PETALING JAYA: Risda’s move to issue its own halal logo for Muslim-made products contravenes the law, says the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim).
Jakim director-general Tan Sri Othman Mustapha said despite the good intentions, Risda (Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority) should have sought the necessary permission from the relevant agencies.
Failure to do so contravenes the Trade Descriptions Act 2011, which forbids any other party to issue halal recognition certificates on their own without approval from Jakim.
“If the Malaysia Institute of International Islamic Cooperation (Ikiam) and Risda intend to exclusively issue the new logo for Muslim products made by Risda smallholders, then they are contravening the Trade Descriptions (Certification and Marking of Halal) Order 2011, which clearly states that only Jakim, Jain and Main are the competent authorities allowed to issue halal certification.
“We will seek further clarification from Risda on its intention to issue its own halal logo,” he said in a statement posted on his Facebook page yesterday.
Jain and Main are the Islamic affairs departments and councils of each state.
Othman said Jakim is the lawful authoritative agency allowed to issue halal logos.
In response, Risda chairman Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin said that it will meet Jakim to seek permission on the matter.
“Please do not jump to conclusions. We will adhere to all the procedures first and get their permission,” he said.
It was reported that Ikiam with the cooperation of Risda will launch a halal logo specifically for Muslim products next year.
It quoted Zahidi as saying that the proposed logo to be issued by Ikiam, that denotes products produced by Muslims, would go hand in hand with the halal logo issued by Jakim.
According to its website, Ikiam is an NGO which organises “welfare development programmes for the ummah (society), education, research and international diplomacy”.
Fomca deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman said it was not necessary for another halal logo to be issued by a separate entity.
“Jakim is already in existence. We are concerned whether the proposed items classified under the new proposed halal logo will go through the same vetting process, auditing and standards under Jakim’s requirements,” he said.
Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) chief Datuk Nadzim Johan asked whether Risda’s move would pave the way for other agencies to request for their own halal recognition labels.
“We disagree with the idea. What if other government agencies or ministries want their own halal certifications?” he said.
Consumers Association of Penang president S.M. Mohamed Idris said creating a second halal logo is not a good idea.
“Risda does not belong only to the Muslims.
“It is supposed to be promoting all Malaysian products as well,” he said.
He added that if Risda is allowed to issue a halal logo for products made for Muslims, then others would also be compelled to demand for similar privileges as well.