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contents 26} THE 5TH MALAYSIA INTERNATIONAL HALAL SHOWCASE Notes from the biggest Halal show on earth


40} ISLAM AND THE HALAL INDUSTRY Where it starts and ends… 46} HALAL EDUCATION A lifetime of wholesome living 48} FASTRACK EUROPE Halal efforts in the little town of Kozan, Turkey 50} FASTRACK AFRICAS Attack on Halal in South Africa 51} FASTRACK AFRICAS Mauritius striving to create awareness on Halal living


50} FASTRACK ASIA The Philippines proud of their Halal initiatives 56} FASTRACK ASIA DagangHalal.com plans to head the Asia Halal B2B E-marketplace 66} FASTRACK ASIA Pakistan’s Halal guidelines 62} ISLAMIC FINANCE The Sukuk Controversies ©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

Ed’s Note

There are various ways Islamic banks can work with the industry and provide them with financing opportunities with assurance of Shariah compliance, because Islamic finance is an asset-based financing. This is the difference between Islamic banks and conventional banks. Dato’ K. Salman Younis, Managing Director, KFHMB or Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Berhad

Regulars 08} GLOBAL NEWS A brief insight into events currently shaping the Halal industry around the globe + Calendar of Events + Online Polls 60} COUNTRY IN FOCUS Poland: The country, its history of Muslims, and its Halal potential


The month of May showcased the 3rd edition of the World Halal Forum and the 5th edition of MIHAS. Malaysia is once again taking the lead and playing host to the global Halal industry as many nations and corporations jostle into position to take advantage of the opportunities created by this ever fast growing market. It was however the first time the spectre of an impending global food crisis cast a shadow over the proceedings. Not all were negative news only though; with rising food prices, certain commodity production has now become economically viable as compared to before; this is an opportunity to be taken advantage of. Paradoxically, the sooner investments into productions are made; the more cost effective it will be in the long run. On the flip side inputs have gone up and you still need funds to invest at early stages of food production, it remains to be seen if the Muslim world, which produces and benefits vastly from oil trade, invests that money into projects that will increase food security for their own country as well as brother nations, or will it find its way into some hedge fund as is the case now? As many Western and other developed nations struggle with the increased food production cost and the impact it has on primary producers, there will be a natural shift to cheaper sources of food. Cheaper land, cheaper labour, and cheaper capital can offset massive price hikes; but ill conceived yet well establish trade barriers will make it increasingly difficult to access these lucrative markets in Europe, Japan and North America. Developing and Muslim world still has a lot of work to do in terms of investment into food production, quality assurance and market access. The Halal industry will need to play an important role in developing this understanding of the different economies. The Halal Journal will keep a keen eye on these developments or the lack of. Peace to all.

the Halal Journal team

75} FEATURE COVER Think Tanks for the Muslim World 80} JOURNEY The Maple Leaf Country – Revisit the vibrant city of Montreal, Canada 82} BROWSING CaterMate Sdn Bhd, KL in Foodservice Review; Hamza Robertson in Music; and the Search For God Series and Down River in Books 84} ON DISPLAY Halal and good stuff found on the shelf - What I need at the Olympics 86} SNAPSHOTS Images of recent happenings in the industry 88} PARTING WORDS Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Founder of the Cordoba Initiative

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



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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

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GlobalNEWS “Kids want to identify with their mates. It is Australian to eat a meat pie. The child is an Aussie. He was born here and when he is with his mates he wants to eat an Aussie meat pie,” Mohamed El-Mouelhy, Halal Certification Authority Australia



After persistent badgering, the Lurnea Public School became the latest of an estimated 40 schools – ranging from kindergartens to universities – to bring in Halal food. Muslim students, who make up more than 30 per cent of the school’s population, can now eat meat pies, lasagne and spaghetti bolognaise at the school. “We found that we were not catering to this community and they were coming to the canteen and asking for Halal food,” relieving principal Sandra Forman said. “The other students have found this food just as good.” A Department of Education spokeswoman said individual school communities were responsible for the food in canteens. “Halal food in schools is becoming very popular, particularly in Sydney’s west area. We have been training tuck-shop ladies in Campbell town to teach them Halal techniques,” Halal Certification Authority Australia chairman Mohamed El-Mouelhy said. He said while most universities had been serving Halal food for some time, younger children were still waiting. “Kids want to identify with their mates. It is Australian to eat a meat pie. The child is an Aussie. He was born here and when he is with his mates he wants to eat an Aussie meat pie,” El-Mouelhy said. “Businesses want to make money -- there are 50 mosques or prayer rooms in Sydney and 140 Halal butchers -- so the people want Halal and if that is what the customer wants then school tuck shops will give it to them,” he said. “Big business, like McDonald’s and KFC realise this. In Sydney we have five Halal McDonald’s, two Halal KFCs and a few Halal Nandos. All of them are finding that Halal is very lucrative.”



Ready-to-eat Halal meals are growing increasingly popular among Muslim travellers, UAE shopkeepers said. Many outbound travellers now carry a can of lamb curry or ground beef during short trips to non-Muslim nations, where it’s hard to find Halal meat. These “heat and eat” (microwavable) meals are exclusively sold in the dozen or so Pakistani community stores scattered across the UAE. They are made in Pakistan, where foodstuff brands like Ahmad and Sundip are household names. “Some Muslim tourists to Europe may not want to survive on vegetables alone. So, they take along a few cans of Halal meat dishes,” said Shaji Rahmullah, PSS Store Manager. The packaging does not mention any preservatives or artificial flavours. It does, however, break down nutritional information based on a diet of 2,000 calories per day. “They’re cooked home-style,” said Shareef Asghar from Al Hajaj Grocery, another Pakistani retailer. Asghar buys the Halal tins from S.B. & Company, the UAE agent for the Ahmad brand. |SOURCE: WWW.XPRESS4ME.COM, 5 JUNE 2008



Malaysia’s Halal standards, which are recognised globally even in non-Muslim countries, can be used as a global benchmark and thus help bring about standardisation in Halal certification, Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said. The International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance) would certainly be the governing body as it has the authority to endorse the validity and integrity of Malaysian Halal certificates, Abdullah said. The Prime Minister said he had been informed that 40 companies are “lining up” to get Halal certification from the Halal Development Corporation (HDC), which provides local and global certification services on behalf of the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM), using the existing Malaysian Halal logo. Colgate Palmolive Thailand is the first recipient of HDC’s certification. Abdullah said although there are about 1.8 billion Muslims throughout the world, nonMuslim countries are the primary beneficiaries of the Halal industry: “They (non-Muslim countries) are the biggest participants,” he said. “They started even earlier than us.” In view of the latest developments in the global economy, Abdullah said it is imperative that Muslim countries jointly develop the potential of the Halal industry. This, he felt, should go beyond meat-based products to include not just the agriculture and food industries, but also medicine, personal care products and Islamic financial services.

The Royal Customs and Excise Department and the Halal Foods Control Section of the Ministry of Religious Affairs have jointly foiled an attempt to smuggle thousands of turtle eggs into the country yesterday near Kubah Maulana, Jalan Residency. Eleven boxes containing 8,521 turtle eggs, at a market price of $4,260.50, were found and seized by the authorities. Four officers from the Halal Foods Control Section and five officers from the Preventive and Intelligence Section of Royal Customs and Excise Department took part in the operation. A foreign male suspect, believed to be behind the smuggling of the turtle eggs, escaped on his boat while the buyer, a local male, was apprehended but later released on bail bond. The seized boxes containing the eggs are being held at the Royal Customs and Excise Department for evidence while further investigations are being carried out. An attempt to smuggle turtle eggs into or out of the country is an offence under the World Life Protection Acts Chapter 102 Section 8 (1) Perintah Museum 2006 Chapter 140. Turtle eggs were a local delicacy before they became illegal, but demand for the eggs is still high in the black market.











Turkey lauds the Malaysian Government’s efforts to promote Halal standards, said its Deputy Undersecretary for Foreign Trade, Omer Faruk Dogan. He said the issue had become increasingly important to Muslims and could be another key to establishing stronger relations among the Muslim population. He was speaking to reporters after presenting a trade briefing at the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) 2008 here on Friday. Malaysia’s Halal standard, previously set by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM), is recognised globally. The Halal certification in Malaysia is now conducted by Halal Development Corporation (HDC). Malaysia’s contribution to the formulation of uniform Halal standards is seen as crucial and timely as some 17 standards are currently being used by the global Halal industry.

“For an example, we know that Argentina and Brazil are among the best producers of meat in the world but the Halal certificates issued by these countries are said not to be acknowledged by some countries.” Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, Deputy Finance Minister I




Abu Dhabi is building a solid platform to create globalised standards in the Halal industry, a rapidly expanding business now reaching 1.8 billion consumers worldwide and worth an estimated USD2.1 trillion. While Malaysia and Brunei have well-established regulatory bodies to verify products that are Halal compliant, and levels of protection are in place in countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, there is a growing demand for a universal standard across all Halal products. Meeting that demand will require a major combined effort between the industry and government authorities. “A universal standard will provide consumers with peace of mind when making purchasing decisions which are directly related to their lifestyle and beliefs,” said Christine Weaver, Exhibition Director for Halal World Expo. With its dense concentration of Muslim consumers, the Middle East is one of the premier users of quality Halal products, and there is huge potential for the Halal industry to produce and distribute high-quality, regulation-certified Halal products throughout the region. The UAE is a major Halal industry hub, importing and channelling an estimated AED550 million worth of Halal merchandise each year. The Gulf region as a whole also has a huge requirement for Halal food. |SOURCE: ALBAWABA.COM, 1 JUNE 2008

“A universal standard will provide consumers with peace of mind when making purchasing decisions which are directly related to their lifestyle and beliefs,” Christine Weaver, Exhibition Director for Halal World Expo PHILIPPINES


Government agencies have unified to further strengthen the Halal industry in Mindanao through initiatives aimed at attracting more players, even from the retail sector. Nelly Nita N. Dillera, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Central Mindanao Chief for Business Development, said a two-day affair is slated in the region for the Halal Retail Merchandising Seminary. Industry experts will discuss how to be an accredited Halal establishment, the Halal food production and the product assurance system. In the domestic market, producers or retailers of Halal products can tap the six to eight million Filipino Muslims, she added. Aside from the Trade department, other government line agencies backing the promotion of the Halal industry are the Departments of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Tourism (DOT), and the Office of Muslim Affairs and Islamic Religious Scholars, Dillera said. Last January, a group of Islamic scholars crafted the Philippine National Standards on Halal in Zamboanga City. They also created the Philippine Halal Accreditation Board. She also called for a review of the ulama-led Halal standards, citing the apparent “lack of scientific and technical considerations in coming up with such guidelines.” |SOURCE: WWW.SUNSTAR.COM.PH, 9 JUNE 2008 10 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JULY+AUG 2008



