After Cadbury controversy, Malay group wants ‘halal’ units in firms

A staff removes packages of Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut that have been confirmed to contain traces of pig DNA from a shelf at a local supermarket, Kuala Lumpur, May 24, 2014. — Bernama pic
A staff removes packages of Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut that have been confirmed to contain traces of pig DNA from a shelf at a local supermarket, Kuala Lumpur, May 24, 2014. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — A Malay investors group is urging shareholders of firms with “halal” status to call for units to audit the adherence to the Islamic standard, following the recent controversy of porcine-tainted chocolates here.

The Malay Strategic Investors Association Malaysia (PPSMM) said shareholders food, services and pharmaceutical companies are encouraged to moot the proposal.

PPSMM’s president Norizam Tukiman also said prominent Muslim shareholders such as Lembaga Tabung Haji, Felda Investment Co-operative and Permodalan Nasional Berhad, as well as minority shareholders, should ensure their products and services meet the rigid standards.

“Problems involving these requirements are a big deal. If a representative is not appointed to ensure compliance with the halal standards, this problem will not be solved,” Norizam was quoted in report by Berita Minggu today.

“The individual or officer from that special unit can be tasked with the responsibility because it is impossible to expect the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) to be in the companies 24 hours a day,” he said.

“Halal” status certifies that the content of the food item complies with Islamic standards and dietary laws. Pork, for instance, is expressly prohibited (haram) to Muslims.

Cadbury Malaysia has come under fire for negligence after two of its confectionery products were found to be tainted with porcine.

The sale of the two affected products — Milk  Chocolate with Hazelnuts and the Milk Chocolate with Almonds — has been suspended by authorities until Wednesday.

More than 20 Malay-Muslim groups nationwide have called for a boycott on all Cadbury products, saying that a holy war needs to be waged against the confectionary giant for attempting to “weaken” Muslims in Malaysia.

Jakim has already suspended the halal certification of the two porcine-tainted Cadbury chocolate products.

PPSMM also supported calls to boycott all of Cadbury’s products and demanded Jakim withdrew the halal certification on all of Cadbury’s products.

“Cadbury Malaysia should make a public apology to all its Muslim consumers and the government should think of a heavy penalty against them, so that this issue will not be taken lightly by other industries,” said Norizam.

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