PUTRAJAYA (Jan 12): Any corporate body found guilty of trying to mislead consumers with halal status can be fined of up to RM5 million, said Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director-general Datuk Mohamad Nordin Ibrahim.
In a statement today, he said it was based on the Trade Descriptions (Halal Definition) Order 2011.
“If an 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 said traders and entrepreneurs should be sensitive enough to develop the business by meeting the needs of Muslim and non-Muslim consumers in the country, while the consumer community should choose only the premises that have been certified halal.
Mohamad Nordin was commenting on Bernama’s report on Jan 7 over the statement by Federal Territory and Selangor Malay Muslim Food Operators’ Association (Permas) president Ayob Abd Majid who suggested that Jakim should impose a mandatory requirement for restaurant owners and operators to obtain halal certification first before they start their operations.
He also stressed that Malaysia’s Halal Verification Certificate (SPHM) was on voluntary basis in accordance with 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 (JAIN) and the State Islamic Religious Council (MAIN), 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.