The Government said giving the responsibility of issuing the Malaysian Halal certificate to the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) was important as it was intended to expand the adoption of the certificate to other countries such as Argentina and Brazil. Deputy Finance Minister I, Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, said this was important as both countries were among the best quality producers of beef in the world market. “The transfer of the Halal certification duty from the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) to HDC was intended to help in the promotion, marketing and holding of exhibitions on Halal products and services in the international market,” he said. “The Government cannot look at the strength of the Halal certificate in the context of the country alone. It can be brought outside the country,” he said. “For an example, we know that Argentina and Brazil are among the best producers of meat in the world but the Halal certificates issued by these countries are said not to be acknowledged by some countries.” To avoid any confusion, the Government decided that only one body should monitor the development of the Halal industry, he said. “This is an issue of rationalisation as we are now looking into specialisation. When placed under HDC, the certification will be more efficient as HDC is an agency of economy,” he said. |SOURCE: BERNAMA, 27 MAY 2008






YES: 91.89%

NOT SURE: 27.03%

NO: 29.73%

NO: 4.73% NOT SURE: 3.38% MALAYSIA


Malaysia has the potential to become a Halal food hub following the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC’s) recognition of the nation’s Halal certification. International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, in urging businessmen to venture into making Halal food, said the world’s Halal food industry was worth about RM1.7 trillion. Even in the United States, people would not mind paying 15 per cent more for food with Halal certification as they know the food is clean, he said. |SOURCE: THE STAR, 1 JUNE 2008

“We are urgently seeking an alternative supply of the required ingredient and we hope to withdraw the product, and alert Woolworths’ customers to the presence of gelatine. “ Woolworths, Africa AFRICA


Food and clothing retailer Woolworths is looking for an alternative supplier of yoghurt ingredients after it had to recall most of its yoghurt products because they contained gelatine. Gelatine is a form of protein made by boiling the bones, skins and tendons of animals. It forms a jelly-like substance and is used to make sweets, jams and jellies. However, gelatine is generally not an acceptable ingredient for vegetarians. It is also not acceptable to Muslims if it is not Halal, or to Jews if it is not kosher. If the gelatine is bovine, Hindus may have a problem with it as some regard cows as sacred. Woolworths said it was taking action against the supplier, who was in contravention of a signed agreement. “We are extremely disappointed that the supplier in question made a conscious decision to ignore our direct instructions and signed agreement,” the retailer said in a statement. “We are urgently seeking an alternative supply of the required ingredient and we hope to withdraw the product, and alert Woolworths’ customers to the presence of gelatine. “ |SOURCE: BUSINESS DAY, ALLAFRICA, 23 MAY 2008


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The 3rd Halal Journal Awards ceremony recognised Dr. Habib M’Nasria, Quality Assurance Director of McDonald’s Middle East Development Company, as an outstanding Halal practitioner. It granted him the Outstanding Personal Achievement Award due to his critical research and continuous efforts to further develop Halal standards and applications. The award was presented by Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, during the Halal World Forum 2008 that took place at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia, from May 1213. |SOURCE: THE PENINSULA, 15 JUNE 2008 EUROPE


The famed Rotterdam Port could be an ideal gateway into Europe for Malaysia’s Halal products, said International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. He said since the port was the only certified Halal hub in Europe, it was well positioned to promote the country’s Halal products. The Minister said he had suggested to his Dutch counterpart Frank Heemskerk that a special seminar on Halal certificatios and related matters be organised in Rotterdam. On the import of meat from the Netherlands, Muhyiddin said certain rules and regulations needed to be complied with. “It is necessary for industries there to get certification and accreditation from us to ensure that the abattoirs comply with Halal requirements.” |SOURCE: THE STAR, 22 MAY 2008

GlobalNEWS “Libya’s desire to do more business with the US, along with the (weakening) value of the US dollar, has given us a chance to compete for this market,” Les Mallory, Managing Director and cofounder of Tex-Med



Houston-based Tex-Med Beef Co. has inked the largest export deal in its six-year history by agreeing to provide Libya with Halal beef and lamb. The contract, worth more than USD5 million, calls for Tex-Med to export about 1,500 head of beef and 15,000 lambs to a Malta-based company that will distribute the meat in Libya. The product will be sold in Libyan markets and restaurants. Les Mallory, Managing Director and co-founder of Tex-Med, said it made sense for Libya to approach the US market for Halal beef. Although the company regularly exports to other countries, this is Tex-Med’s first deal to send meat to Libya. “Libya’s desire to do more business with the US, along with the (weakening) value of the US dollar, has given us a chance to compete for this market,” he said. |SOURCE: BIZJOURNALS.COM, 10 JUNE 2008



Fidani Finest Chocolate Creations, established in the Malaysian domestic market since 1997 and present in all the country’s major airports, is expanding into the international travel retail market. Business Executive Eiling Lim said the Selangor-based chocolatier had invested to achieve the right packaging and products to appeal to the international market, starting with its Classic and Symphony collections. “These products are aimed at business travellers, tourists, high-income earners and those who appreciate handmade gourmet chocolates,” she said. Fidani chocolates are handcrafted and contain neither additives nor additional fat other than cocoa butter. They are completely Halal certified and contain no liquor, thus appealing to Muslim customers. |SOURCE: THE MOODIE REPORT, 9 JUNE 2008




Dutch biotechnology company Ingrepro BV on Wednesday announced its plan to invest over 10 million euros (RM49.8 million) in algae plantations for healthcare products, feed additives and the development of the PowerFarm concept in Malaysia. The PowerFarm, to be set up at Technology Park Malaysia, is an industrial large-scale algae production plant that produces cradle-to-cradle renewable biodiesel and biogas. It will produce algae for biomass using industrial and agricultural waste water. International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Netherlands’ Foreign Trade Minister Frank Heemskerk discussed areas of mutual interest on bilateral trade and investment as well as potential sectors for investment and collaboration between the two countries. Malaysia’s total trade with the Netherlands amounted to RM26.88 billion last year, an increase of 8.38 per cent from RM24.8 billion in 2006, with the Netherlands being Malaysia’s second largest trading partner and export market within the European Union (EU). Muhyiddin said there was potential in using Rotterdam as a centre for the expansion of Halal food and non-food industries, adding that his ministry has agreed to organise a seminar on Halal certification in the Netherlands. Muhyiddin also said that Malaysia had taken the initiative to promote its corridor development, and opportunities were available for Dutch companies to explore in agricultural and agro-based industries. |SOURCE: BERNAMA, 22 MAY 2008

Malaysia’s total trade with the Netherlands amounted to RM26.88 billion last year, an increase of 8.38 per cent from RM24.8 billion in 2006, with the Netherlands being Malaysia’s second largest trading partner and export market within the European Union (EU). ASIA


Pakistani companies are advised to display their Halal certification to increase the acceptability of their products in Malaysian, ASEAN and international markets. Pakistani High Commissioner to Malaysia, Lt-Gen (Rtd) Tahir Mahmud Qazi, said in a statement here Tuesday that these companies must also network proactively with large retail outlets in Malaysia and the ASEAN region, such as Carrefour, Tesco, Giant and Mydin. Tahir also urged the companies to participate in coming exhibitions. “These exhibitions will provide Pakistani companies with an even bigger platform to introduce their products and to interact with buyers and sellers from around the world,” he said. |SOURCE: BERNAMA, 21 MAY 2008



Investors from the United Arab Emirates, particularly from Dubai, and Canada want to venture into the Halal industry in Mindanao, a senior regional government official here told reporters over the weekend. Zenaida P. Laida said investors from these countries signalled their interest after she presented Halal industry initiatives in the country at the 3rd World Halal Forum in Kuala Lumpur. “A Canada-based based investor, for one, is looking for a Mindanao partner involved in (the manufacturing of ) sweets that will be used in the production of marshmallows,” said Laida, Director of the Department of Science and Technology (DoST). Laidan noted the vast tracts of idle, fertile lands in Mindanao that can be utilised for Halal livestock and plantation production by foreign investors. Laidan, the lone Muslim in the DoST, said that at the forum she tackled the scientific and technical aspects of the Halal industry’s development in the country. “We are going to establish a Halal laboratory and science research centre which will be fully operational within the year,” she said, adding the site would be in Koronadal City, the seat of government of the Central Mindanao region. |SOURCE: MINDANEWS, 26 MAY 2008

“We decided to convert these two stores to Halal following demand from customers. Subway aims to cater to the whole community and we are happy to offer subs that everyone can enjoy.” Deirdre Anderson, Subway franchisee, Newport Street and Derby Street, UK


Bacon and ham are off the menu after two of Bolton’s Subway sandwich stores have become Halal outlets. The move means they no longer serve pork in their submarine sandwiches, while the other meats they use have to be prepared according to Islamic law. Subway franchisee Deirdre Anderson, who operates the stores in Newport Street and Derby Street, said: “We decided to convert these two stores to Halal following demand from customers. Subway aims to cater to the whole community and we are happy to offer subs that everyone can enjoy.” The products no longer served will be substituted with alternative items such as turkey ham. The stores are the first in Bolton to become Halal but others across the country are already following the practice. Subway’s four other stores in Bolton -- in Bradshaw gate in the town centre, Blackburn Road, Astley Bridge, at Middlebrook Retail Park, Horwich, and at Burnden Retail Park, Manchester Road -- have not switched to Halal products. |SOURCE: THEBOLTONNEWS.CO.UK, 12 JUNE 2008 MALAYSIA


New sources of growth within the services, manufacturing and agriculture sectors will be identified and resources channelled from laboratory-to-market. The supporting infrastructure, regulatory regime and appropriate incentives will be provided to accelerate growth of these new activities, according to the report on the mid-term review of the Ninth Malaysia Plan. Under the services sector, three key areas – tourism, Islamic finance and professional services – were identified as new sources of growth. Customised tourism packages based on specific products and locations, including for education and health, will be developed and promoted through public-private collaboration while Islamic financial products and services, particularly Takaful and re-Takaful, will be further promoted. In the manufacturing sector, efforts will be intensified to encourage the development of domestic and regional clusters of industries identified under the Third Industrial Master Plan as new sources of growth such as electrical and engineering and petrochemicals. Development of new sources of growth in agriculture, meanwhile, will be undertaken selectively to ensure more focused efforts and the efficient allocation of resources, according to the report. The Halal Industry Development Master Plan will guide the development of Malaysia as a global Halal hub. Customised incentives will be provided to attract private investment in the production of Halal products, including speciality processed food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and healthcare products. |SOURCE: BIZ.THESTAR.COM.MY, 27 JUNE 2008 PHILLIPINES


The country’s Muslim clerics and food experts said they were not yet prepared to adopt a ruling on whether or not to declare experimental animal cloning as Halal. The Muslim Mindanao Halal Certifying Board Inc. (MMHCBI) said it was still reviewing a Fatwa opinion rendered by the Islamic Fiq Academy of Pakistan. MMHCBI has admitted receiving a copy of the ruling on animal cloning, which was translated to English from the Urdu language by Khalid Baig, a Muslim scholar from Pakistan. The ruling said in part: “Regarding the question of permissibility, the majority of the Academy members reached the conclusion that cloning is permissible in case of plants as well as in case of animals except human beings.” It added: “The extension of cloning to human beings would create extremely complex and intractable social and moral problems. Therefore cloning of human beings cannot be permitted.” MMHCBI spokesperson Ustadz Esmael Ebrahim said board representatives would meet with Northern Mindanao poultry raisers in Cagayan de Oro City to discuss the procedures governing the issuance of Halal certification. “The MMHCBI, the Philippines’ Halal certifying body based in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, will conduct a briefing on the religious and technical aspects of producing Halal foods with representatives of the Mindanao Poultry Growers’ Association (which) is composed of Magnolia, Swift, Bounty Fresh, Nestle Philippines and Del Monte Philippines,” he said. |SOURCE: PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER, 26 JUNE 2008

