Malaysia to launch quality certification logo

By Hamisah Hamid

THE government will introduce the National Mark for Malaysia
Brand, a logo that denotes quality and distinction of local products
and services, which is recognised locally and globally.

Small and Medium Industries Development Corp (Smidec) chief
executive officer Datuk Hafsah Hashim said the certification is aimed
at increasing awareness on the power of branding in creating customer
acceptance and deepening of market penetration.

She said the first batch of companies with the National Mark is expected to be announced in the fourth quarter of this year.

“It is introduced as we want to move away from the perception that local products and services are of low quality.

“We want to show to the world that these companies have gone
through stringent processes including procedures by Sirim and
Department of Standards,” she said in an interview with Business Times
in Kuala Lumpur last week.

The National Mark will be launched by the Crown Prince of Perak
Raja Nazrin Shah at the Brand Entrepreneur Conference on March 2.

Hafsah said any establishments, regardless of their size, that
want to brand themselves, their products or services, are eligible to

However, only companies that have undergone stringent exercise and met all the criteria would be certified.

The logo would expire in two years, after which the company has to re-apply for renewal.

“We want them to be on their toes so that the quality and
distinction of their products and services are maintained,” she said.

Companies with the National Mark logo will have easier access to
Brand Promotion Grant and will automatically be invited to participate
in Malaysia External Trade Development Corp trade missions overseas.

She said efforts are also being made to promote the National Mark for Malaysia Brand all over the world.

Hafsah said a technical committee, which includes representatives
from Sirim and Department of Standards, has been formed to do the

A steering committee, headed by Hafsah, will select companies that have successfully undergone the technical evaluation.

The committee comprises public and private sector representatives
including chambers of commerce, trade associations and Branding
Association of Malaysia.

Among the criteria that are expected from the companies applying
for the logo include having a minimum of three-star rating from
Smidec’s SME Competitive Rating for Enhancement (SCORE) programme and
ISO 9000 or ISO 14000 certifications.

The companies should also be able to comply with various
certifications and standards in their respective industries such as in
food sector, the certifications include halal, Good Manufacturing
Practice and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points.

Hafsah said the evaluation process would take three months to be completed.

The cost for the evaluation process is RM10,000. For the SMEs, they are eligible for Smidec matching grant to cover the cost.