KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — Fastfood chain company Ninja Joe violated a law on halal food when it named one of its pork burgers “P. Ramly”, the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) has said.
The agency’s communications officer Nurhamizah Othman said Jais had the authority to conduct inspection on companies or any business premises deemed to have violated Section 4(1) of the Trade Descriptions (Certification and Marking of Halal) Order 2011 — even if they belonged to non-Muslims.
Section 4(1) of the Order states that no food or product shall be deemed halal or usable or consumable by followers of Islam unless they have been authorised by the relevant agencies; and if it has been marked with the halal logo.
“The owner of the premises was found guilty of violating Section 4(1) of the Act because they offered to supply food that can mislead, create misrepresentation or falsely give the impression that the food was halal or can be consumed by a Muslim,” she told Malay Mail Online.
Asked if Jais has the power to conduct inspections, Nurhamizah claimed the said law grants the agency or any state Islamic bodies the right to raid a premise for the purpose of investigation.
Jais and its Negri Sembilan counterpart were reported to have opened their own investigations against Ninja Joe and with the former confiscating several items in their outlets, although the pork burger chain is owned by non-Muslims.
Berita Harian quoting a source from Jais said the agency had already handed over its investigation papers to the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) hoping for prosecution.
But a communications officer from the ministry, Akhtar Sahari, said Jais’ raid of the premise was done within its jurisdiction.
“Even if there were no KPDNKK officers there Jais can conduct inspections. They have the authority as afforded to them under the law governing them,” he told Malay Mail Online.
The KPDNKK officer did not state which law provides for Jais to inspect business premises owned by non-Muslims.
Jais director-general Datuk Haris Kasim on the other hand said his officers had carried out investigations and seized items following public complaint.
“Based on aduan [complaint] from the people that the food (name) is very confusing to Muslims, so we just went to check and get evidence,” he told Malay Mail Online earlier today.
KPDNKK minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin had reportedly said yesterday that the ministry may act against Ninja Joe for naming one of its pork burgers “P. Ramly”.
Malay daily Sinar Harian today quoted Hamzah as saying that his ministry had conducted its investigations on the chain’s outlets in the Klang Valley, Malacca and Negri Sembilan.
Malay daily Berita Harian reported two days ago that the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) was demanding action against Ninja Joe over its “P. Ramly” burger, claiming that the name “confused” the public — despite posters of the product clearly stating it was a pork burger.
The paper also reported a woman who claimed that the “P. Ramly” name disrespected the late artist, Tan Sri P. Ramlee.
Ninja Joe has since apologised and removed posters of the “P. Ramly” pork burger, besides saying that it will change the product’s name.