18 – 21 JUNE 2008 TAIPEI INTERNATIONAL FOOD 2008 Nangang Exhibition Hall Taipei, Taiwan Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) Tel: +886 2 2725 5200 ext. 2615, 2204 Fax: +886 2 2725 1959 E-mail: foodtaipei@taitra.org.tw Website: www.foodtaipei.com 15TH JULY 2008 WORLD HALAL FORUM CEO ROUNDTABLE I Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia KasehDia Sdn Bhd Tel: +603 6203 1025 Fax: +603 6203 4072 Email: info@worldhalalforum.org Website: www.worldhalalforum.org 29 – 30TH JULY 2008 3RD ISLAMIC BANKING, ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE CONFERENCE (IBAF) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) Tel: +606 798 8401 Fax: +606 798 8198 E-mail: ibaf2008@gmail.com Website: www.usim.edu.my/ibaf2008/ 11 – 12TH AUGUST 2008 INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON AWQAF 2008 PERSADA Johor International Convention Centre, Johor Baru, Malaysia Tel: +603 2031 1010 ext 532 Fax: +603 2078 5250 Email: khairul.sabudin@ibfim.com Website: www.awqaf2008.com.my 12 – 14TH AUGUST 2008 SHARIAH-COMPLIANT FINANCE SUMMIT MAURITIUS 2008 Maritim Hotel, Mauritius Tel: +603 2031 1010 ext 532 Fax: +603 2078 5250 Email: khairul.sabudin@ibfim.com Website: www.awqaf2008.com.my 14 – 17TH AUGUST 2008 BRUNEI INTERNATIONAL HALAL PRODUCTS EXPO 2008 International Convention Centre, Brunei Darussalam Sunlit Advertising Sdn Bhd Tel: +673 245 3666 / +673 245 2577 Fax: +673 245 3777 / +673 245 2595 Email: sales@bruneihalalexpo.com Website: www.bruneihalalexpo.com 16 – 17TH AUGUST 2008 INTERNATIONAL HALAL MARKET CONFERENCE International Convention Centre, Brunei Darussalam Tel: +673 424 0132 / 133 – Maslina / Zura Fax: +673 424 0596 Email: salama@imaratconsultants.com Website: www.halalfocus.com 15TH OCTOBER 2008 WORLD HALAL FORUM CEO ROUNDTABLE II Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia KasehDia Sdn Bhd Tel: +603 6203 1025 Fax: +603 6203 4072 Email: info@worldhalalforum.org Website: www.worldhalalforum.org 9 – 12TH NOVEMBER 2008 THE STRATEGIC RICE AND FOOD SECURITY CONFERENCE Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia KasehDia Sdn Bhd Tel: +603 6203 1025 Fax: +603 6203 4072 Email: info@kasehdia.com Website: www.foodsecurityconference.org


event highlights


EXCELLENT CLOSE TO 5TH THAIFEX – WORLD OF FOOD ASIA Thaifex – World of Food Asia, held from 21st to 25th May, 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand, proved to be a major success as the leading trade platform for the food and beverage industry in Southeast Asia. The fifth Thaifex – World of Food Asia 2008 drew 21,833 trade visitors and 1,011 exhibitors from 32 countries, offering a wide range of products, innovations, first-class contacts and business opportunities. The exhibitors were pleased to see visitors from the region and around the world, with 20 per cent of visitors coming from 126 countries. The fair was co-organised by German trade fairs organiser Koelnmesse and the Department of Export Promotion in Thailand, in cooperation with the Thai Chamber of Commerce. “Thaifex – World of Food ASIA 2008 confirmed and strengthened its key role for the food business in Southeast Asia,” said Gerald Böse, Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse after his visit to the fair. The majority of foreign visitors came from Malaysia, the US, Singapore, Japan and China. Dr Jan de Graaf, Chief Representative of Central Marketing Agency of the German Agricultural Industries, Shanghai Representative Office said, “This show was very well put together. Our exhibitors were very satisfied with the response they received on presentation.” A new participant this year was an Italian pavilion which brought in 20 exhibitors showcasing fine Italian cuisine. Giuseppe Maneti from the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade remarked, “There was good presence of trade visitors here who provided good contacts for our exhibitors.” Rubert Konijn from the Dutch pavilion was another satisfied exhibitor and said, “It is our third year here and it gets better every year. The lively atmosphere, the organisation, the networking and business opportunities contribute to the show’s success.” Mongkhon Baipowongse, Managing Director of Sriripat Engineering said, “We have supported the show since its beginning. Thaifex – World of Food Asia is the best show for us.” The Overseas Marketing Team Deputy Director of Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corporation, Sun GwangDon, also had positive comments about the event: “We are returning next year,” he said. “The exhibition facilities are good and the organisation is very professional. Our exhibitors have met their target visitors from the region.” Jeniffer T. Torred from the Department of Agriculture in the Philippines said that they had received good feedback from the exhibition and will return next year to take up a bigger space. Pongsak Phinainitisatra, General Manager of Retailink, said that Thaifex – World of Food Asia was the only show


they chose to participate this year. Thaifex – World of Food Asia 2008 also left a good impression on a first-timer from the Taiwan Confectionery, Biscuit and Floury Food Industry Association. “This is our first time participating and the show has left a good impression on our exhibitors. There are many business opportunities and the show is professionally organised. We will definitely be back next year,” said Sunny Chen, the association’s Secretary-General. Major trends were covered at the fair such as products with added health value and new convenience

foods. A further increase of exhibitors in the Food Catering and Hospitality Services sector shows that this market segment is constantly growing, given rising demand across Asia. The seminars held in conjunction with this event provided another outlet for educational and networking opportunities outside the trade fair halls. The topics covered were clearly relevant to the industry as the rooms were constantly full. Thaifex – World of Food Asia was open to trade visitors on the first three days (21st to 23rd May) and to the general public on the hj last two days (24th to 25th May).

TRADE AND MARKET ACCESS Opportunity for government officials, the business community, and representatives from academia and non-governmental organisations to discuss actions that can be taken to improve competitiveness and economic prosperity of Malaysia’s Halal industry. Effective strategies and smart partnerships between the public and private sectors are essential to success in this globalised economy. No where is this more important than in the Halal Sector “Trade of Halal goods and services is growing at a rapid rate, creating increased competition, but more significantly a widening of the information gap between the Muslim world and Halal suppliers. This could be the biggest challenge facing the continued growth of this industry” – Nordin Abdullah, Deputy Chairman, World Halal Forum


KEY SEGMENTS • Local investment strategies for overseas market penetration • Understanding destination regulatory requirements • Global standards & impact on trade • Increasing intra OIC trade • ASEAN Free Trade agreement • Navigating foreign markets • Multi-lateral vs. Bilateral agreements & impact on business • Benefits & roles of Islamic trade finance • Increasing global Halal trade and the challenges it presents • Strategic reverse investment as a facilitator to trade KEY ROLE PLAYERS • Nordin Abdullah, Deputy Chairman, World Halal Forum • Darhim Dali Hashim, CEO, International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance) • Dato’ Noharuddin Nordin– CEO, MATRADE • Dr. Irfan Sungkar, Head of Research and Strategic Projects, KasehDia Sdn Bhd • Ms. Amintha Weerawardena, Research & Advisory, Rabobank International


WHO SHOULD ATTEND Senior management, decision makers and strategic advisors from • Islamic Finance and Investment Organisations • Companies aiming to penetrate global markets especially the European Union • Policy makers • Economic Planners • Islamic Financial Institutions • Food & Ingredient Manufacturers • Chambers of Trade & Industry • Business Associations • Logistics Supply Chain Companies

event highlights


A CONFERENCE FITS FOR AN ANNUAL EVENT The Malaysian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (MVCA) and the Islamic Banking and Finance Institute of Malaysia (IBFIM) successfully organised the inaugural Islamic Venture Capital and Private Equity Conference (IVCPEC), from 7th to 8th May, 2008 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Judging from the positive response from many parties, the conference will likely be made an annual event to cater to the niche market of practitioners and other stakeholders in Islamic venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE), locally and abroad. IVCPEC 2008 attracted local as well as foreign participants from various backgrounds, such as industry experts, researchers, Shariah advisers, academicians, regulators, and technology providers. IVCPEC built its own brand name within the VC and PE circles as one of the leading forums for discussing real issues, exchanging

new ideas and providing genuine business networking opportunities. IVCPEC 2008 was organised to coincide with the launching of the Securities Commission’s Guideline and Best Practices for the Islamic VC and PE sectors. Twenty-five per cent of the 113 participants were MVCA members while 75 per cent were non-MVCA members. The participants were mainly from the Middle Eastern, North African and ASEAN regions and the European Union. There was strong media support for the conference, with the opening

session and keynote address covered by local and international media such as TV3 (The Exchange), RTM, Business Times, The Edge, Oriental Daily, Nanyang Siang Pau, Bernama, The Malaysian Reserve, Utusan Malaysia, Star Biz, and Merger Markets, Financial Times and The Halal Journal. IVCPEC 2008 turned out to be a fruitful and successful event for both the participants as well as the organisers, and came to a close with both parties looking forward to IVCPEC 2009, which will be held hj from 20th to 21st May next year.


BUILDING BRIDGES FOR THE GLOBALISED WORLD The issue of Muslim World-West engagement is becoming increasingly significant in this globalised world; local and global partnerships are therefore vital to successfully building bridges that not only cross boundaries but lead into each other’s lives. The Third International Conference on the Muslim World and The West: Bridging the Gap was held for this purpose exactly on 9th and 10th June 2008 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The third in the series to be coordinated by Malaysia, the two-day conference was organised by the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR) and Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The conference was also held in cooperation with an international multifaith organisation under the Cordoba Initiative, which was founded in 2002 with the objective of healing and improving relationships between the Islamic World and the West, particularly with regards to the United States. Themed “From Definition to Action”, the conference was action-oriented and aimed to define and agree on what constituted the gap between the Muslim World and the West, and to propose practical solutions


and specific projects to narrow it. The discussion focused on two deliverables: the Kuala Lumpur Accord on Muslim-West Relations and the identification of projects and strategies that could assist in bridging the gap between them. The conference was held with a high-level plenary session and four concurrent strategy sessions. International participants at the conference deliberated on four specific topics: “Improving Muslim World-West Engagement”, “Understanding Islam in the Globalised World”, “Enhancing Muslim-West Public Diplomacy”, and “Preventing Emerging Muslim-West Crises”. High-level participants included His Excellency Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of

the OIC, His Royal Highness Prince Turki Al Faisal, Chairman of the King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies, His Excellency Shaukat Aziz, Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, and His Excellency Kjell Magne Bondevik, President of the Oslo Centre for Peace and Human Rights and Former Prime Minister of Norway. About fifty local and foreign experts and representatives from a cross-section of civil societies, the government, NGOs and think tanks participated in the strategy sessions. The conference was brought to a successful close by the Malaysian Foreign Minister, with many participants enthusiastic about the outcomes of the discussions hj held over those two days.

