PUTRAJAYA, Jan 13 – Any corporate body found guilty of misleading consumers with halal status can be fined up to RM5 million, says Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director-general Datuk Mohamad Nordin Ibrahim.
In a statement today, he said such has been spelled out in the Trade Descriptions (Halal Definition) Order 2011.
“If the offence is committed by an individual, the convicted party can be fined not more than RM1 million or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both upon conviction,” he said.
He reminded traders and entrepreneurs to be more sensitive when developing businesses to meet the needs of Muslim and non-Muslim consumers in the country.
At the same time, he said consumers too should exercise caution by choosing only premises that had been certified as halal.
Mohamad Nordin was commenting on Federal Territory and Selangor Malay Muslim Food Operators’ Association (Permas) president Ayob Abd Majid suggestion that Jakim impose mandatory requirement to restaurant owners and operators to obtain halal certification first before starting their operations.
He said Malaysia’s Halal Verification Certificate (SPHM) was a voluntary effort as per the Trade Descriptions Act 2011 and Trade Descriptions (Halal Definition) Order 2011.
Thus far, there are no regulations that require any food premise operators and owners to obtain SPHM either from Jakim, or the State Islamic Religious Department and the State Islamic Religious Council, he added.
“The proposal for mandatory requirement of halal certification to all food premises will require feedback from various parties,” he added.
Mohamad Nordin also advised all restaurant operators and food product manufacturers to obtain halal certificates from Jakim to ensure the food being sold were halal as well as enhancing consumers’ confidence. — Bernama