There are plenty of question-marks for us at this years WHF. As co-Founders of this event in 2006 during our time with KasehDia, we intended the WHF to be an Industry Forum, to represent the interests of the industry stakeholders. After all, here was a global industry with no Forum, so…
In the last couple of years, the WHF has become much more of a political platform, and as we all know, political platforms tend to become political footballs. So, with the change of PM in Malaysia, we are curious to see if the new Administration supprts the event, or whether it is deemed to be tainted by the touch of the previous PM.
This would be – politically – a mistake, as the WHF was always intended to be a global platform for a global industry, and as such has been of huge benefit to Malaysia’s push to be recognised as a global force in the Halal Market.
The combination of the WHF and MIHAS, the Malaysian International Halal Showcase (the largest Halal-only trade expo) have been major contributors to substantiating Malaysia’s claim to being a Halal hub, so we will be interested this year to see how the new leadership handles things.
One thing seems clear, major sponsors with ties to the new administration were ‘advised’ to withdraw their support (if you CIMB-what-I-mean)…so much for being this year’s ‘global strategic partner’!
You get the feeling that if Malaysia’s leaders loosen their hold on the WHF, there may well be others, waiting in the wings who would like to move the whole event to Jeddah or Cairo. And why not?
Amid rumors that the HDC leadership is looking for new employment (did they jump or were they pushed?), and that Halal certification may be taken away from HDC and handed back to JAKIM, we anticipate that this years event will have an intriguing sub-text, regardless of what is presented from the stage.
Maybe they will all benefit from some Lessons from North America!