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PP13884/10/2009 (023251)

| kasehdia.com | www.halaljournal.com | JAN+FEB 2009

STANDARDISATION

THE ANSWER TO ECONOMIC GROWTH?

GLOBAL MEAT TRADE Analysis on rising income and trade patterns ABU DHABI The Rising Star of the Middle East HANOI In the mood for Islamic Tourism

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LIVING: ISLAMIC TOURISM: A GROWING TREND KUALA LUMPUR: DINING & GOING PLACES RESTAURANT REVIEW: QTHAI RESTAURANT, KL BOOK REVIEW: TAWHID & SCIENCE


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H A L A L

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STANDARDISATION The Answer to Economic Growth?

contents 22} THE 6TH MALAYSIA INTERNATIONAL HALAL SHOWCASE (MIHAS) Malaysia opens doors again to Halal trade 24} THE 4TH WORLD HALAL FORUM What to expect at WHF 2009 30} LOGISTICS SERIES (PART 2) The Building Blocks of a Halal Transportation System 32} GLOBAL MEAT TRADE Analysis on Rising Income and Trade Patterns 34} EU REGULATIONS All there is to know for food exporters 40} FASTRACK EUROPE Halal meat now available in Birmingham supermarkets 42} FASTRACK MIDDLE EAST Al Islami’s rapid growth as a Halal food provider 44} FASTRACK AUSTRALASIA CiMAS: An exciting innovation for food standards compliance made easy 46} FASTRACK ASIA Malaysia’s first Halal microwaveable ready-to-eat convenient meal 48} FASTRACK ASIA Safi introduces the first Halal baby care products 50} FASTRACK ASIA IHI Alliance proceeds to public enquiry phase of Halal Logistics Module 52} FASTRACK ASIA Philippines’ RFM Meats explores Halal opportunities 52} FASTRACK ASIA First FTA between Singapore and the GCC signed

©2008 KasehDia Sdn. Bhd. All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER : While all care is taken, the publisher accepts no responsibility for the information contained herein which is believed to be reliable. The publisher/editor takes no responsibility for opinions expressed or implied as they are the writers’ own and do not necessarily reflect that of the publisher or editor who make no warranties governing material, including advertising or features contained within this publication. This publication may not in whole or part, be copied, reproduced or translated without prior written permission of the publisher.

58} ISLAMIC FINANCE The need for an Islamic Monetary Fund


Ed’s Note

“With regards to ownership, I personally believe that Halal should belong to the Muslim Ummah. Technically, we are not really inventing the standard. We are merely translating the guidelines outlined in the Quran and the Sunnah as a quality standard for every manufacturer and supplier (especially those dealing with Halal production) in this era where manufacturing processes have become more complicated.” WHC Chairman Excom, Ali Chawk.

Regulars 08} GLOBAL NEWS A brief insight into events currently shaping the Halal industry around the globe + Calendar of Events + Online Polls 52} COUNTRY IN FOCUS Abu Dhabi: The Rising Star of the Middle East

The Halal Journal has been in circulation since the first MIHAS held in 2004. The Global Halal Industry at that time had yet to realise its true potential and the vast opportunity such a huge market could offer. But with all such vast markets comes an even greater challenge of developing and later harvesting these opportunities that present themselves. The following is an extract from the open letter from KasehDia to the World Halal Council (WHC) and its members. While it was intended for the WHC and its members, the message is relevant to all looking to develop the global Halal Industry. “As mentioned in the meeting, KasehDia’s primary function is communication and promotion through our Halal development projects, which include the World Halal Forum, The Halal Journal and the Halal Food Guides. It is our expressed goal to be the platform on which the industry can develop. We are the bridge between governments, industries, consumers, the media and the Halal certification bodies. We are not in the business of Halal certification, which will be the role of the Halal certification bodies. The International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance) was formed as a non-governmental and non-profit organisation to implement the development of the structural framework that will allow the industry to flourish, and for both Muslim and non-Muslim consumers to enjoy the benefits of Halal. This currently entails, amongst others, the development of a unified Halal standard that conforms to norms of international standards and the Shariah. IHI Alliance, following this, will strive in tandem with other organisations to implement these standards in both the OIC and beyond, which will include assistance in setting up Halal certification agencies in each of these countries, a task that WHC members are well suited for. IHI Alliance is working together with the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) – both organisations having been mandated by the OIC and some of its member countries to do so. H.E. Sheikh Saleh Kamel is currently chairman of both organisations, whose leadership and standing will ensure that the Halal agenda continues to be in the forefront, well into the foreseeable future. This task, however, is enormous and responsibility cannot just rest with one or two organisations, in fact it rests with all those who have knowledge of this problem as it affects our entire community.” Let us all continue to work together for the betterment of all, Insya Allah. Peace to all.

the Halal Journal team

Living 67} FEATURE COVER Hanoi: In the Mood for Islamic Tourism 72} JOURNEY Kuala Lumpur: Where to go and what to eat? 74} BROWSING QTHAI Restaurant, KL in Restaurant Review; Zain Bhikha in Music; and Tawhid and Science and A Thousand Splendid Suns in Books

:: THE HE A R T OF THE HA L A L J OU R N A L :: Halal refers to that which the Creator has made lawful. Its opposite, Haram, refers to what is forbidden. These parameters has been designed for health, safety and benefit of all mankind regardless of age, faith or culture.

78} SNAPSHOTS Images of recent happenings in the industry

The realm of the Halal extends beyond the obvious references to food and touches all matters that relate to human life. In the commercial arena, all goods and services, markets, transactions, currencies and other activities come under the judgments of Halal and Haram. These parameters include protecting the environment, humane treatment for animals, ethical investment, the intrinsic value of currencies and fairness in all commercial transactions.

80} PARTING WORDS Ali Chawk, Chairman, World Halal Council

We believe that the emerging global Halal market will be one of the great market forces in the coming decades.

76} ON DISPLAY Halal and good stuff found on the shelf


TM

EDITORIAL EDITOR

Hajjah Jumaatun Azmi ju@kasehdia.com

SENIOR WRITER

KASEHDIA HALAL GUIDE SERIES Top 3 ‘Best Guide in the World’ for 2004 Gourmand Awards

Ruzanna Muhammad ruzanna@kasehdia.com

WRITER

Zaahira Muhammad zaahira@kasehdia.com

RESEARCHERS

Diana Abdul Molok diana@kasehdia.com Puya B.E. puya@kasehdia.com

“The world’s first series of Halal food restaurant guides.” -Asian Wall Street Journal

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Huzaime Hamid Ir. Marco Tieman Anne Velu Sam Majid

GRAPHICS & DESIGN Wak Jelan Kartoyo

SALES, MARKETING & DISTRIBUTION Francisca Turner francisca@kasehdia.com

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HALALfood KUALA LUMPUR 2009/10 A G U I D E TO G O O D E AT I N G

FOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR Hajjah Jumaatun Azmi ju@kasehdia.com

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Over 100 reviews of restaurants, cafes, food courts, bakeries and confectioners Descriptive photographs Index and icons to find the exact place you want Maps for reference

PARTNER EVENTS • WHF • MIHAS • GULFOOD 2009 • HALAL WORLD EXPO 2008 • WHF INDUSTRY DIALOGUE SARAWAK 2009 • THE STRATEGIC RICE AND FOOD SECURITY CONFERENCE 2009 • ISLAMIC VENTURE CAPITAL & PRIVATE EQUITY CONFERENCE 2009 • ASIA PACIFIC ISLAMIC FINANCIAL MARKET CONFERENCE 2009 • SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL HALAL SHOWCASE 2009 • BRUNEI INTERNATIONAL HALAL PRODUCTS EXPO 2009 • FHM 2009

PERMISSION & REPRINTS The Halal Journal is written and published bimonthly for a worldwide audience. Materials in The Halal Journal may not be reproduced in any form without prior written permission of the publisher. Submitted articles will be published at editors’ discretion. We are unable to publish all articles submitted due to sheer volume received. SUBSCRIPTION & CIRCULATION For subscription and circulation enquiries, address changes and request for back copies, please call +6 03 6203 1025 or fax +6 03 6203 4072 or email us at info@halaljournal.com. Kindly ensure address changes are notified immediately to avoid delays in receiving your copy of the Halal Journal. The Halal Journal is currently in the process of applying for membership of ABC. PRINTER Art Printing Works Sdn Bhd 29, Jalan Riong, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia DISTRIBUTOR MPH Distributor Sdn Bhd Ground Floor Warehouse, Bangunan TH No 5, Jalan Bersatu, Sec. 13-4, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

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GlobalNEWS

COMPILED BY ZAAHIRA MUHAMMAD

“We have worked closely with the Halal Food Authority to develop this range of vitamins and we are delighted to be able to launch these unique supplements at Arab Health.” Martin Hendron, export manager, Principle Healthcare

Culture, Food and Business…

UK

‘HALAL’ VITAMINS TO BE LAUNCHED AT ARAB HEALTH 2009

A unique range of vitamin and mineral supplements, which have been specially approved by the Halal Food Authority, will be launched at Arab Health 2009, a premier healthcare event in the Middle East. At the event, UK-based Principle Healthcare will be showcasing their new Halal supplement range, which comes in four different types – Omega 3, Vitamin C, Calcium and Vitamin D, and Iron. One of the world leaders in vitamins and supplements, the company will also showcase its ‘Lifestyle’ range which is available in eight different varieties and has been formulated to meet specific lifestyle requirements, such as pregnancy, vegetarians and joint-care. “We have worked closely with the Halal Food Authority to develop this range of vitamins and we are delighted to be able to launch these unique supplements at Arab Health,” said Martin Hendron, export manager of Principle Healthcare. “Taking supplements can help people in many ways including preventing vitamin and mineral deficiencies, providing amounts of nutrients larger than the diet can provide and also protecting against future disease. We are aware that different people have different needs so we are therefore continually developing our range to reflect this.” Arab Health 2009 will take place in Dubai from January 26 to 29. |SOURCE: TRADEARABIA.COM, 7 DECEMBER 2008

BRAZIL

BRAZIL ENLARGES INVESTMENT IN FOOD & BEVERAGE IMPORTS INTO ARAB MARKETS

The Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) has announced that it will organise ‘Flavours from Brasil’ at the Intercontinental Hotel - Festival City, Dubai from February 16 to 17, 2009, in an effort to strengthen the reputation of Brazilian food brands in the Middle East’s food and beverage market. Juarez Leal, Project Manager, for Flavours from Brasil, said: “Statistics show that Brazilian products have a high reputation among Arab markets. All exports from Brazil are certified by Cibal Halal, the Brazilian Islamic Centre for Halal Food Stuff Association, ensuring that all products have been processed according to Islamic standards. The Flavours from Brazil in Dubai will surely be an important step towards further consolidating the reputation of Brazilian products among Arab consumers. This initiative will also enable exporters to open new business opportunities and identify new export destinations in the Middle East. In addition, we consider Dubai to be an ideal venue for this event as the Emirate is strategically located and is arguably the most prestigious destination in the region.” |SOURCE: AMEINFO.COM, 3 DECEMBER 2008 8

THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

In the Malay world that includes, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, parts of Thailand and the Philippines, an authentic chicken dish could be prepared for some hours. To the casual observer, it would seem only logical to make it easier to eat the chicken dish. Somehow the cook cuts the chicken that it ends up harder to get to the meat, leaving consumers a lot to do to enjoy the meal. Whereas a European cook spends hours just wanting to fillet the breast so that when the meal is finished, nothing will be left on our plate and patrons just have to eat the “best part” It is in these differences that we can celebrate between the spicy Malay meal – an adventure in itself – and the blander European meal that seems to leave not much effort to be done by the hungry patrons. This interesting intersection where culture, food and business meet has yet to be fully understood. However, there are many lessons that can be taken from this example, the first and most obvious is from the perceptive of product development – different markets require different products to be developed; much has been said and volumes written about Asian producers’ products that work in Asian markets but fail elsewhere. There is much to be learnt from a business point of view as well, but that can only happen after dinner is served.


GlobalNEWS “Corrupt certifiers get a taste for the money generated producing ‘paper Halal certificates’ for companies without actually performing any work,” Jalel Aossey, Director of Midamar

AMERICA

MANY AMERICAN MEAT EXPORTERS OBTAIN HALAL CERTIFICATE FRAUDULENTLY

Ninety-five per cent of American food items found in supermarket shelves in the UAE and some other Gulf countries are not Halal even though they may be certified as such, an industry specialist said at the Halal World Expo in Abu Dhabi. Jalel Aossey, Director of Midamar, a US-based international supplier of Halal food and foodservice equipment, said that there is a significant flow of non-Halal food items in the region from meat-supplying countries, and, the Gulf countries need tougher regulations to stop that flow. Most of the time companies do not want to pay for the certification. Nearly 1.8 billion Muslims around the world as well as some non-Muslims are fuelling the Halal food industry, generating sales of $2.1 trillion annually, according to recent reports. The attractive Halal food industry is drawing many dubious players. “Corrupt certifiers get a taste for the money generated producing ‘paper Halal certificates’ for companies without actually performing any work,” Aossey said. On regulatory measures, Aossey said, “People have to realise that it is not impossible, and that it’s not too costly to put the correct Halal standards in place here. There’s a big misconception about how difficult this process is.” Nordin Abdullah, Executive Director of KasehDia, a communications and consultancy company in Malaysia, and publishers of The Halal Journal earlier told Gulf News, “The global Halal industry is still in its infancy because huge awareness is required, especially in the Middle East.” |SOURCE: GULFNEWS.COM, 13 DECEMBER 2008

AMERICA

CONNECTICUT INMATE SUES TO GET HALAL MEAT

A Connecticut prison inmate has sued the state, claiming that his religious freedom as a Muslim has been violated by the lack of Halal meat. Ricardo Collins filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Dec. 23, The Hartford Courant reported. “I am an American Muslim and I am being denied the Halal meat for the two Islamic feast days,” Collins said in his complaint. “The Halal meat for the two feasts have great ‘spiritual meaning’ to the Muslim community all over the world.” The named defendants include Corrections Commissioner Theresa Lantz and other officials, including chaplains at the Corrigan-Radgowski correctional facility in Uncasville. Collins was sentenced to 70 years after he was convicted of killing a man in Bridgeport in 2002. He recently won an appeal granting him a new trial. Brian Garnett, a spokesman for the prison system, said that it meets the requirements set down by a court decision that ruled that New Jersey prisons were not required to serve Halal meat, which has been slaughtered according to religious rules. |SOURCE: UPI.COM, 31 DECEMBER 2008

MALAYSIA

GET HALAL CERTS, AUSSIE BEEF PRODUCERS URGED

Malaysia is encouraging Australian beef producers to get Halal certification from the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) to boost meat supplies in the country, said Veterinary Services Department Director-General, Datuk Dr. Abd. Aziz Jamaluddin. The move, he said, was not solely for the purpose of addressing the shortage of meat in Malaysia but aimed at penetrating the Halal food market in Australia. “Our hope is to import Halal beef from Australia to be processed into beef patties, frankfurters and satay for sale in their country. This could earn Malaysia RM200mil annually,” he said, after visiting the Harvey Beef abattoir in Harvey, about 140km south of here, yesterday. Dr. Abd. Aziz said this was not possible now as Australia did not allow the entry of processed meat products from Malaysia as it was not free from the foot and mouth disease. “We’re negotiating with them to let us export these products using meat from their country instead.” At present, only nine beef abattoirs in Australia have been given Halal certification by Jakim. Earlier during the visit, Harvey Beef sales executive manager Justin Croser said they were keen to apply for Halal certification from Malaysia. Harvey Beef is a major supplier of Halal beef to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Singapore and to Muslim communities in the Philippines, Japan, China, Mauritius and Africa. |SOURCE: THESTAR.COM.MY, 1 DECEMBER 2008

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10 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

FIJI

BUTCHER SALES UP

Some butchers have reported a jump in sales compared to last year with people already stocking up for the festive season. Tebara Halal Meats Limited’s General Manager, Mohammed Janif, said their sales had risen by 25 to 30 per cent this season. Mr Janif said this year people were looking for top grade products when buying beef and barbecue lamb. He said they expected sales to rise further next week when people rushed around doing last minute shopping. He said things were much quieter last year. Leyland’s Limited General Manager, Christopher Yee, said they were “very busy and compared to last year, sales were slightly better”. Mr Yee said there would be a last minute rush next week and the company expected sales to increase. But Fiji Meats Limited General Manager Mukesh Kumar said sales were good but not what they had expected. “Normally December is a good month for us,” he said. Mr Kumar said they hoped sales would increase in the next few days before Christmas and in the days leading to the New Year. | SOURCE: FIJITIMES.COM, 19 DECEMBER 2008


THE HALAL JOURNAL ASIA

HALAL MEAT ACCREDITATION

RFM Meats abattoir in the Philippines has been awarded Halal accreditation from the World Halal Council. This means it can now sell its branded products around the world as 100% Halal certified. The meat plant at Cabuyao processes meat under the Swift brand, such as burgers and sausages as well as beef frankfurters. There are an estimated 1.9 billion Muslims around the world that demand their meat products are Halal. RFM is currently celebrating 50 years in the meat industry and as a producer of a wide range of food and beverages which include chilled and processed meats under the Swift brand, Mighty Meat hot dogs, Juicy hot dogs and Sam Brown meat products. The company also produces a range of corned beef and luncheon meats in cans. |SOURCE: FARMINGUK.COM, 23 DECEMBER 2008

“We hope our Halal products can penetrate the global market and the confidence of societies worldwide in internationally certified Halal standards will facilitate this,” Tan Sri Muhyiddin, International Trade and Industry Minister, Malaysia

OnlinePOLL

DO YOU AGREE THAT THERE SHOULD BE ONE INTERNATIONAL HALAL LOGO? Neutral 4.55%

Disagree 48.76%

Agree 46.68%

P O L L A N A LY S I S According to this survey, we are facing a bi-polar situation where half of us agree we do need one international Halal logo, and the other half disagrees. But, having one logo is not really an issue (most other international standards does not have one logo, as the logo depends on the certifier). The issue now is the importance of having one unified and globally accepted Halal standard. This has been voiced by many international delegates at the World Halal Forum (annually held in May in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) since its inception in May 2006. Responding to the resounding call from the industry globally, the International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance) has made a strategic collaboration with the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) – an institution affiliated to the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) – specifically for the development of a global Halal standard. IHI Alliance has been mandated to spearhead this effort, and the development of the Global Halal Standard is currently underway.

UK

MORE THAN 5,000 BUTCHERS TO BE EMPLOYED IN THE UK

Over 5,000 butchers from Pakistan will get employment in the Halal meat industry of UK through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) sign between the National Halal Foods Group of UK and Overseas Employment Cooperation of Pakistan, diplomatic sources here say. Pakistan’s High Commissioner to UK, Wajid Hasan said that through the efforts of the NHFG, opening of outlets of Halal meat in leading supermarkets of UK and Europe will provide employment opportunities for Pakistani butchers along with export of meat from Pakistan to the international market of Halal meat. The Memorandum of Understanding signing between the UK based National Halal Foods Group and Overseas Employment Cooperation of Pakistan’s Ministry of Labour Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis took place at the Pakistan High Commission in London over the weekend and was signed by Community Welfare Councillor of Pakistan High Commission, Talha Saeed, and Chief Executive Officer of NHFG, Zahid Yaqoob. Yaqoob said as a result of this MoU, over 5,000 butchers from Pakistan will be given employment in the UK for producing Halal meat for the outlets in UK’s leading chains. |SOURCE: THEPENINSULAQATAR.COM, 1 DECEMBER 2008

MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA HAS BIG POTENTIAL TO BE GLOBAL HALAL PRODUCT MANUFACTURER

Malaysia has big potential to be Halal product manufacturer following the global recognition, especially from Islamic countries, International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said on Saturday. Muhyiddin said the world has recognised Malaysia as an exemplary Islamic country and the country has the opportunity to market food and non-food products with confidence. He also said that Malaysia could also offer Halal products in the services field such as banking. “We hope our Halal products can penetrate the global market and the confidence of societies worldwide in internationally certified Halal standards will facilitate this,” he added. Muhyiddin said the government will always help small and medium scale entrepreneurs to market their Halal products, including providing guidance and financial support. According to Muhyiddin, local entrepreneurs need to ensure that their products comply with international standards to penetrate the global market. |SOURCE: BERNAMA, 6 DECEMBER 2008

NORWAY

PRISON SERVED PORK TO MUSLIM PRISONERS

A Muslim prisoner at Trondheim prison has reported the prison for discrimination, after Muslim prisoners were served pork without being told. Muslims reacted strongly when they discovered they had eaten pork, which is forbidden for Muslims. More than a third of all prisoners in Norwegian prisons are Muslims. There are no prisons in Norway that offer Halal-meat to prisoners. Solveig Horne of the Progress Party says no to special diets in prison. She thinks the reporting of Trondhem prison to the police for serving pork to Muslims should be dismissed. |SOURCE: AFTENBLADET.NO, 1 DECEMBER 2008

“The new facility will also be Halal compliant (conform to Islamic religious tenets),” Mr Taylor, Farmers Choice EUROPE

FARMERS CHOICE TO BUILD NEW ABATTOIR

Farmers Choice, a leading regional meat processor, in efforts to grow its market share locally and abroad, will construct a beef slaughterhouse and butchery with Nortura of Norway, a leading meat processor in that country. The facility will be located at Kahawa West in Nairobi and will cost USD3 million (about Sh237 million). “The new facility will also be Halal compliant (conform to Islamic religious tenets),” Mr Taylor said, adding that the initiative was a product of a co-operation agreement with developing countries signed between AKFED and the government of Norway in 2005. The facility will offer beef producers an additional export licensed abattoir that uses modern Norwegian technology and equipment. |SOURCE: NATION.CO.KE, 5 DECEMBER 2008 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009 11


GlobalNEWS INDONESIA

RI TO SET UP HALAL CERTIFICATION CENTRE

The Indonesian government plans to set up an international-standard Halal (edible according to Islamic law) product certification centre, a minister said. Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono said here on Tuesday the bill on Halal product guarantee was currently still being discussed in the parliament, adding he hoped the discussion could be finished soon. “If the bill is passed it could be used as a legal basis for the establishment of the Halal certification centre which will also issue a recommendation for foreign products to enter the Indonesian market,” he said, after opening the 2nd IMT-GT International Halal Science Symposium. The Minister said with the centre it was hoped Indonesia could become a centre for production of international standard Halal goods. It also has complete personnel who are experts in Halal such as Islamic scholars, academicians and state officials, he said. He also stated that products needing the Halal certification were not only food but also drugs, cosmetics and others; adding that many products had already been labelled Halal but others had not, particularly those produced by medium and small-scale businesses. He said foreign products entering the country would also be required to show a Halal label because most Indonesians are Muslims Meanwhile, non-Halal products distributed in the country should be labelled “for nonMuslim consumption,” he said. |SOURCE: ANTARA.CO.ID, 2 DECEMBER 2008

“If the bill is passed it could be used as a legal basis for the establishment of the Halal certification centre which will also issue a recommendation for foreign products to enter the Indonesian market,” Anton Apriyantono, RI Agriculture Minister MALAYSIA

STATE TO OPEN 24-HOUR SHOPS

The state government, through its Entrepreneur Development Foundation, will set up a chain of T-Brand Shop outlets operating 24 hours nationwide. Terengganu State Rural, Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Committee Chairman Datuk Mohamed Awang Tera said their aim was to have the outlets marketing products from small- and medium-scale industries, such as dried foodstuff. “We want the outlets to market products made by people in the state,” he said after opening a Halal products seminar under the Nestle-Nasmec mentor programme here yesterday. He also said that Cakna, a subsidiary under the foundation, would be revived next year to help entrepreneurs. The state will spend about RM500, 000 to set up product collection centres here and in Kemaman, Dungun and Besut. It had approved RM40 million for projects under the Rural, Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development portfolio next year, he added. Nasmec Project Manager Chong Yoon Kee said the seminar was aimed at training and guiding entrepreneurs in the food and drink industries in the East Coast to comply with international standards and procedures. “Increasing the standard of food and drink products is important to compete in the local and international markets.”

