Malaysia: Halal Sector Expected To See High Demand

SEBERANG JAYA, Jan 15 (Bernama) — The Ministry of International Trade and Industry has identified the halal services sector as becoming one that can provide lucrative returns due to strong demand.

Its Deputy Minister Datuk Mukhriz Tun Mahathir said the ministry had undertaken a study recently to understand where the demand was for halal products and services of late.

“We found that among others,it was because, the number of middle east tourists to Malaysia, was rising from year to year.

“Therefore, we felt there may be a demand for services such as hotels that were totally halal or halal transport for halal products,” he told reporters after officiating the new plant producing halal cornhuck capsules belonging to Nasmir Holding Sdn Bhd on Saturday.

He said the halal services sector had become a new field that is being explored at the moment.

“I am made to understand that there are a number of companies keen on going into areas that can ensure good returns in future,” he added.

Mukhriz said people now want to know how halal food is prepared and transported from one place to another and if it was truly halal.

“If there are other non-halal items stacked in the van or lorry transporting the halal products, then there is a possibility of it being contaminated,” he added.

Meanwhile,Nasmir Holdings chairman Kadhar Shah Abdul Razak said his company had invested RM15 million to open the plant managed by a subsidiary, Nasmir Hard Gelatin Capsules Sdn Bhd on the two-hectare site in Seberang Jaya.

“We distribute the empty capsules whose raw material is gelatin from the bones of cows slaughtered according to Hukum Syarak and guaranteed to be halal as well as certified by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM),” he added.

He explained that the plant which began operations in January last year had about 120 workers with the capacity to produce more than 10 million capsules daily.

“The capsule products have a high demand not only locally but are also exported to a number of Asian countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh as well as to Africa.

“It has also penetrated the markets of a number of countries in the middle east,” he said.

He said by 2013, the company plans to buy nine more machines worth about RM22.5 million to fullfill demand.

“With 12 machines, the plant can produce more than 40 million capsules daily and we have targeted an annual turnover of about RM50 million,” he highlighted.

According to Kadhar Shah, the company now has an Indonesian subsidiary,PT Nasmir Capsules, to market its products and will open a plant in that country if demand increases.