a Muslim, could be murdered in cold blood, while campaigning in favour of introducing the Euro into Sweden which would eventually infect all the Scandinavian countries, it is not difficult to imagine the opposition to the Petro dollar, particularly when it was to be introduced in Islamic petroleum producing countries.
The Petro-dollar itself is enough as a burning confrontational product without adding fuel by labelling it Islamic. The financiers and bankers must have been pleased with King Faisal’s death or not unhappy with it even if they are not involved in its planning.
Albino Luciani – Pope John Paul I
In the morning of 29th September, 1978 Albino Luciani or Pope John Paul I was found dead after being a Pope for 33 days. The Vatican claimed that he died of heart attack. But Albino’s doctor refuted the claim as Albino was a regular mountain climber and suffers from low blood pressure, a habit and a weakness which negates the possibility of a heart attack. The Pope was in perfect health after he climbed a mountain about three days before his untimely death.
The author David Yallop, in his book entitled ‘In God’s Name’, claimed that two bankers, Roberto Calvi and Sindona were manipulating the Vatican funds. The Pope wanted to distribute the Vatican’s wealth to the poor of the world, particularly in Africa and Asia.
Had the Pope lived and implemented his programme by withdrawing vast deposits in existing us banks, he would have suffocated the United States banking system.
The Pope was poisoned, Roberto Calvi was found hung under the Black-Friar Bridge in London, and Sindona who was undergoing trial, for banking fraud, in Milan prison committed suicide by drinking cyanide, which was brought to him in a bottle together with a letter, which he read and found it necessary to end his life.
If a Catholic, a Protestant, a Muslim, a hereditary monarch, a democratically elected leader, an Arab, an Italian, an Irish and an American can be killed for displeasing anybody or somebody, sane citizens of the world must decide whether to co-operate, to submit, to manipulate or to oppose the any-some-body who is responsible for the flow of innocent blood. But before we could do anything for, against or with anybody or somebody we must recognize their existence.
The idea of narrating the above tragedies is merely to highlight the challenges that will be faced by leaders, organisations and nations, unilaterally or jointly, interfering in the existing world financial network.
Having seen the woes against the propagators of financial reform, we should be aware of the bigger picture plaguing the world scene thereby hiding the true reasons behind the current conflicts that cannot be understood in isolation.
I am referring to the ideological back-up to the economic life of the people of the various religions in the world.
If one asks for only one word which separates Islam, Christianity and Judaism on the one hand and Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and zed Buddhism, on the other, the answer, in one word, is: usury.
It is not that usury was never condemned in Hinduism and Buddhism but that the condemnation was in the very distant past.
As far back as the year 2400 B.C. even without usury, debt itself was regarded as unjust burden on mankind. At that time in the Sumerian city of Lagash the cuneiform debt cancellation tablets was found which conclusively show that, unless debt was cancelled every seventh year, people would not defend their country. Much like the law of jubilee under the law of Moses, peace be upon him, which calls for the cancellation of all debts in the 7th year regardless of when the debt was incurred, a practice confirmed in the Quran which says: ‘Better to forgive the debt, if you did but know it …. ‘.
Between 2000 and 1400 B.C. the verdict texts of ancient India mentioned the word ‘ kusidin ‘ which is usurer. The sutra texts of 700 to 100 B.C. and the Budhist jatakas between 600 and 400 B.C. made detailed references to usury payments. But contempt for usury was diminished by the 2nd century A.D. After that there was a dilution in the Hindu and Buddhist understanding of usury and it was no longer prohibited or controlled in any significant way.
aAssuming that usury is the common factor discussed and abhorred in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, all the religions of the books, it is a wonder why adherents of Christianity and Judaism, find the people of the other religions more acceptable to them than the Muslims, whose religion also abhorred usury.
It does appear that there is a fundamental change in attitude towards usury by the Christians and the Jews, which separates them from the Muslims.
Religions which prohibit usury have ignored their religious injunctions for many reasons, mainly:
A) A distinction being made between lending for basic needs, when interest is considered as usury; and lending for commercial purposes when interest charged is permissible and not considered as usury.
B) A distinction is being made between usurious and non-usurious interest rates which is subjective.
The Muslims seemed to be sticking to the original concept, or fundamental, of usury. Is it for that reason that we are all classified as fundamentalists?
But the concept of usury or riba itself has undergone many changes, even for Muslims. The exploitative rates on loans charged by the Jews of old, though still practised by others in developing countries, may still be considered exploitative and not tolerated; but lower rates have been tolerated, renamed or further explained for acceptability by Muslims.
Indeed many rich Muslims, felt that they are modern or westernised by their acceptance of riba, by any name, leaving the level of exploitation in rates to agreements between consenting borrowers and lenders.
With this attitude, and other advantages and privileges provided, it is little wonder that Muslim funds are being kept in non Muslims banks.
Non-Muslims were sceptical of the idea of Islamic banking in the past. But today even Jewish bankers or banks, which shares are owned by Jews, have opened Islamic banking counters to receive or 7accept the much coveted deposits from Muslims. The only Islamic part of the bank is probably at the counters. After all money is neutral, neither racial nor religious.
In Islam the understanding and discussion on benefits, interests or riba, depending on rates, is quite elaborate, and when propagators of Islamic statehood talk about the imposition of the syariah law, in any state, there is always the image of cutting of hands in the fore-front and interest on deposits and loans in the back-ground.
This is where we confuse the trees, in the diagnosis, from the forest.