UK

HALAL AND CURRY FOOD BROADENING UK CO’S TASTES

The increasing popularity for Halal food and hot curries at the just concluded major food fair and exhibition here was indicative of the UK’s broadening tastes. That the sub continental dishes were gaining more and more attention in Britain was reflected by the presence of over 60 companies displaying their products at the World Food Market show. The range of produce showed the growing ethnic diversity in the UK with the organisers saying Halal food and curries are particularly on the up and up. With almost two million Muslims living in Britain there is growing demand for Halal products. A leading food supplier told the media that his company supplies around one thousand businesses in the UK and Europe with chilled and frozen Halal meats, dry foods, olives and pickles. He said even nonMuslims are buying Halal foods. To show the British love for curries which is now the UK’s number one takeaway dish, a special hot curry challenge was held.Judges had to choose which one of six was the hottest. The idea was to look beyond the heat and find an authentic curry taste.One food supplier Iqbal Bux said his products mainly come from Pakistan and meet all the international standard requirements. |SOURCE: APP.COM.PK, 5 DECEMBER 2008

EUROPE

TRACTOR POWER FOR JANAN

“There is a need for more dialogue between ulama and umara (leaders) to find solutions to current issues”, said Dato’ Seri Najib Razak yesterday. To make such dialogues possible, the Deputy Prime Minister proposed that a secretariat be set up to organise them. He said the secretariat could be managed by the Islamic Consultative Council as well as the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM). He hoped the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi would look into the matter. The existing Islamic institutions, Najib said, should also be strengthened, including their ability to solve current issues. He stressed a need to relook at the ways of the Prophet (pbuh) in dealing with non-Muslims who did not threaten Islam and its followers. “Why not study his methods and make them the basic foundation of tolerance so that others can understand that Islam is a harmonious religion?” He said leaders could also look at how the Prophet (pbuh) took a strong stand against those who threatened the peace and harmony of a nation.

Janan Meats is claiming to be the first independently owned abattoir in the Halal red meat sector to be accredited under the Red Tractor scheme. The West Midlands-based abattoir was established in 1993 to process sheep from across the region for the growing Muslim community. Managing Director Naved Syed said: “Gaining Red Tractor accreditation is a major element of our business plan. By investing in our business, from the farm through to the abattoir, we are ensuring that the meat we produce is of the highest quality, from animals that have been raised and transported to high welfare standards. “The Red Tractor is an independently assured standard recognised by millions of consumers as a badge of quality and integrity and we at Janan Meats are honoured to have achieved the standard.”

|SOURCE: NST.COM.MY, 22 DECEMBER 2008

| SOURCE: MEATINFO.CO.UK, 5 JANUARY 2009

|SOURCE: NST.COM.MY, 22 DECEMBER 2008

MALAYSIA

ULAMA, LEADERS NEED TO FIND COMMON SOLUTIONS

12 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009


PHILLIPPINES

LOCAL INDUSTRY GROWS ON STRONGER MID-EAST DEMAND

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) expect the local Halal industry to further grow starting this year due to strong demand from Middle Eastern countries. Dennis Arroyo, NEDA Director for Policy and Planning, said the Philippine Halal industry is expected to grow to P500 billion in 2010 from the current P200 billion. As such, he said the industry would be among the local drivers of growth starting this year. This could help the Philippines cope with the global financial turmoil. The United Arab Emirates remains the top export market of the Philippines in the Middle East region for Halal products and it is where the country got its Halal accreditation in June 2006. The Philippines has a comparative advantage over other neighbouring countries when it comes to developing its fledgling Halal industry especially now that both the Visayas and Mindanao regions have already been declared and recognised by the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) or World Animal Health Organization as free from the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and bird flu-free, the DA has said. The government is also stepping up investments to boost the Halal industry including plans to establish a P2.2-billion Halal Economic Zone in Davao. Other investment proposals to boost the Halal industry include a P840 million Halal model poultry farm complete with research laboratories and other modern facilities. |SOURCE: PHILSTAR.COM, 3 JANUARY 2008 EUROPE

BAN ON CAT AND DOG FUR IMPORTS AND EXPORTS

Humane Society International/UK and The Humane Society of the United States welcome a European Union ban on the import, export and trade of cat and dog fur that will become effective on Jan. 1. The ban, spurred by international outrage about images of dogs and cats being callously killed for their fur, was passed by a unanimous vote of the European Parliament on June 19, 2007. “The ban will ensure that EU citizens are not unknowingly contributing to this gruesome and cruel practice,” said Mark Glover, director of Humane Society International in the United Kingdom. The import, export and sale of dog and cat fur was banned in the United States in 2000 as a result of the undercover HSI/HSUS investigations, and Australia followed with its own ban shortly thereafter. In China, a country which has no animal welfare laws, dogs, cats, racoon dogs and other animals are openly and legally slaughtered often in cruel ways. China is the largest exporter of fur in the world. By closing foreign markets for dog and cat fur, Chinese fur businesses will have fewer places to market their products. |SOURCE: PRESS RELEASE, 31 DECEMBER 2008

• L E T T E R TO T H E E D I TO R • Dear Editor, The recent Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) announcement about irradiating spinach and lettuce sold in grocery stores across the United States has sparked a public debate about the safety of irradiating food products for consumer use. Common sense dictates that zapping raw materials with radiation is likely to have a negative effect on the delicate nutrients contained in many plants – such as phytochemicals with known activity against cancer, heart disease, cholesterol and inflammatory diseases. Microwaving broccoli, for example, destroys up to 98 per cent of its nutritional content, including vitamins, carotenoids, anthocyanins and other delicate protective nutrients. However, both the US and UK governments take the stance that all forms of food preservation techniques cause slight changes in the nutritional value of food, but do not quantify loss of nutrition. So why is this relevant to Halal? Halal certification does not permit irradiation in any form (www.halalconsultancy.co.uk). This was one of the reasons why Saaf International chose to get their organic skincare products Halal certified. Apart from being alcohol free (the West is now realising that many people are increasingly becoming sensitive to skincare products containing alcohol) and not containing any genetically modified organisms or GMOs (there is plenty of negative press about the implications of scientists playing God with plants), not allowing irradiation also allows Saaf products to retain as much of their natural nutrients as possible. The FDA’s plan to irradiate further food types in the future does not sit well with Western consumers, who are increasingly voicing their concerns over the seemingly one sided-attitude that governments and large corporations have towards food production. The exponential growth of organic-certified lifestyle products is a testimony to this. I have made it my personal mission to educate the West about the merits of Halal certification, not just from a purity and quality point of view, but more importantly, from an eco-ethical stance, where I argue that Halal is the next “green” label, by virtue of the fact that it disallows GMO and irradiation. But this is not an easy task as Halal in the West is still strongly associated with the stereotype of cruelty to animals. You still hear horror stories of animals being killed in a production line by circular blades with engraved Quranic versus, and even of recordings of the Azan being played in the abattoir! We still have a long way to go in promoting Halal certification as the ultimate stamp of purity and safety. However, with growing concerns about the safety of foods and lifestyle products in the West, the time for global recognition of Halal certification has come. Reference: - http://www.naturalnews.com/023956.html - http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/opa-fdir.html - http://www.food.gov.uk/safereating/rad_in_food/irradfoodqa/ - http://www.saafpureskincare.com/articles/presentations/growth_opportunities_in_halal_lifestyle_products Sincerely, Dr Mah Hussain-Gambles Saaf Pure Skincare © 2008

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GlobalNEWS MALAYSIA

PENANG ATTRACTS RM9.47 BILLION IN INVESTMENTS FOR FIRST 10 MONTHS OF 2008

Investments in Penang for the first ten months of this year increased to RM9.47 billion from RM4.77 billion in the same period last year. Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, said according to the report by the Malaysia Industrial Development Authority, domestic investments of RM4.9 billion in Penang were the highest in the country. “Foreign investments increased to RM4.6 billion compared with RM3.1 billion during the same period last year,” he told a media briefing here today. Lim said the state government was confident that investments for the whole year would touch RM10 billion. “The RM9.47 billion is only for the first ten months of this year and I believe we can reach RM10 billion for the whole year,” he said. He said in view of the uncertain economic environment, the state government would be more aggressive to attract more investors to Penang next year. Lim said the state government was committed to implement attractive investments policies and improve the delivery system to attract more domestic and foreign investors. “We will work to attract new investments in high technology, biotechnology and Halal product sectors,” he said. |SOURCE: BERNAMA, 31 DECEMBER 2008

“The RM9.47 billion is only for the first ten months of this year and I believe we can reach RM10 billion for the whole year,” Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister PAKISTAN

PUNJAB CAN BECOME MANUFACTURING HUB

Chinese Media Chief and Foreign Journalists Association in Islamabad President Professor Zhou Rong have stressed the need for highlighting the province of Punjab as a safer place for joint ventures and developing it as a manufacturing hub. He was talking to LCCI President Mian Muzaffar Ali here on Tuesday. LCCI former President Shahid Hassan Sheikh, ex-Vice President Aftab Ahmad Vohra and LCCI Executive Committee Member Siddiq-ur Rehman Rana were also present. He said the Punjab could be developed as manufacturing hub of the country and large industrial complexes could be built there with export potential to India, Middle East, Iran and land-locked Central Asian States. He said the globalisation had provided Chinese investors with an opportunity to relocate their large scale industry to Pakistan to reap the benefits of its most conducive business policies as compared to other regional countries. Professor Rong said the Pakistani businessmen should convince their counterparts in China about making investment in Pakistan. Specific areas for investment/joint ventures can be coal mining, power generation, machinery, chemicals, building materials especially cement production, textiles, synthetic fabrics, electronics, leather, paper and paper products and foodstuffs. The possibilities of joint ventures for Halal meat production and export to Muslim countries will be one of the most promising propositions for the Chinese investors. |SOURCE: THENEWS.COM.PK, 31 DECEMBER 2008

MALAYSIA

SOVEREIGN FUND FOR AUSTRALIAN MEAT TRADING VENTURE

The Kedah Corporation in Malaysia is going into the meat trading business in Australia. The state-owned Corporation plans to export Halal beef throughout the region of South East Asia, with particular interest in Indonesia. Menteri Azizan from the Kedah Corporation said, “The revenue made from the trading operation, will be used to improve the state of Kedah”. Azizan claims to have one client in Indonesia, who wishes to fly 200 tonnes of fresh beef a day from Australia. He also said that he can easily market 600 tonnes per day, when we asked a well known Australian beef trader if these volumes were viable, he reminded many old hands in the business, of the Rolls Royce syndrome. Whilst indeed the sovereign funds of Asia are very strong, the meat trade is a tough trade for insiders, let alone outsiders. The Rolls Royce syndrome is, “That people both come into the meat trade on a bicycle and leave in a Rolls Royce or vice versa”. |SOURCE: FARMINGUK.COM, 31 DECEMBER 2008

14 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

11 – 13TH NOVEMBER 2008 HALAL WORLD EXPO – ABU DHABI IIR Middle East PO Box 28943, Dubai, UAE IIR Middle East Tel: +971 4 3365161 Fax: +971 4 336 5886 Email: mike.hughes@iirme.com Website: www.halalworldexpo.com 18 – 19TH NOVEMBER 2008 5TH KUALA LUMPUR ISLAMIC FINANCE FORUM 2008 Istana Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia CERT Events Sdn Bhd Tel: +603 4108 1439 Fax: +603 4106 1549 Email: najib@cert.com.my Website: www.kliff2008.com 23 – 26TH NOVEMBER 2008 2ND HALAL EXPO 2008 - DUBAI Crowne Plaza, Dubai Tel: +971 4 2987730 Fax: +971 4 2987886 Email: orangex@emirates.net.ae Website: www.worldhalalexpos.com (TBA) FEBRUARY/MARCH 2009 WHF ID SERAWAK Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia KasehDia Sdn Bhd Tel: +603 6203 1025 Fax: +603 6203 4072 Email: info@kasehdia.com Website: www.worldhalalforum.org (TBA) FEBRUARY/MARCH 2009 THE STRATEGIC RICE AND FOOD SECURITY CONFERENCE Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia KasehDia Sdn Bhd Tel: +603 6203 1025 Fax: +603 6203 4072 Email: info@kasehdia.com Website: www.foodsecurityconference.org 23-26TH FEBRUARY 2009 GULFOOD 2009 Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, UAE Dubai World Trade Centre L.L.C., Tel: +971 4 308 6081 Fax: +971 4 318 8607 Email: gulfood@dwtc.com Website: www.gulfood.com 23-26TH FEBRUARY 2009 INGREDIENTS MIDDLE EAST 2009 Airport Expo Dubai, UAE Dubai World Trade Centre L.L.C. Tel: +971 4 308 6081 Fax: +971 4 318 8607 Email: ingredientsme@dwtc.com Website: www.gulfood.com (TBA) MARCH 2009 INDEPENDENT POVERTY DIALOGUE Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Dasar Kurnia Sdn Bhd Tel: +603 6203 1025 Fax: +603 6203 4072 Email: anne@dasarkurnia.org Website: www.dasarkurnia.org 1ST – 5TH MARCH 2009 WORLD ISLAMIC ECONOMIC FORUM (WIEF) 2009 Ritz Carlton Pacific Jakarta, Indonesia WIEF Foundation Tel: +603 2145 5500 Fax: +603 2145 5504 Website: www.wief.org 10 – 11TH MARCH 2009 ASIA ISLAMIC PROJECT FINANCE 2009 Singapore Avail Corporation Ltd., Tel: +86 21 6229 1717 ext.116 Fax: +86 21 6229 1718 Email: awong@availcorp.com Website: www.availcorp.com 1ST – 2ND APRIL 2009 ASIA PACIFIC ISLAMIC FINANCIAL MARKET CONFERENCE Nikko Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM) Tel: +603 2031 1010 ext 532 Fax: +603 2078 5250 Email: khairul.sabudin@ibfim.com Website: www.apifmc.com 2ND – 4TH APRIL 2009 SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL HALAL SHOWCASE 2009 (SIHAS 2009) Singapore Expo Hall 6 Singapore Adex Communications Pte Ltd Tel: +65 6242 0872 Fax: +65 6242 6153 Email: sihas@adexcomm.com Website: www.sihas.com 11-14TH AUGUST 2009 FHM 2009 Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Malaysian Exhibition Services Sdn Bhd Tel: +603 4041 0311 Fax: +603 4043 7241 Email: enquiry@mesallworld.com Website: www.foodandhotel.com


event highlights

SUCCESSFUL CLOSE TO KUALA LUMPUR ISLAMIC FINANCE FESTIVAL 2008 (KLIFF 2008) The Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum 2008 was held on the 17th-21st November 2008 at Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With total attendance of 1,200 delegates, KLIFF 2008 was divided into three main events: Shariah Forum, KLIFF Main Forum, and International Convention on Takaful and Retakaful 2008 (ICTR2008). 3RD SHARIAH FORUM (17TH NOVEMBER 2008) Also known as ‘Muzakarah Penasihat Syariah Kewangan Islam’, this forum’s objective is to promote discourse among the Shariah scholars on Islamic finance issues. The forum was officiated by Malaysian Deputy Finance Minister, YB Dato’ Haji Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah. This forum was conducted in three different languages (English, Malay, and Arabic). Renowned speakers included Sheikh Nizam Yaquby, Shariah Advisor, Bahrain, Dr Engku Rabiah Adawiah Engku Ali, International Islamic University Malaysia, Dr Aznan Hasan, Shariah Advisor, Bursa Malaysia, and Dr Mohamed Akram Laldin, Executive Director, International Shari’ah Research Academy (ISRA). The forum was attended by representatives from Islamic finance institutions and academicians. KLIFF MAIN FORUM (18TH – 19TH NOVEMBER 2008) The opening ceremony was officiated by Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister, YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak who is also the First Minister of Finance. More than 800 guests including 350 participants of the forum attended the ceremony. The theme of the forum was ‘Islamic Finance – The

Road Ahead’. A wide range of topics on Islamic finance were discussed in the forum including: Evaluating Issues and Challenges in Islamic Finance at The Time of Global Credit Crisis; The Interplay Between Islamic Finance and Halal Industry; Real Estate and Project Finance in Islamic Finance: Demands and Future Trends; Global Islamic Financial Markets: Unlocking The Opportunities; Opportunities in Islamic Capital Markets: Investors’ Preference, Expectations and Confidences; Global Sukuk Markets: The Road Ahead; Islamic Funds and Investments: Growth, Potentials and Challenges; and Shariah Session: Shariah Rulings, Research and Responsibilities. KLIFF 2008 Islamic Finance Awards were also held in conjunction of the forum. The awards were presented by YB Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, the Malaysian Second Minister of Finance.

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON TAKAFUL AND RETAKAFUL 2008 (ICTR 2008) The convention started with a Keynote Address by former Malaysian Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, on Islamic Finance Landscape In 2020. Experts on Takaful and Retakaful shared their thoughts and ideas: among them are Bradley Brandon-Cross (CEO, Principle Insurance Holdings Ltd, UK), Shahril Azuar Jimin (Executive Vice President/Chief Sales Officer, Etiqa Insurance and Takaful), Majid Mohamad (President/CEO, Labuan Reinsurance (L) Ltd), Ismail Mahbob (CEO, MNRB Retakaful), and many others. This stream of the conference saw 200 participants, followed by a site-visit to three Takaful operators the next day. Participants found the event well organised and an excellent platform to meet worldwide industry players. hj

EXPERIENCING HALAL WORLD EXPO 2008 IN ABU DHABI Organised by IIR Middle East at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre on 11-13th November 2008, Halal World Expo 2008 was inaugurated by Dr. Mariam Hareb Sultan Al Yousuf, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority’s Executive Director of Policy and Regulations Sector. The event highlighted Halal lifestyle products, including Islamic fashion, cosmetics and other healthcare products, as the demand for Halal compliant products continue to grow in the UAE. Another major focus was Islamic finance, currently worth between USD200 and USD500 billion annually and showing notable resilience in the face of the recent global downturn. “We are very pleased to have welcomed so many visitors to the first day of the event and to provide a diverse Halal experience for business professionals and consumers to meet multinational giants and smaller regional producers under one roof,” said Christine Weaver, Exhibition Director for Halal World Expo. Halal World Expo 2008 featured over 50 exhibitors from Brunei, Kuwait, Malawi, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Palestine, Philippines, Turkey, UAE, the UK, the US and Serbia. Concurrently held was the Halal World Expo Forum, gathering experts from a broad spectrum of industries addressing key issues and providing practical solutions for sustainable growth and development across the many fields of the Halal industry.

16 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

The first session covered UAE rules and regulations for Halal accreditation abroad by Dr. Abdulla S. Ruwaida, Public Health and Environment Consultant for the UAE General Secretariat of Municipalities; followed by a presentation on Halal control measures in Bahrain and global Halal certification by Darhim Dali Hashim, CEO of the International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance). Islamic finance later took centre-stage with wellattended presentations by NBD Capital and the GISBA Group. New this year, the Business Connect Programme, sponsored by Halal Exchange, opened at no cost to pre-registered visitors, making it easy for interested parties to arrange for meetings with exhibitors prior to the event, maximising business potential for both parties. Meetings are hosted by the hotelier, Al Jawhara, in their Business Connect Lounge, a recreated Majlis in the style of a traditional Arabic tent bringing traditional Arabic

hospitality to life. The last day saw deliberations on challenges and developments in the Halal industry from a global perspective by Midamar Corporation Director Jalel Aossey. Mohamed El-Mouelhy, Chairman of the Halal Certification Authority Australia then indentified untapped Halal markets and how global corporations can achieve an edge on the competition. Positive Communications, a US-based branding and marketing relations firm provided an in-depth look into how to reach Halal markets and sell to consumers living in non-Muslim countries. Halal Exchange rounded out the forum’s offerings, as CEO and Chairman Kombiz Eghdami discussed the convergence of global Halal trade and e-commerce, particularly in relation to the role of technology in cross-border trade, and the competitive value of e-commerce for companies in the Halal industry. hj


event highlights EVENT: WORLD ISLAMIC ECONOMIC FORUM 2009 DATE: 1 – 4 MARCH 2009 VENUE: THE RITZ CARLTON JAKARTA – PACIFIC PLACE, INDONESIA

“It takes one person, making one phone call, one keyboard click, one meeting, one handshake – one by one, Muslims across the world can make [business partnerships] a potential reality” King Abdullah II of Jordan, 4th World Islamic Economic Forum, Kuwait 2008 PARTNERSHIP AND COLLABORATION: these are words that define international relations in the 21st century and this is certainly so for the business community. We, at the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation put these two words at the forefront of our efforts. The WIEF was formed for the purpose of forging business partnerships amongst Muslim entrepreneurs and between Muslim and non-Muslim businessmen. Through our annual WIEF, we seek to gather the world’s business elite for a vibrant exchange of cutting-edge ideas and to bring together government leaders to address global issues. Since its inception in 2005, our Forums have been a meeting place of leaders in the Muslim world. The WIEF has hosted the former President of Pakistan, the former President of Maldives and the President of Indonesia. At the 4th WIEF in Kuwait in May 2008, we hosted the Presidents of Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Senegal; the Emir of Kuwait; and the Prime Ministers of Kuwait, Malaysia, Bahrain and the Ivory Coast. Together with these leaders, the Forum hosts a huge number of business delegates from various countries, to create a single global platform where national and business interests meet. We pride ourselves with the plethora of views from the government and business sectors, which render the event a unique sounding board for the Muslim world on various global issues. This is why our Forums have been a perennial success over the past four years and have been a proven melting pot for numerous business

The line up of world leaders at the 4th WIEF in Kuwait (from left): Deputy Prime Minister of Kuwait Faisal Mohammad Al-Hajji Bukhadour, Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Crown Prince of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Ahmad, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein of Jordan, Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, President of Senegal Abdoulaye Wade, President of Bosnia-Herzegovina Dr. Haris Silajdzic, Chairman of WIEF Foundation Tun Musa Hitam, Prime Minister of Bahrain Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, and Prime Minister of Cote D’Ivoire Guillame Kigbafori Soro.

deals and ventures traversing different cultures and continents. At the 5th World Islamic Economic Forum to be held in Jakarta on 1 – 4 March 2009, we aim to provide you a richer experience as we want you to take home a wealth of ideas and successful business dealings. This year’s Forum will feature more than 70 speakers focusing on sessions addressing the global financial crisis, food and energy security, the role of

SMEs in development, the prospects of green technology and its job growth trajectory and many other interesting topics. We expect a high-level participation, thus making this a perfect avenue for entrepreneurs worldwide to identify collaboration opportunities and foster business contacts. We assure you that your presence at the Forum will be a worthwhile venture. We look forward to seeing you hj at this event.

If you need further details on the programme of the 5th World Islamic Economic Forum, please contact Mr. David Emir at davidemir@wief.org or +603 2145 5500 ext 118.

EVENT: ASIA ISLAMIC PROJECT FINANCE 2009 DATE: 10 – 11TH MARCH 2009 VENUE: SINGAPORE With the global credit crunch and the possibility of a global recession, we are now entering a period of real change and uncertainty. Conversely, robust economic conditions in Asia have also generated a sizeable demand for capital investments in infrastructure annually. The growing wealth in the Middle East is also attributed to the rising demand for Shariah-compliant products in Asia. Year 2009 looks likely to be a critical year for Islamic project financing in Asia. Asia Islamic Project Finance 2009 will assemble outstanding speakers from some of the region’s most respected figures representing government, finance and industry to share their insights into the growth potential of Islamic project finance and a best practice guide for using Islamic project finance successfully. It will also provide a comprehensive platform to foster healthy discussions on key pressing issues. Among the topics to be covered throughout the conference are: an overview of the Islamic investment environment; Islamic project finance structures; bridging Islamic and conventional project finance; measures in risk mitigation; Islamic project management; as well as

the next wave of opportunities in Islamic project finance. The two-day conference will be a highly interactive event for the participants, speakers and organisers alike. Participants will be shown real case studies on landmark deals that are stimulating enthusiasm for Islamic project finance. Speakers will share essential experiences of how major industry players are developing products and services to meet the rise in demand for Shariah-compliant deals. There will also be presentations covering the latest mechanisms and the next generation of cutting-edge solutions in the Islamic project finance market; useful sources of Islamic finance for large-scale infrastructure projects; new parameters for Shariahcompliant project finance; regulatory

issues facing the Islamic investment industry; and practical experiences in combining Islamic and conventional financing models successfully. Participants will also be able to gain insights on new approaches to risk management and insurance of largescale infrastructure projects; credit rating system of Shariah-compliant transactions; and get critical insights into the region’s next wave of Islamic project finance opportunities and analysing the market potential. With major players and experts from the Islamic finance industry attending this conference, participants will be involved in a large networking opportunity. Do not miss the chance of being a part of a world class event that will attract huge participation including international market leaders.

hj

Asia Islamic Project Finance 2009 is organised by Legalese by Avail Corporation – a suite of events especially researched and produced for legal, regulatory and financial professionals. For more information, log on to www.availcorp.com or contact +86 21 6229 1717 (Shanghai office) or +65 6324 9749 (Singapore office).

THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

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event highlights EVENT: ISLAMIC VENTURE CAPITAL & PRIVATE EQUITY CONFERENCE 2009 DATE: 20 – 21 MAY 2009 VENUE: KUALA LUMPUR CONVENTION CENTRE, MALAYSIA The 2nd Islamic Venture Capital and Private Equity Conference (IVCPEC) will be held on 20th – 21st May 2009 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), Malaysia, jointly organised by Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM) and Malaysian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (MVCA). Themed ‘Rooting Islamic Alternative Investments and Strategic Funds: Strengthening Cross Border Partnerships’, the conference will focus on the root of Islamic finance and its important role in socio and economic development of Islamic countries. Given Malaysia’s position as a leader in Islamic finance, Malaysia can play a significant role in developing the Islamic venture capital industry – a vital element in the Islamic value

chain of corporate finance that will serve to increase the breadth and variety of Malaysia’s Islamic capital market offerings. The success of the inaugural IVCPEC in May 2008 made it the preferred event for Islamic venture capitalists and equity investors, professionals and service providers seeking updated information and for keeping abreast of international trends and developments that impact the planning, structuring, investing and managing of Islamic alternative investments in this region. With all development initiatives that have taken place since IVCPEC 2008, industry leaders and world-class speakers will be presenting their papers at the two-day conference, focusing on the development of the Islamic VC and PE industries, including business trends,

and standards and regulation policies. The conference also provides networking opportunities for delegates within this fast-evolving market. CEO of IBFIM Dato’ Adnan Alias said, “Throughout the conference, the main theme - rooting Islamic venture capital, where the system thrives on entrepreneurship - will constantly be highlighted.” “It is therefore essential for players of Islamic investment community to pool their ideas and resources together to constantly innovate the system and its processes to whet the appetite of a bigger market and ensure its sustainable development,” he added. Dato’ Adnan acknowledged that the timing cannot be better for investment into Islamic finance in emerging markets for the following reasons:

1. Emerging markets are those least affected by the current economic crisis 2. Whilst debt finance has dried up for almost all other sectors, private equity and venture capital continue to attract attention from institutions Moderated panel discussion sessions will also be held during the conference to encourage the exchange of views, ideas and experiences, which will lead to the formulation of ways to promote and strengthen the commercial applications of Islamic principles in hj the financial system. For more info, log on to www. islamicvc.com or contact Event Management at +603 2031 1010 ext. 532.

EVENT: ASIA PACIFIC ISLAMIC FINANCIAL MARKET CONFERENCE 2009 DATE: 1 – 2 APRIL 2009 VENUE: NIKKO HOTEL, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

EXPANDING ISLAMIC CAPITAL MARKET IN THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL ENVIRONMENT The Asia Pacific Islamic Financial Market Conference themed – ‘Expanding Islamic Capital Market in the Global Financial Environment’ will be held on 1st and 2nd April 2009 at Nikko Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Jointly organised by the Malaysian Investment Banking Association (MIBA) and Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM), this conference is targeted to be the leading assembly of ICM players in the Asia Pacific region for discussions on pertinent issues with the objective of raising Islamic Financial Markets to the next level. With the current swing in the markets and threat of global recession looming, the Islamic market has to prove its resilience

18 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

and sustainability especially when the confidence investors had in financial markets has been eroded by the fall of the sub-prime credit crisis. Major losses in the financial sector and the subsequent volatility and liquidity shocks that continue to affect markets have seen the value of many portfolios damaged and caution seems to lie at the heart of every decision. “Despite the market slowdown, more investments have been focused towards the Asia Pacific region lately – in line with Malaysia’s initiative as the leader in Islamic finance,” said Dato’ Adnan Alias, IBFIM Chief Executive Officer. This two-day conference is timely and important as regulators and industry experts

in the Asia Pacific region will evaluate the effect of the turbulence in the global financial landscape and provide their insights and expertise into how Islamic finance can move forward cohesively. It will examine the damage done to conventional investment banking; assess lessons learnt from this tragedy and re-evaluate industry-wide scale strategies in the wake of the financial disaster. Discussions at this conference will include latest issues on Islamic capital markets such as ‘Developing Muslim Economies Through Modern Islamic Finance’, ‘The State of the Industry: Market Practice Regionally’, ‘New Emerging Islamic Financial Markets in Asia Pacific’ and ‘Islamic Fund

Raising in Asia Pacific’. The second day will see deliberations on ‘How Clients Perceive the Islamic Capital Market’, ‘The Issues and Challenges Faced by Market Participants in Undertaking Islamic Capital Market Business’ and ‘Promoting Consolidation of Shariah Applications Worldwide’. The organisers are looking forward to holding this conference annually and are hoping for more foreign participation in hj the years to come. For more information, log on to www.apifmc.com or contact the Event Management at +603 2031 1010 ext. 532.


event highlights EVENT: WORLD HALAL FORUM INDUSTRY DIALOGUE (WHF-ID) SARAWAK DATE: FEBRUARY/ MARCH 2009 (TBA) VENUE: KUCHING, SARAWAK, MALAYSIA

INVESTMENT AND HALAL INDUSTRIAL ZONE DEVELOPMENT The World Halal Forum Industry Dialogues (WHF-ID) are designed to create understanding in different industry sectors and to focus on specific issues faced by industry players, governments and Halal industry stakeholders alike. WHF-ID Sarawak will focus on specific aspects of the Halal industry, including investment and the implementation of the spatial cluster development concept, such as with the Halal industrial zone. A successful development

cluster needs comprehensive support, including banking and financial services, together with dedicated industrial or manufacturing infrastructure to support integrated Halal production throughout the value chain: from farm to fork to finance. The discussions and resolutions reached at the WHF-ID Sarawak will be used as input for further deliberations at the World Halal Forum in 2009. The WHF-ID Sarawak will cover the following key topics:

• Cluster or zoning approach – Developing successful clusters to penetrate global Halal markets • Halal industrial zone – Best practices and service requirements • Preserving Halal integrity • Waqf – A productive asset for the development of the Halal industry • Investment opportunities and structures for Halal industrial zones

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For more information, or to register, log on to www.worldhalalforum.org or contact the WHF-ID Sarawak Secretariat at +603 6203 1025 or email info@kasehdia.com.

EVENT: THE STRATEGIC RICE AND FOOD SECURITY CONFERENCE (FOSECO) DATE: FEBRUARY/ MARCH 2009 (TBA) VENUE: KUCHING, SARAWAK, MALAYSIA

Photo by Ruzanna Muhammad, The Halal Journal, Malaysia

The way forward...

As Asia’s population grows the ability of nations and regions to achieve sustainable food security will be stretched to the limit. Food prices have already been rising, while increasing oil prices have led to higher logistics and production costs. “High prices and supply shortages are not going to go away any time soon,” Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said recently. “With populations rising geometrically and with the escalating demand for food, the food crisis is something that cannot be put on the back burner.” The issue of food security will be addressed at The Strategic Rice and Food Security Conference (FOSECO). It is a timely platform that provides a basic understanding of the problem, along with an array of possible solutions. FOSECO aims to outline, identify and provide an optimal base of opportunity for stakeholders to understand and embrace the underlying reasons behind spiralling food costs and the fundamental role it plays in national security.

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FOSECO will be covering vital topics such as: • Role of high-tech agriculture and biotechnology • A lack of agricultural land • Role of Sarawak as the rice bowl of Malaysia and Southeast Asia • Food security and trade liberalisation • Regional cooperation and the supply of rice. • The ASEAN Food Security Reserve and the East Asia Emergency Rice Reserve • Eradication of poverty via agro-development • Trade and investment in rice production • Food security in the Muslim World

The conference will culminate in all stakeholders – including policy makers, industry leaders, business communities and the media – having a better understanding of the forces causing the food crisis, the ideal solutions and the opportunities it presents for the rice industry. Through this conference, it is hoped that solutions will be identified for the over one billion people affected by the food crisis. hj For more information, or to register, log on to www.foodsecurityconference.org or contact the FOSECO Secretariat at +603 6203 1025 or email info@kasehdia.com.


event highlights EVENT: 14TH GULFOOD EXHIBITION DATE: 23 – 26 FEBRUARY 2009 VENUE: DUBAI INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTRE & AIRPORT EXPO DUBAI, UAE

GULFOOD 2009 PROVES THAT FOOD AND HOSPITALITY IS BIGGER THAN EVER

Network with over 40,000 industry professionals from around the world

Salon Culinaire: over 1,000 international Chefs competing for top honours in a four-day culinary extravaganza

Gulfood, one of the world’s top exhibitions for the food, drink, foodservice and hospitality industries, is preparing for its biggest edition yet with four exciting days of dedicated events and programmes including the co-located Ingredients Middle East Exhibition, Restaurant & Café Middle East, Emirates International Salon Culinaire, the renowned Dubai International Food and Safety Conference, and a comprehensive programme for the beverage industry. To meet the increased industry demand, Gulfood will expand to a record 80,000 sqm, and will for the first time be held at two local venues: the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, and Airport Expo Dubai. Airport Expo Dubai will provide a showcase for hundreds of products and exhibitors who will now be able to participate for the first time, including major new country pavilions featuring Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Iran, Kuwait, Pakistan and many more. Gulfood will welcome over 3,300 international companies from more than 150 countries keen to establish and build upon the region’s reputation as an important trading hub. With over 90 per cent of food items in the GCC imported, new opportunities for producers and distributors are extensive. This growing market has attracted 80 government-sponsored country pavilions specialising in the food and hospitality sector such as Bulgaria, Iceland, Montenegro and Russia, among others, as well as representatives from government trade bodies and export associations worldwide. These features will provide the region with a comprehensive, one-stop-supply-shop where visitors and exhibitors can learn about the dynamics of each country’s food industry, discuss business and trade opportunities and network with companies from every major producer nation. “Gulfood is an event of true international stature; the biggest brands and some of the most recognisable names in the industry will be using it as a platform to bring their products and services to one of the largest buying communities in the world. Gulfood has become the primary event for Arab companies and government organisations to demonstrate their increasing contribution to the growing hospitality sector,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of the event. Gulfood will provide a tailor-made environment

for each visitor and exhibitor in the following areas: • INGREDIENTS MIDDLE EAST Ingredients Middle East will colocate with Gulfood to form one of the world’s first exhibitions to bring together the industrial sector with food manufacturers and processors. The co-location will form the definitive trade platform in the region and deliver a unique global perspective for industry professionals. • RESTAURANT & CAFE MIDDLE EAST Held alongside Gulfood, Restaurant & Café Middle East is a highly specialised trade exhibition designed to meet the needs of industry professionals involved in every step of the restaurant and café set up and operation. Trade visitors will be able to source from hundreds of suppliers showcasing everything from interior designs, tableware and furnishings. • EMIRATES INTERNATIONAL SALON CULINAIRE The world renowned Emirates International Salon Culinaire aim to dazzle trade visitors and exhibitors alike with cookery demonstrations; live cooking competitions; ice carving demonstrations; buffet and banqueting showpieces; pastry

See the latest products on offer and technology innovations driving change in food, drink, foodservice and hospitality

and sugar set pieces; and bakery and confectionery innovations. • DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FOOD AND SAFETY CONFERENCE The 4th Dubai International Food Safety Conference, organised by Dubai Municipality, will also be present to examine the challenges and issues in the Middle East market with renowned speakers from around the world addressing topics including food safety systems, new regulations and best practices. • BEVERAGE OPPORTUNITY WORKSHOPS Organised by Zenith International one of the world’s leading drinks consultancies, the Beverage Opportunity Workshop will provide a comprehensive programme for the beverage industry and offer research and insights into issues that are critical to the beverage sector in the region. The 14th Gulfood Exhibition, organised by Dubai World Trade Centre, will be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre and Airport Expo Dubai from 23-26 February 2009.

hj

Interested trade visitors are advised to pre-register online at www.gulfood. com where they can qualify for free entry. Industry business professionals on the day of the show can either register at Airport Expo Dubai for free entry to both venues or visit Dubai International Convention Centre and purchase a Day Pass for AED50, or a Four Day Pass for AED100. A complimentary transport service for visitors between the two venues will be available.

THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

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event highlights EVENT: 6TH MALAYSIA INTERNATIONAL HALAL SHOWCASE DATE: 6 – 10 MAY 2009 VENUE: MATRADE EXHIBITION AND CONVENTION CENTRE (MECC), KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

THE HALAL MARKET : A HIDDEN GEM

Many have questioned the feasibility of Halal products and services penetrating the world markets and competing with established giants within their respective industries. Many were sceptical of the existence for such demand for Halal products and services and they questioned whether the effort of supplying to these demands was worthwhile. The negative prevailing mindset shared by many businesses is that the Halal Market is merely a tiny portion of a bigger cake. Differences in perception towards Muslims – resulting from current conflicts and ordeals happening around the world – influence the decision-making process in business, deterring some from entering the Halal market. There are many challenges and hurdles to be overcome but the effort is absolutely worthwhile. Businesses that are succumbing to an attitude of just waiting and watching are really missing out on a ‘gem’ of opportunity... In today’s cutting edge world, most consumers are technology savvy and with the introduction of the internet, information distribution knows no boundaries. Consumers now are a lot smarter, more knowledgeable and careful when buying products or receiving services. In essence, businesses now face a different set of consumers and market demands that are entirely based on the consumers’ wants and needs. These dynamic consumers’ tastes change as their disposable income increases. As a result, today’s market is more of a buyers’ market, where buyers pick and choose products they like, at the price they like. The current trend in this market is a powerful convergence of common interests. The consumers want more products, with better quality, variety and convenience; whereas producers want more access, sales increases and new lines; and retailers need a new niche market. In short everybody needs market growth! It has been assumed that the trouble soon to

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be faced by the Halal market is shortages in demand, but contrary to prior beliefs, the shortage is in the supply, not the demand. The Halal market is growing rapidly and is fast becoming a recognisable market force. It is a highly lucrative market that has been underserved. Awareness and interest in Halal products has arisen not only among Muslims but non-Muslims as well and there is a cultural shift taking place: consumers’ views on Halal products are not only confined to the religious viewpoint but to the confidence that comes with the Halal logo. More consumers perceive Halal products as healthy, wholesome and hygienic and therefore, are willing to pay more for its added benefits, which ultimately increases the demand for Halal products. The opportunity to expand in the Halal market is tremendous albeit underserved. However, it is still not too late for entrepreneurs to follow this ‘route to riches’ since the market offers considerably more room for further expansion.

There is a shortage of supply to the Halal market and to fill this vacuum Malaysia has developed a trade fair which exerts paramount efforts to gather far-sighted business entrepreneurs together. The Malaysian International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) acts as the platform to ease the sourcing and marketing of Halal products and services to Muslims worldwide. Themed “Halal Worlds Combine”, MIHAS helps identify and bring global Halal buyers and sellers to a single platform. MIHAS is now the largest and most focused Halal trade fair. With its primary objective to serve as a one stop centre, MIHAS is the perfect tool for businesses to exploit. Here businesses get the chance to showcase their products through live product presentations and demonstrations that appeal to the human senses thus intensifying the buying and selling experience. So, don’t miss out on this opportunity. Come and see, touch and feel the proceeds that are yours by becoming part of the Global Halal market. Make your move and we will see you at MIHAS 2009! hj To find out more about MIHAS’s advantages for your business, please contact the MIHAS SECRETARIAT at Tel: +603 6203 4433 or Fax: +603 6203 4422. Email to enquiry@halal. org.my or log on to www.halal.com.my.


THE PREMIER GLOBAL HALAL INDUSTRY EVENT

The 4th World Halal Forum 2009 ACHIEVING GLOBAL HALAL INTEGRITY

Call for papers THE WORLD HALAL FORUM IS ACKNOWLEDGED AS THE FOREMOST GATHERING OF HALAL INDUSTRY LEADERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD, ALL CONVERGING IN KUALA LUMPUR EVERY YEAR TO DISCUSS ISSUES WITHIN THE GLOBAL HALAL INDUSTRY. THIS MAKES IT AN EXCELLENT PLATFORM TO SHARE IDEAS, RAISE CONCERNS AND SUGGEST OPPORTUNITIES SO AS TO CHART THE FUTURE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE HALAL INDUSTRY. WE THEREFORE INVITE ALL INDIVIDUALS AND CORPORATIONS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE GLOBAL HALAL MARKET BY SUBMITTING PROPOSED PAPERS TO BE PRESENTED DURING THE WHF 2009.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 15TH M AR CH 2009 FOR MORE INFO, LOG ON TO WWW.WORLDHALALFORUM.ORG OR CALL THE WHF SECRETARIAT AT +6 03 6203 1025

W W W. W O R L D H A L A L F O R U M . O R G


event highlights

Achieving Global Halal Integrity with the 4th World Halal Forum

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he fourth World Halal Forum (WHF) – themed “Achieving Global Halal Integrity” – is scheduled to be held from 18th to 19th May 2009 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, situated in the heart of the city. Since its inception in 2006, the World Halal Forum has grown from strength to strength, always at the forefront of a challenging industry. It has grown from 463 delegates from 27 countries in 2006, to 980 delegates from 40 countries in 2007, making it the most important event in the Halal industry calendar. The third World Halal Forum in 2008 raised the bar once again and drew together over 1,200 delegates from industries, governments, research organisations, universities and consumer associations under one roof to discuss the major issues affecting the Halal industry. At the close of the two eventful days, a resolution was arrived at, for the International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance), to develop and present the Global Halal Standard – a single standard to unify the fragmented industry and ensure global Halal integrity. IHI Alliance’s goals were also endorsed by the Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. In his keynote address at WHF 2008, Abdullah said, “My government has formally endorsed the function and aspirations of the IHI Alliance. I understand that the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), through the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), is also committed towards making IHI Alliance a strong, credible and respected global Halal authority.” Following the resolution passed at WHF 2008, IHI Alliance has started the first series of Technical Committee meetings to develop modules for the Global Halal Standard, which will be presented to the OIC Standards Committee in Jeddah, in March 2009 for endorsement.

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Once endorsed, it will then be released for public comment at the fourth WHF in May 2009. The fourth World Halal Forum will be the biggest yet, due to the impact and importance of the Global Halal Standard, as well as the expansion of the forum’s format. WHF 2009 will be the largest forum of its kind to be held in Malaysia and in the whole of South East Asia, expecting increased participation from the Middle East because of WHF Chairman Sheikh Saleh Kamel’s significant influence in the region. WHF 2009 also anticipates large delegations from South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, as well as non-traditional countries such as Brazil and Uruguay. Russia and the CIS (Commonwealth and Independent States) countries have also shown interest in WHF and the Halal industry. WHF 2009 is the perfect avenue with expanding opportunities for market leaders, industry experts, academicians, and Islamic scholars to gather and comment on the Global Halal Standard, as well as gain insights on potential implications on Halal integrity, business and trade, and science. WHF 2009 will change the face of the Halal industry. Be in the know. Be at the World Halal Forum 2009.

tentative topics to be deliber ated WHF 2009 will see a major format change. There will be three parallel streams to accommodate the anticipated 2,000 delegates from every corner of the world. One stream will concentrate on the modules of the Global Halal Standard, and the remaining two will cover issues surrounding science, and business and trade in the Halal industry. THE STANDARD The Standards stream will cover the 10 modules of the Global Halal Standard. Modules one to five will be discussed on Day 1 and the remaining five will be discussed the next day. The 10 modules are: • Logistics (subtopics: Warehouse; Transportation; and Terminal) • Foodservice (subtopics: Restaurants; Catering; and Retail) • Laboratory Testing and Analysis (subtopics: Ingredients and Products; Nutrition; and Halal Science R&D) • Animal Feeds and Inputs (subtopics: Feed covering graze and fed, as well as nutrition and supplements; and Non-Food Inputs covering antibiotics and hormones) • Animal Welfare and Handling (subtopics:


event highlights A W ORLD C L A S S E VE N T AT A W OR L D C L A S S VE N U E The upcoming World Halal Forum (WHF) 2009 in May is actually a sound investment, considering the priceless future returns to your organisation by being a part of a pioneer group that charts the course of the global Halal industry over the next decade.

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre at the Petronas Twin Towers

For starters, delegates will gain first hand information and knowledge on how to develop organisations within this highly lucrative industry, enabling companies to identify the areas of opportunity and prospects. Delegates are expected to have invaluable networking opportunities within the circle that matters; since it will be attended by all captains of the Halal industry. To be staged at the magnificent Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre with the iconic Petronas Twin Towers as a backdrop, WHF 2009 will also have a world class convention centre for a venue – specifically designed to host regional and international conventions, trade shows, and public exhibitions. This in itself is a real value-for-money deal. An early bird rate of RM 1,600 is available for delegates until 15th March 2009. The offer also extends to returning delegates from the WHF 2008. Normal price is RM 1,800 per person; and a group rate for more than 10 delegates is priced at RM1,200 per person.

Transportation by air, sea and land specifying density, duration, handling, holding yard and care, and segregation; and On Farm issues such as grazing, feedlots and breeding) Animal Slaughter and Processing (subtopics: Bovine; Poultry; Ovine; Camel; and Game) Non-meat Processed Foods (subtopics: Dairy; Beverage; Confectionary; and Frozen) Cosmetics and Toiletries (subtopics: Active Ingredients; and Delivery Medium) Pharmaceuticals (subtopics: Active

Ingredients; and Delivery Medium) • Finance (subtopics: Banking and Insurance) The Standards stream targets (especially) participants from quality assurance and standards bodies, Shariah experts, certifying bodies as well as industry experts. This will form the first part of the public enquiry phase of the OIC standard, following the March 2009 OIC Standards Meeting to be held in Jeddah, hosted by the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance). According to World Halal Forum (WHF) Deputy Chairman and KasehDia Executive Director Nordin Abdullah, “It has taken us three WHFs to consolidate the global Halal industry to the point of where a draft standard and its modules can be developed. This standard will represent the first proactive initiative to be developed by the OIC, and it will have a lasting impact on the trade of Halal goods and services in the future.” THE SCIENCE The parallel Science stream hopes to address the knowledge gap that exists in the Halal industry especially between Islamic scholars, scientists and industry practitioners. There is also an education gap existing between the more developed OIC countries and the less developed OIC countries. However, the most noticeable gap is between the Muslim

populations in non-Muslim countries, and the Muslim world in favour of the former, which has created a huge disadvantage for the latter. Held over the two-day forum, sessions within the Science stream will be invaluable for participants as selected speakers from vast backgrounds of the science world will be deliberating on current issues of concern in the Halal industry, as well as presenting new findings and innovations. THE BUSINESS AND TRADE The third stream, Business and Trade, will see global Halal industry giants and major Halal producing nations discuss and highlight the latest developments in the Halal industry on a global scale. There will be several country features focusing on country-specific deliberations on the global Halal trade presenting different regions including Asia, the Middle East, and America. Relevant questions and feedback submitted during the two days of the moderated forum will be compiled; and panellists and speakers will address and deliberate on key issues, concerns, and suggestions by the delegates. A formal resolution will be agreed to at the end of the forum for further actions by significant parties, post-WHF. If you are in the Halal industry, you cannot afford to miss being in Kuala Lumpur on 18-19 May 2009. We look forward to welcoming you to what is shaping hj up to be an exceptional event.

For more information on attending the World Halal Forum, log on to www.worldhalalforum.org, or call the WHF Secretariat at +603 6203 1025. BOOK YOUR SEAT NOW!

THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

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Cover Story

WORDS BY RUZANNA MUHAMMAD

Standardisation is not a new fad. It is something that has become a practice since the beginning of recorded history and has been practiced to ensure the survival of mankind in an environment which is increasingly complex. The Muslim world desperately needs a unified [Halal] standard in order to achieve a well distributed economic growth within the OIC.

