Monday, October 11, 2010

Something about Takaful

1. What is the meaning of Takaful?Takaful is a Shariah-compliant insurance. The word ‘takaful’ is derived from an Arabic word which means ‘joint guarantee’, whereby a group of persons agree to jointly guarantee among themselves against a defined loss. Participants contribute a sum of money into a common fund, which will be used to mutually assist the members against a defined loss or damage.

2. What is the meaning of Wakalah?Under the wakalah (agency) model, a representative is appointed to undertake transactions on another person's behalf. The takaful operator earns a fee for services borne by the participants. The fee may be varied based on the performance of the takaful operator.

3. What is the meaning of Mudarabah?
Mudarabah (trust financing/profit sharing) is an investment partnership, whereby the investor (the rab al maal) provides capital to the entrepreneur (the mudarib) in order to undertake a business or investment activity. While profits are shared on a pre-agreed ratio, losses are borne by the investor alone. The mudarib loses only his share of the expected income.

The investor has no right to interfere in the management of the business, but he can specify conditions that would ensure better management of his money. In this way Mudarabah is sometimes referred to as a sleeping partnership.

A joint Mudarabah can exist between investors and a bank on a continuing basis. The investors keep their funds in a special fund and share the profits before the liquidation of those financing operations that have not yet reached the stage of final settlement. Many Islamic investment funds operate on the basis of joint Mudarabah.

4. What is the meaning of Tabarru?
Tabarru’ (takaful donation) is a contract where a participant agrees to donate a pre-determined percentage of his contribution (to a Takaful fund) to provide assistance to fellow participants. In this way he fills his obligation of joint guarantee and mutual help should another participant suffer a loss. This concept eliminates the element of gharar from the Takaful contract.

5.How is Takaful different from the contemporary insurance contract?Takaful is founded on the co-operative principle and on the principle of separation between the funds and operations of shareholders, thus passing the ownership of the Takaful (Insurance) fund and operations to the certificate holders. The contributions collected from the certificate holders are considered as donations and they constitute the Takaful fund from which all claims are reimbursed. At the end of each financial year, after deduction of expenses, any remaining cash surplus will not be retained by the Takaful Operator or its shareholders, but returned to the certificate holders in the form of cash dividends or distributions. In this respect, Takaful business is different from the conventional insurance in which the certificate holders, rather than the shareholders, solely benefit from the profits generated from the Takaful and Investment assets.

6. Can non-Muslims join Takaful?Yes. Takaful is a Shariah-compliant insurance open to both Muslim and non-Muslim participants. They must agree to and abide by the terms and conditions of the contract that are based on the rules of Shariah.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Components, Scoring and Grading

There are four components in MUET:
1. Listening (800/1)
2. Speaking (800/2)
3. Reading Comprehension (800/3)
4. Writing (800/4).

The maximum scores for each component is:
i.     45 for Listening and Speaking,
ii.  120 for Reading Comprehension
iii.   90 for Writing

Aggregate score of 300. The scores are then graded in 6 bands, with Band 6 the highest and Band 1 the lowest.

Band 6
- Very good user (Aggregated score:260-300)
- Very good command of the language.
- Highly expressive, fluent, accurate and appropriate language: hardly any inaccuracies.
- Very good understanding of language and contexts.
- Functions extremely well in the language.

Band 5
- Good user (Aggregated score:220-259)
- Good command of the language.
- Expressive, fluent, accurate and appropriate language but with minor inaccuracies.
- Good understanding of language and contexts.
- Functions well in the language.

Band 4
- Competent user (Aggregated score:180-219)
- Satisfactory command of the language.
- Satisfactory expressive and fluent,appropriate language but with occasional inaccuracies.
- Satisfactory understanding of language and contexts.
- Functions satisfactorily in the language.

Band 3
- Modest user (Aggregated score:140-179)
- Modest command of the language.
- Modestly expressive and fluent,appropriate language but with noticeable inaccuracies. Modest understanding of language and contexts.
- Able to function modestly in the language.

Band 2
- Limited user (Aggregated score:101-139)
- Limited command of the language.
- Lacks expressiveness, fluency and appropriacy: inaccurate use of the language resulting in breakdown in communication.
- Limited understanding of language and contexts.
- Limited ability to function in the language.

Band 1
- Extremely limited user (Below 100)
- Poor command of the language.
- Unable to use language to express ideas: inaccurate use of the language resulting in frequent breakdowns in communication.
- Little or poor understanding of language and contexts.
- Hardly able to function in the language.

What is MUET?

Malaysian University English Test (MUET) is a test of English language proficiency, largely for university admissions. The test is set and run by the Malaysian Examinations Council (which also runs the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia examination) and largely recognized only in Malaysia and Singapore.

Most candidates who sit for MUET do so to apply for admissions in public universities and colleges. MUET is largely optional, if considered at all, in applying for admissions in other universities and colleges in Malaysia as well as National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University. Most of those who do consider MUET in admission applications allocate little weight to it. Most universities, including many who offer "twinning" courses with local private colleges, outside these two countries do not consider MUET as an acceptable test for English language proficiency, preferring instead, the IELTS.

Candidates usually have to register via their institution, private candidates with their State Education Department, with a registration fee of RM60. Although Malaysian government has decided to abolish government examination fees from 2007 onwards, MUET will remain as a paid test.