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New Sunday Times, 20 March 2005

Guard Against Misuse of Halal Logo

KUALA LUMPUR, Sat.-If Malaysia wants to retain its credibility as a halal hub, the authorities must guard against the misuse of the halal logo.

Malaysia Muslim Consumers' Association executive secretary Datuk Nadzim Johan said today the use of fake halal logos by some individuals in the sale of sausages made from pig intestines was an act of sabotage against the effort of Government.

"It is no longer an issue of halal food. It has now become an act of sabotage against Government efforts," he said.

Nadzim said such an act was detrimental to Malaysia's position as an Islamic country and also as chairman of the Organization of Islamic Conference.
He was speaking at a Press conference held by 1901 Sdn Bhd, a local fast-food outlet.

The chain, which mainly sells hotdogs, has experienced some 10 to 15 per cent losses due to declining public confidence in such products.

The company has also suffered due to the spread of rumors via SMS saying that its supplier, Prima Agri-Products Sdn Bhd, was a producer of non-halal foods. Chief executive officer of 1901, Tengku Rozidar Zainal Abidin, said the franchise, which had 48 outlets nationwide, has the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) halal certification.

Prima Agri general manager Ahmad Nadzer Idris said the company used plant-based cellulose casings instead of animal-based ones. "If anybody has any uncertainties about a product, they can call our hotline at 019-3591000."

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