STANDARDISATION A SOLUTION FOR ACHIEVING ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE MUSLIM WORLD

I

n the world of corporate product development and competitiveness, the role of standardisation more often than not is left unnoticed. It is important to understand that standards systemise things, both in enterprises and with society at large.1 Standards, for example, ensure the interaction and function of products, processes, weights, measures, machines and so on. Without this, societies and business communities will see a dramatic fall in effectiveness and functionality.2 Recognised as an essential discipline for all global market players striving to be competitive, standardisation has been integrated as a major technical and commercial element in business planning. Companies and organisations have not only realised that standards solve issues ranging from product compatibility and addressing consumer safety and health concerns, but also the fact that standards play a significant role in the development of international trade. As stated in a publication by the Danish National Agency for Enterprise and Construction (NAEC): “Standards provide a common transnational language for trade and contribute to communicating knowledge, technology and business practice between enterprises and countries.” 26 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

Competition is sharpened by standards, resulting in lower production and distribution costs. It also simplifies product development and reduces nonvalue-added costs that increase consumers’ ability to compare competing products and generally, this will benefit the economy. A study conducted in Fraunhofer Institute in Germany concluded that the use of standards by the business community is of great importance to a country’s economic growth. This development is now seen in global markets with approximately 80 per cent of global trade affected by standards. IN DEFINITION... Standards, as stated in ISO/IEC Guide 2: 1996 is defined as, “A document, established by consensus and approved by a recognised body that provides for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics, for activities or results aimed at

the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context.” A standard is basically a published document that defines specifications and procedures to ensure that a material, product, method or service meets its purpose and consistently performs to its intended use. Standardisation refers to the process of establishing (by common agreement) the criteria, terms, principles, practices, materials, items, processes, equipment, parts, sub-assemblies and assemblies that are appropriate to achieve the greatest practicable uniformity of products and practices. This is to ensure the minimum feasible variety of such items and practices and to affect optimum interchangeability or inter-operability of equipment, parts and components.3 In short, standardisation is the process that encompasses the initiation, development and application of standards documents. 4


HISTORICALLY SPEAKING... Standardisation can be traced back to the ancient civilisations of Babylon and early Egypt. The early standards were the physical standards for weights and measures.5 One of the earliest examples of standardisation is the creation of the calendar. The Gregorian calendar today serves as an international standard for civil use6, after reformation of the Julian calendar (the Roman calendar reformed by Julius Caesar in 45 BC) made by Pope Gregory XIII in the late sixteenth century. The Islamic calendar started from the month of Muharram in the year of Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) arrival in the city of Medina during the Hijra (migration) event -- which is equivalent to the year 622 AD. The first year of the Islamic calendar was designated by Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab in 638 AD (17 AH). AH stands for anno hegirae which means “in the year of the Hijra”. Some standards were an outgrowth of man’s desire to harmonise activities with important changes in the environment. Most others were created in response to the needs of an increasingly complex society. It was only towards the end of the nineteenth century that standardisation efforts intensified. During the first years, the driving force behind standardisation was the need for systems with respect to construction, steel, metal and electronics to address the industrialisation phase.7 For example, the US government recognised the military and economic advantages in having a standardised track gauge during the Civil War. The common railroad gauge at the time (4 feet, 8½ inches) – a track size that originated in England – was mandated for use in the Transcontinental Railroad in 1864, and 22 years later became the US standard.8 According to the Danish NAEC, standardisation has developed into a worldwide activity that is irreversibly linked to technological and economic developments in society. The development in Europe intensified extensively with the implementation of the Internal Market of the EU (European Union), and with the free movement of goods and services in Europe. When a product complies with a European standard, it may be freely sold in other EU member states avoiding a number of time- and costconsuming extra testing and national control measures.9 Standardisation of national regulations within the Internal Market of the EU has actually made it easier for member countries to do business within the EU, contributing to faster economic growth. Better yet, it improves intra-EU economic ties making conflicts such as the Second World War unthinkable today. The formation of the EU was a lesson learnt from the Second World War. The aim was to rebuild and unite European countries and the implementation of the Internal Market of the EU has proven successful. Considered as a single economy, the EU generated an estimated nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of USD16.83 trillion in 2007, amounting to 31 per cent of the world’s total economic output,10 which makes it the largest economy in the world by nominal GDP and the second largest trade bloc economy in the world by purchasing power parity (PPP) valuation of GDP. It is also the largest exporter of goods,11 the second largest importer12 and the biggest trading partner to several large countries such as India and China. Measured by revenue, 170 of the top 500 largest corporations listed in Fortune Global 50013 have their headquarters in the EU.14 In May 2007 unemployment in the EU stood at seven per cent, while investment was at 21.4 per cent of GDP, inflation at 2.2 per cent and public deficit at -0.9 per cent of GDP. Furthermore,

there is a great deal of variance of annual per capita income within individual EU states, ranging from USD7,000 to USD69,000. THE NEED FOR STANDARDISATION IN THE MUSLIM WORLD From the EU’s experience, there are two things to be learnt from their use of standards: firstly, implementation of common standards will help improve the collective economy of a region and the economics of a country via intra-regional trade. Secondly, it promotes good multilateral trade relations between countries as well as within intergovernmental organisations (IGOs). For the Muslim world, this IGO is called the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) comprising of 57 member states spread over four continents. The economy of the OIC stated a combined GDP (at PPP) of USD7,740 billion. The richest country on the basis of GDP per capita at PPP is the

Badawi, who was then the OIC Chairperson, said in his speech, “The concept of food safety within Halal practices must consider the food chain in its entirety and efforts must be made to ensure that world class standards are employed at every step of the way, including traceability. Standards that have been adopted in more developed markets should also be adopted in Muslim countries.” World Halal Forum (WHF) Deputy Chairman and KasehDia Executive Director, Nordin Abdullah recently said, “It is no mistake that economies with highly standardised process are more developed, simply because all economic activities are governed by confidence. We want the highest degree of predictability in our daily transactions and the only way to achieve this is through systematic standardisation with broad acceptance. We are now striving for the tipping point of the Halal Standard, which requires government adoption, corporate adoption, consumer acceptance

IT MAY SEEM THAT THE OIC HAS A DEVELOPED ECONOMY, BUT IN TRUTH, SOME OF ITS MEMBER STATES ARE A LOT LESS DEVELOPED THAN THE RICHER MEMBER STATES SUCH AS THE UAE AND QATAR. United Arab Emirates (UAE). On the basis of per capita GDP, Qatar is the richest country with incomes exceeding USD62,299 per capita. It may seem that the OIC has a developed economy, but in truth, some of its member states are a lot less developed than the richer member states such as the UAE and Qatar. For example, statistics shows that the UAE has a per capita GDP of USD45,200 whereas less developed member states such as Somalia and Comoros have a per capita GDP of only USD600. Why the large economic disparity? The problem lies in the lack of education and implementation of standards in less developed member states. Categorised as a religious organisation, the OIC shares one major thing in common - Shariah compliance. As stated in the OIC charter, one of its aims is to increase cooperation in social, economic, cultural, scientific and political areas; and what better way to do this than with the creation of one unified Halal standard. At the opening of Malaysian International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) 2005, Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad

and Shariah compliance.” After years of waiting for the creation of an OIC developed Halal Standard, the Muslim world now holds its breath awaiting the successful development of the Global Halal Standard – a single standard to unify the fragmented industry and ensure global Halal integrity. Development of this standard has been mandated to the International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance) by the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) – an institution affiliated to the OIC. IHI Alliance has started the first series of Technical Committee meetings to develop modules for the Global Halal Standard, which will be presented to the OIC Standards Committee in Jeddah, in March 2009 for endorsement. Once endorsed, it will then be released for public comment at the fourth WHF in May 2009. POSITIVE IMPACT OF IMPLEMENTING A UNIFIED HALAL STANDARD IN THE OIC What is at stake for an OIC implemented Halal food standard? Currently there are many resources locked up in the OIC nations. For THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

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Cover Story example, countries such as Sudan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan,have massive animal resources. However, the problem is the lack of hygiene standards that does not allow for exports of these products. Consequently, these resources are limited to the domestic market (and in many cases, not many are lucrative). The lack of standardisation also impacts the level of investment into the food industries within many of these countries. Islamic investment funds, despite having a lot of liquidity, have nowhere to go because the Halal industry is not standardised. This also impacts human capital development, whereby training and expertise are not developed because there is no economic activity. Therefore, if the less developed OIC member states can implement a Halal Standard recognised by Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, investments will then flow into their country. These countries can then gain export revenue, which ultimately will further develop intra-OIC trade. More importantly, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia will be able to get a diversified and quality source of beef, instead of having to buy from Australia, Brazil, or the US. From this, there can be positive effect on the country’s carbon footprint as shipping distances are lessened. Standardisation also affects regional food security, which will also lead to a positive effect on trade relations and improve multilateral ties due to increased value of trade between relevant OIC countries. With aims to preserve Islamic social and economic values; promote solidarity amongst member states; increase cooperation in social, economic, cultural, scientific, and political areas; uphold international peace and security; and advance education, particularly in the fields of science and technology,15 it is the expressed goal of all OIC nations to improve intra-OIC trade. The Halal standard is the precursor for the development of intra-OIC trade of Halal food, and without this standard, intra-OIC trade will be increasingly difficult. Developed OIC nations wishing to invest in the development of a Halal Standard should do so as effective investment in the standard can lead to the development of Halal supply chains in less developed OIC nations with the funds for this coming from the Islamic Development Bank. (IDB) NEGATIVE IMPACT OF IMPLEMENTING A UNIFIED HALAL STANDARD IN THE OIC Standards, however, can be a barrier to trade. For example, if we create a standard that is difficult for less developed OIC nations to comply and conform to, some feel it will be difficult for them to trade. However, this trade barrier scenario really does not apply to these countries because currently they are not in conformance to any international standards. Perhaps it will be a better option for these countries to adopt one standard. On this note, Nordin commented: “The business world has become, to a large extent, a standardised place. Whether we like it or not, this trend is going to increase. Countries and companies need to develop a standards conformity capability and expertise. Failing which, they will be left out of the global economy.” Standardisation reflects quality and predictability. For example, suppliers or manufacturers need to consistently produce high quality products from quality raw materials because consumers expects a certain level of predictability (they want consistency), and satisfied consumers are more willing to part with their money (and this is important for those in the business). The 1991 Annual Report of the American Society of testing and Material (ASTM) stated: “Standards are a vehicle of communication for producers and users. They serve as a common language, defining quality and establishing safety criteria. Costs are lower if procedures are 28 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

DEVELOPED OIC NATIONS WISHING TO INVEST IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A HALAL STANDARD SHOULD DO SO AS EFFECTIVE INVESTMENT IN THE STANDARD CAN LEAD TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF HALAL SUPPLY CHAINS IN LESS DEVELOPED OIC NATIONS WITH THE FUNDS FOR THIS COMING FROM THE ISLAMIC DEVELOPMENT BANK. (IDB) standardised; training is simplified; and ultimately, consumers accept products more readily when they can be judged on intrinsic merit.” Now if a law is in place that states the need for standards (similar to the case of EU regulations implemented in the EU), the question to ask is, “To what standard are you gauging your standard?” A law implements a standard, but a standard is required in order to implement a law, which maintains compliance to a standard. “Standardisation is an evolving process, and the development may take a long time, but the important thing is to start somewhere, however small an initiative. This is how we are approaching the development of the Global Halal Standard. The first module, Halal logistics, is near completion and we expect at least six modules to be presented for public comments at the fourth WHF,” said IHI Alliance CEO, Darhim Dali Hashim. CONCLUSION There is standardisation in everything we do in this life. The text you are reading is of a standard font type and size. You see the fruits of standardisation in this magazine – it is of a standard size, and advertisers will know that they need to conform to the magazine’s standard specifications when designing their artwork. The Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is a guideline of culture and practice for Muslims to do things in a standard manner based on teachings in the Holy Quran – the standard reference point for all Muslims. For

example, there is standardisation even in Solat (prayer), fasting, Halal slaughtering and so on. It is a collective responsibility for all Muslims to participate in the Halal standard development because of this concept and it is the responsibility of the leaders of the country to ensure Halal food supplied to the people is Shariah compliant. In order to ensure this in the modern day and age, it is necessary to follow the Halal standard. “The establishment of an OIC developed and implemented Halal standard will be the first proactive achievement of the OIC since its inception,” says Nordin. There are no aspects of life that are not supported by standardisation, but for some reason, the OIC nations have neglected this. There is currently economic disparity in the OIC nations and realising this, the OIC has finally pushed for the development of the Global Halal Standard, via ICCI and IHI Alliance. It is important for the strong to help the weak and likewise, the rich must help the poor. The less developed OIC countries need standardisation in order to grow economically. What is the solution? Rather than increasing regulations for them (for example conforming to different Halal standards from different countries), it will be a lot easier to conform to one standard, which will ultimately lead to economic growth in the less developed OIC countries. It takes time, but it can be done. The European Union hj succeeded, so can the OIC.

(Footnotes) 1 Chapter 2: The role of standards in the knowledge society. Published in National Standardisation Strategy of Denmark by the Danish NAEC 2 National Standardisation Strategy of Denmark 3 Toth, Robert B. (Editor), Standards Management: A Handbook for Profit, published by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 4 What are standards?, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) (http://www. thinkieeestandards.net/what.html) 5 Brief History of Standards, IEEE (http://www. thinkieeestandards.net/history.html) 6 Doggett, L.E., Calendars, published in the Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac (Seidelmann, P.K. [Editor]). Article can be found on http://astro.nmsu.edu/~lhuber/leaphist.html 7 National Standardisation Strategy of Denmark 8 Source: Federal Railroad Administration, an agency of

the US Department of Transportation, the Association of American Railroads, and the US Department of Defense’s Defense Standardisation Organisation Program Office 9 National Standardisation Strategy of Denmark 10 Report for Selected Country Groups and Subjects (European Union), World Economic Outlook Database, April 2008 Edition, International Monetary Fund (April 2008) 11 Rank Order - Exports, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency 12 Rank Order - Imports, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency 13 The Fortune Global 500 is a ranking of the top 500 corporations worldwide as measured by revenue. The list is compiled and published annually by Fortune magazine. 14 European Commission (2006), Special Eurobarometer 243: Europeans and their Languages (Survey), Europa 15 “Organisation of the Islamic Conference”, Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World


A N I N V I TAT I O N TO J O I N

THE INTERNATIONAL HALAL INTEGRITY ALLIANCE (IHI ALLIANCE) IS AN INTERNATIONAL, NON-PROFIT INITIATIVE CREATED TO REPRESENT THE INTERNATIONAL HALAL INDUSTRY PLAYERS WITH ONE DEFINITIVE VOICE. THE IHI ALLIANCE’S MISSION IS TO STRENGTHEN THE HALAL MARKET AND UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY OF HALAL FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL. THE IHI ALLIANCE WILL INITIALLY FOCUS ON 5 MAIN PROGRAMS: TO PROMOTE AND DEVELOP BEST PRACTICES FOR ASSURING HALAL INTEGRITY ACROSS THE ENTIRE SUPPLY CHAIN OF THE HALAL INDUSTRY. TO PROMOTE THE UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTANCE OF HALAL GOODS AND SERVICES GLOBALLY TO BOTH MUSLIM AND NON-MUSLIM CONSUMERS. TO MAKE HALAL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES MORE WIDELY AVAILABLE ESPECIALLY IN NON-MUSLIM COUNTRIES BY ENCOURAGING MORE MANUFACTURERS/ SERVICE PROVIDERS TO INTRODUCE OR EXPAND HALAL PRODUCT LINES. TO FACILITATE RESEARCH IN CREATING A KNOWLEDGE BASE ON HALAL AND DEVELOPMENT OF NEW PRODUCTS AND TECHNOLOGIES THAT WILL PROVIDE SOLUTIONS FOR HALAL INDUSTRY PLAYERS. TO WORK HARMONIOUSLY WITH VARIOUS GOVERNMENTS IN GLOBAL HUMANITARIAN EFFORTS TO DEVELOP THE HALAL INDUSTRY AND FOSTER INTRA-OIC TRADE. THE IHI ALLIANCE IS NOW INVITING COMPANIES, ORGANISATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS WITH CERTAIN EXPERTISE TO JOIN AS IHI MEMBERS AND HELP BUILD A STRONGER AND ROBUST GLOBAL HALAL INDUSTRY. LOOKING FORWARD TO WELCOMING YOU AS PART OF THE ALLIANCE TO HELP STRENGTHEN THE HALAL MARKET. For more membership details including benefits, categories and fees, please log on to www.ihialliance.org or email to info@ihialliance.org


HALAL LOGISTIC SERIES > PART 2 OF 3

HALAL TRA

Words By IR. MARCO TIEMAN

THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF A HALAL TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM Transportation usually represents the most important single element in logistics costs for most ďŹ rms. Freight movement has been observed to absorb between one third and two thirds of total logistics costs. As there is a lot of interest in keeping the cost of Halal logistics as low as possible, a focus on the transportation system will be critical. This article will provide a deeper insight into Halal transportation.

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rom my experience as a logistics researcher in Europe with innovative projects in the transportation systems, such as for the flower auction Aalsmeer (Flora Holland), farmer associations, citrus fruit imports from South Africa, as well as the awarded project Distri-ship, it is clear that there is still a lot of room for improvement in reducing transportation costs. TRANSPORTATION

Products and services have no value unless they are in the possession of the customers when (time) and where (place) they wish to consume them. It is transportation that adds place value to products, whereas inventory adds time value. There are five transportation modes: water, rail, truck, air and pipeline. 30 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

Each mode of transport has certain characteristics against a cost. For example, air transport is the fastest, but the cost the highest. On the other hand, water transport is the cheapest, but scores the worst in terms of speed. The five modes of transport may be used in combination, also called intermodal transport. Reasons for this could be that certain transportation modes do not meet the full supply chain requirements. An example is that the end location is not the airport, but actually 100 km further inland. This requires the use of additional modes of transport, like the truck. Another example is that air cargo is too expensive, but a combination of sea and air is cheaper, whereas the delivery time is not as long in case of 100 per cent via sea. Containerisation of cargo resulted in the last century to an evolution in transportation

efficiencies and realising cost effective global supply chains. As shown in this article, transport decisions are critical in realising cost effective Halal supply chains. APPLICATION OF HALAL FOR TRANSPORTATION

The basic principle of Halal Transportation is to ensure physical segregation of Halal cargo from non-Halal cargo in transport. This is to avoid cross contamination, avoiding the possibility of making mistakes and ensure that the transportation system is aligned with the expectation of the various Muslim consumers. Over the past months, many dialogues have been held with the industry and Halal authorities in the Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific with technical committees and working groups under the auspices of the International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance). From

these discussions, important conclusions can be drawn: 1. No mixing of Halal goods with non-Halal goods in one container/common transportation vehicle in case of bulk shipments 2. No mixing of Halal unitised shipments with severe najis (like pork meat) in one container/common transportation storage in case of refrigerated transport 3. No mixing of Halal and non-Halal goods on one load carrier and the use of tertiary packaging to protect the Halal load, not only during transport but throughout the entire supply chain. 4. Physical segregation of Halal can also be facilitated through containerisation at a lower level. 5. Cleaning procedures to put in place to ensure a Shariah compliant transportation system


NSPORTATION 4. TRANSPORT INNOVATION

Innovations in the transportation system itself are also possible through better transportation decisions. The significant concepts here are:

HALAL TRANSPORTATION IS A FASCINATING NEW AREA, WHERE MANY INNOVATIONS CAN BE EXPECTED OVER THE COMING YEARS. HALAL TRANSPORTATION EMBEDS SUSTAINABILITY AND INTEGRITY INTO THE SUPPLY CHAIN, WHICH WILL RECEIVE GLOBAL ACCEPTANCE. For a better insight into the requirements for Halal Transportation, please contact IHI Alliance or your local Halal Authority. IMPORTANT HALAL TRANSPORTATION CONCEPTS

To ensure cost effective Halal transportation various concepts are important to ensure Halal integrity in transportation against a low/acceptable cost level. These concepts can be used in isolation as well as in combinations with other concepts.

supply chains are Flora Holland (www.floraholland.com) in the Netherlands as well as a new initiative, called the Halal SuperHighway (www. HalalSuperHighway.org). The important concepts here are: • Quality based tracking and tracing • Disconnection of information from transportation movements • Freight auctions to match supply and demand for transportation capacity • Moving production clusters to attractive locations abroad (for example to Malaysia)

1. CONDUCTING HALAL SUPPLY CHAINS

2. DECENTRALISATION

Virtual Halal logistics concepts and ICT have the possibility to conduct Halal supply chains more effectively and prevent unnecessary transportation, better organisation of supply chains and increase the Halal performance at the destination. Global leaders in conducting

A decentralised structure could be more effective to support a local market and reduce transportation movements for these products as well as rest products. A regional approach puts less pressure on transportation infrastructure, which

often leads to congestion and creation of logistics bottlenecks. A decentralised approach also provides employment opportunities in rural areas. Important concepts to highlight are as follows: • Decentralisation of production • Multi-Halal park production • Relocation of production clusters to new Halal parks 3. CLUSTERING

Combining Halal cargo flows and production activities in one or a limited number of zones has advantages in consolidation and transportation prevention. On the other hand it puts high requirements on the transportation infrastructure of these centres to avoid congestion. Key concepts to note are as follows: • Halal Regional Distribution Centres (HRDC) • Halal Zones (economic zones) for the manufacturing & distribution of Halal Products • Halal Consolidation Centres (HCC) near big cities to allow for cost effective distribution of Halal products to the customer

• Intermodal transport to reduce transportation times without paying high costs of using air shipments for the entire journey (e.g. SEA-AIR and ROAD-AIR solutions) • Containerisation to simplify segregation with non-Halal and reduce transportation and handling costs of Halal cargo • The concept of “floating stock” allows moving a big part of the transport need to cheaper modes of transport • Halal distribution parks at national hubs and main ports (like sea and airports) CONCLUSION

Halal transportation is a fascinating new area, where many innovations can be expected over the coming years. Halal transportation embeds sustainability and integrity into the supply chain, which will receive global acceptance. Leaders in Halal transportation will come up and redefine transportation excellence to deliver high performance global Halal supply chains to ensure the availability of Halal products worldwide against low cost that carry the hj symbol of integrity: Halal. 1. IHI Alliance is an international, non-profit organisation that has been set up to represent the global Halal industry with one collective voice. It is currently developing a Global Halal Standard under the auspices of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC).

Read the third and final part of this series in the next edition, which will delve into the topic of Halal compliance terminal...

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31


RISING INCOME AND TRADE PATTERNS OF THE GLOBAL HALAL MEAT TRADE Words By IRFAN SUNGKAR

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owadays, the Halal meat trade is growing and passing country boundaries in a magnitude never seen before. Several issues that are always cited as the enablers of this growth are: ‘superproduction’ by a few large exporting countries; the increase of disposable income in most importing countries; and the gradual lowering of trade barriers in many parts of the world. An increasing meat trade is not an isolated trend, but rather part of an overall world economy that is becoming evermore dependent on trade in goods and services. From 1961 to 2007, total global meat output rose from 71 million MT to about 283 million MT and the global meat trade jumped from only 3.5 million MT to 22 million MT. Poultry meat is still the largest type of traded meat. As a percentage of the total global meat production, global meat trade increased from 4.9 per cent in 1961 to 7.8 per cent in 2007. In terms of magnitude and proportion, the Halal meat trade is also the same. It should be noted that problems with animal diseases such as the avian influenza especially in the East and Southeast Asian countries has structurally changed the patterns of trade. For example, after bans on fresh and frozen uncooked poultry exports in early 2004, Thailand and

32 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

AS CONSUMERS’ INCOMES INCREASE, THERE IS A STRONG TENDENCY FOR VALUES OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF MEAT CUTS TO DIVERGE.

AS CONSUMERS GET HIGHER INCOME, THEY ARE ABLE TO BE ‘SELECTIVE’ ABOUT WHAT PRODUCTS THEY WANT TO BUY.

China rapidly increased production of cooked poultry as new trade opportunities emerged in global poultry markets. Export opportunities for uncooked poultry arose in countries that had banned imports from their traditional suppliers. It has been established that there is a positive correlation between increase in meat trade and income level. This correlation is no accident: as the world gets richer, the appetite to trade meat increases. In similar fashion, as consumers’ (both Muslims and non-Muslims) incomes increase, there is a strong tendency for values of

different types of meat cuts to diverge. Although differentials in production costs still play an important role, the effect from value differentials of various types of Halal meat products has become the major driving force for global Halal meat trade. A tendency for diverging prices of Halal meat parts and the way it is being prepared can be seen clearly if the extremes of the world’s income range are compared. In relatively poor countries, most Halal meat – in primary forms such as whole chicken, backyard slaughter, and so on – are sold in wet markets where there is little or

EXAMPLES OF MEAT TRADE IN THE POULTRY MEAT MARKET:

• Export of chicken paws from the US to China • Export of cooked chicken meat from Thailand to the EU and Japan • Export of frozen whole and broiler boneless meat from Brazil to Singapore, Middle-East and other Asian countries • Export of live chickens from Malaysia to Singapore EXAMPLES OF MEAT TRADE IN THE RED MEAT MARKET:

• Malaysia’s and the Philippines’ import of Indian buffalo meat • Australia’s export of high value beef to Japan and Korea

no difference in value attached to different parts. The most extreme example is the live broiler market, where the entire bird is sold at one price. On the other end of the spectrum, such as in developed countries, different parts of broilers have different prices, and the prices can vary by a lot. The reason behind this is: as consumers get higher income, they are able to be ‘selective’ about what products they want to buy. On the other hand, people with limited income levels or purchasing power cannot be as picky about what they (want to) eat. The global Halal meat trade will continue to grow. As incomes increase, countries are moving up the value chain from wet market-based products to value added products while their foodservice sector becomes stronger. Consumers’ demand will increase and they will diversify their purchase into various types and parts of meat with higher value. There are emerging trade opportunities with the rest of the world regardless of whether the local output is responsive enough to adjust to this change. As the above trend has strengthened over the past few years, there is an inherent structural transformation of the patterns and flows of the global meat trade. Local tastes, consumer preferences and income level are now the major driving force in determining the flow and patterns of the global meat trade. hj


T H E G O V E R N M E N T O F S A R AWA K I S T H E P R O U D H O S T O F THE TWO MAJOR WORLD CLASS EVENTS

THE STRATEGIC RICE AND FOOD SECURITY CONFERENCE INVESTMEN T AND HALAL INDUSTRIAL ZONE DEVELOPMEN T

THE UNFORESEEN CHALLENGE IN GLOBAL FOOD RESERVE

FEBRUARY / MARCH 2009 C R O W N E P L A Z A R I V E R S I D E • K U C H I N G , S A R AWA K • M A L AY S I A


T H E G O V E R N M E N T O F S A R AWA K I S T H E P R O U D H O S T O F THE TWO MAJOR WORLD CLASS EVENTS

THE STRATEGIC RICE AND FOOD SECURITY CONFERENCE INVESTMEN T AND HALAL INDUSTRIAL ZONE DEVELOPMEN T

UNFORESEEN CHALLENGE IN GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY

FEBRUARY / MARCH

2009

R I V E R S I D E M A J E S T I C H O T E L • K U C H I N G , S A R AWA K • M A L AY S I A


EU Regulations BASED ON OVER EIGHT YEARS OF RESEARCH OF THE GLOBAL HALAL MARKET, IRFAN SUNGKAR PROVIDES AN OVERVIEW OF THE GENERAL FOOD LAW, REGULATION (EC) 178/2002 INSOFAR AS IT IS RELEVANT FOR EXPORTS OF HALAL FOOD PRODUCTS INTO THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU).

