Jakim to fine companies RM5m for 'misleading' consumers with halal status

The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) will impose a fine of up to RM5 million on corporate bodies found guilty of attempting to "mislead" consumers with halal status. According to director general Datuk Mohamad Nordin Ibrahim, this is based on the Trade Descriptions (Halal Definition) Order 2011.

Meanwhile, if an individual is found guilty of misleading consumers, the convicted party will either be fined up to RM1 million or jailed for up to three years, or receive both convictions, Bernama reported quoting Mohamad Nordin.

According to him, traders and entrepreneurs are required to be "sensitive enough" to grow their business by meeting the needs of both Muslim and non-Muslim consumers in Malaysia. On the other hand, he advised consumers to only choose premises that are halal-certified.

Jakim was previously requested by Federal Territory and Selangor Malay Muslim Food Operators’ Association (Permas) president Ayob Abd Majid to enforce a mandatory requirement on restaurant owners and operators to obtain halal certification before commencing operations. In response, Mohamad Nordin said that there are currently no regulations that require food premise operators and owners to obtain Malaysia's Halal Verification Certificate (SPHM) from either Jakim or the State Islamic Religious Department and the State Islamic Religious Council as it is on a voluntary basis.

Nonetheless, he advised all restaurant operators and food product manufacturers to secure halal certificates from Jakim to boost consumers' confidence, Bernama reported.