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Organised by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the 2008 Taipei International Food Show (Food Taipei), Taipei International Food Machinery and Technology Show (Foodtech Taipei) and Taipei International Packaging Industry Show (Taipei Pack) successfully wrapped up the four-day trade show on June 21 at the TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall. A total of 1,077 manufacturers took up 2,531 booths to display their best at these three shows. There were more than 42,000 domestic visitors, 30,000 domestic professionals, and as many as 3,885 international visitors – a 29.8 per cent increase over last year’s show and a new turnout record. The international exposure and diversity of the shows amazed international buyers, who also got to see the research and development progress made by Taiwan’s food machinery and packaging manufacturers and the outstanding manufacturing quality they have achieved, all of which bodes well for future business. Food Taipei 2008 attracted a total of 768 domestic and international manufacturers with 1,609 booths, making it the largestscale show of its kind on record. It represented the world with flavours and essences from Taiwan, FTA Zone (Panama, Guatemala, and Nicaragua), the US, Korea, Canada, Japan, Sri Lanka, Austria, the Philippines, Chile, Malaysia, Spain, Fiji, Poland, and six African countries, for which 27 national pavilions were configured. Japan was the largest participant with 80 booths. Her participation marked this event as being the best trading hub for food in Asia. In addition, 36 manufacturers from Panama, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, Taiwan’s trade partners from Central America, also took part. Darren Go, Marketing Manager of Hua San Wan Foodmart Inc. of the Philippines, who was at Food Taipei for the second time, noted that the show had grown in both product diversity and hardware and software planning. The Century-Old Business Section was configured for the first time in this year’s Food Taipei, where Kuo Yuan Ye, Tu Hsiao Yueh, Wuan Chuang, and Taiwan Tea Corporation, a total of 18 Taiwanese stores that are more than a century

old, won much of the limelight. This year’s Foodtech Taipei saw a total of 171 manufacturers taking up 527 booths. Yasser Essam, Chief Executive Officer of Nile Valley Trade and Agencies from Cairo, Egypt, indicated that they have become loyal users of Taiwanese machinery in the last two years and believe that Taiwanese products are of great quality, with reasonable pricing, and are the optimal choice for procurement. Taipei Pack 2008 also hosted 135 domestic and international manufacturers with a total of 391 booths – a growth of 7.14 per cent and 7.12 per cent respectively over the previous show. It featured a full selection of packaging machinery and materials. Mahmoud Ibrahim, General Manager of Tiger Pack from the UAE, was especially positive about the customisation of Taiwanese packaging machinery manufacturers, who can design machinery according to customers’ needs to match actual operations with satisfactory quality and pricing. TAITRA had planned the 2008 Summer Food Sourcing in Taiwan during the show, whereby buyers were invited to Taiwan through the vast global network of TAITRA’s overseas offices to join one-on-one trade talks with domestic food manufacturers. A total of 57 major buyers were invited and 543 rounds of one-on-one trade talks were held for them to engage in enthusiastic and heated discussions with 186 manufacturers from across Taiwan. Key manufacturers who were flown in by TAITRA included CJ Freshway from Korea, Panda Restaurant Group from the US, and Shanlong Enterprise from Shanghai, China. Preliminary statistics pointed to an on-site trading volume of around USD2.5 million, which is projected to reach a trading volume of USD7 million in the following year. With the great success of this year’s event, Food Taipei, Foodtech Taipei, and Taipei Pack 2009 will once again be jointly held from 23 – 26 June, 2009 for another round of hj success and business opportunities.


BEAUTYWORLD AND WELLNESS & SPAS EXHIBITIONS REGISTER 38% VISITOR INCREASE The twin exhibitions Beautyworld Middle East and Wellness & Spas Middle East concluded on 20th May after showcasing the latest trends in cosmetics, fragrances and skincare products as well as spa, fitness and wellness products at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. International spa and healthcare tourism destinations were also promoted alongside fitness equipment. “Now in its 13th year, the 2008 edition of Beautyworld Middle East marked it amongst the top five exhibitions in the world for the beauty, cosmetics, and personal care industry,” said Eckhard Pruy, Chief Executive Officer of Epoc Messe Frankfurt GmbH, organiser of the twin shows. “Beautyworld Middle East and Wellness & Spas Middle East registered an increase of 38 per cent in trade visitors this year. The exhibitions attracted 850 exhibitors representing 1,650 brands from 50 countries. Additionally, 31 country pavilions exhibited this year, reaffirming Beautyworld and Wellness & Spas’ role as the biggest and most authoritative show of its kind in the Middle East region,” he added. “The Middle East cosmetics and personal care sector

has grown 12 per cent annually over the past three years, with revenues of AED 7.70 billion (USD2.1 billion) in 2007,” said Pruy, “The figures show that Middle Eastern society puts a premium on appearance, skin care, beauty and grooming, areas that are of increasingly important concern for both men and women.” “In fact, the consumption of cosmetics and perfumes in the region is ranked among the highest per capita worldwide,” said Andrea Werner, Senior Show Manager of Beautyworld Middle East. “An added feature of this year’s exhibition, aside from the very popular Walk of Beauty and nail competitions, was the two seminars on organic, natural and Halal cosmetics – an increasingly growing sector worldwide.

Elaine O’Connell, Senior Show Manager for Wellness & Spas Middle East, said: “Corporate wellness is the new buzzword within the wellness industry, with companies around the world now offering a range of incentives from free health club memberships to creating on-site health clubs for its employees.” The seminars, fashion shows, and nail and make-up competitions proved highly educational and added to the excitement, along with the glamorous catwalk and display of creativity by both nail technicians and stylists in the region. All this worked to make Beautyworld Middle East and Wellness & Spa deserving of its reputation as the largest and most important event in the Middle East calendar in this sector. hj


FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE IN WEALTH MANAGEMENT: ISLAM HADHARI’S PERSPECTIVE Islamic banking has been in operation for more than 20 years in the Islamic world from the Middle East to Asia and recently, in the European region. The worldwide forecast is that the funds will reach approximately USD1 trillion by the year 2013. Presently, Islamic-compliant deposits and funds amount to USD300 billion. The Islamic banking and finance industry is growing at more than 10 per cent per year since its first operations in 1984. Facilities provided by related sectors such as the capital and money market, financial planning, reporting, accounting and regulating institutions have further promoted the growth of the Islamic financial industry globally and in Malaysia. Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Hj Ahmad Badawi aspires for Malaysia to be a Global Halal Hub (GHH), offering Halal products and services to the two billion Muslims around the world. The establishment of the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) in May 2007 is one of the efforts undertaken to realise this. Islamic finance, specifically the capital market, money market, banking, risk management and financial planning will be the core of the Global Halal Hub’s operation. In order


for the practice of Islamic finance to be conducted efficiently and according to stipulated Shariah requirements, Islamic accounting standards and Shariah audit practices are equally important, and these topics will be discussed at the conference. Amongst others, issues such as Wealth Creation in Islam, Islamic Economics and Finance in a Dual Economy, Islamic Micro Finance, Islamic Ethical Finance, Islamic Financial Reporting, Corporate Taxation and Zakat, Taxation policy in Islamic banking, Regulations and Standards, and Waqf Funds Management will be discussed by the academics and practitioners involved in the Islamic Banking and Finance industry. Apart from academic paper presentations, a training workshop

will be held under the leadership of Dr Daud Bakar, the president and CEO of the International Institute of Islamic Finance (IIIF) Inc. (BVI) and Amanie Business Solutions Sdn Bhd. The topic will be IslamicStructured Products and Derivatives. On the second day of the conference, a doctoral colloquium will be held to provide an avenue for postgraduate students to present their Master’s or PhD thesis findings, frameworks or proposal. The session will be chaired by the academic experts in Islamic banking and finance. For more information, log on to www.usim.edu.my/ibaf2008, call the Faculty of Economics and Muamalat of the University of Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) at +606 798 8401 or send an hj email to ibaf2008@gmail.com.







The third annual Brunei International Halal Products Expo (IHPE 2008) is scheduled to be held at the International Convention Centre, Berakas from 14th to 17th August 2008. Since the inaugural event in 2006, which was officially launched by Brunei’s Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, this highly successful expo has put Brunei on the annual international Halal exposition calendar. IHPE 2007 was an even bigger event, with one highlight being the Sultan launching the Brunei Halal brand. Today the brand is increasingly recognised and valued for the marketing edge it provides, thanks to Brunei’s stringent Halal compliance and conformance standards. Co-organised by the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Ministry of Health, IHPE showcases a wide variety of Halal products and services from within the country and abroad. IHPE is enjoying increasing international recognition and support. Last year’s event, for instance, saw the signing of 21 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam with Australia and various Australian companies. IHPE 2008 (www. bruneihalalexpo.com) is now set to become an even more successful event and is expected to draw some


10,000 visitors a day. Together with the concurrent International Halal Market Conference (IHMC) 2008, the organisers are ready to take IHPE 2008 to the next level. As of Press time, 200 quality trade buyers will be attending, mostly from Asia, arguably the largest Halal market in the world. Some 300 exhibition booths are in the pipeline, along with business matching and networking opportunities. THE BRUNEI DIFFERENCE As a Brunei Governmentorganised event, IHPE is key to the authorities’ efforts to establish Brunei Darussalam as a premier Halal centre. The Brunei Government’s substantial resources and backing will therefore ensure the scale, grandeur and success of IHPE 2008. IHPE 2008 is also ideally positioned to spearhead the promotion of the Brunei Halal brand (www.bruneihalal. gov.bn), which is setting the standard for Halal compliance and conformance in the Halal products industry. Brunei Darussalam’s commitment to developing the Brunei Halal brand included tapping the services of a UK-based consultancy to draw up a master plan for an agro-technology park to support the sultanate’s aim to create a niche in the global market for Halal products. In 18 months’ time, local and foreign investors can look forward to using the park’s research and innovative technology applications that focus on science-based

projects, such as agriculture, fisheries and forestry. This approach is in line with the development of Brunei’s new Halal Science Centre and a Food Development Centre, which are also to be located within the park’s compound. All these developments are designed to support Brunei’s aspiration to become a premier international Halal products centre. IHPE is therefore an important platform to showcase Brunei Darussalam’s commitment, capacity and capabilities in this increasingly important international market segment. INTERNATIONAL HALAL MARKET CONFERENCE 2008 Underpinning the Brunei Halal Agenda is the concurrent IHMC 2008, which is appropriately themed, “The Emergence of the Halal Economy.” Held over the 16th & 17th August, the conference programme will feature five main discussion sessions focussing on Global Halal market review, Halal manufacturing, Halal growth and investment, Halal research and development, and Shariah and science in the Halal market. As such, come August IHPE 2008 and IHMC 2008 are set to define a new and exciting direction for Brunei’s Halal exposition. For registration as exhibitor, trade buyer or IHMC participant at the coming third International Halal Products Expo 2008, as well as to obtain further details, news and updates, please visit the IHPE 2008 official website at www.bruneihalalexpo.com. hj


THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT OF THE UMMAH Islamic Awqaf properties make up a considerable portion of social wealth in several Muslim countries. Waqf itself is a principle that entails generous applications that develop the non-profit, non-governmental sector and increase the quantity of welfare services, all to improve a society’s socioeconomic welfare. The inaugural International Seminar on Awqaf 2008 – themed “The Social and Economic Empowerment of the Ummah” – will address issues relating to the demands and challenges of developing this important sector in the Muslim world.. Jointly organised and endorsed by the Department of Zakat, Waqf and Haji (JAWHAR) under the Prime Minister’s Department, together with the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM), Johor Corporation and Kumpulan Waqf An-Nur Berhad, the seminar will include several interactive panel sessions so that participants can contribute to the discussions. Current and relevant issues surrounding

the development of Awqaf locally and internationally will be highlighted during the two-day seminar. The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Hj Ahmad Badawi, will officiate at the event and deliver a keynote address. He will later visit exhibition booths occupied by leading corporate entities. At the end of the seminar, the organisers expect to formulate a resolution to achieve the social empowerment and economic independence of the Ummah through Awqaf. This seminar also aims to be the platform to address the prospects and potential of investing in Awqaf properties via Islamic

financial investments. Given the extensive support from various organisations such as State Islamic Affairs Departments, regulators, Islamic financial institutions, chambers of commerce, professional associations, academicians and regional media groups, seminar participants will be able to meet and network with key decision-makers and stakeholders. For more information or to register, please contact Hayati at +607 222 1767 or email to yati@ippj.com.my. Alternatively, contact Nasser Yassin at +603 2031 1010 or email to nasser@ibfim.com. hj




Award winners happily showing off their trophies...


hemed “Bridging the Global Halal Market”, Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) 2008 has successfully maintained a steady growth and enhanced its brand name in the local and international circle since its commencement in 2004. MIHAS has been shaped to become a perfect platform to draw the Halal players onto a common ground to highlight the massive potential the Halal industry has to offer to the world. This premier international trade fair was held for the fifth consecutive year over five days from 7th to 11th May 2008 at MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre, MECC, Kuala Lumpur. The first three days were open to trade visitors and the last two days for the public. A total of 507 companies from 25 countries participated in MIHAS 2008, taking 26 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JULY+AUG 2008

up 621 booths in a 14, 400 square metre area and attracting a total of 41, 862 visitors from 69 countries. MIHAS 2008 attracted global attention especially among buyers from prominent hypermarket and supermarket chains, important wholesalers, importers, retail consultants and many more from countries around the world. MIHAS 2008 was declared open by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato’ Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi on 8th May. The Prime Minister emphasised Malaysia’s commitment in developing and promoting the Halal sector through various strategies and measures as outlined in the Third Industrial Master Plan (IMP3) and the Ninth Malaysian Plan (RMK9). Abdullah urged the private sector and GLCs to take the lead in forming strategic partnerships with domestic or international entities involved in the Halal industry to ensure

that our capacity to supply Halal products and services is sustainable. “MIHAS, now in its fifth year, represents Malaysia’s commitment to the sharing of knowledge, experience and know-how towards the development of a vibrant global Halal industry. The largest Halal trade exhibition in the world, it provides an effective platform for both Malaysian and foreign companies to establish new business ventures, linkages, collaboration and partnerships in the Halal sector,” he said. Special visits from the Chairman of World Islamic Economic Forum, YABhg Tun Musa Hitam, the new Chairman of World Halal Forum, YB Dato’ Sheikh Salleh Abdullah Kamel of Saudi Arabia, Member of Parliament of Permatang Pauh, YB Datin Dr. Wan Azizah, and former Deputy Minister of Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development, YBhg Dato’ Khamsiyah Yeop were received


Allanasons drawing in the crowd at the Indian Pavillion

Caught up in the business matching session...

STATS&FIGURES Exhibitors’ Statistics

The Prime Minister stopped for product sampling at the Ayamas booth...

Darabif Business Development Manager, Azlin Hamid, promoting their famous burger patties... Visitors’ Statistics

Exhibitors’ Profile

Sheikh Saleh tours the MIHAS 2008 showground, stopping for a sweet treat...

by the CEO of MIHAS, En Mohd Shukri Abdullah who accompanied them on a tour of various booths, where they spoke to the exhibitors and sampled their products. MIHAS 2008 was hosted by the Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI). It was organised jointly by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and the Islamic Dakwah Foundation of Malaysia (YADIM), in association with the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development (MECD). The event was managed by Indah Profiles Sdn Bhd through the MIHAS Secretariat. This event was held concurrently with the World Halal Forum 2008, which took place at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) from 12th to 13th May 2008.

Among the many highlights at MIHAS 2008 was the organisation of two seminars, the first of which was held on the 7th May. Broadly entitled “Insights into Foreign Halal Markets: Its Prospects and Potentials”, it featured speakers from Croatia, Embassy of Sudan, POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd and Vlinx Inc. The seminar provided useful business and networking tips for developing joint ventures as well as gave insights into the opportunities that exist in the foreign Halal market. The second seminar was held on the 9th of May featuring speakers from the Turkish Embassy, CIMB Islamic, Iranian Food Industry and Slovenia. With 19,930 trade visitors mostly from Singapore, Indonesia, Iran, Australia and Brunei and 442 trade buyers from 57 countries,

For more information contact MATRADE HEADQUATERS Menara MATRADE, Jalan Khidmat Usaha, Off Jalan Duta, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA T +603-6207 7077 F +603-6203 7037 TOLL FREE 1 800 88 7280 W www.matrade.gov.my E info@matrade.gov.my

International Buying Mission (IBM)

the total sales recorded was RM 2.2 billion, which was the highest since MIHAS was first initiated. The number of visitors and sales is a testimony to the fact that MIHAS has established itself as a strong networking platform for traders and manufacturers involved in the Halal industry.






The Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) has definitely come a long way since it started in 2004. In five years, MIHAS has clocked significant mileage and earned a reputation as an international showcase that effectively energises the world Halal market. MIHAS has brought businesses, organisations and governments closer together to champion a single cause – the dynamic growth of the Halal industry not only for the Muslim market but for everyone, regardless of race and religion. MIHAS 2009, to be held from May 6 to 10 at the MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur, expects to see more than 600 booths from 25 countries, an encouraging increase from its debut show in 2004. Held only for the sixth consecutive year, MIHAS has become the most prestigious and conducive platform for those in the Halal industry to be a part of a USD2.1 trillion global Muslim market. MIHAS is a trade fair with a difference and does not only showcase food. It embraces the concept of Halal by displaying a complete range of related products and services, including food, beverages, meat, poultry and dairy, ingredients, emulsifiers and raw materials, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals products as well as food processing and packaging equipment. A comprehensive Shariah-compliant financial industry is also represented at MIHAS, offering valueadded Islamic banking, capital market and takaful products and services which fuel economic growth. Like any other industry, the Halal industry responds to the needs and demands of the consumer. Muslims form many different cultures and societies around the world and this has prompted the food industry to prepare a range of Halal products. A tremendous demand for Halal consumables has in turn given added value to MIHAS,


MIHAS is not only a gateway to the Malaysian market, but more importantly is a springboard to the Muslim consumer market of ASEAN and the rest of the world. MIHAS 2009 presents a fusion of Halal worlds that will inspire the Halal industry to move further and beyond. the world’s largest Halal trade fair. MIHAS is not only a gateway to the Malaysian market, but more importantly is a springboard to the Muslim consumer market of ASEAN and the rest of the world. The presence of prominent buyers at MIHAS, especially from Malaysia and its ASEAN neighbours, allows international Halal entrepreneurs to gauge receptiveness to their products and their potential in the huge ASEAN market. This international trade fair continues to attract global attention, especially among captains of industry, influential policy makers, entrepreneurs, importers, retail consultants, buyers from prominent hypermarket and supermarket chains, and important wholesalers from countries across the globe. MIHAS is hosted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and jointly organised by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and the Islamic Dakwah Foundation

Malaysia, in association with the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Co-operative Development. Industry presentations, seminars and market briefings by foreign countries will also be held concurrently with MIHAS. This will pave the way for Halal manufacturers and producers to meet, network and trade with international buyers who seek new products and ideas. MIHAS 2009 presents a fusion of Halal worlds that will inspire the Halal industry to move further and beyond. Companies seeking to expand or diversify into the Halal industry should capitalise on MIHAS to build networks and establish trade connections, and thus create footprints hj across the globe through MIHAS.

For more information 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.

advertorial MM Vitaoils Managing Director Mazlan Muhammad amidst the many awards accorded to MM Vitaoils over the years



n line with its mission to become the biggest valueadded palm-based food products manufacturer in Malaysia, MM Vitaoils Sdn Bhd is on the right track towards capturing a bigger slice of the global market as well as ensuring its prominent presence on the home front. The palm oil and edible oil products manufacturer currently markets 99% of its products overseas while the rest is designated for local consumption. MM Vitaoils manufactures and exports trans-free fatty acid shortening, cooking oil, margarine and vegetable ghee. All products manufactured by MM Vitaoils are certified as HALAL by the Malaysian Islamic Certifying Department (JAKIM). The company has penetrated 63 countries worldwide since being in operation for more than 9 years. “We have been planning to penetrate the South American market in order to meet our target for 2008.” The American continent, including the US market, which it entered in April 2007, is expected to contribute about 10 per cent to the group’s

annual revenue. For the record, Europe continues to be MM Vitaoils’ biggest market with 42 per cent, followed by Africa 25 per cent and Asia at 17 per cent. The Middle East is fourth at 15 per cent, while exports to Latin America make up 1 per cent of the company’s revenue each year. The company has a portfolio of 24 brands, with trademark registration in Malaysia and most importing countries. Up-andcoming brand names such as Qualitaste, Golden Treat, Rise & Shine, Blossommm, Marvelloso, Serimas and Palmas are among the Malaysian in-house brands promoted by MM Vitaoils. International Recognition The man at the helm, Mazlan Muhammad, Managing Director of MM Vitaoils, regards the company’s global success as a huge accomplishment in the downstream palm oil industry. MM Vitaoils’ biggest success is the recognition of the company’s quality products by its overseas buyers, which has enabled MM Vitaoils to penetrate so many continents. The company has penetrated 63 countries worldwide since being in

operation for more than 9 years. Early in 2008, MM Vitaoils’ Serimas Cooking Oil and Blossommm margarine won 2 international awards, notably the Medaille D’Excellence 2008 from the Specialty Commodities Organisation in Paris, France, and the Superior Taste Award 2008 from the International Taste & Quality Institute in Brussels, Belgium. MM Vitaoils has also been nominated for the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Industry Excellence Award 2007 for Export Excellence. As a homegrown company, MM Vitaoils is a vibrant and dynamic organisation engaged in making fast decisions, growing rapidly and remaining in possession of sound credentials for international sales and the marketing of palm oil products, as well as adopting a lean and versatile management. State-of-the-Arts Facilities MM Vitaoils operates from its factory in Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia. It has the most modern plant in Malaysia with a combined capacity of 12,000 tonnes a month, and

the advantage of packaging products in different types and sizes of packaging, working in collaboration with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board. “Our products are packed in distinctive packaging materials such as nylon pouch bags, tubs, cans, jerry cans, pet bottles, carton boxes, drums and flexitanks. Versatile packing sizes ranging from 250g tubs and PET bottles to 20mt flexi-tanks enable us to penetrate a wider market, from household consumers to the food industry, and more importantly, to meet each and every customer’s requirements.” MM Vitaoils is ISO 9001:2000 certified (since 2005), as well as possessing Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) accreditation since 2007 from SGS (M) Sdn Bhd. MM Vitaoils continuously upgrades itself through its total of 34 accolades. The company is progressively venturing into plantations, mills, biomass and refineries in order to be branded a prominent palm oil producer in near future. Visit MM Vitaoils’ new improved website at www.mmvitaoils. com.my and www.serimas.com. my for business contacts and new product developments. THE HALAL JOURNAL | JULY+AUG 2008