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ood crises in the Nineties resulted in safety being on the top of the agenda in European Union food policies which has lead to a restructuring of the EU food legislation – with food safety now becoming the key issue with the relevant legislation called the European Union Food Safety Legislation.

34 T HE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

STRUCTURE AND BASIC PRINCIPLES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION FOOD SAFETY LEGISLATION

The General Food Law, Regulation (EC) 178/2002, constitutes the framework of European food laws. The General Food Law established that all food marketed in the EU must be safe and it further lays down requirements on transparency in the food chain. These principles form

a horizontal framework on which other food legislation in the EU is based. Regulation (EC) 178/2002 establishes some basic principles for food marketed in the EU and can be categorised as Food Safety, Precautionary Principles and Traceability. 1. FOOD SAFETY

Chapter 2 of Regulation 178/2002 is referred to as the “General Food Law”. It applies

to all stages of production, processing and distribution of food and also to the feed produced for, or fed to food-producing animals. In the general food legislation a safety requirement is included (Article 14): “Food is not allowed to be placed on the market if it is unsafe, and, Food is considered unsafe if it is: (1) Injurious to health,


(2) Unfit for human consumption.” This general food safety requirement implies that although a product complies with all specific requirements of food legislation (for example contaminants in food, and so on) it is not allowed on the market if a new hazard is found for which no legislative requirements yet exist. In determining if food is: • Unsafe: the normal conditions for use of the food by the consumer, and at each stage of production, processing and distribution are taken into account, as well as the information provided to the consumer. • Injurious to health: the following is taken into account: not only to the probable immediate, short term and long term effects of the food to health, but also to that of future generations, and to probable cumulative toxic effects, and to particular health sensitivities of a specific category of consumers. • Unfit for human consumption: in regard to whether the food is unacceptable for human consumption according to its’ intended use, for reasons of contamination, whether by extraneous matter or otherwise, or through putrefaction, deterioration or decay. It is important to note that if food is found to be unsafe and is part of a batch, lot or consignment, it is presumed that all the food is unsafe, unless a detailed assessment proves that there is no evidence that the rest of the batch is unsafe. Food that complies with specific EU requirements on food safety is considered safe insofar as it concerns these specific issues for which the requirements are set. If however, despite compliance to these requirements, the

competent authorities have reasons to suspect that the food is not safe, they can still require the withdrawal of the food from the market. 2. PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE

The General Food Law establishes that all food laws should be based on scientific risk analysis, except where this is not appropriate to the circumstances or the nature of the risk. Risk analysis consists of: (1) Risk assessment, (2) Risk management and (3) Risk communication. Risk assessments should be based on available scientific evidence and must be undertaken in an independent, objective and transparent manner. Risk management needs to take the results of the risk assessment into account, but also the opinions of the Food Safety Authority. It sometimes occurs that after

an assessment of available information, the possibility of harmful effects on health is identified, but scientific uncertainty persists. In such a case, provisional measures may be necessary. This is called the precautionary principle. Such measures need to be proportionate and no more restrictive of trade than is required to achieve the high level of health protection chosen in the European Community. The measures shall be reviewed within a reasonable period of time. This period depends on the nature of the risk to health and the type of scientific information needed to clarify uncertainty. 3. TRACEABILITY

The BSE or Mad Cow Disease crisis and other food crises within the EU proved that it is very important that at all times the origin of food products can be traced. The new regulations also include provisions for the traceability of food in the food chain. Article 18 of the new regulation

describes the requirements. The requirements apply to food and feed businesses located in the EU (including importers). They are obliged to: • Know and document from whom they have bought their food (ingredients) • Know and document to whom they supply their products • Label their products so that they can establish traceability in case of a food safety problem However, importers are likely to request for the food supplied to be traced in the chain. Importers are legally responsible for marketing the food in the EU and therefore must be able to guarantee that the food brought onto the market meets all EU requirements. EU FOOD LAWS AND REGULATIONS: RELEVANCE FOR HALAL FOOD EXPORTERS FROM DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Article 11 of Chapter 2 of the EU Food Laws and Regulations is very important to producers outside the European Union. It states that: “Food and feed imported to the European Union for marketing shall comply with the relevant requirements of food law or conditions recognised by the Community. If specific agreements exist between the EU and your country, all food should comply with those requirements”. Additionally, environmental, health and safety, and social issues have become increasingly important in the importation of [Halal] food products into the EU. There are regional or national laws that apply and there are a number of international standards and codes that either have to be adopted or may be adopted on a voluntary basis. Many companies have developed a

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35


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, where social issues are highlighted. Within this context, Halal food exporters by having Halal in the first place are already synonymous with world-class standards of quality, safety, respect for animal welfare, environmentally-friendly and social responsibility. Producers and exporters of Halal food should be aware that by producing Halal food in this manner, it will help them in many ways to

production, environmental concerns or quality of products and processes. Again, by adherence to the Halalan Thoyyiban1 production system, these should not be a hurdle for Halal exporters. The only problem is whether these producers and exporters of Halal foods are already compliant with Halal food production requirements and International Halal Standards. Many large scale food retailers such as Unilever and Carrefour have developed

These could be requested through instruments such as product labels, policies and codes of conduct, suppliers’ declarations and management systems. The requirements and instruments can be ncluded in the makeup of the company’s CSR policy. The growing awareness of social issues has resulted n initiatives like social abels, codes of conduct and management systems. These are considered ‘voluntary’ nstruments because they are a response to market incentives (including the demands of business partners) rather than to public law or legislation. ENVIRONMENTAL MARKET REQUIREMENTS

comply with any related laws, regulations, and requirements. Besides legal requirements, EU buyers often want more information from producers, for example about the social conditions at production sites. Although the requirements in this field do not constitute part of the official legislation and have no legal basis, it is recommended to take them into account in order to be competitive. Such market requirements can be related to social aspects of 36 T HE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

their own codes of conduct where issues concerning the environment, working conditions and social rights are included. These basic requirements often reach further than the company and its subsidiaries and are thus also relevant for suppliers. SOCIAL MARKET REQUIREMENTS

Social requirements, focusing on improving labour standards mainly in developing countries, are of growing importance.

Environmental aspects of products have become a major issue in Europe in recent time. Depending on the product group in question, environmental aspects can play a vital role in preparing exports for the European market. Several instruments are used to show environmental compliance to particular market requirements, for example labels, management systems and codes of conduct. Next to eco labelling, EUREPGAP2 is an example of an environmental initiative from the European industry. The Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group (EUREP) represents eading European food retailers and aims to promote good production practices n the agricultural sector in order to ensure food safety. Occupational health and safety, or labour conditions, are an important issue when ooking at the social standards that are required by EU markets. Also, in the food sector greater detailing of farming, harvesting, storage and processing practices,

occupational health and safety is an important issue. QUALITY-RELATED MARKET REQUIREMENTS

In addition to these requirements there are quality standards demanded from importers and buyers that ensure there is no variations in specifications for colour, correct and constant quality, cleaning and grading, microbiological quality, labelling, packaging and other area of the food supply chain. CONCLUSION

In this new millennium, the food supply chain has become more complex and it involves a lot more additional process, while possibly spreading over a number of countries or region. It is even more important now than before to ensure safety of the products manufactured, and this is done via standards and regulations imposed on food manufacturers. Although for some parties, it may be interpreted as a trade barrier, at the end of the day (in an era where there are many food safety issues), it is essential for food manufacturers/ exporters to gain consumers’ satisfaction and trust. As mentioned, Halal food producers have nothing to worry about if they are strictly compliant to the Halal standard, because its guidelines are holistic: reflecting outstanding standard of quality, safety, animal welfare, environment, social requirements and ethics. With a working and globally accepted Halal standard, Halal food producers/exporters need only to worry about strict compliance to published standards. For now, in order to achieve successful market penetration into the EU, Halal food producers/ exporters must thoroughly understand and adhere to the EU regulations, or miss out on opportunities than can be gained from this market. hj

FOOTNOTE: 1. Lawful and wholesome 2. EUREPGAP is now known as GLOBALGAP. It has established itself as a key reference for Good Agricultural Practices (G.A.P.) in the global market place, by translating consumer requirements into agricultural production practices in a rapidly growing list of countries (currently more than 80 and on every continent). For more information about GLOBALGAP, log on to www.globalgap.org.


Advertorial

FARM’S BEST: A BENCHMARK FOR GOOD, HIGH QUALITY PRODUCTION Farm’s Best Berhad, Malaysia’s first producer and processor of poultry food products to earn the ISO 9002, has revealed its recipe for success showing transparency within the company and promoting themselves as a benchmark for good, high quality production.

T

he company, which produces processed chicken products, including frankfurters, burgers, nuggets, meatballs and breaded drummets, is also currently supplying to hotels, supermarkets, restaurants and fast food outlets. They also manage their own farm, hatchery and egg production, and it is well-known as the first, and so far, the only Malaysian chicken integrator able to feed chickens with feed made from vegetable resources only. In a recent interview with The Halal Journal, Group Managing Director Dato’ Fong Kok Yong not only shared their recipe for success, but also talked about other topics including how Halal impacts their business and how they are staying afloat in the current economic crisis. JUDGING FROM THE INCREASING DEMAND FOR HALAL CERTIFIED GOODS, HOW DOES THIS IMPACT THE SALES OF FARM’S BEST PRODUCTS? The sales of Farm’s Best products are growing steadily because the brand has been associated with the production and sales of only Halal certified products. It is also widely known that the company adheres to the high Halal certification standards set by JAKIM and now HDC.

“The only avenue for us is to bring complaints against the restriction of imports to our own government officials, requesting that they initiate government-to-government negotiations to break down barriers to trade. “

STATISTICS SHOWS A 20 PER CENT HIGHER PRODUCTION COST WHEN USING VEGETABLEBASED FEED COMPARED TO NON-VEGETABLE BASED FEED. HOW DOES THIS AFFECT YOUR PRODUCTION COSTS (SINCE FARM’S BEST PRODUCTS ARE VERY REASONABLY PRICED)? Because vegetable-based animal feeds give less dietary and nutritional challenges to chickens, the growth and feed conversion ratio (FCR) are actually better than those fed on non-vegetable animal feed. Therefore, the cost of producing a kilo of live broiler is actually lower, although the cost of one kilogramme of vegetable-based animal feed is higher than one kilogramme of non-vegetable based animal feed. Because cost is competitive, pricing of the processed poultry is very competitively pegged.

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES FACED BY THE COMPANY IN PENETRATING THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET AND HOW ARE THEY RESOLVED? Most countries disallow imports of poultry products into their markets, citing non-trade reasons. Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues have always been used as reasons to prohibit such imports. Even in the Asian region - comprising of Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam - countries have persistently disallowed such imports citing SPS reasons. The only avenue for us is to bring complaints against the restriction of imports to our own government officials, requesting that they initiate government-togovernment negotiations to break down barriers to trade. Admittedly, little headway has been made.

tastes and flavours and have been able to successfully incorporate such attributes into its products for the local market. In producing for export-markets, we produce products that meet the requirements of our clients, who are principally food processors and kitchen operators in their own countries.

HOW FAR IS FARM’S BEST INTO ITS EXPANSION PLAN TO PENETRATE THE ASIAN REGION AS WELL AS OTHER OIC COUNTRIES? Farm’s Best has been exporting raw and cooked products into Singapore and Brunei regularly. We have also been exporting raw poultry meat to Japan until the outbreak of Avian Influenza (bird flu) in 2004 disallowed exports of raw poultry meats. In view of this, we are now in the midst of planning, designing and building a new ultra-modern plant to increase our range and capacity to produce fully cooked poultry products for the export market. The completion of this new facility by the third quarter of 2009 will allow us to further our exports in the Asian Region and even into the Middle East. In the unfortunate event of an outbreak of bird flu, we will still be able to persist with the exports of cooked poultry products.

AT PRESENT, THE MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT IS STILL LIMITING IMPORTS OF RAW MATERIALS FOR VALUE-ADDED PROCESSING, E.G. IMPORTS FROM BRAZIL. WHAT IS FARM’S BEST POSITION ON THIS? DOES IT AFFECT FARM’S BEST IN ANY WAY? Farm’s Best recognises that the price of imports can be lower, especially if they are from Brazil or the US. Usually, such imports are made from “culinary discards” since consumers in the West do not like “dark” meat. Farm’s Best have been able to leverage on its knowledge of local

MALAYSIA RECENTLY SAW INFLATION AT ITS PEAK. HOW DOES THIS AFFECT FARM’S BEST PRODUCTION? Production and sales of Farm’s Best have not been affected as consumers have grown to recognise the brand as representing wholesomeness and value-for-money products. Such attributes and perceptions are important as they allow the consumer to stretch the ringgit. Also, other meat products have undergone a greater price increase than poultry products generally and consumers appear to be able to recognise this.

CAN YOU TELL US WHY FARM’S BEST CHOSE TO USE ONLY VEGETABLE-BASED ANIMAL FEED? The reason is simply because vegetable-based animal feed give less dietary and nutritional challenges to chickens, which are monogastric.

38 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

WITH FARM’S BEST GREAT RANGE OF VALUE ADDED PRODUCTS, DOES THE COMPANY USE ONLY LOCAL RAW MATERIALS OR IMPORTED MATERIALS OR BOTH? Ninety per cent of our raw materials used in food processing are from local production. However, Farm’s Best does have access to the changing dynamics of cost and pricing in the world market of raw materials and the utilisation levels of local/imported materials may change with time.


fast track | EUROPE

Halal meat now available in Birmingham supermarkets BY ZAAHIRA MUHAMMAD

BIRMINGHAM-BASED National Halal Centre now has franchises for Halal meat operating in Tesco and Asda supermarkets. The company announced in December 2008 that they will be opening 40 additional butchery outlets this year for Tesco and Wal-Mart (the owners of Asda). The National Halal Company is the oldest Halal retail butchering company in England today and is well known as the pioneers of Halal meat in Europe. The company began the old Birmingham meat market in the Sixties and when the meat market and slaughtering facilities closed in 1974 they continued by taking over Armour’s abattoir in Bishop Street, right behind the Bull Ring in the centre of the city. The company has since grown into a large, trustworthy Halal

Halal certified

organisation. The National Halal Centre is recognised by the Global Halal Food Authority as a company that provides genuine Halal products with complete traceability and guarantee. The National Halal Centre offers various selections of high quality Halal fresh produce including beef, lamb and mutton in a wide-ranging variety of cuts and also provides further processing. Quality Halal chicken, in the form of baby chicken, chicken niblets, and chicken breasts, skin off, chicken drumsticks,

chicken thighs, chicken double breasts, chicken wings, and chicken legs are also available. Based on the success of the National Halal Meat Centre, it shows how much the Halal market has grown in Muslim minority countries. Supermarkets in these countries should be more receptive to the growing demands for Halal within the growing Muslim populations as well as for the non-Muslims who are concerned about food safety and hygiene. As stated in a published article entitled “Re-Branding Halal”: “Most people find it more convenient to shop for groceries or provisions in supermarkets. You have the benefit of being able to choose from a myriad of brands for every different product, and, of course, there will be almost everything

you need all in one place. Therefore, accessibility-wise, supermarkets have more buying appeal and power compared to the existing little Halal goods shops at the corner. The little shops were not prolific in nonMuslim countries, but they are becoming a trend. Most Muslims in nonMuslim countries face accessibility difficulties, since they must make a trip further away from home just to buy groceries. The solution is to have credible and certified Halal-branded products lining the shelves in supermarkets. Thus, both Muslims and non-Muslims preferring Halal food will have easier access to Halal food, without having to make two stops when out grocery shopping.” NOTE: Re-Branding Halal is an article published in the May/June 2007 edition of The Halal Journal

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BUSINESS OWNERS UNION AN INVITATION TO BUSINESS OWNERS

The Business Owners Union is an exclusive club of business owners established by the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).

“Allow me to address you as the elite of the community and the most capable of its brackets, to comprehend and grasp the word ‘ECONOMICS’; to get familiar with it and contemplate together the objective of this word in the past and in the present ages, for economics as we all know is the backbone of life; it is what determines its features and draws happiness and misery at the same time. In its shelter the means of living of nations and the style of their lives is determined, whether prosperity or distress, peace or war”. Sheikh Saleh Abdallah Kamel President, Islamic Chamber of Commerce & Industry

ME MBE RS H I P P RI V I L E GE S • Priority access to projects and companies originating from ICCI • Fee exemption for ICCI’s annual meeting in Makkah Al-Mukarramah, Madina Al-Munawwarah and elsewhere or at any ICCI activities • The priority of promotion of a member’s projects and initiatives among other Union members after assessment of economic viability • The priority for any bids within ICCI and OIC

• VIP reception by ICCI and assistance in all necessary procedures and authentication of documents related to establishment of any projects or commercial exchange within the OIC member countries, • Annual subscription to the summary of researches and studies prepared by ICCI and a 30% discount for the full version of the reports

Business Owners Union aims to further encourage intra-OIC trade and investment and sharing of evaluated projects within the OIC member nations. Membership fee is USD2,000 per year. Online application form is accessible at www.halaljournal.com/bou. Alternatively, kindly email to bou@kasehdia.com for more information.

change through business A Programme of Islamic Chamber of Commerce & Industry


fast track | MIDDLE EAST

Al Islami’s rapid growth as a Halal food provider

AL ISLAMI FOODS, a leading provider of quality ‘Real Halal’ food products is also an established market leader with decades of experience in the production of Halal food products in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. Al Islami has rapidly grown into a highly regarded organisation in the Halal industry. Al Islami has recently entered into a distribution agreement with a distributor in Saudi Arabia, Arabian Trading Supplies. Under the terms of the deal, Al Islami’s Halal products will be distributed by Arabian Trading Supplies under the brand name of Co-op Islami. “The synergy with strong distributors such as the Arabian Trading Supplies will consolidate the company’s efforts in developing the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Halal food market and in taking the Al Islami benchmark to the international arena, as part of our regional and global expansion plan,” said Chief Executive Officer of Al Islami Foods, Saleh Abdullah Lootah. In 2009, Al Islami Foods will be working towards strengthening its position in other Middle Eastern countries including Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Jordan and Sudan. Al Islami Foods has revealed determination to continue its growth plan in the region, despite the current economic turmoil, when the 42 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

WHF FILE PICTURE © WORLD HALAL FORUM

BY ZAAHIRA MUHAMMAD

“The synergy with strong distributors such as the Arabian Trading Supplies will consolidate the company’s efforts in developing the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Halal food market and in taking the Al Islami benchmark to the international arena...” leading Halal food producer announced an investment of over Dhs58 million in a hightech factory in TechnoPark – a fully owned subsidiary of the Economic Zones World. “TecnoPark offers an environment and facilities where innovative businesses can collaborate with each other and with educational and R&D (research and development) institutions, giving everyone involved the opportunity to attain new limits,” said

Hamad Al Hashemi, Managing Director of TechnoPark. Leveraging on opportunities offered by TechnoPark, Al Islami sees it as a great way forward in strengthening the company’s leadership across the Middle East. Saleh Lootah commented, “Despite the global recession, our developmental plans will continue. The new facility reflects a major increase in our production capacity to meet the growing demand

for our products. This landmark venture is a further testament to our continued commitment in the region to provide ‘Real Halal’ products.” The new factory will spread over 8,000 square meters of land in the most modern industrial zone of TechnoPark. Al Islami intends to make this facility a base to produce a top-line product portfolio for the Middle East consumers as per Al Islami’s quality standards, safety and environmental best practices. It is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2009. “Dubai is geographically an ideal location as a business centre, representing the perfect location for expansion of Al Islami production capabilities for the regional markets,” Saleh Lootah said, while expressing gratitude to the Economic Zones World for their incredible support and provision of the excellent infrastructure facility. As Al Islami is widely known for its global commitment to investment in producing authentic Halal food (produced in compliance with the principles of Islamic Shariah), they positioned representatives at slaughterhouses ensuring a flawless Halal process. Holding a 25 per cent share of the frozen chicken market in the UAE, Al Islami has previously entered into agreements with companies in Malaysia, Iran and Egypt as part of a fiveyear expansion plan focused on product development and distribution networks. Al Islami has expanded successfully over the past years and still plans to grow, ensuring they maintain their reputation and position as one of the most highly recognised and well known Halal food providers in the world.


fast track | AUSTRALASIA

CiMAS: An exciting innovation for food standards compliance made easy BY SAM MAJID, ENNOBLE CONSULTANCY, MANAGING DIRECTOR/ SOLUTION ARCHITECT

reporting dashboard and made accessible to all relevant stakeholders; and could be reported on and dispatched to key stakeholders. Clients could then have a transparent product monitoring process, and, authorities and certifying bodies could have access to specific records to ensure compliance is met. An exciting innovation known as CiMAS (Computerised Information Management Audit Systems) has created a system that does all this and much more. CiMAS provides an innovative solution that allows businesses to effectively and accurately measure and manage a host of compliance and food quality system processes, including Halal standards, in “Real Time” via a web based platform. The system which complies with regulatory auditing provides efficiencies and enables organisations to reduce losses by identifying and mitigating risks. IN THE DEMANDING WORLD of food production maintaining reliable food safety processes such as HACCP are critical to managing risk and ensuring the company produces quality products which are standards compliant. The same can also be said about Halal compliance. Implementing a food safety program in a food manufacturing process helps control those risks. HACCP for example revolves around good management and systems that can be controlled and monitored. A food safety programme however does not just stop with HACCP, as there are other food safety standards such as ISO22000, and now Halal standards. To be effective, additional systems such as

44 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

product recall, pest control, hygiene and sanitation need to be created and put in place. Additionally, there is the need to ensure that suppliers and distributors have vendor quality assurance processes in place. Historically, implementing and monitoring all these processes has been a very labour intensive exercise; and the data, when captured, resides in separate data silos that key personnel with specialised knowledge manage (and are usually the only ones who can access it). Imagine if all this can be done with a computer: time is saved by not having to duplicate data entry; the data captured could interface with existing systems and could be available via a

downloaded and completed by selecting display and entering their location. They can then carry out their inspection. The forms can be designed to have either pass (P) or fault (F) on the scoring options – a ranking score of one to five, or free fields where data can be 1. login.

2. download general audits.

HOW IT WORKS CiMAS is a sophisticated data collection and dissemination tool that harnesses the combined power of wireless mobile technology and the Internet automating the process, for example of auditing, inspections and a myriad of HACCP checklists and forms.The best part is this tool can also be customised to fit requirements of other standards as well. The forms area is simple to create and the process on the Personal Data Assistant (PDA) is easy to use; the user just logs on to the PDA with their unique user access code then check the forms available to download. Next the user selects the required form, which is then

3. download site.


fast track | AUSTRALASIA 4. download area.

entered. Additionally the user can access a comments field where common responses can be selected which will be added to the inspection report. The inspection can have multiple pages which can be accessed at the bottom of the screen. Upon completion, the user selects “Upload” from the options button at the bottom of the screen and the data is automatically uploaded via the General Packet Radio

Service (GPRS). Should a signature be required, the user can select this option and have the authorising person and themselves sign off on the results. The data upload records the time and date of upload along with the users’ information. If a copy of the inspection is required by the site, it can be accessed immediately on the web server via a personal computer (PC) or laptop and printed off. Additionally if a correction report needs to be completed following the inspection, this can be done on the PC (this can be seen in the following screen shot). CiMAS leverages the Internet in such a way that data can be centrally updated and automatically disseminated to any number of registered CiMAS users or accessed via the Internet, where detailed reports can be created and viewed by the organisation’s personnel or clients with authorised access.

5. start inspection.

6. inspect page1.

7. inspect page2.

8. submit.

