KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA) is cautiously optimistic of the takaful industry’s prospects in 2024 despite external factors such as moderating growth globally, slower global trade and geopolitical tensions.

“The positive projection of the nation’s economic growth after a challenging year, at 4% to 5% (growth expected this year) with expansion in most sectors, will be a boon,” MTA chairman Elmie Aman Najas said at the Takaful Industry Performance 2023 media briefing recently.

He remarked that MTA will continue to play its role towards amplifying the level of public and private awareness to takaful products and services, and position itself as being the catalyst for takaful industry transformation and growth for the future.

“We understand the importance of having reliable and comprehensive protection to support the growth and development of the nation.”

On that note, he added MTA has embarked on the development of takaful industry transformation plan with the aim towards advancing takaful called Hijrah27.

“Hijrah27 mission is to make takaful a household name in Malaysia and to become the catalyst towards a significant contribution to the Financial Sector Blueprint (FSB) by increasing the takaful market share or penetration rate by 2027 and ensuring more Malaysians are protected, aligned with BNM’s target,” he said.

He added that Hijrah27 is the continuation of the successfully concluded MTA Reform Plan 2022-2023, known as ISLAH 23.

He said good industry performance, increased awareness on financial literacy and takaful and more importantly conducive Islamic financial and non-financial ecosystem laid by the government, religious authorities, BNM and MIFC, has triggered the need for the industry to formulate a comprehensive strategic transformation plan to align it with this changes and tap into the opportunities.

“We believe that this strategic plan will help provide impetus to and subsequently maintain the growth momentum of takaful,” he said.

Elmie said while Hijrah27 is still in development by their consulting partner Ernst & Young, MTA envisions that it will unite and guide the industry and overall Islamic ecosystem as a whole to work together towards advancing takaful.

“There will be continued emphasis on collaborations, comprehensive awareness, products and services innovations and expansion of takaful’s role in the whole ecosystem while making it more convenient for Malaysians to participate in it.”

In 2023, takaful operators paid out a total of RM8.74 billion in 2023. Family Takaful paid RM6.79 billion in benefits while General Takaful disbursed a total of RM1.95 billion.

Elmie said this uptick of 24.4% in payouts demonstrates the takaful industry’s responsiveness to emerging needs and its dedication to promptly assist certificate holders.