Cover Story

The Third World The third World Halal Forum (WHF) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last May grew in stature and significance. Here is a special report…


he World Halal Forum (WHF) 2008 exceeded all expectations with heads of state, industry leaders and academics coming together under one roof to voice their concerns, outline issues, and plot the future direction of the global Halal industry, which brought together 1,200 participants from over 56 countries and attracted over 200 local and international media personnel. It smashed last year’s attendance records, generated in excess of RM10 million in PR value from the Malaysian media alone, and retained its status as the largest such forum in the world. It ultimately highlighted the importance of the Halal industry and the need for a successful platform to bring together all decision-makers and stakeholders, so they may guide the industry to a more integrated and sustainable future. Malaysia’s Halal initiatives and Government support once again took centre stage through the presence of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, and support from Malaysia’s Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC). The third WHF kicked off with the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi delivering his keynote address, followed by an address from the newly appointed Chairman of the World Halal Forum and President of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Sheikh Saleh Kamel. In his keynote speech, Abdullah pledged RM15 million to the International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance), effectively signalling Malaysia’s strong commitment and support for the development of a



global international Halal standard. The IHI Alliance is an international, nonprofit initiative that represents international Halal industry players with one definitive voice. In his speech, the Prime Minister also urged all delegates, especially those from abroad, to formally endorse and support ICCI and its strategic partnership with IHI Alliance in their task of implementing the global Halal agenda. This was mandated to ICCI by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and propagates the benefits of Halal, elevating it as the standard of choice from all consumers. The Prime Minister also

stated that the Malaysian Government will further strengthen its support for developing the global Halal industry. “As a legacy of Malaysia’s past chairmanship and as our commitment to the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, my Government reiterates our willingness to extend technical assistance to all Muslim nations, as well as to Muslim minorities in non-OIC nations,” he said. He added that this assistance will be in the areas of Halal certification, technical know-how and standards development.

Halal Forum Abdullah also witnessed the launch of new initiatives and programmes with the signing of four Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs). Most notable was the tripartite MOU between HDC, the Dubai Islamic Investment Group and Lembaga Tabung Haji, which entails the formation of an investment company that will invest in businesses involved in the Halal products industry worldwide. Other MOUs signed was between HDC, Tanjung Manis Food and Industrial Park, and Port Klang Free Zone. It also included a strategic agreement between Trace Tracker Innovation and CIMB Private Equity, which will contribute in elevating the Halal standards to be in line with international best practices by introducing solutions to make Halal traceability a reality.


he second session saw speakers discussing the convergence of Shariah and industry, with the insights provided by Dr Mohammad Hashim Kamali, a professor of Islamic law and jurisprudence at the International Islamic University of

Malaysia, sparking some heated questions from the floor. The next presentation by HDC chief executive officer Dato’ Jamil Bidin focused on implementation and HDC’s role in certification. Delegates were also given an overview of how Islamic finance could be used as a developmental force by the final speaker of the session, Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, CIMB Islamic Bank executive director/ chief executive officer. Later, the Indonesian Minister of Agriculture Dr Ir Anton Apriyantono gave a talk on the Indonesian economy and its Halal initiatives. The final session of the first day provided delegates with a truly international perspective with speakers from four countries highlighting their own respective Halal industry development agendas. The speakers – Agricultural Director from Brunei, Hajjah Normah S.H Jamil; Science and Technology Director from the Philippines Dr Haja Sittie Shayma Zenaida P. Raof-Laidan; Assistant Secretary General of Ningxia Autonomous Hui Region of China, Hei Zhihu, and Professor Hirofumi Oki from Japan – gave delegates


up-to-date information about the challenges, issues and opportunities in these markets. The second and final day of the forum saw KasehDia head of research and strategies Dr Irfan Sungkar start the proceedings with a presentation on global Halal trends. Tan Sri Dato’ Muhammad Ali Hashim, Chairman of KFC Holdings (Malaysia) Bhd, then made an insightful presentation on Halal as a Corporate Social Responsibility. The following panel session was extended as there were many questions and comments from the audience. The second round of MOU signings were held next between HDC and Tamadam Bonded Warehouse Berhad, Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board and finally MISC Integrated

Clockwise from far left: Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Sheikh Saleh Kamel, Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, Robert Madge, Dr Irfan Sungkar, Hirofumi Oki, and Nordin Abdullah.



From left: H.E. Mohammad Abul Hassan (Head of Kuwaiti Delegation, Special Envoy of Kuwaiti Prime Minister), Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Sheikh Saleh,H.E. Tan Sri Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud (Chief Minister of Sarawak), and Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Syed Jalaludin Syed Salim (HDC Chairman)

Logistics and Prima-Agri Products. Delegates then returned for a presentation on investment and industrial innovation by Dubai Islamic Investment Managing Director Marwan Hassan Al Khatib and the Chemical Company Of Malaysia (CCM) Group Managing Director Dato’ Dr Mohamad Hashim Ahmad Tajudin. Once again the ensuing panelist session sparked much heated debate.


he final session of the WHF began right after lunch, with speakers outlining the various issues related to standards and conformity. The forum was honoured to have Mr. Saud Rashed Abdallah Alaskar from the GCC Standardisation Organisation (GSO) present regulatory issues and recent developments in the GCC region. This was followed by a presentation by Robert Madge, President of IDTrack, the European Association of Secure Identification and founder of Xifrat Daten AG Switzerland. Madge presented new insights into the need for traceability to ensure the integrity of the Halal value chain. Meanwhile, Malaysia’s perspective and achievements in developing the most referenced Halal standard was presented by Nor Latifah Hussin from the Department of Standards. The final session of WHF 2008 was the resolution formation panel, which was made up of key speakers and panellists, including Darhim Dali Hashim, the newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer of IHI Alliance, and Fadilah Baharin, the Director-General of the Malaysian Department of Standards.


Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Sheikh Saleh Kamel

The forum concluded on a high note with the following resolution: “Adoption of International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance), a nonnational and not-for profit organisation to develop, implement and maintain Halal standards and conformity assessment system in assuring Halal integrity throughout

the whole supply chain, and to play a leading role in assisting Muslim and nonMuslim countries in Halal institutional development and other important areas.” Updates on the developments of this resolution will be posted on the WHF website, www. worldhalalforum.org.

A TOUCH OF CLASS… From the welcome dinner for international delegates to the closing remarks, there was never a dull moment as Press conferences, business matching activities and exhibitions exposed all delegates to a myriad of Halal industry opportunities and challenges. The foyer exhibition areas showcased Malaysia’s Halal initiatives through Halal parks and the Malaysian Halal logo. Adjacent to the forum hall was the sponsors’ exhibition area, showcasing Malaysian and prominent international Halal industry players from key segments of

the global Halal value chain. During lunch, delegates were served with a fusion of various dishes of local and international cuisine – where all beef served were succulent high quality and Halal meat from Uruguay. International delegates from diverse industries and countries shared their perspectives of the Halal industry and its entire value chain within lunch hour. This unique scene and business networking opportunity truly made the World Halal Forum a must-attend event. The Gala Dinner was a classy yet cultured end of an insightful first day of the World

Delegates participating in WHF 2008

From right: Darhim Dali Hashim, Robert Madge, Saud Rashed Alaskar, Amir Sakic, Jochen P. Zoller, Fadilah Baharin, and Nor Latifah Hussin

Halal Forum. Walking down the route to the Gala Dinner was a corridor of cultural festivities with delegates greeted by ethnic gamelan musicians, songket weavers and live demonstrations of pewter sculpting. After the arrival of the guest of honour, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, and a multimedia presentation, guests were treated to a performance by Mohram, a musical duo that played traditional ethnic instruments. Just as dessert was served, it was time for the Prime Minister to present the Halal

Journal Awards, which are the highest recognition possible for those in the Halal industry. The night finally came to an end as guests, dignitaries and delegates bi d farewell and returned home to prepare for the next day’s forum. Throughout the forum, all speakers and panellists were presented with hand-woven songket, made by single mothers in Terengganu to support their children. This was part of KasehDia’s corporate social responsibility initiative implemented by Dasar Kurnia.

WHF INVESTMENT SITE VISITS 2008 Following the two-day forum was the Investment Site Visit to promote the Malaysian-based Halal industry. Thirty delegates from countries such as Singapore, the US, Russia, the Philippines and Malaysia were invited to visit some of the major Halal establishments and initiatives in the country. These included the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) and MISC Integrated Logistics Sdn Bhd (MILS) at Pulau Indah, Port Klang on May 14, and Chemical Company of Malaysia’s (CCM) pharmaceutical plant on May 15. Delegates saw first-hand the numerous projects and incentives available in Malaysia, and were presented with the facts, figures, processes and methodologies relevant to taking advantage of Malaysian Halal facilities.

