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New halal logo may be bad for Muslim firms

 | September 28, 2016

They may sacrifice quality and lose competitiveness, says Khalid Samad.

Zahidi Zainul AbidinPETALING JAYA: Risda and the Malaysian Institute for International Muslim Cooperation may be doing Muslim entrepreneurs a disservice with their call for a special halal logo to be stamped on Muslim-made products.

This was the opinion given by Amanah Communications Director Khalid Samad when he spoke to FMT on the issue, which has been widely discussed since Sunday, when Risda Chairman Zahidi Zainul Abidin said the logo would be launched early next year.

Khalid said such a practice could result in the loss of competitiveness among Muslim vendors.

“Muslim companies should not sacrifice quality and competitiveness by taking advantage of their status as Muslims,” he said.

“This can be a very divisive policy and could also result in compromise in terms of quality,” he said. “So everyone should just stick to that one classification, whereby if it is halal then it is halal whether it is from a Muslim or a non-Muslim manufacturer.”

He said Muslims could not change the rules of Islam merely because they found it convenient to do so.

“If Islam has already given that flexibility where non-Muslim products can be consumed by Muslims as long as it is halal, why do you need a second verification, by which you are narrowing what Islam has taught?”

He said those supporting the introduction of the second logo appeared to be stating that there were degrees of halalness.

“It’s as if you’re saying that this is halal but there is something which is more halal. If it is halal, then it is halal. Why do you want to make something more restrictive where Islam has given openness?”

In making his announcement, Zahidi said another halal logo was needed to distinguish products made by Muslims against those made by non-Muslims. He said this would help small Muslim entrepreneurs make forays into local and overseas halal markets.

He also said it would be an added guarantee of the halal status of products already displaying the Jakim-approved logo. This was a reference to allegations that some companies would flout the rules once they had obtained the certification from Jakim.



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