KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 ― Some hardware traders in Johor Baru have taken to tagging all their paint brushes as non-halal for fear of reprisal from authorities after a recent clamp down on those made of pig bristles.
One such trader Tan Jern Hsin explained that he adopted the sweeping move as he was unsure what the brushes were made of, The Star daily reported today.
“The problem is that we don't even know what materials the brushes are made from as they come from our suppliers,” the 28-year-old was quoted saying.
He reportedly said that there was little demand for halal brushes but he would order synthetic ones for customers who insisted.
“Nylon brushes are not sought after because nylon does not hold paint well and is impractical” Tan was quoted as saying.
Another hardware store seller Welson Chan claimed traders were unaware of the materials used to make the brushes and the authorities were being unfair to target them instead of suppliers and manufacturers.
“It does not make sense for us to keep sending paint brushes for tests at the laboratory before selling them.
“Just to be safe, I have also put up tags to inform customers that all my paint brushes are non-halal,” the 36-year-old was quoted as saying.
Chan said he might lose a few customers in the process, but he was willing to do so then to risk having his stock confiscated.
National news agency Bernama yesterday reported Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin saying that his ministry seized 2,003 paintbrushes made with pig bristles worth almost RM11,000 in a nationwide “crackdown”.
He reportedly said the brushes were confiscated under the Trade Descriptions (Goods Made from any Part of Pig or Dog) Order 2013, which states that such products must be labelled and separated from other goods,
Punishments for violations of the minister’s order are RM100,000 fines, three years’ jail or both for individuals, while corporations face fines of up to RM250,000.
Subsequently, Muslim Consumer Association of Malaysia (PPIM) called for a logo to differentiate items containing pig-derived parts to inform the “not that smart” Muslim consumers.
PPIM chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan claimed that the introduction of such a logo would open businesses to government action when they knowingly sell items that contain pig parts without informing consumers.