According to the WHF Secretariat, the site visit was organised to appreciate investment opportunities in Selangor, to absorb and understand issues in the Halal industry and also to view infrastructure and facilities that had been set up to accommodate businesses and expand network opportunities among multi-national participants. According to PKFZ General Manager Chia Kon Leong, the facility, set up in November 2006 on 1,000 acres of land, is now welcoming investors. It is state-of-the-art and includes multi-access to neighbouring and global markets by land, sea and air; integration of both industrial and commercial operations; zero customs duties for permitted products and services; a onestop centre with a comprehensive, efficient and cost-effective investment facilitation; paperless transactions; competitive lease rental rates for land and buildings; simple transhipment procedures; investor-oriented policies and labour laws, and full investment security. Other facilities within the PKFZ, which is fully backed by the Malaysian Government, include 640 acres of prepared land, available in plots of various sizes complete with basic infrastructure. These plots are open for long-term lease of 10-30 years with options to extend. There are also 512 units of light industrial units for light-manufacturing, trading and logistic activities, commercial and exhibition centres and 135 of business class hotel rooms. Chia also said that special rates will be given to the first 15 investors in PKFZ under the Flagship Halal Zone (FHZ), co-managed by PKFZ and HDC: “We are ready for business, and together with HDC, we will spur the growth of the Halal industry in Malaysia.” The next stop was the MISC Integrated Logistics Sdn Bhd (MILS), a subsidiary of MISC Bhd, located next to the PKFZ. The facility is 95 per cent complete and will be ready for business in July to provide logistics solutions for the Halal industry. “With the capacity of 11,000 pallet positions of cold storage, it is going to be the biggest Halal cold storage facility when we start operation in July 2008,” said MILS Managing Director Hilmi Mohd Nashir. MILS also allocated 250,000 sq ft of warehouse space for dry storage purposes. Meanwhile, WHF Deputy Chairman Nordin Abdullah noted that PKFZ and MILS are the best facilities to cater for the global Halal industry players. “From the view of the WHF for the last 12 months, we have gone to 28 countries and conducted programmes in a few other places. By far these two facilities in Port Klang are the most advanced and the most ready to do business,” said Nordin. He also urged the Malaysian Government to consider making it compulsory for Halal meat importers to use this Halal cold storage. Participants also witnessed the production process of CCM Pharmaceutical in its plant in Bangi, as well as an MoU signing between Prima Agri-Foods Sdn Bhd and SGS (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, which is an inspection, verification, hj testing and certification services company. THE HALAL JOURNAL | JULY+AUG 2008


CONGRATUL ATIONS to A l l W i n n ers of H a l a l Jo ur n a l Awa r d s 2 0 0 8 BEST HALAL PRODUCT


















Cover Story


ollowing the fine tradition of promoting distinguished role models for the global Halal industry, The Halal Journal was proud to present the winners of this year’s Halal Journal Awards, held during the Gala Dinner at the third World Halal Forum on 12 May, 2008. Our panel of judges picked nine individuals and companies for their outstanding contributions in eight categories. All winners demonstrated their commitment, pioneering innovations and success in the Halal industry. This year’s awards were presented by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Hj. Ahmad Badawi. hj

Best Halal Product 2008

Nitta Casings Inc, US

The company was selected for developing and producing the world’s first Halal collagen sausage casing, made from bovine sources. Nitta Casings has been producing edible collagen sausage casings for over 50 years and is now taking initiatives to meet the increasing demand for strictly Halal materials and ingredients for processed food.

The Halal Journal Honouring Outstanding Achievements Most Creative Marketing Campaign 2008

Marhaba Halal Food B.V, the Netherlands

Marhaba Halal Food B.V was awarded for their television campaign for their range of Halal and vegetarian chocolate products. The campaign, called De Meiden Van Halal or Girls of Halal, was filmed in the heart of the city of Amsterdam and is well known in both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities. The humorous approach of the campaign, themed “By Sharing We Create Harmony” aims to show that Halal is for everyone, regardless of culture, race or religion.

Best Islamic Financial Service or Product 2008

Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Berhad (KFHMB) Since its inception, KFHMB has played a major role in linking investors from the Middle East to the Asia Pacific region. One of the landmark deals underwritten by KFHMB is Dar Al-Arkan Sukuk AlIjarah, a USD1 billion Sukuk facility to finance the development of Dar Al Arkan’s residential projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The deal was listed in both the Dubai International Financial Exchange and the Labuan International Financial Exchange. 36 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JULY+AUG 2008

Best Corporate Social Responsibility 2008

Carrefour Malaysia

Carrefour Malaysia created a unique programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs. The company has a dedicated team to monitor and assist small and mediumsized enterprises to develop Halal products, which will be distributed through the Carrefour chains in Malaysia and other countries. Carrefour is the second largest hypermarket in the world, while Carrefour Malaysia set up its Halal Department in 2006.

Awards 2008

in the Halal Industry Travel and Hospitality 2008

zabihah.com, US

Founded in 1999, zabihah.com started as a modest user-edited guide to Halal restaurants in California. It has now grown to a global network of over 6,000 Halal restaurants and has become one of the largest web networks catering to Muslim travellers around the world. The website, owned by Halalfire Media in California, has now expanded to offer mobile access in order to facilitate ondemand information wherever required.



Cover Story Best Innovation in the Halal Industry 2008

Darabif Meat Company and Comgroup Prima

This year there are two winners in this category. The first is for Product and Process Innovation, which goes to Darabif Meat Company. The company, which started out as a beef distributor, now has a line of Halal meat products that is convenient and healthy, as well as a restaurant under the same brand. It has adapted the traditional Malay serunding dish to create DINGS - Extreme Meat Snacks, a line of healthy beef and chicken floss products. Darabif Meat has also introduced the popular Western snack called beef jerky into new markets and is known for its healthy version of lamb burger patties. Outstanding Personal Achievement in the Halal Industry 2008

Dr Habib M’Nasria, Quality Assurance of McDonald’s Middle East.

Dr Habib, who is from Tunisia, is the Quality Assurance Director of McDonald’s Middle East and established McDonald’s Halal guidelines. Originally developed to meet the needs of Middle Eastern countries, these guidelines are now being adopted by McDonald’s worldwide operations. His work has increased the awareness of the importance of the Halal concept and values within McDonald’s community of suppliers. He has also brought forward the challenges faced by the industry, such as requirements for productivity and animal welfare and the need for it to be resolved by relevant bodies.

Meanwhile, the category’s joint winner under Business and Strategy Innovation goes to Comgroup Prima, a joint venture between Australian and Malaysian companies. It was formed to manufacture Halal burger patties in Malaysia for the food service industry in key markets. The venture was also established to overcome the supply shortage of high-quality beef in Malaysia while taking advantage of Malaysia’s strong Halal credibility. Since then, Comgroup Prima has been supplying Halal beef products to Asean and GCC countries.



Best Halal-Related Service Provider 2008

CIMB Private Equity and Venture Capital Malaysia

The company has invested in several Halal-related entities, such as Halal food manufacturing companies, restaurants, Halal traceability solution providers and global Halal producers and exporters. The company provides its services not only through finance, but also through the transfer of management expertise, assisting the growth of the Halal industry with world-class management and synergistic opportunities.



Halal Industry within Islamic Principles:


Part 1: UNDERSTANDING THE PARAMETERS OF HALAL AND HARAM The Halal industry is still in its early stages of development, and efforts to chart the way forward in compliance with Islamic principles are desirable and necessary. As with Islamic banking in the early years, this industry has also been largely driven by market demands and realities. It would be advisable to enrich the achievements of the Halal industry with research efforts that advance a better understanding of Islamic principles and the scientific knowledge relevant to our concerns. PART ONE begins with a review of evidence in the Qur’an and hadith on the Halal or mubah, and then proceeds to address the Haram. Parts 2 and 3 will cover the reprehensible (makruh) and the recommendable (mandub) respectively, as well as fiqh and the relationship between Islam and science.


uslim jurists have discussed the source evidence and formulated guidelines to regulate the application of these value indicators to dietary substances. Halal and Haram are not black and white categories. There is a grey area known as al-shubhat, or doubtful matters that may occasionally call for fresh juristic enquiry and ijtihad as to their permissibility or otherwise. Fiqh works provide details over almost every known variety of animals, birds, insects, and so on. 40 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JULY+AUG 2008



f the three Arabic words that appear in this heading, Halal and its derivatives occur more frequently in the Qur’an and hadith whereas fiqh literature is more inclined to employ mubah and ja’iz.1 Halal may be defined as an act, object or conduct over which the individual has freedom of choice and its exercise does not carry either a reward or a punishment. Halal may have been identified by explicit evidence in the Shari’ah or by reference to the presumption of permissibility (ibahah) as explained below.

“O ye who believe! Forbid not the good things that Allah has made Halal for and transmission you.”(al-Ma’idah, 5:87)” This meaning simply because a Haram cannot

outlook on Halal has enabled jurists be established on the basis to formulate guidelines, such as the of doubtful evidence, such as weak hadith, or a Qur’anic following legal maxim: “permissibility is averse that does not convey a the basic norm in all things unless there clear meaning - in which case subject would be governed be evidence to establish a prohibition”. the by the norm of permissibility.4

The scale of five values that is known to Islamic jurisprudence, namely the obligatory, recommended, permissible, reprehensible, and forbidden (wajib, mandub, mubah, makruh and Haram respectively) does not occur in the Qur’an or hadith. The Qur’an may thus use the word Halal or its derivatives directly, or declare that ‘there is no sin,’ ‘no liability,’ ‘no blame,’ or that ‘God will not take you to task’ for such and such, all of which imply permissibility. This can also be said of the makruh and the mandub, for which a variety of expressions are employed in the Qur’an and hadith. Thus, when we read in these sources, expressions such as ‘God does not love’ such and such, or when an act is described as ‘an abomination’, ‘disliked’ ‘misguided’ and so forth, it would indicate a makruh, and the opposite of such expressions may also imply a mandub.2 The textual guidelines on Halal suggest that no restrictions should be imposed on the basic freedom of

the individual and that the scope of prohibitions should not go beyond what has been determined by the text. The permissible, or Halal, has been left open. The Qur’an states: “This day all things good and pure have been made lawful to you.” (alMa’idah, 5:6); and “O mankind, eat of that which is lawful and wholesome in the earth,” (al-Baqarah, 2:168 & 172); and then again: “O ye who believe! Forbid not the good things that Allah has made Halal for you.”(al-Ma’idah, 5:87). This outlook on Halal has enabled jurists to formulate guidelines, such as the following legal maxim: “permissibility is the basic norm in all things unless there be evidence to establish a prohibition”.3 The principle of permissibility (ibahah) also means that freedom is the normative position of Shari’ah with regard to foodstuff, animals on land and in the sea, customary matters, commercial transactions and contracts. All are permissible in the absence of a clear prohibition.


uslim jurists have also held that any textual evidence which overrules the presumption of permissibility must be decisive in both

The two main exceptions to ibahah are devotional matters (‘ibadat), and sexual intercourse between a man and a woman who are not married. The Malikis are the most liberal with regard to the permissibility of foodstuff from animal sources that may have been classified under makruh or even forbidden by the other schools. The Shafi’is, Hanafis, and the Ja’fari Shi’ah are moderate whereas the Hanbalis tend to be restrictive. The Malikis permit all varieties of land and sea animals and birds, including the jallalah, or stray animals that feed on filth, and also birds of prey as well as ants, worms, and beetles to be permissible for human consumption. Most other schools have declared them as makruh if not Haram.5 There are three types of Halal/mubah. First, mubah that does not entail any harm to the individual whether he or she acts on it or not, such as travelling, hunting or walking in the fresh air; second, mubah whose commission does not harm the individual although it is essentially forbidden. This may include the consumption of carrion to save one’s life.6 The third variety of mubah refers to conduct that Islam prohibited but which was committed before the advent of Islam or, with reference to converts, before they embraced the religion. For instance, wine-drinking was not prohibited until the Prophet’s migration to Madinah, hence it fell under mubah until the revelation of the Qur’an verse which finally declared it forbidden (al-Ma’idah, 5:90).7 As al-Ghazali explains, it

is incorrect to apply mubah to the acts of a child, an insane person, or an animal, nor would it be correct to call the acts of God mubah. Acts and events that took place prior to the advent of Islam are not to be called mubah either. Mubah has again been divided into three types: 1) Acts that are mubah for the individual but recommendable (mandub) for the community as a whole. Eating certain foods, such as vegetarian food, beef, mutton, and so on, is mubah for the individual, but it is mandub for the community as a whole to have them available in the marketplace. 2) Acts that are mubah for the individual but obligatory (wajib) for the community as a whole. Under normal circumstances, eating, drinking and marriage may be mubah for the individual, but to ensure their availability is a wajib for the community and its leadership. Similarly, it is mubah for the individual to choose his line of work and profession, but the community as a whole is under obligation to ensure the survival of certain types of industry and trade. 3) Acts that are mubah on an occasional basis but forbidden if pursued regularly. For example, an occasional use of harsh words on one’s child is mubah but forbidden if practiced all the times, and makruh if practiced frequently.8 THE HARAM (FORBIDDEN)


aram (also known as mahzur) may be defined as “all that which the Lawgiver (al-shari’) has prohibited in definitive terms, and its perpetrator is liable to a punishment in this world or the Hereafter.” Haram is thus an act, object, or conduct that is forbidden by evidence in the