CIMAS HACCP SYSTEM FEATURES RELEVANT TO FOOD SAFETY STANDARDS Reporting automatically generated and dispersed Operational instructions and client specific info stored on the Mobile device (Tablet) Auditor tracking log Industry standard audit templates stored on the mobile device (Tablet) Real Time data distribution collected to designated locations Preset audit completion protocols Client management alerts Multimedia data capture Multiple common use drop downs common non-compliances Customisable forms library Existing system interface Scheduling tools KPI Reporting Balanced scorecard performance reporting

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fast track | ASIA

Malaysia’s First Halal Microwaveable Ready-to-Eat Convenient Meal BY ZAAHIRA MUHAMMAD

Man of the hour... Mr Liow Ren Jan, CEO of AYS Sdn Bhd

The AYS team promises to deliver the best!

The Sri Kulai range of snacks, meals and dishes

Delicious dim sum from Sri Kulai’s snack range served at the launch in November 2008

SRI KULAI has the first convenient, complete Malaysian meals with a real Malaysian taste. They come in a whole range of wholesome meals – snack meals, complete meals and dishes. AYS Sdn Bhd (AYS) launched its First Halal Microwaveable Frozen Ready-to-eat Malaysian Meals under the Sri Kulai brand in Kuala Lumpur recently. The range includes nasi lemak, chicken rice, dim sum, sambal udang and many more. Because most Malaysians today lead hectic lifestyles, Malaysian all-time favourite meals can now be enjoyed at home taking less than five minutes to prepare. Sri Kulai Halal microwaveable frozen readyto-eat meals are hygienic and delicious with no added MSG and preservatives. “We even use authentic Malaysian recipes and do not compromise on taste,” said Mr. Liow Ren Jan, CEO

46 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

of AYS at the food launch in November last year. Guests and media at the launch tasted two of Sri Kulai flagship dishes – dim sum in chicken soup and nasi lemak. “We are very encouraged and excited with the response received from all our business partners, guests and media. The comments were all very positive!” Mr. Liow added enthusiastically. The Halal food business is a global business and AYS Sdn Bhd’s first three years focused on the Malaysian and Indonesian markets with a view to expansion into the Middle Eastern regions where the demand for Halal is high. With a strategy to promote Malaysian culture through food, AYS would like to create recognition of Malaysian food to people all over the world. “The Malaysian government has been extremely supportive of Halal business and aims for the country to

become a Halal hub. We see great opportunity for our Halal products and services business,” said Mr. Liow. Sri Kulai food range is Halal certified by Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) and is fully prepared on wholesome platforms. Food is fully cooked under the international HACCP standards to eliminate any food risk. To ensure meals are nutritious, only fresh and quality ingredients are used. Sri Kulai food range is already available in selected Jusco outlets, priced between RM5.90 to RM12.90. The chicken rice, penne pasta and Thai chicken curry can be enjoyed on Air Asia flights. The sales for Sri Kulai have seen double digit growth monthly within three months of commercial availability. AYS is also developing a franchise system under the Sri Kulai brand. The company is targeting the first quarter of

2009 to launch the Sri Kulai franchises and has already set its sights on achieving growth of 100 kiosks within five years. As part of AYS’s expansion plan, there will be new additions to their food range: Western delights, desserts and favourite meals. NOTES: * Nasi lemak is rice cooked in coconut milk, and is typically served with fried dried anchovies cooked in a dry spicy sauce and garnished with cucumber slices, a hardboiled egg and roasted peanuts. * According to the book Dim Sum by Vicki Liley, dim sum is a Cantonese specialty and is the collective name for a variety of small, delicious snacks. It includes steamed or fried dumplings with meat or seafood fillings, steamed buns, shrimp balls and always a few desserts. * Sambal udang is a dish of prawns cooked in a dry spicy sauce made of ground chillies and onions. * Hazards Analysis Critical Control Points


fast track | ASIA

Safi introduces the first Halal baby care products BY RUZANNA MUHAMMAD

LAUNCHED IN 1987, the Safi brand has since established itself as a respected brand among the Muslim and Malay markets in Malaysia. Portraying itself as a wholesome family brand, Safi has entered the lucrative baby care segment with the introduction of the first Halal Muslim toiletries for babies called Safi ManjaCare. Unza (Safi’s manufacturer and distributor), believes that the extensive consumer research offered significant opportunities for the brand, given the rising birth rate and the increased awareness of infant hygiene among the Muslim families. “Our new range of baby toiletries has received a positive response from Muslim consumers,” confirms Mahsuri Sulaiman, Unza’s Senior Product Manager. “They were motivated by an established brand targeting Muslims at a solid value price point.” When asked about Safi ManjaCare’s position in a highly competitive industry, Mahsuri is confident: “We believe that in order for us to be competitive in a very competitive environment, we need to be different. Because the Safi brand has always targeted the Muslim market and there has been growing demand for Halal products, we thought this could be a good diversification in the baby care industry, with possibly less direct competition.” Safi ManjaCare was also created to generate awareness as well as to educate the public about Halal at a very young age. “This way, children can be exposed to Halal and the Muslim lifestyle at an earlier stage; therefore the awareness 48 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

of Halal can be nurtured earlier and will be more easily accepted by the public.” “Although other baby care product brands have established consumer trust and satisfaction passed down for generations now, we consider it as a healthy challenge for Safi ManjaCare simply because the Safi brand has gained trust and recognition from consumers in our target market,” Mahsuri added. “Sales of the full range of Safi products tailored for the Halal market have grown significantly in the past few years,” affirms Mahsuri. “Years of exhaustive product testing and market research have helped build the brand’s credibility and trust among the Muslim consumers.” Starting off with five products – baby talc, baby bath, baby shampoo, baby lotion and baby oil – Safi ManjaCare’s product range is enriched with Milk Protein to maintain moisture levels for soft and smooth skin, and to provide essential nutrients to the skin. The product range comes in two variants: Milk Protein with Vitamins A, C, and E; and Milk Protein with Aloe Vera Gel. The Milk Protein with Vitamins A, C, and E variant is known for leaving babies’ skin soft, supple, and healthy. It also helps regulate skin growth, improve skin moisture content, promote even skin tone and strengthen the skin’s immune system. The Milk Protein with Aloe Vera Gel variant keeps babies feeling fresh and comfortable. It improves the skin’s regenerative properties and texture by hydrating the skin, soothes

“Because the Safi brand has always targeted the Muslim market and there has been growing demand for Halal products, we thought this could be a good diversification in the baby care industry..” skin and scalp, reduces redness from nappy rash, and nourishes and maintains the skin’s moisture balance. Safi ManjaCare Baby Bath is suitable for tender skin with a safe formulation that moisturises the skin. Safi ManjaCare Baby Shampoo’s mild formula is specially created to gently cleanse the baby’s delicate hair and scalp without leaving behind residue. Safi ManjaCare Baby Talc helps prevent skin infections and rashes, and keeps the diaper region dry. The talc also helps soothe prickly heat and relieve itchiness. For baby massage, Safi ManjaCare Baby Oil is light and can be absorbed quickly by the baby’s skin. Safi ManjaCare Baby Lotion has a gentle effect on the skin, prevents and soothes chapping and dryness. In line with Safi’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme, 20 lucky

babies stood a chance to win Safi Islamic Educational Insurance worth RM25,000 with every purchase of Safi ManjaCare products worth RM20 and above since its launch in August 2008, up until December last year. The Safi Islamic Educational Insurance policy matures when the child is 18 years old and this is Safi’s way of thanking loyal consumers. Halal certified by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM), the Safi ManjaCare range contains no alcohol, animal-based ingredients, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). It is now on the waiting list for HDC’s (Halal Industry Development Corporation) Halal certification. Safi ManjaCare products are now available nationwide in varying sizes from 50 ml to 500 g, priced from RM2.80 to RM11.90 in pharmacies, hypermarkets and supermarkets in Malaysia.


fast track | ASIA

IHI Alliance proceeds to public enquiry phase of Halal Logistics Module BY RUZANNA MUHAMMAD

AS A CONSTRUCTIVE PLATFORM for industries to communicate and network, the International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance) has been assiduously bringing together industry players, academicians and stakeholders to uphold the integrity of the Halal concept through certification, collaboration and membership. Following the first series of insightful Technical Committee meetings in August last year, IHI Alliance has completed the first draft of Halal Logistics - a Module of the Global Halal Standard, Logistics, along with at least five other modules will be presented to the OIC Standards Committee in Jeddah for endorsement. Once endorsed, it will then be released for public comment at the fourth World Halal Forum (WHF) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The OIC Standards Committee in Jeddah will be held in March 2009, hosted by the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) – an institution affiliated to the OIC. At the Islamic Summit in Senegal in March 2008, ICCI was given the mandate to lead in the development of Halal agenda for the OIC. ICCI will implement this mandate through IHI Alliance. The 10 modules of the Global Halal Standard are: • Logistics (subtopics: Warehouse; Transportation; and Terminal) • Foodservice (subtopics: Restaurants; Catering; and Retail) • Laboratory Testing and Analysis (subtopics: Ingredients and Products; Nutrition; and Halal Science R&D) • Animal Feeds and Inputs (subtopics: Feed 50 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

covering graze and fed, as well as nutrition and supplements; and NonFood Inputs covering antibiotics and hormones) Animal Welfare and Handling (subtopics: Transportation by air, sea and land specifying density, duration, handling, holding yards and care and segregation; and On Farm issues such as grazing, feedlots and breeding) Animal Slaughter and Processing (subtopics: Bovine; Poultry; Ovine; Camel and Game) Non-meat Processed Foods (subtopics: Dairy; Beverage; Confectionary and Frozen) Cosmetics and Toiletries (subtopics: Active Ingredients and Delivery Medium) Pharmaceuticals (subtopics: Active Ingredients and Delivery Medium) Finance (subtopics: Banking and Insurance)

According to IHI Alliance CEO, Darhim Dali Hashim, the logistics module was the first to be developed because there is no existing standard to refer to, and therefore had to be designed from scratch. The public comment phase, to be announced at WHF 2009 in May, will be open for six months and it is estimated that the module will be ready for publishing by the end of the year. With the first module out of the way, IHI Alliance continued its efforts to formulate the next module on foodservice. The first Technical Working Group meeting was held on 25th November 2008 in Hong Kong. When asked why IHI Alliance has chosen to hold the first meeting in Hong Kong, Darhim said, “We wanted to start with a venue where there are very little Halal options. But it was interesting to see

Industrial Roundtable on Halal Foodservice Module in Hong Kong -- IHI Alliance Manager of Halal Standards & Systems, Ahmad Azudin Abd. Khalid

that although Hong Kong is predominantly non-Muslim, Halal awareness has managed to seep into the community of foodservice providers. Some hotels there have opened a Halal counter in their premises, mainly to cater for foreign Muslim tourists.” Darhim also added, “We found that there is a lot of value in holding discussions on Halal standards in non-Muslim countries, because it highlights more challenging issues as compared to a Muslim-majority environment. Therefore, more issues and concerns were brought up highlighting ambiguities we might face in the implementation of a Halal standard in a nonMuslim country, which we take into consideration when formulating the Global Halal Standards.” IHI Alliance has been participating in many international events of late,

and will continue doing so with the intention of disseminating information on Halal and the Global Halal Standard. Darhim will be presenting a paper on the global Halal certification scenario at the CIES International Food Safety Conference to be held in Barcelona on 4-6th February 2009. This will be the first time Halal is raised as a topic of discussion at this event and Darhim sees this as a good opportunity to create awareness of Halal. Other events following CIES International Food Safety Conference will be Gulfood 2009 on 22-26th February in Dubai where IHI Alliance will be sharing a booth with the publisher of The Halal Journal, KasehDia Sdn Bhd. It will also hold a one-day workshop on-site in conjunction with Gulfood 2009 on the Food Service and Food Processing modules.


REGISTRATION FORM

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To register and pay on-line, please visit: www.worldhalalforum.org

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fast track | ASIA

Philippines’ RFM Meats Explores Halal Opportunities BY ZAAHIRA MUHAMMAD

RFM MEATS ABATTOIR in the Philippines has recently been awarded the Halal accreditation by the Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines – the local associate of the World Halal Council. The products from this abattoir are now 100 per cent Halal certified. The meat plant processes meat such as sausages, frankfurters and burgers under the Swift brand. Because of the fact that food buyers and companies in the Middle East look at the Philippines for sources of ready-to-eat food and food ingredients, even small and medium enterprises

in the Philippines are now showing more interest in the Halal market. RFM has been in the meat industry for 50 years and is known for producing a wide range of food and beverages, Swift chilled

and processed meats, Juicy hot dogs, Sam Brown meat products, and Mighty Meat hot dogs. This company also produce corned beef and luncheon meats in cans. With 1.8 billion Muslims around the world demanding Halal products, RFM has taken Halal into account for their future expansion plan. Although this new business is on a one-year trial, RFM has plans to export Halal products from their meat-processing plant in Laguna to major Middle Eastern markets, as well as Indonesia and Malaysia. RFM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jose

Concepcion III said, “The local production of Halal was intensive in imported inputs and that getting a piece of the USD560 billion-Halal food industry could prove difficult. We don’t have a beef industry here in the Philippines and the country is one of the biggest importers of poultry products.” “Our only actual value added in this is labour. RFM will try this for 12 months, if it works, then it is good and we will continue. But if it does not,” Concepcion said, “With more variations of products including pork (which is prohibited in Islam), the factory in Cabuyao town may have better use.”

First FTA between Singapore and the GCC signed SINGAPORE SIGNED its first free trade agreement (FTA) with the six-nation-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). A key component of the FTA could see Singapore exporting more Halal food to the members of the GCC. Originally, the agreement was started as an FTA between Singapore and Qatar during Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s visit to the Middle East in November 2006. After four rounds of discussions, the leaders from Singapore and the GCC countries put their signatures to this milestone agreement, which Prime Minister Lee said is significant in these difficult times. “It signals our intention to develop free trade and continue to expand our international relations 52 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

economically, at a time of considerable economic uncertainty in the world, at a time of financial turbulence and crisis in the global financial markets,” said P.M. Lee. About 99 per cent tarifffree access will be granted by the FTA for Singapore’s domestic exports to the GCC worth approximately S$3.1 billion. All GCC goods entering Singapore will also enjoy tariff-free access. Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Jassim Al-Thani said, “Singapore could be the GCC’s hub for Asian trade. Singapore has a good history in finance and trade, and it is (respected) by everybody in the world. GCC also has the same respect, and for that reason, both of us can be strong partners in many important projects as well as developing further relations

on the economic side.” Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry said the FTA is a comprehensive pact covering trade in goods and services, investments, rules of origin, customs procedures, electronic commerce and economic cooperation. A key feature is a greater recognition of Singapore’s Muslim-compliant food products. Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to recognise MUIS’s (Islamic Religious Council of Singapore) Halal Certification and Halal Mark immediately. MUIS said the recognition of its Halal Certification and Mark augurs well for Singapore’s position as a vital food hub and it will help boost trade between Singapore and the GCC countries, as well as contribute towards the harmonisation of

international Halal standards. The recognition of MUIS’s Halal certification will also attract more Muslim tourists and visitors from the Middle East, Asia, and other regions beyond. Aside from the three GCC countries that are recognising Singapore’s Halal certification immediately, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are in the process of discussions. The GCC is Singapore’s seventh largest trading partner with the volume of bilateral trade reaching a record high of S$42.4 billion in 2007. This is an increase of 127 per cent since 2002. Singapore’s growing investments in the GCC totalled S$357 million in 2006. When the new FTA takes effect, Prime Minister Lee hopes that it will further stimulate the links between Singapore and Gulf states.


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country in focus

ABU DHABI: THE RISING STAR OF THE MIDDLE EAST

Abu Dhabi is the Capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the largest of the seven Emirates, constituting over 87 per cent of the nation’s total land area. The Capital of UAE possesses 10 per cent of the world’s oil, five per cent of its gas reserves, and produces 90 per cent of oil in the UAE. The generated income has been purposely invested to create a first class infrastructure and flourishing modern metropolis.

A

bu Dhabi offers a variety of beautiful landscapes. Lush and verdant with large gardens and parks, it is known as the Green State whilst also being the location of the world’s largest sand dunes. In addition there are nearly 200 islands around Abu Dhabi, offering some of the most natural untouched beaches in the region. Great effort has been taken to protect Abu Dhabi’s natural scenic beauty and preserve the authentic spirit of Arabia. Abu Dhabi offers its cosmopolitan population the chance to pursue a very attractive lifestyle. One in which all the amenities and conveniences of modern living are available in the pleasant surroundings of a sun-kissed, waterfront city with abundant parks and tree-lined boulevards. Abu Dhabi is the centre of government and business life in the UAE, with the Abu Dhabi International Airport, for ease of use, ranking among the best airports in the Arab world. Within an eight hour radius of the city, business professionals and holiday makers alike can reach a vast array of cities and international destinations. The city is a unique mix of traditional Arabian charm and cosmopolitan sophistication. Combined with its

54 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

beautiful beaches, fantastic shopping venues, and top international resorts, Abu Dhabi City is an ideal place to live, work or visit. Stretching south to the beautiful green oases of Liwa lies some of the world’s largest sand dunes and to the east is the ancient oasis of Al Ain. Its sandy coastline is dotted with over 200 islands and is gently lapped by the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf. The Emirate was once the world’s best site for pearling and its rich seafaring tradition continues today with a myriad of watersport activities available from sailing on a traditional dhow to diving and deep sea fishing. Abu Dhabi is 160 kilometres south of Dubai, the second major city of the UAE, and is easily accessible by car or plane. Abu Dhabi has 90 per cent of the UAE oil reserves which, at current rate of production, are expected to last for another 100 years. In contrast, Dubai has about 10 per cent of the

reserves, which are expected to last for only another 10 years. With the impact of the oil and gas industry, Abu Dhabi became the wealthiest of the seven emirates. Abu Dhabi and Dubai contribute 80 per cent to the GDP of the country. Abu Dhabi is pursuing alternative commerce and business to diversify the economy. Plans are in place to increase tourism to the Emirate, although they are not as far along in development as Dubai. The exquisite Emirates Palace Hotel & Conference Center opened its doors in 2005, putting Abu Dhabi on the luxury hotel map for world class travellers and events. Etihad Airways based in Abu Dhabi, is designated the National Airline of the United Arab Emirates and one of the fastest growing airlines in the world. POLITICS Abu Dhabi has seen important changes in governance in recent


The UAE’s expanding economy and rising population have led to a notable expansion of credit over the past year, particularly mortgage and personal lending, with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ABID) experiencing the largest growth in profits. months. In April 2008, Abu Dhabi’s Executive Council announced what it termed “a new approach to government”, with the aim of promoting economic growth and improving governance. The number of ministries is being cut drastically and most are being renamed departments. In terms of foreign policy, one of the biggest topics on the agenda has been a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States (US). The negotiations have reached something of an impasse, but relations with the US remain strong and trade deals with other countries are underway. Pursuing this policy of openness in its economic relations, Abu Dhabi is also beginning to establish better links with its neighbours to the east, particularly with China, India, Kazakhstan and Vietnam. The UAE is also taking on an increasing role in regional affairs, as a leading peacekeeper and donor, while balancing close ties with Arab and Western countries, both strategically and economically. In spring 2008, Abu Dhabi announced plans to develop a joint political committee with Iran to improve cooperation between the two countries, including streamlining Customs regulations and building partnerships for projects in the oil sector. ECONOMIC INDICATORS Abu Dhabi’s GDP has been on the rise with strong oil revenues and new investment in infrastructure, real estate,

industry and tourism. Although the energy sector continues to dominate the economy – providing 90 per cent of government revenues, 95 per cent of exports and 59 per cent of GDP – non oil-based activity is increasing as a result of Abu Dhabi’s successful economic diversification and global integration programme. In May 2008, the Department of Planning and Economy unveiled its five-year strategic plan designed to expand Abu Dhabi’s industrial base, boost GDP growth and attract foreign investment. The government will spend an estimated USD200 billion on the new infrastructure needed to support the diversification programme over the coming five years. Major development projects are under way in the real estate sector as stateowned and mixed state-private real estate companies, such as Aldar and Sorough, are moving ahead with large-scale projects intended to add to the Emirate’s attractions as a cultural, tourism and business destination. The world certainly took notice in November 2007, when the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), a sovereign wealth fund (SWF), helped Citibank cope with its credit crunch losses by extending a USD7.5 billion loan in a deal that effectively

gave the SWF a 4.9 per cent share – the largest single stake. The highprofile deal focused attention on the growing strength of the world’s SWFs. TAQA, Etisalat and Mubadala are just some of the companies that have already bought substantial assets across a range of sectors in the US, Europe and Asia, and they have made it clear that they intend to continue with their expansion. BANKING The UAE banking sector posted very strong results for 2007 and has surpassed Saudi Arabia to become the largest in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in terms of assets. The UAE’s expanding economy and rising population have led to a notable expansion of credit over the past year, particularly mortgage and personal lending, with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ABID) experiencing the largest growth in profits. The crowded banking sector is also seeing several new entrants, including the Abu Dhabi-based Al Hilal Bank, bringing the number of Islamic banks in the UAE to eight. Meanwhile, the global credit crunch has forced many US and European banks to stem lending activity, creating an opportunity THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

55


country in focus

for local banks to provide the necessary funding for the ever-increasing number of projects in the Gulf. ISLAMIC FINANCIAL SERVICES As per research done by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Islamic banking assets accounted for 15 per cent of total banking sector assets in the UAE in 2007 – a 30 per cent growth over the past year. Abu Dhabi’s Al Hilal is the latest addition to the market, opening its doors in 2008 as the Emirate’s second dedicated Shariah compliant bank. Just as the number of Islamic finance institutions continues to grow, so do the number and complexity of services they offer. Consumer lending continues to show strong growth while Islamic bonds have gained in popularity despite the global credit crunch, due to their popularity for large-scale project and housing financing. INDUSTRY Abu Dhabi has benefited greatly from regional and Asian construction growth that has raised demand for building materials, which in turn, has led to huge industrial investments in a bid to push forward with developments while oil revenues are high. To meet the increasing demand, the Emirates has started a range of capacity-building projects in the steel, aluminium, cement and plastic industries, which are all key to the Emirate’s plans for economic diversification, while capitalising on the success of the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD) to build another industrial zone called Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ). TOURISM As part of its diversification strategy, Abu Dhabi’s government is making huge investments in a bid to develop and promote tourism. Abu Dhabi’s policy agenda, “Realising our potential”, is unequivocally aiming to build the emirate’s reputation as a high-end cultural destination 56 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

so as to develop a unique brand. Some key luxury hotel developments have been announced in 2008 and, along with the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), will provide the necessary infrastructure for the rapidly growing meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) and business tourism market. This is seen as one of the keys to developing the industry as a whole, as the authorities aim to encourage leisure extensions to business trips. Government-owned Etihad is also playing its part in promoting the sector, with most of its passengers passing through Abu Dhabi on a transit basis, bringing potential for stopover tourism. The Emirates is also busy increasing its number of cultural attractions. Perhaps the most publicised are the Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi galleries in the highly anticipated Cultural District, which is to be developed over the next few years on Saadiyat Island, to the north-east of the capital. Meanwhile, prestigious sports events, such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix, will increase the Emirate’s profile. ENVIRONMENT In an effort to protect its ecosystem and ensure environmental sustainability, Abu Dhabi is making

significant investments in alternative energy projects while encouraging research and development projects focused on maximising energy efficiency. Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) hopes to convert 20 per cent of its taxis, buses, trucks, cars and government fleets to compressed natural gas (CNG), a cleaner alternative compared to petrol, by 2012. EAD also took action to reduce the amount of gas flared by energy companies, resulting in a big improvement in air quality. Apart from conservation, Abu Dhabi has moved into the vanguard of the world’s leading supporters of alternative energy. In January 2008, the emirate held its inaugural World Future Energy Summit, which served as a preview of the exciting projects that Abu Dhabi has in the works. The most ambitious one is the Masdar initiative, an attempt to create the first zero-carbon, zero-waste city for a total budget of USD22 billion. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi is creating leading research and educational institutions through partnerships with leading universities, including the Masdar Insitute in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Masdar will demonstrate that green technology is not only good for hj the planet – it is also profitable.


islamic finance

THE NEED FOR AN

Islamic Monetary

FUND Words By HUZAIME HAMID

THE AMERICAN SUB-PRIME CATASTROPHE THAT BEGAN IN 2007 HAS NOW GROWN INTO A GLOBAL CRISIS. LIKE MANY OTHERS IN THE PAST, THE ASSET BUBBLE THAT BUILT UP IMPLODED, SETTING OFF A CHAIN REACTION ALONG ITS TRANSMISSION MECHANISM CREATING A FULL-BLOWN FINANCIAL CALAMITY.

