PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry seized 2,003 paint brushes made from pig bristles worth RM10,988.94 in a crackdown nationwide, said its minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.
He said the goods were confiscated because of violations of the Trade Description (Goods made from any part of pig or dog) Order 2013, which stipulates that such products must be labelled and kept separated.
So far, he said, 37 such cases had been recorded out of the 157 inspections conducted nationwide.
“The ministry will continue with the inspections (nationwide) if there are complaints from consumers,” he said after launching the 1Malaysia Smart Consumer Campaign here yesterday.
Hamzah said the seizures were within the scope of the ministry’s power because the dealers had failed to comply with regulations.
“We will not seize the goods if they are labelled and separated according to the rules.”
He said the traders should be aware of the sensitivity of Muslims on halal matters.
In Klang, 109 paint brushes of various types believed to be made from pig bristles were seized from a hardware shop and a store belonging to a supplier here. The items were not labelled or separated.
The ministry’s enforcement chief for Selangor, Abdul Rosik Yakub, said the seized items did not bear the “A913” and “A950” codes.
According to the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia, brushes with the A913 and A950 codes state that they are made from pig bristles.
“We also found that 101 of the paint brushes were also labelled with expired halal certification,” he said, adding that they would be sent for tests.
He added that the owners told the officers the paint brushes were imported from China.
Abdul Rosik said paintbrushes made from pig bristles usually have split ends and different thicknesses compared with those made from other materials.
“Shops can sell this kind of brushes, but they must be properly labelled and kept separately,” he added.
Under the Trade Descriptions Act, traders are required to separate non-halal items from halal products.
Offenders who fail to adhere to the ruling face a fine of RM100,000 or three years’ jail or both.
In Johor Baru, enforcement officers raided two hardware shops suspected of selling paintbrushes made of pig bristles in Jalan Persiaran Larkin Perdana, Larkin here.
The officers confiscated about 150 items to send for tests.
The ministry’s deputy enforcement chief for Johor, Rizq Fazliana Abd Hamid, said the brushes from both shops were not separated and labelled according to the type of bristles used.
“The second shop also displayed a fake halal certificate,” she added.
Business owners can be charged under the Trade Descriptions Act 2013 for failing to label paint brushes made from pig or dog bristles.
The raids were made after paintbrushes sent for laboratory tests at Universiti Putra Malaysia Halal Products Research Institute were found to be made from pig bristles.