The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry is to table an amendment to the Trade Descriptions Act 1972 in June to support government efforts to spur the national “halal” (permissible in Islam) industry, Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.
The amended act would widen the scope of enforcement and not restrict it to just food and other consumer products, he said when opening a seminar on opportunities and challenges in the halal industry, here.
For example, it would allow the ministry to take enforcement measures against abuse of the halal logo, he said, adding that the enforcement operations would be conducted in collaboration with the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and the state Islamic departments.
Ismail Sabri also said that the act would only allow for one halal logo to be used, that issued by Jakim.
“Then, it will be the duty of the ministry to ensure whether the Jakim halal logo is used,” he said.
He said the ministry collaborated with Jakim to ensure that the proper logo was used and harnessed Jakim’s expertise to ensure that the products were really halal.
On the participation of cooperatives in the national halal industry, the minister said only seven cooperatives had the halal certificate.
“In fact, their number should be huge because many cooperatives are involved in the food industry,” he said, adding that the cooperatives which held Jakim halal certificates included Koperasi Kakitangan BERNAS, KoMARDI, Koperasi Penjara Wanita Pengkalan Chepa and Koperasi Pertanian Lembah Bidong.
Ismail Sabri said the participation of bumiputeras and Muslims in the halal products and services sector had yet to reach an encouraging stage.
“For example, in 2009, Jakim received 1,907 applications for halal certification and only 622 of these were from bumiputeras,” he said.