Realising the great challenges facing Muslim across the globe and with unwavering confidence that they could be overcome with collective efforts, the late Dato’ Dr Raja Mohamad Abdullah envisioned the Muslim World Business and Investment Zone in 2010. He believed that the Islamic countries must focus on business, trade and enhancement of peaceful ways to resolve the massive economic problems. Therefore, his objective was to establish a platform where business leaders from around the Muslim world could meet to discuss and plan for a better future of the Islamic economy.

For over 20 years, Almarhum Dato’ Dr Raja was active in building a wide network in many of the OIC countries by promoting the Malaysian experience in developing sound infrastructure for various developmental projects, in addition to keeping the country safe and stable, regardless of religious and racial differences. This progress attracted investors from every corner of the world, and Dato’ Rajas idea was to replicate the experience in other Islamic countries. His vision was to elevate poverty through cooperation and solidarity between the wealthy nations on the one hand and those who are less fortunate on the other.

Putting the economic status at a higher level of priority than political debates has been the key element of Dato’ Raja’s mission. He had worked hard to advocate the rights of people to be treated equally and for the resources to

bedistributed evenly. Yet, often he pointed out that every individual must strive to earn their living because he firmly believed that there is not short cut to success. He repeatedly said that the synergy between individuals, organisations and government is what every Islamic country needs in order to build strong relationships with other countries.

The establishment of the Muslim World Biz came as a progressive step of a predetermined plan that started with the publication of a specialised business and investment magazine. He also visited many of the Islamic countries to gain their support for the initiative. Most importantly, Dato’ Raja obtained the support of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation represented in its trade subsidiary organ the Islamic Centre for Development of Trade (ICDT) in Morocco. He also had a close relationship with the Secretary General of the Association of Arab Universities in Jordan, and many other government officials across the Muslim world.

Dato’ Raja passed away in the middle of the active preparation for the 6th Muslim World Biz after he laid down the foundations of a comprehensive event that consists of trade exhibition to present the products and services of the Islamic economy to the world, world class conferences to spread awareness and initiate the best business practices and award ceremonies to recognise those who excel in their work, which in turn motivate other to work harder. The event is now entering its 9th year and its growth will continue to remind us of the legacy of a great Muslim leader.