I

t hit hard in 2008 causing household names in banking and finance to simply disappear. Whilst it appears that the financial crisis in the US and Europe has abated somewhat, it also seems that the economic impact is only now being felt. Massive layoffs, companies going bankrupt, production indices plunging, export growth curtailing, and major nations declaring recessions all lend to a gloomy outlook. These events could well lead to a second round of strain onto banking and financial systems. Governments are, quite naturally, fighting to stave it off: massive liquidity injections, guarantees for “strategic” industries, a race to the bottom for interest rates, business rescues, stimulus packages, and other pro-growth policies have been announced. Weaker economies, however, have had to turn towards the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for aid. Recently, several countries have become recipients either due to the financial crisis or due to the skyrocketing costs of food and other essentials (see Table 1). In addition, El Salvador has asked for a precautionary arrangement of USD0.8 billion and the Kyrgyz Republic has asked for a USD0.1 billion line under the Exogenous Shocks Facility of the IMF. With a global economic crisis being predicted by some and so many countries asking for aid, one has to ask how much the IMF can lend. As at the end of August 2008, IMF had USD201 billion in loanable funds against loans outstanding of USD18.3 billion. In addition to this, the IMF has another two borrowing 58 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

arrangements to bolster its lending capability: the General Agreements to Borrow (GAB) and the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB). Both are arrangements between several member countries with IMF to provide funds for IMF activities when needed and are in force until 2013. The GAB has the potential amount of SDR17 billion, plus an additional SDR1.5 billion from Saudi Arabia. The three biggest participants are the US at SDR4.25 billion, Germany

at SDR2.38 billion, and Japan at SDR2.12 billion. The NAB has a potential amount of SDR34 billion with the three biggest participants being the US at SDR6.64 billion, and Japan and Germany both at SDR3.52 billion. SDR stands for “Special Drawing Rights” whose value changes; for this article, where conversion is necessary, the rate of USD1.57 per SDR is used. Can the IMF save everyone during a global economic crisis? It appears


islamic finance

Table 1: Recipients of IMF Aid Country

Aid Amount 2006 GDP (USD bn.) (USD bn.)

Aid over GDP (%)

Armenia Belarus Hungary Iceland Latvia Malawi Pakistan Senegal Seychelles Ukraine Total

0.01 2.5 15.7 2.1 2.4 0.08 7.6 0.7 0.03 16.4 47.52

0.2 6.7 17.7 12.6 11.9 2.5 6.0 7.6 3.8 15.4

6.4 37.0 112.9 16.7 20.1 3.2 127.0 9.2 0.8 106.5

Sources: IMF, Various

Table 2: Extent of IMF’s Commitments to the World Area

2006 GDP Crisis Funds Needed (USD billion) (USD billion) at 13.3% of GDP

World EU Africa* Developing Asia*

48,436 14,595 950

6,441 1,941 126

4,691

623.9

Source: IMF; calculations by author *IMF defined

Table 3: Latvia’s current case Aid Source

Amount (USD billion)

EU World Bank IMF Other bilateral arrangements Total

4.3 0.6 2.4 3.2 10.5

that at this stage, the IMF needs more funds. British Premier Gordon Brown recently visited the Gulf Coast Countries to ask for more funds. Indeed, assuming all the OIC member countries need IMF aid at the same time, would IMF’s reserves be enough to accommodate? Economists L. Laeven and F. Valencia in their November 2008 IMF Working Paper, “Systemic Banking Crisis: A New Database” noted all important banking crises from 1970 to 2007 covering 42 systemic crises of 37 countries: “Fiscal costs, net of recoveries, associated with crisis management can be substantial, averaging about 13.3 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on average and can be as high as 55.1 per cent of GDP.”

Taking this 13.3 per cent as a yardstick, applied against the OIC member countries’ 2006 GDP of USD1,996 billion, a full blown crisis would reveal that the OIC member countries need around USD265 billion.While within IMF capabilities, the problem is that IMF has to service the entire world, and not just OIC member countries. Using the same parameters, we see the possible extent of IMF’s commitments (see Table 2). It is obvious from the above that any country, and not just OIC member countries, would have to stand in line and be prioritised for aid should banking crises hit many more countries. There are, of course, other methods. One could ask for bilateral aid or loans from other institutions. Latvia’s current case is instructive (see Table 3). There also exists the avenue of issuing sovereign bonds to raise needed funds. Doing so during a crisis, however, may not prove successful or may entail too much debt issued to receive the needed amount of funds. Such issues may be made less attractive if the repayments of these bonds are tied to recovery rates of distressed companies and assets. Laeven and Valencia further noted: “Recoveries of fiscal outlays vary widely as well, with the average recovery rate reaching 18.2 percent of the gross fiscal costs.” This option becomes more difficult for less developed countries to access, given that most of them have little international debt raising ability. Hence, an international aid agency may be the only party a crisis-ridden nation can turn to. This brings us to the big question of whether OIC member countries should organise their own multinational agency or mechanism to help those in crisis. In Asia, there exists a mechanism called the Chiang Mai Initiative, which is a series of bilateral swap arrangements targeted at helping signatories in times of

crisis. The amount committed at last count was USD84 billion, not insubstantial by any measure. Should an agency be created for OIC member countries, there are other significant benefits that could accrue. For example: 1. The building up and capture of knowledge on financial and economic systems and methods, particularly as to how they would apply to the OIC member countries 2. Further advocation and advancement of Islamic finance, especially on how it would apply at the country level as opposed to the company level 3. Increased promotion of Islamic value systems on a unified and global scale 4. Grouping the best financial and economic talent within the OIC member countries whilst inspiring younger generations 5. Studying and perhaps helping realise a unified common currency that could improve trade and integration within the OIC member countries while shielding weaker countries in a time of strain 6. Provide advice on “best growth paths” and “best practices” for countries plus recommendations on stabilisation techniques during a crisis Needless to say, such an undertaking should steer clear of the pitfalls that other multinational efforts have fallen prey to such as unequal contributions, rights, and/ or participation in common activities. Indeed, the time may now be right, if not necessary, to lay the foundations for a financial “safety net” for OIC member countries. The sustained prosperity of 1.4 billion Muslims in the OIC member hj countries may depend on it.

Huzaime Hamid is an independent researcher in Malaysia. The opinions he expresses are his own. Please email feedback to abstemiousepicurian@yahoo.com. THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

59


Islamic finance update

COMPILED BY ZAAHIRA MUHAMMAD

JAN+FEB 09 PUBLIC BANK SETS UP ISLAMIC BANK UNIT Public Bank Bhd (PBB) has set up a wholly-owned subsidiary, Public Islamic Bank Bhd, to carry out Islamic banking business with effect from Nov 1. In a statement, PBB said its Islamic banking business, which has been conducted through the window concept, would be transferred to Public Islamic Bank. PBB said the setting up of Public Islamic Bank reflected the group’s strong commitment to further enhance its Islamic banking business in line with the objectives of Bank Negara Malaysia’s Financial Sector Masterplan. |SOURCE: BIZ.THESTAR.COM.MY, 4 NOVEMBER 2008

INDIA EYES ISLAMIC BANKING SECTOR IMPLEMENTATION Recent reports indicate that the Indian banking market is keen to tap into the macro financing opportunities provided by the Islamic banking sector. As a result, the Indian government is currently considering introducing Islamic banking as a means of obtaining further financing for its minorities and is looking at the equity-based sector as a possible remedy for the damage caused by the current global economic crisis. Islamic banking, which is equitybased instead of interest-based, has a series of specific financial instruments such as the Sukuk, a financial certificate which can be regarded as an Islamic equivalent of a bond. Sukuk can be used to transform an asset’s future cash flow into present cash flow by being issued on existing assets or assets which may become available at a specific date in the future. The Indian government has thus appointed a special committee from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to study the functioning of the various instruments involved in Islamic finance and banking. The latter is seen as a means to access a large amount of financial capital which Muslims in India are currently unable to invest due the strict Islamic banking and investment principles which prohibit the 60 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

charging, or paying of interest. Moreover, the Muslim community in India is currently seen as the country’s most heavily disadvantaged at a financial level, with a rate of financial exclusion reaching 80 percent. |SOURCE: THEPAYPERS.COM, 10 NOVEMBER 2008

INSURANCE FIRM’S REVENUES SURGE Bahrain Islamic insurance group Takaful International Company saw its total insurance subscriptions increase by 61 per cent in the first nine months of the year, up from BD6.86 million last time to BD11.04m. Total Takaful revenues came to BD4.96m compared to BD3.91m over the same period last year and total income of subscribers and shareholders portfolios rose by 80pc to BD438,000. Technical insurance reserves rose 34pc to BD11.34m, assets increase by 20pc to BD22.6m while earnings per share improved by 86pc. Takaful International chief executive officer Younis Jamal Al Sayed said that the company was able to raise its share of the market and this indicates the success of the company’s marketing strategy and commitment towards providing the best innovative insurance products and services in compliance with Shariah. |SOURCE: GULF-DAILY-NEWS. COM, 16 NOVEMBER 2008

INSURANCE INDUSTRY READY FOR NEW FRAMEWORK The insurance industry is ready to implement the Risk Based Capital framework effective Jan 1 as it sees the framework helping them to develop a strong capital buffer. The framework would also further strengthen the resilience and robustness of their risk management infrastructure and capability, Bank Negara said in a statement after a meeting with the industry leaders yesterday. The central bank said the meeting also discussed the importance of being vigilant against fraudulent claims and potential fraud. “In this regard, the meeting agreed for greater exchange of

information and consultation between the industry and Bank Negara on emerging trends and developments that may affect the sector,” it said. As part of the pre-emptive measure to maintain the stability of the financial system, Bank Negara has made available liquidity facility to insurance companies and takaful operators regulated and supervised by the central bank.

145.2 million ringgit, Public Bank said in a statement. Malaysian lenders are seeking new growth markets as stiff competition squeezes margins. Islamic banking is tapped to be one of the key growth drivers for Malaysia’s economy, as lenders capitalise on rising demand for ethical investments in this mostly Muslim country.

|SOURCE: BIZ.THESTAR.COM.

ISLAMIC FINANCE TO PLAY SIGNIFICANT ROLE

MY, 6 NOVEMBER 2008

MALAYSIA’S RHB ISLAMIC IN UNIT TRUST, INSURANCE DEAL Malaysian Shariah lender RHB Islamic Bank Bhd said on Wednesday it had signed a deal with five firms to distribute Islamic unit trust funds and insurance products. RHB Islamic, the Shariah banking arm of Malaysia’s fourth-largest lender RHB will distribute the products of fund management firms AmInvestment Services Berhad, HwangDBS Investment Management Berhad, RHB Investment Management Sdn Bhd and Islamic insurers Takaful Ikhlas and MAA Takaful. “The demand and potential market for Islamic wealth management products within the fund management and takaful (Islamic insurance) sector have experienced an upward trend globally,” RHB Islamic Chairman Faisal Siraj said in a statement. “We are pleased to note that these strong and positive demands are not only generated from the Muslim customers, but also from our non-Muslim investors.” |SOURCE: REUTERS.COM, 5 NOVEMBER 2008

MALAYSIA’S PUBLIC BANK SETS UP ISLAMIC SUBSIDIARY Public Bank, Malaysia’s third largest lender by assets, has set up an Islamic banking subsidiary, the lender said on Friday. Public Bank will transfer its Islamic banking business, which it now runs through a window, to its subsidiary on November 1. The Shariah banking subsidiary will have an authorised share capital of 500 million ringgit ($140.5 million) and a paid-up share capital of

|SOURCE: REUTERS.COM, 31 OCTOBER 2008

Commercialbank has participated as sponsor of the recently concluded annual World Islamic Infrastructure Finance conference. It was for the third year, the bank has been sponsoring the WIIFC, where Finance Minister HE Yousef Hussein Kamal gave the keynote address. “We see the Islamic finance market playing a significant role in facilitating the financing of infrastructure projects locally and regionally, especially in key sectors,” said Khalil Shaltout, Executive General Manager and Chief Islamic Banking Officer of Al Safa. He said the bank recognised the growth and underlying importance of Islamic banking at all levels and the significant rise in the number of projects using Islamic finance in all sectors of the economy. Shaltout emphasised on the importance of Sukuk and investment funds as “these are considered to be vital tools to finance the infrastructure and development projects in Qatar, particularly the new sectors such as healthcare, oil and gas, and transportation.” |SOURCE: GULF-TIMES.COM, 3 NOVEMBER 2008

GOV’T ORGANISATION SEEKS TO EDUCATE ON ISLAMIC FINANCE The UK could become an international provider of Islamic finance with an education scheme from UK Trade & Investment. Currently, Islamic finance is believed to be worth £249 billion, and it is predicted to grow a further 15 per cent per annum in the next few years.


1 & 2 April 2009, Hotel Nikko Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Asia Pacific Islamic Financial Market Conference 2009 ‘Expanding Islamic Capital Market in the Global Financial Market’

Synopsis:

The conference is timely and important as the regulators and industry experts in the Asia Pacific region will evaluate the effect of the turbulence in the global financial landscape and provide their insights and expertise into how Islamic finance can move forward cohesively.

Key issues: Jointly organized by:

i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi.

Developing Muslim Economies Through Modern Islamic Finance The State of the Industry: Market Practice Regionally New Emerging Islamic Financial Market in Asia Pacific Islamic Fund Raising in Asia Pacific How Client Perceive the Islamic Capital Market The Issues and Challenges Faced by Market Participant in Undertaking Islamic Capital Market Business vii. Promoting Consolidation of Shariah Applications Worldwide – Ensuring Shariah Principle for Acceptance and Recognition of Differences are Complied With

For more information, please contact the conference secretariat at: Tel : +603 2031 1010 Fax : +603 2078 5250 E-mail : khairul.sabudin@ibfim.com

www.apifmc.com


Islamic finance update

JAN+FEB 09 The main principle of finance under Shariah law is that making money from money, such as interest, is forbidden and the majority of high street banks offer Shariahcompliant banking services. Andrew Cahn, chief executive of UK Trade & Investment, said: “In these tough times it’s more important than ever that we make the most of growing sectors like Islamic finance. “That’s why it is important the UK’s financial industry provides an open door and positions London as a leader western financial centre for Islamic finance.” Meanwhile, Muslims have been offered the first Halal car insurance products. Principle Insurance Holdings is aiming the new Salaam car insurance at Britain’s two million Muslims as part of a number of Shariah-compliant financial products. |SOURCE: GAAPWEB.COM, 3 NOVEMBER 2008

ISLAMIC FINANCE CHALLENGES TO BE REVIEWED The challenges and opportunities of Islamic banking and finance especially in the current international financial environment will be discussed at a key conference in Bahrain. The AAOIFI-World Bank Annual Conference for Islamic Banking and Finance will be held on Monday and Tuesday at the Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel, Residence and Spa. It is organised by the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) in partnership with the World Bank, and is held under the auspices of Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). Opening addresses at the conference will be delivered by Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Housing Minister and Chairman of AAOIFI Board of Trustees Shaikh Ibrahim bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, CBB Governor Rasheed Al Maraj and World Bank Vice-President for East Asia and Pacific Region James Adams. “This conference, which is a premier event for the international Islamic finance

62 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JAN+FEB 2009

industry, brings together leading Shariah scholars and Islamic finance practitioners to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the industry especially in the current international financial environment. The active involvement of the World Bank in organising this conference is a testimony to the importance of the industry and to Bahrain’s leading position as an Islamic finance centre.” said AAOIFI Secretary-General Dr Mohamad Nedal Alchaar. |SOURCE: GULF-DAILY-NEWS. COM, 5 NOVEMBER 2008

OCBC BANK TO OPEN MALAYSIAN ISLAMIC SUBSIDIARY IN DECEMBER Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, through its subsidiary OCBC Bank Malaysia, has unveiled the name and logo for its Islamic banking subsidiary, OCBC Al-Amin, which is scheduled to commence business on December 1, 2008. Legally known as OCBC Al-Amin Bank Berhad, the 100%-owned subsidiary shares the same name and logo as its main company, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC Bank), to reportedly reflect its history and heritage. The bank said that all Islamic banking products and services offered through OCBC Al-Amin would also continue to be made available at OCBC Bank Malaysia’s 29 conventional branches. OCBC Al-Amin is licensed to offer the full range of Shariah compliant universal banking services including Islamic hire-purchase and Shariahcompliant corporate finance activities as set out under schedule four of the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007. OCBC Bank Malaysia Chairman Nasruddin Bahari said that while OCBC Al-Amin will observe the Shariah tenets, it will also serve as an Islamic bank for non-Muslims. Mr Bahari has also been appointed as the chairman of OCBC Al-Amin. |SOURCE: ISTOCKANALYST. COM, 13 NOVEMBER 2008

PROMOTE SHARIAH BANKING! The gloomy global economic climate presents an opportunity

for Islamic banks to market and promote the principles of Islamic banking. That was the claim made yesterday by Kuwait Finance House - Bahrain Chief Executive and Managing Director, Abdulhakeem Alkhayyat. KFH - Bahrain is the platinum sponsor of the event. “The conference is providing a unique and high profile platform for the advancement of the global Islamic banking industry,” he said. “The exchange of ideas during the conference, not only contributes to the growth of our knowledge, but also inspires excellence. “The co-hosting of the World Bank for this event is a clear vindication of the credibility that the AAOIFI enjoys and for the importance of Islamic banking in general.” The conference is addressing several important topics including Shariah harmonisation, regulation and supervision, international accounting standards and the potential for Shariah violation. |SOURCE: GULF-DAILY-NEWS. COM, 11 NOVEMBER 2008

TAKAFUL IKHLAS APPOINTS PAISOL AS DIRECTOR Takaful Ikhlas Sdn Bhd has appointed Paisol Ahmad as a director, effective Aug 6, 2008. Paisol, who is the Senior Vice President 1, Financial Management Audit and Risk Management Division of Permodalan Nasional Bhd, will act as a non-independent and non-executive director of Takaful Ikhlas. Takaful Ikhlas said in a statement here today that Paisol, 54, is also a former Executive Director and Senior Vice President of Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd and a Member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants. |SOURCE: BERNAMA, 31 OCTOBER 2008

THREE BIDDERS FOR STAKE IN MNRB TAKAFUL UNIT-PAPER Three international insurers and an international bank are interested in acquiring a stake in the takaful unit of MNRB Holdings Bhd, the Malaysian

Reserve reported Monday. Reinsurer MNRB has not made a decision on the sale of a stake in the unit, Takaful Ikhlas Sdn Bhd, the paper said. Takaful is an Islamic insurance concept. Takaful Chief Operating Officer, Syed Moheeb Kamarulzaman, said a number of foreign financial institutions have approached the takaful operator over a stake in the company. “A foreign partner must be in a position to help Takaful Ikhlas to expand overseas. It’s not just for them to enter the local market,” he said. Malaysia currently has eight takaful operators. |SOURCE: REUTERS.COM, 17 NOVEMBER 2008

TOP BANKING FORUM SET A key Islamic banking conference opens in Bahrain on Monday. Organised by the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) in partnership with the World Bank, the two-day event is held under the auspices of Central Bank of Bahrain. The conference will be held at the Gulf International Convention and Exhibition Centre at the Gulf Hotel. “This conference, which is a premier event for the international Islamic finance industry, brings together the leading Shariah scholars and Islamic finance practitioners to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the industry especially in the current international financial environment,” said AAOIFI secretary-general Dr Mohamad Nedal Alchaar. “The involvement of the World Bank in organising this conference is a testimony to the importance of the industry and to the kingdom’s leading position as an Islamic finance centre.” AAOIFI is the international organisation that formulates standards on accounting, auditing, ethics, governance, and Shariah for the international Islamic finance industry. |SOURCE: GULF-DAILY-NEWS. COM, 7 NOVEMBER 2008


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JAN+FEB 2009

ISLAMIC TOURISM: A GROWING TREND KUALA LUMPUR: DINING & GOING PLACES RESTAURANT REVIEW: QTHAI RESTAURANT, KL BOOK REVIEW: TAWHID & SCIENCE

THE HALAL JOURNAL

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LIVING

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Muslims Are Welcome in Hanoi

Islamic Tourism Trend Hanoi : An ordinary day in town

Local condiments: a common snack


cover story

HANOI: in the Mood Words By ANNE VELU

for Islamic Tourism Entrance to Al-Nour Mosque

View from the streets: the pagodastyle minaret of Al-Nour Mosque

Until the economic downturn at the end of 2008, Vietnam had become an increasingly popular destination for business and leisure tourists from all over the world. With the increase in specifically Islamic tourism, which in South East Asia has seen the emergence of Asia Pacific Islamic Travel and Tours Federation – set up to “safeguard” the interests of Muslim tourists; we look at one South East Asian destination which is often overlooked: Hanoi.

i

slamic travel does not cater only for those going for the Umrah and Hajj, but also leisure travel. Muslims can now choose travel packages to Korea, Japan, Europe and the US in addition to destinations in China, Cambodia and Vietnam. Malaysia is a tourist hub for Islamic travel packages. “Islamic tourism has great potential,” said Razali Daud, deputy director general of Tourism Malaysia. “In addition to promoting Malaysia as a main tourist destination for Muslims, the Malaysian government aims to make Malaysia a tourism hub for Muslims in the region.” AirAsia and Malaysian Airlines fly daily to Hanoi from Kuala Lumpur.

68 THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING | JAN+FEB 2009

ABOUT HANOI Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a delightful city with many preserved examples of French Colonial architecture. Hanoi is located in the north of Vietnam and serves as the centre for politics, economics and culture for the country, with a current population of more than 2 million citizens. Hanoi is a captivating city and a must visit for all travellers. Hanoi is on a plain close to the delta region of the Red river, and has a climatic zone under the influence of South and Northeast monsoons. Winter is cold and dry and the Northeast monsoons are frequent. It is hot from April to June, but from July to September, there are sometimes heavy rains

and floods. Autumn and the first half of winter are the most beautiful seasons in Hanoi. Temperatures in January average 16°C, while in June temperatures of 28°C are normal. HANOI’S AL NOUR MOSQUE 12 HANG LUOC STREET, KIM MA COMMUNE, HOAN KIEM DISTRICT, HANOI Travelling and trading have traditionally lead to the spread of religion, this is true of Islam especially as merchants plied the silk trade routes to China and beyond and not surprisingly the origins of the only Mosque in Hanoi comes from this age old tradition. Built in approximately 1885, Al Nour or Light of God Mosque is situated in the Old Quarter of Hanoi and its very architecture conjures up images of ages past: caravans of traders bringing with them their own culture, religion, styles and way of life. For all who have travelled to or worked in Hanoi, the noise of the city can be a real culture shock to the uninitiated. Crossing the road comes with a set of instructions which include – “do not hesitate, do not go back or you risk being run over”, so when you find yourself on this quiet little side street in the old quarter of Hanoi, the tranquillity


Hanoi’s handmade souvenirs

In an antic souvenir shop...

Traditional transportation of goods

After prayers...