Propagators of Islamic statehood are labelled, by the West, as fundamentalists, those who know Islam would of course object to the disapproving attitude towards Muslim fundamentalists, as Muslim fundamentalists should be good humans as the fundamentals of Islam are good and divine.
Recently, even terrorism is attributed to Islamic fundamentalism.
Is it true than that the West is against terrorism, against the syariah law which, among others, call for the cutting of hands. Is the West genuinely for democracy?
Or what is it in Islam that frightens the West?
Definitely the West is not against terrorism because the west supports state terrorism by Israel. Even some of those who condemned terrorism need only to look straight into the mirror to recognise the real terrorists. The West have also terrorised the common people of Afghanistan and Iraq, against the will of even the undemocratic and western inspired United Nations.
The West cannot be for democracy either, for they needed the undemocratic Muslim nations, to support them in their effort to aggressively, and inhumanly implant democracy in Iraq.
Is the west against the cutting of Muslim hands by Islamic states? i do not think they object to the cutting of Muslim hands by Muslims. They know that Muslim states cannot cut non-Muslim hands. It is against human rights and against the freedom of religion. The Muslim states, however, have the human right to freely cut Muslim hands. I think the West would encourage the cutting of Muslim hands because, even guilty Muslims will use their hands to handle weapons in their fight against the enemies of Islam.
The more Muslim hands are cut the better it is for the enemies of Islam.
That leaves only one factor that the West fears of the fundamentals in Islam or of anybody with different fundamentals.
Communism against Capitalism
The west was against China when it was preaching communism; and against Russia and Eastern Europe when it was under communism. Russia and China were with the Western allies in the Second World War. The West was, of course, not against the technological achievements of the communists. Obviously they were against communism because communism was against capitalism.
Germany and Japan for Capitalism
Although the West fought against Japan and Germany during the Second World War but they were not against these two countries after the war as Japan and Germany adopted the same capitalistic economic system.
West not against Muslim Way of Life
With the collapse of communism there is only Islam which is feared by the West. The fear is not of the hudud, of what we eat, what we do not drink, how we dress, whether we have a moustache, a beard or not, whether we wish to have up to four wives or just one wife.
These are red herring issues being prioritised for Muslims to be lulled away and to become reasons for conflicts among Muslims.
They do not object to our prayers, our hajj, our fardhu ain.
But they fear our alternative Islamic monetary and economic system. For this system will off set, or just delay, their plan for total economics and monetary domination in the new world order.
The Western Commission Fears Monetary Reform
On 21st September, 1964, 39 years and 8 days ago, the sub-committee on domestic finance of the Committee on Banking and Currency of the United States House of Representatives presented to the 2nd session of the 88th Congress the ‘ Money Facts’ containing answers to 169 questions on money in a supplement to a primer on money.
Among the questions asked:
1. Who has the right to create money in the United States?
Under the constitution, it is the right and duty of Congress to create money. It is left entirely to Congress.
2. To whom has the Congress delegated this money-creating right?
To the banking system, that is, to the Federal Reserve System and to the commercial banks of the country.
3. Why is the money creating power important?
By creating money, banks provide the exchange media that the economy needs to prosper and grow. since the growth and proper functioning of the United States economy require increasing amounts of money over the years, those who control the amount of money exercise great power over business activity, the incomes people earn, and our economic strength.
6. Does Congress supervise Federal Reserve policy making?
These are only six of the answers to six questions asked among the 169 questions and answers on money in the Money Facts.
An Example of the Power of the Bankers
When Lord Balfour, the Foreign Minister of Britain visited the United States in 1917, he promised the bankers that Britain will recognise the Zionist movement if America assist Britain by entering the fist world war.
The American public was at that time against America going to war.
In the same year 1917 the American bankers called a meeting of prominent media editors to persuade them to make the American public support American entry into the war. More than 20 major print and electronic media companies were then bought over by the bankers. Subsequently, America entered the war, Zionism was recognised by Britain as promised, resulting in the creation of Israel, which is now the centre and the cause of the present problems of the world, including the September, 11th attack on the World Trade Centre, which gives the opportunity to the bankers to rebuild it, whatever be the hue and cry over the victims.
Whoever owns the banks in America, the American public have no power over them. And they can do nothing to reduce, control or rationalise that power. It is a big error in history.
As such, the use of the term ‘ West ‘ should be changed to ‘ Western Commission ‘ as not all western governments are against Islam, and not all citizens of countries whose governments are against Islam share the same sentiments towards Islam, just as not all citizens in Islamic nations are not against Islam. There are ambassadors and high commissioners of nations whose governments are against Islam cannot reveal their true feeling towards Islam even if they do not share their governments’ sentiment. Sometimes even in nations where the governments appear to be anti Islam, only one or two in the leadership of that who are really against Islam.
It is in this contexts that this seminar is held to-day with a view to humbly offer the oppressed, or the manipulated of the world to look into the alternative system, with discussion on gold in international trade, as the starting point.
As the problem is great, the journey is long, we must go about with our cool heads. After all the journey of a thousand miles begin with but a single step.
If Muslims of the world enjoy Coca-Cola, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Mc Donald, we probably can offer to pay in the more palatable gold or even the ‘Islamic gold dinar’.
Let us hope that this initiative, as the unfinished project of our beloved Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, will be a humble beginning to our economic salvation. With its success Abraham Lincoln, john f. Kennedy, Pope Albino Luciani, and Al Malik Faisal would not have died in vain.