The caretaker told us that he took over the job of caretaker from his father who had migrated as a young man from Pakistan, looking to make his fortune with a trading business

of this oasis of calm and prayer is a refreshing respite. Sitting under the rustling leaves of an ancient spreading tree in the paved entrance courtyard and talking first to the hereditary caretaker and then to the new young Imam from the south of Vietnam makes a delightful change from the heat and noise on the other side of the high wall surrounding this beautiful building. On this Friday a varied group of Muslims, most of them expatriates connected to embassies or involved in trading from Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Lebanon, North Africa and the Middle East gathered to attend prayers. The contingent of Muslims from Vietnam itself is small on this day. The caretaker told us that he took over the job of caretaker from his father who had migrated as a young man from Pakistan, looking to make his fortune with a trading business. His father married a Vietnamese and settled permanently in Vietnam, he himself has also married a Vietnamese and they live adjacent to the Mosque with their young family. The young Imam was from the south of the country and he told us there was a greater number of Muslims in the south, he believed

the number to be approximately 300,000. When asked what was the greatest challenge facing Muslims in Vietnam, his response was, “We do not have enough teaching, not enough teachers or materials so that we can grow in our Islamic ways.” The architecture of the mosque Al Nour, which is also known as the Indian Pagoda Mosque, conjures up images of a romantic past. Carved stone work adorns the pagoda-like minaret and the external walls of the building lending a distinctly Northern Indian flavour to the architecture. We were told that the original building was commissioned by rich Indian merchants who had moved to Vietnam and were involved in the trade of silks, cottons and jewellery, or were involved with money changing. Just as the primary worshippers at this Mosque in the past were expatriates, today it is the same with the number of Vietnamese Muslims in Hanoi being under twenty. EATING HALAL IN HANOI As the number of Muslims travelling to and working in Hanoi increases, so do their options for eating out. There are three well known Halal restaurants in the centre of Hanoi and two of the major hotel chains also have Halal food available. Interestingly, the three Halal restaurants are all Malaysian owned and operated. Malaysia has worked to develop Halal as a concept and to export the knowledge and expertise developed in recent years in this area to its nearest Asian neighbours. The fact that the three well known Halal concept restaurants in Hanoi are owned and operated by expatriate Malaysians shows that the Malaysian Government’s push for Halal products and knowledge to grow is a successful one. Halal certification in Hanoi comes directly from the Al Nour Mosque. Nisa Restaurant • 90 Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi • Tel: +844 926 1859 • Email: bentaat@yahoo.com The oldest Halal establishment in Hanoi is Nisa Restaurant, which is owned by Chinese Muslim, Mr. Ben Taat Hai Alias from Johor, Malaysia. The restaurant has hosted many famous Muslims (including former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir) over the years and their photos adorn the walls. The food is primarily a mix of Malaysian, Indonesian and Indian cuisine with traditional roti canai, naan breads, chapathis, murtabak alongside satay and tom yum. The restaurant has a delivery service to major hotels in Hanoi. THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING | JAN+FEB 2009

69


Under one roof: A taste of Indonesian, Malaysian and Indian cuisine

A Malaysian flag in one of Hanoi’s Malaysian owned Halal restaurants

A taste of Malaysia in Hanoi

There are three well known Halal restaurants in the centre of Hanoi and two of the major hotel chains also have Halal food available. Malaysia In Hanoi • 136 E, Tran Vu St, Truc Bach, Ba Dinh, Hanoi • Tel: +844 715 2512 Malaysia In Hanoi is the brainchild of two enterprising Malaysian ladies, Rodiah Yusop and Aspa Abdullah, and it situated in the scenic Truc Bac Lake area. The lake is just across the road from the restaurant and it is a short cab ride from the centre of the city. Serving truly Malaysian food, this Halal certified restaurant has traditional favourites available such as nasi lemak, rendang and sambal sotong. Like many restaurants here in Hanoi, Malaysia In Hanoi has a delivery service available to major hotels. Warung Sri Belango Halal Restaurant •26 Ong Ich Khiem, Dien Bien, Ba Dinh, Hanoi • Tel: +844 734 7216 Warung Sri Belango Halal Restaurant again has a Malaysian theme and serves dishes such as nasi lemak and fried rice, which have been prepared by their experienced Malaysian chef. With great Malaysian ambience which is reminiscent of a Malaysian Kopitiam (Malaysian Chinese coffee shop), this is a family restaurant that also does catering for outside functions and again has a delivery service to the hotels in Hanoi. Hanoi is home to over sixty embassies with many of them coming from Muslim countries. 70 THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING | JAN+FEB 2009

This combined with the increase of Muslim business and leisure travellers has lead two of the leading hotels to introduce Halal into their restaurants and function catering. Melia Hanoi Hotel • 44B, Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hanoi • Tel.: (84-4) 3934 3343 Melia Hanoi Hotel introduced Halal into their offering for tourists and business travellers back in 2001 with the introduction of a Halal dedicated kitchen facility which is capable of catering to groups and large banquets. The meals are prepared by Muslim chefs in a separate kitchen facility which includes a dedicated stewarding area and utensils for the preparation of Halal food Special food products which are not available in Hanoi are imported. The Melia Hanoi offers a range of Halal dishes on the a la carte menus in the hotel’s restaurants and room service. The Melia Hanoi also offers prayer carpets and copies of the Holy Qur’an on request. It is situated in the centre of Hanoi’s business and government district. Sheraton Hanoi Hotel • K5 Nghi Tam, 11 Xuan Dieu Street, Hanoi • Tel.: + 844 3719 9000 Situated on the picturesque shore of Hanoi’s largest West Lake, Sheraton Hanoi Hotel is 20 minutes from the airport and only 10 minutes

from the city centre. The Hotel has recognised the need to service the ever increasing Muslim market and has a dedicated Halal restaurant called the Hemispheres. This is a specialty restaurant where the Halal cuisine embodies a celestial joining of East and West – a creative and unique fusion of Vietnamese and Asian tastes with a European influence. Guests may choose to dine inside or on the Grand Terrace overlooking the West Lake, and hj it is open for lunch and dinner. NOTES • Roti canai is a type of Malaysia flatbread made from copious amount of clarified butter, wheat flour, egg and water, and is typically served with spicy curry or lentil curry at Mamak (Indian Muslims) stalls in Malaysia. • Chapati is a thin, unleavened flatbread typically found in South Asia and East Africa. It is made from atta flour (wholegrain durum wheat flour), water and salt. The Indian chapatti is served with lentil, vegetable, mutton or chicken curries. • Murtabak in Malaysia is a type of savoury pastry filled with minced beef, mutton or chicken in a batter of onions and eggs. • Satay is a famous Indonesian and Malaysian dish of marinated beef, chicken or mutton on bamboo skewers grilled over charcoal fire. • Tom yum is spicy sour soup and is a famous authentic Thai dish. • Nasi lemak is rice cooked in coconut milk, and is typically served with fried dried anchovies cooked in a dry spicy sauce and garnished with cucumber slices, a hardboiled egg and roasted peanuts. • Rendang is a dry spicy dish of beef, mutton or chicken slowly cooked in coconut milk. This dish originated from Minangkabau of Indonesia, and has become a famous dish in Malaysia and Singapore. • Sambal sotong is a dish of squids cooked in a dry spicy sauce made of ground chillies and onions.


journey

K.L.

PHOTOS BY RUZANNA MUHAMMAD, HARIZ KAMAL AND TAUFIQ HARAHAP

KUALA LUMPUR Where to go and what to eat?

Words By HARIZ KAMAL

Putra Mosque in Putrajaya

K

uala Lumpur and its adjoining areas are collectively called the Klang Valley because it is bordered by mountainous ranges on all sides except in the east. The name “Kuala Lumpur” literally means “muddy capital”, because the city was established in the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers. With a wealth of history and cultural diversity, Kuala Lumpur – or KL as it’s known to Malaysians – hosted immigrants and traders from China, India, and Arabia. Since then, expatriates have come from countries such as Australia, England, and Germany, to name a few, and now call KL their home. These elements of diversity have translated to a unique fusion of peoples, and are also reflected in Kuala Lumpur’s architectural landscape, which blends skyscrapers and quaint old buildings. SHOPPING Kuala Lumpur’s primary tourist attraction is the resplendent Suria KLCC. Known for its dynamic architecture and boasting the tallest twin towers in the world, Suria KLCC is the premier destination for KL visitors looking for shopping fashion, entertainment, leisure, dining and art. It also brings the Petronas Philharmonic Hall and the Galeri Petronas under one roof.

72 THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING | JAN+FEB 2009

View of the Sultan Abdul Samad building from Dataran Merdeka

KLCC lies at the heart of the city’s Golden Triangle, which is actually a large area that encompasses three roads - Jalan Imbi, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Raja Chulan. It is the main commercial shopping and entertainment hub, as well as a business district of the country. The trendy Bintang Walk is also nearby and is surrounded by a number of shopping complexes such as Lot 10, StarHill, KL Plaza, Sungei Wang Plaza and Bukit Bintang Plaza. Bintang Walk’s latest addition is the seven-storey Pavilion KL, home to a mix of hot fashion names such as Gucci, COACH, Canali, Giuseppe Zanotti, TOD’S, Chloe, Versace, Shanghai Tang, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Aigner, Salvatore Ferragamo, and AX Armani Exchange, to name just a few. It’s not all branded goods at the Golden Triangle – you can also find affordable clothing, a range of electronic gadgets and some of the best hawker stalls in the city. LANDMARKS Main attractions are spread throughout the city, such as Independence Square (Dataran Merdeka), where Malaysia’s independence was declared in 1957. Also in the immediate area are the Sultan Abdul Samad building and other Colonial-era structures. The National Mosque is also open for tourists, and

Night view of Kuala Lumpur

KL Monorail traffic

the Islamic Arts Museum is nearby. For a more historical tour of KL, visit the National Museum or the Moorish-style Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. The fascinating, narrow streets of Chinatown and Petaling Street are also in the city centre for those looking for unbelievably low-priced goods. ARTS Just a stone’s throw away is Malaysia’s unique arts cum culture bazaar, the Central Market. This popular two-storey social hub comprises an exciting mix of shops and kiosks selling Malaysian handicraft, personalised T-shirts, costume jewellery, trinkets, delicate glass-blown decorations, ceramics, pottery, batik scarves and apparel, and paintings and portraits. KL also has several good theatres and performances venues, such as the National Theatre (Istana Budaya) and KL Performing


Travel Note

KL SENTRAL is the city’s transportation hub and merges taxi and train services, buses as well as high-speed rail link to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport KLIA. The KL Hilton and Le Meridian hotels are also nearby. TRAINS • PUTRALINE LIGHT RAIL TRANSITS (PUTRA LRT) is the most convenient mode of transportation from the suburbs to get to and around the KL city centre. The fare for the full stretch is RM4.50, and it runs from 6am to 12 midnight, seven days a week. Frequency of service during peak hours is between 90 seconds and 3 minutes. • www.putralrt.com. • STAR LRT: The Ampang Line runs between Sentul Timur in the north and Ampang in the east of Kuala Lumpur. It takes 15 minutes to cover the entire 12km journey and the fare is RM2.50 for the full stretch. It operates every five minutes from 7am to 8pm, and every eight minutes off-peak. • www.rapidkl.com.my

Docked...The Putra LRT stopped for passengers

Sungei Wang in Bukit Bintang

Central Market: Malaysia’s unique arts cum culture bazaar

• KL MONORAIL is fully elevated with 11 stations and is designed to complement and integrate with the existing and planned urban transportation systems, interfacing other rail systems at: - Titiwangsa and Hang Tuah stations >Integration with LRT1 (STAR) - Bukit Nanas station and KL Sentral >Integration with LRT2 (PUTRA) - KL Sentral >Integration with ERL (Express Rail Link servicing the KLIA) - KL Sentral via KL >Integration with the KTM electrified commuter system • www.monorail.com.my BUSES KL city buses offer several types of service in the city and the suburbs between 6.00am to 12 midnight. Feeder buses run from Lot 10 on Jalan Sultan Ismail to Hentian Dua (the Airport Bus Terminal) on Jalan Duta. The trip takes around 30 minutes depending on traffic and the frequency is every 20 minutes. However, the schedule is sometimes unreliable, depending on traffic conditions and the time of the day. • www.rapidkl.com.my

Food court scene: Hartamas Square in KL

TAXIS Taxis are a useful way to get around. Their fares are based on a metered rate and they are available 24 hours a day. The flag-off rate is RM 2.00 and 10 cents is charged for every 150 metres. Extra charges will apply for services after midnight. However, drivers are sometimes unwilling to use their meters. Check with locals about going rates or simply hail another cab.

The National Theatre (Istana Budaya) Common thirst quenchers sold on the streets of KL

A Mamak Restaurant...

Arts Centre (KLPac) in the northern part of the city; the KL Philharmonic in KLCC; and the Actors Studio in Bangsar. PUTRAJAYA Another place worth visiting is Malaysia’s third and latest Federal Territory, Putrajaya. Located 25 km from city centre, this modern city consists mostly of government buildings which are influenced by both modern architecture and Islamic arts. With a waterway that cuts through the city, a lake, parks, and wetlands, Putrajaya is a truly photogenic destination. The Putra Mosque – a beautiful structure depicting the evolution of the architecture of mosques – is actually built across the waters of the Putrajaya Lake, and its pink dome and minarets are its outstanding highlights. FOOD With a population interlacing different races and cultures, KL is a food haven with a variety of traditional food and local cuisines. Also, there are plenty of international entrees and fine food to savour. In KL, many Malay restaurants and stalls serve nasi lemak, which is rice cooked in coconut milk and made aromatic with pandan leaves. It is typically served with sambal ikan bilis – fried dried anchovies cooked in a dry spicy sauce, and garnished with cucumber slices, a hardboiled egg and roasted peanuts. Traditionally packaged in a banana leaf, it is usually eaten for breakfast but is now available at most 24-hour outlets. Mamak stalls, typically 24-hour outlets which are operated by Indian Muslims, are very much a part of the Malaysian night scene. These outlets offer a range of non-alcoholic beverages like the famous teh tarik (frothed tea) – another musttry. These stalls are night hangouts in their own right, and many outlets have installed wide-screen projectors and TV where they screen football matches. Having a majority Muslim population, there are Halal outlets everywhere. Furthermore, the fast food restaurants in Kuala Lumpur are all Halal-certified. The best part is...most international cuisines served in restaurants or hj cafes around KL are also Halal! THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING | JAN+FEB 2009

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browsing

Restaurant + Foodservice

A LUNCH EXPERIENCE IN Q-THAI RESTAURANT

BY NADIA YUSOF

Q THAI Restaurant is all about quality Thai food. You can find Q THAI at Kompleks Antarabangsa, located right in the middle of buzzing Kuala Lumpur. Ordinarily one would always order tom yum (authentic Thai spicy and sour soup), kangkung belacan (water spinach fried with chillies and shrimp paste) and kerabu mangga (mango salad in spicy fish sauce) when eating out at Thai restaurants, but a lunch experience at Q THAI will be nothing like the ordinary. The restaurant offers an abundance of mouth watering and delicious authentic Thai cuisine. The Songkhla Prawns dish is to die for (prawns are slightly fried and topped with a secret recipe sauce) – the taste of its savoury sauce lingers on the tip of the tongue even after you are done with the prawns. Another must try signature dish is the net fish fried with French beans and served with salted egg. While you’re at it, order the deep fried mango chicken and sizzling bean curd with salted fish (you will not regret it), accompanied by the all time favourite thirst quencher: sour plum with calamansi drink. Saving the best for last, the red rubies with coconut milk dessert is an absolutely must-try. This fantastic lunch will cost you less than RM80 for two persons. For those on the go, Q THAI’s lunch promotion is also something not to be missed, their light lunch meals are very reasonably priced at RM7.80 onwards. So, if you happen to be in Kuala Lumpur and are up for some delicious quality Thai cuisine for a hearty lunch, then list Q THAI on your lunch schedule, book a table (lunchtime is Q THAI’s peak hours) and hop over to Kompleks Antarabangsa. For those organising an event, Q THAI also take catering bookings for corporate functions and special occasions, under their chain of restaurant management: the Rak Thai restaurant and the Thai Sabye Sabye restaurant.

Q THAI Restaurant • Lot G.05, Ground Floor, Kompleks Antarabangsa, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia • T +603 2148 8089 • F +603 2148 8090 • Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm, Mondays to Saturdays 74 THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING | JAN+FEB 2009

COMPILED BY ZAAHIRA MUHAMMAD


browsing

Music of Muhasabah he had undertaken springs from his learned appreciation of the spirit embodied in the past intellectual and scientific tradition of Islam,” said Ahmad Sarji. This book is great for educational purposes as well as for those who seek to expand their knowledge of Tawhid and science.

BOOK TITLE: TAWHID AND SCIENCE: ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVES ON RELIGION AND SCIENCE

Author: Osman Bakar Publisher: Arah Publications; Second edition (March 3, 2008) ISBN-10: 9833718353 ISBN-13: 978-9833718351

This new and expanded version of the book entitled ‘Tawhid and Science: Islamic Perspectives on Religion and Science’ was written by the Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of Science, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University Malaya, Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr Osman Bakar. The first edition, which was well received by scholars and academics in many Muslim countries, was published in 1991. This book challenges people to think seriously about the unity of religion and science not only as a theoretical issue or an intellectual exercise but also as a practical issue that has great implications for the general health of the Malaysian society. There were a few chapters where the author had shared his views on many crucial scientific and technological matters, for example “Islam and Bioethics”. This book has received good reviews from the Chairman of the Malaysian Institute of Islamic Understanding (IKIM), Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid. “As a whole, this book is the author’s Muhasabah, or thorough examination, of what has taken place in the field of science and technology, both in the West – as the modern mainland of science and technology – and in the Muslim countries, particularly of the past 200 years. And the kind

BOOK TITLE: A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS

Author: Khaled Hosseini Publisher: Riverhead (22 May 2007) ISBN-10: 1594489505 ISBN-13: 978-1594489501

A Thousand Splendid Suns tells the story of two women against the backdrop of the last forty years in war torn Afghanistan. Laila, born before the Russian invasion, had dreams of a life of travel and education. A bomb kills most of her family and she recovers from her wounds in Mariam’s house. Mariam comes from a completely different background, born an illegitimate child in 1959 and married off to a man from Kabul when she was 15. Her abusive and cruel husband forced her to wear a burqa even though many liberal women in Kabul were free to go without it. Mariam’s husband has his eyes on Laila while the two women bond and become closer. With the appearance of the Taliban, the women have very few options, if any. Hosseini’s characters, Laila and Mariam, are memorable; their love for their children and their concern for each other is overwhelming. Hosseini has definitely succeeded in writing another epic tale, which is a novel not to be missed.

Zain Bhikha Since his first album “A Way of Life” was released in 1996, Zain Bhikha has been blessed with three successful albums namely “Praise to the Prophet (SAW)” (1996), “Fortunate is He” (1997) and “The Journey” (1998). Zain’s songs are well-liked in South Africa especially amongst the youth who find the music inspiring and educational. Word of the popularity of Zain’s music came to Yusuf Islam who invited. Zain to sing for a project entitled “A is for Allah”. Subsequently, Zain has released two albums called “Faith” in 2001, and “Our World” in 2002. Four years later, in 2006, he released his first single entitled “Can’t You See”. Zain’s songs are mainly written by him or adapted from traditional Arab songs and poems. His songs are driven by emotion and they carry a message of reassurance and hope focusing on Islam being the answer for all situations and that it is our comfort, helping us through everyday confusion and with the answers to questions confronting us. His songs represent various times in his own spiritual journey – focusing on learning the importance of Allah Almighty’s presence. Zain’s music is Islamic music that encourages Muslims to be proud of their religion and it reaches out with an inspirational message to all who listen. For more information, log on to www.zainbhikha.com. Photos by Zain Bhikha Studios

Books

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on display

COMPILED BY ZAAHIRA MUHAMMAD

Halal products are those that are good, pure and safe for human consumption. It ranges from food to cosmetics, pharmaceuticals to toiletries. Here are some of the products with the Halal guarantee.

SRI KULAI NASI LEMAK

Kulai Nasi Lemak is very tasty and is also very convenient for those who lead a hectic lifestyle, simply because it is microwaveable. This all-time favourite Malaysian meal can now be enjoyed in just five minutes. Apart from convenience, Sri Kulai is not just any other ready-to-eat meal; it is the healthier option and is also Halal for Muslim consumption. It is now available at hypermarkets such as Jaya Jusco.

SAFWA HEALTH MULTIVITAMIN & MINERAL

Safwa Health Multivitamin & Mineral contains 12 vitamins and nine minerals that human bodies need. Consumption of this Halal certified supplement helps energise your body making it easier to go through your daily life.

MARIGOLD 100% JUICE

Marigold 100% Juices combines the natural sweetness and the wholesome goodness of fruit in convenient packaging. Marigold 100% Juice can be consumed on the go, or in the comfort of home, anytime, anywhere; and comes in several different flavours such as Orange, Apple, Apple Grape, Apple Cranberry, Carrot with Mixed Fruit, and Pear with Mixed Berries. Because the products are made with no added sugar and no preservatives, it provides a healthier alternative to consumers who are concerned about their sugar intake. Marigold 100% Juice tastes great, and it is definitely good for your health. Marigold 100% Juices are sold in all leading supermarkets, retail outlets and convenient stores.

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ORANG KAMPUNGTM HERBAL TEA

Orang KampungTM Herbal Tea helps remove accumulated fat especially in areas of the abdomen, arms, hips and thighs; and on the walls of bloods vessels – improving blood flow. It is formulated from tea leaves imported from India and mixed with the finest natural herbs found in the Malaysian rainforest. It is processed in a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-certified factory to assure the highest quality. This is a suitable slimming product for both men and women who prefer natural supplements.

SIMPLY CORN CHEWY CANDY

Produced by Hamac Food Industries Sdn Bhd, Simply Corn Chewy Candy is not your typical chewy candy with fruity flavours; it is bursting with real corn flavour! This candy can be enjoyed by people of all ages and is suitable for consumption by Muslim consumers. This product by Hamac Food Industries Sdn Bhd is Halal certified.

VOCHELLE FRUIT & NUT CHOCOLATE

Vochelle Fruit & Nut Chocolate is simply a must have for all chocolate-lovers. It has been around for years and it is still popular amongst people all around the globe. This is absolutely a sensational option for those looking for Halal chocolates.


snapshots Networking at the signing ceremony of the Cooperation Agreement between Intertek and KasehDia Sdn Bhd in Hong Kong

Deputy Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak officially opened KLIFF 2008

In synergy...the Cooperation Agreement was signed between Intertek and KasehDia Sdn Bhd CEO of AYS Sdn Bhd, Liow Ren Jan, emerging from a magic box at Sri Kulai launch

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At the Halal World Expo 2008, Abu Dhabi: IHI Alliance CEO, Darhim Dali Hashim (left) and Mufti of the Islamic Community Serbia, Mustapha Yusufspahic (right) Modelling for a glamorous event...Islamic Fashion Festival Kuala Lumpur 2008


parting words Having been in the midst of Halal standardisation since 1999, the World Halal Council (WHC) shares a thing or two about standardising Halal and in the hype surrounding the development of the Global Halal Standard by the International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance), The Halal Journal recently spoke to the WHC Chairman Excom, Ali Chawk.

IN THE HYPE OF STANDARDISING HALAL, WORLD HALAL COUNCIL SPEAKS‌ CAN YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN TO US THE ROLE OF WHC? First of all, it is important for people to know what we are and what we do. Simply put, the World Halal Council is a federation of Halal certifying bodies worldwide. The WHC has gained international and global acceptance for its Halal certification and accreditation processes. WHC was established in 1999 in Jakarta, Indonesia, to standardise the Halal certification and accreditation process among member organisations representing the different countries and nationalities worldwide. Over the years, WHC has managed to collect a lot of information concerning Halal standards and guidelines across geographical boundaries, schools of thoughts and ethnic groups. Therefore, as it is, the World Halal Council is a reliable source of information on genuine world Halal standards and our members are expected to not merely observe the world standards approved by the General Assembly of the WHC, but also to enforce the same within their jurisdiction.

We want the world to know that Halal is not a joke. It really is a guideline streamlining quality for products manufactured the same as all other international standards such as HACCP, ISO and so on.

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WHAT WAS WHC’S EXPERIENCE IN TERMS OF HALAL STANDARDS? Established as a communication forum for international certifying bodies, WHC has over the years, held several discourses on Halal certification problems, Halal inspection standards and processes. We have also held discourse on other relevant issues to seek a common perspective on every Halal related subject that can be followed and adopted by all Halal certifying bodies worldwide. This is to ensure that there are no varieties and differences in Halal certification. We want the world to know that Halal is not a joke. It really is a guideline streamlining quality for products manufactured the same as all other international standards such as HACCP, ISO and so on. We now have 43 member countries from different parts of the world: Europe, Asia, South East Asia, Africa, the Pacific, Americas and Australasia, and all our members have adopted one agreed and accepted standard.

Also, we have had scholars and industry representatives in different committees sit down and discuss issues concerning Halal standards. IF WHC ALREADY HAS ONE HALAL STANDARD ADOPTED BY ALL ITS MEMBERS, WHAT WILL BE THE DIFFERENCE NOW THAT IHI ALLIANCE IS DEVELOPING THE GLOBAL HALAL STANDARD? Basically, we feel (as an organisation very experienced in the area of Halal standards and certification processes) that, in the past, we have been ignored by the IHI Alliance in the development of this Global Halal Standard. But we are pleased to inform you that I had a very successful and fruitful meeting with Brs. Nordin Abdullah (World Halal Forum Deputy Chairman) and Darhim Dali Hashim (IHI Alliance CEO). A lot of simmering issues from the past were cleared up and now the way is clear for better lines of communication. So WHC, WHF and IHI can work together in this effort, in the sense that WHC can play a major role on the worldwide stage of Halal. For WHC, it is very important to avoid duplicating work and because we have been doing this since 1999, we believe we can help in many ways. For example, we have reached a consensus between different schools of thought on what

we need in a Halal standard, so the Global Halal Standard can use this as reference. Since IHI Alliance has implied that they will adopt the strictest Halal standard to avoid ambiguities, we believe we will not have too much groundwork to cover in the sense of dealing with different Islamic schools of thought. We at the WHC believe that we should not focus on the differences, but rather, we should work on the similarities we have in the different standards now available in different regions. DO YOU THINK THE UNIFIED HALAL STANDARD SHOULD BE OWNED BY THE ORGANISATION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE (OIC)? With regards to ownership, I personally believe that Halal should belong to the Muslim Ummah. Technically, we are not really inventing the standard. We are merely translating the guidelines outlined in the Quran and the Sunnah as a quality standard for every manufacturer and supplier (especially those dealing with Halal production) in this era where manufacturing processes have become more complicated. This is for the benefit of all, whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims. Therefore, I do not believe that it should be owned by anybody, but obviously, someone has to develop this standard that can be implemented worldwide. There is the World Halal Council, IHI Alliance, and other reliable organisations and we should work closely together to avoid duplication, and complement each other in each field of expertise. When it comes to the section on food production of this Global Halal Standard, we feel that IHI Alliance should build up from the existing standard hj that we have outlined.


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The Halal Journal - Jan/Feb 2009