Qur’an or hadith. Committing Haram is punishable and omitting it is rewarded. This is the position of the majority of madhahib. For Hanafis, if the source evidence in question is anything less than definitive in respect of both authenticity and meaning, the Haram is downgraded to makruh tahrimi (makruh close to Haram) and no longer Haram in the full sense. The two resemble one another in that committing either is punishable and omitting rewarded, but they differ in so far as a willful denial of the Haram incurs infidelity, which is not the case with regard to makruh tahrimi.9 The Qur’an provides the primary proof in respect of Haram, as the text itself declares: “He (Allah) has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you” (al-An’am, 6:119), which means that a vague and inconclusive text is not enough to establish a Haram. With regard to prohibited food, for instance, the Qur’an has specified ten items, namely “carrion, blood, the flesh of swine, the animal slaughtered in any name other than Allah’s, the animal which has either been strangled, killed by blows, has died of a fall, or by goring or devoured by a beast of prey” all of which are Haram. (al-Ma’idah, 5:3).10 The subject also occurs in two other verses which actually summarise the ten items into four (cf. al-An’am, 6:145 & alBaqarah, 2: 172) as the last six items are actually included in the category of carrion. Wine drinking has also been declared forbidden (5:90). This is the sum total of clear prohibitions found in the Qur’an. As for the rest, it is ordained: “And do not utter falsehoods by letting your tongues declare: this is Halal and that is Haram, thus fabricating lies against God.” (al-Nahl, 16:116) All other foodstuffs, animals of land and sea, harmful or 42 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JULY+AUG 2008

unclean substances and so on, which are discussed in the fiqh manuals are subject to disagreement due mainly to the different perceptions of jurists concerning ‘the grounds of Haram’ as I elaborate below. Although the hadith plays a role in determing what is Haram, the scope is fairly limited. Salman al-Farisi narrated that the Prophet was asked a question about the wild ass, quails and curdled milk, and he gave the following response: “Halal is that which God has permitted in His Book, and Haram is that which God has prohibited in His Book. As for what He has chosen to remain silent about, it is exonerated.”11 Since there was no particular text in the Qur’an on the three items in question, they were consequently declared to be Halal. There is thus little scope for anyone else, including the jurist, the mujtahid (one who exercise ijtihad), the mufti and the government authorities in the determination of Haram. Haram is divided into two types: (a) Haram for its own sake (Haram li-dhatih), such as theft and murder, carrion, spilt blood, and so on, which are forbidden for their nherent enormity; and (b) Haram due to the presence of an extraneous factor (Haram li-ghayrih), such as sale which is used as a disguise for securing usury (riba’).


consequence of this distinction is that Haram for its own sake is null and void (batil) ab initio, whereas violation of a Haram li-ghayrih renders ts subject matter into a

fasid (voidable) but not null and void, and a transaction over it may, according to the Hanafis, fulfill some of its legal consequences. Most schools do not recognise fasid as a separate category and would subsume the violations in question all under batil. Haram for its own sake does not become permissible save in cases of dire necessity (darurah), such as imminent death from starvation. Haram due to extraneous factors becomes permissible in cases of manifest need and when it prevents hardship (haraj). According to a legal maxim of fiqh “the means toward Haram also partakes in Haram.”12 If theft and murder are Haram, the means toward procuring them are also Haram, and if pig meat is Haram, trading, processing, exporting and promoting it also partake in the same. The rules of Halal and Haram are applied equally to all. It would thus be unacceptable, outside the situations of dire necessity, to make concessions in favour of particular individuals and groups, localities, climatic conditions and the like. Muslims may not relax the rules of Haram in their dealings with non-Muslims either, nor would it be valid to make concessions on the ground of common practice of something which is Haram.13 Recourse to legal stratagems (hiyal) that seek to procure Haram under a different guise or name is also forbidden.14

Good intentions do not justify the Haram either: In response to the question whether a Haram act can be combined with one that is intended to seek closeness (qurbah) to God – such as giving stolen food, or the proceeds of riba, in charity – it is stated that the Haram overrides and suppresses the qurbah. The Halal and Haram are not always self-evident nor clearly identified in the sources, and a gray area persists between them that falls under the rubric of doubtful matters (al-shubhat) which I shall separately address. But before that, I propose to explore the grounds of Haram (asbab al-tahrim) especially with reference to foodstuffs. THE GROUNDS OF HARAM


uslim jurists have identified four grounds of Haram in foodstuffs: manifest harm, intoxication, filth/ natural repulsiveness, and encroachment on the rights of others: 1) Manifest harm (darar) Poisonous plants and flowers, snakes, scorpions, poisonous fish and arsenics are included in this category. Poison is forbidden for human consumption absolutely, according to the majority of the leading schools. However the Maliki and Hanbali schools have held that some quantities

Good intentions do not justify the Haram. The Halal

and Haram are not always self-evident nor clearly identified in the sources, and a gray area persists between them that falls under the rubric of doubtful matters (al-shubhat).

of it may be used in medicine and treatment of disease.15 This addition is generally agreeable as exceptional uses of poison are also covered under the subject of necessity (darurah). Harmful substances also include objects that may be harmful, even if not poisonous, such as eating mud, charcoal, harmful plants and animals etc. The Shafi’is holds that these may not be Haram for someone who is not harmed by them, whereas the Hanbalis classify these objects under the category of reprehensible (makruh). Added to this is the proviso that identifying the harm in an object is not always self-evident and may need expert opinion.16

“every intoxicant is like khamr and all khamr is Haram.”17 Since this is a Haram for its own sake (Haram li-dhatih), it is prohibited regardless of the quantity used, whether by itself or mixed with other substances and diluted, unless the mixture is such that alters the nature of the substance and it is no longer intoxicant – such as when wine turns into vinegar. Alcohol may not be used in medicine at first recourse, as per general agreement of the leading schools, although they all allow for situations of absolute necessity when, for example, it is known for certain that alcohol or its derivatives provide a cure to a disease and no other alternative can be found.18

2) Intoxication Intoxicants of all kind, including alcohol and all varieties of narcotics, whether liquid or solid are forbidden on the basis of clear textual mandates of the Qur’an ( al-Ma’idah,5:90), and the hadith which declares that

3) Filth, Impurity and Natural Revulsion (najas, rijs, khaba’ith, mustaqdharat) These are either identified as carrion, spilt blood, pig meat etc., (Q: 6, 145), or when people of sound nature consider them as such. It may be solid, liquid, animate or inanimate. Khabith (pl. khaba’ithrevulting, impure), being the antonym of tayyib (pure,

FOOTNOTES Paper presented at the World Halal Forum “Sustained Development through Investment and Integration,” Kuala Lumpur, 12 May 2008. 1 The reason for this diversity of terminology may be due to a degree of sensitivity that the Qur’an attaches to the subject and the message it conveys is that pronouncing the Halal and Haram is the prerogative only of God the Most High, as I shall elaborate. A slight difference in the meaning of these terms may also be relevant to note: whereas mubah and ja’iz refer to something over which the Shari’ah is totally neutral, Halal often implies a degree of purity in the context particularly of foodstuffs, and may as such imply preference that is not totally neutral. 2 The Arabic expressions used for mubah are: la ithma, la junaha, la ba’sa, la yu’akhidhukum Allah etc. 3 The Arabic version is: al-aslu fi’l-ashya’ al-ibahah hatta yadullu al-dalil ‘ala al-tahrim. Cf., Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, alAshbah wa’l-Naza’ir, Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1983/1403, 60. A legal maxim

normally consists of an abstract and epithetic statement of a fiqh position based on the overall reading of available evidence in the Qur’an and hadith. By way of explanation, al-Suyuti raises the question as to the permissibility for human consumption, for instance, of giraffe saying that the jurists have not taken no position on this and it is therefore Halal in the light of the said maxim and also the fact that giraffe is not a predatory animal. 4 Yusuf al-Qaradawi, al-halalwa’l-haram fi’lIslam, 15th edn., Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1994/1415, 23; idem, Bay’ al-Murabahah li’l amir bi’l-Shira’, 2nd edn., Cairo: Maktabah Wahbah, 1987/1407, 13. A sound or Sahih hadith is defined as a hadith with an unbroken isnad (chain of transmitters) all the way to the Prophet or a Companion, consisting of upright persons who possessed retentive memories and whose narration is not outlandish (shadh) and it is free of both obvious and subtle defects (‘ilal). Cf., Mohammad Hashim Kamali, A Textbook of Hadith Studies, Leicestershire, U.K: the Islamic Foundation, 2005, 139. 5 See for details, Wahbah al-Zuhaili, al-Fiqh


clean) is a degree lower than both the najas and rijs. Khaba’ith accordingly subsumes predatory animals and birds as well as certain nsects, such as lice and worms. They may not be najas n themselves, but they are subsumed, nevertheless, under the Qur’anic prohibition of al-khaba’ith (al-A’raf, 7:157). Some substances are declared unclean because of the repulsion they invoke even if they are not filthy in themselves, such as human spit, mucous, sweat and semen, all of which are clean, but are declared non-Halal for consumption on grounds of their natural repulsion. 4) Unlawful acquisition Forbidden foodstuffs and beverages also include unlawfully acquired property, such as stolen or usurped food and objects obtained through gambling, bribery, fraud and other unlawful means that are Haram in Shari’ah. This is the purport of the Qur’anic address to the believers to “devour not one another’s properties wrongfully, unless it be through trading by your mutual consent” (4:29).19 An exception s granted in this connection to certain individuals, such as one’s parent and guardian, the waqf administrator, and one compelled by dire need and threat of starvation.

al-Islami wa Adillatuh, 3rd edn., Damascus: Dar al-Fikr, 1989/1409, vol.III, 510f. Cf., Kamali, Islamic Jurisprudence, 429. 7 Id., 429. 8 Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al-Shatibi, al-Muwafaqat fi Usul al-Ahkam, ed. Muhammad Hasanayn Makhluf, Cairo: al-Matba’ah al-Salafiyyah 1920 /1341, I, 140f; Wahbah al-Zuhayli, Usul al-Fiqh al-Islami, Damascus: Dar al-Fikr, 1986/1406, 86. 9 Cf., al-Qaradawi, al-halalwa’l-haram, 15; Muhammad ‘Uthman Shabir, al-Qawa’id al-Kulliyyah wa’l-Dawabit al-Fiqhiyyah fi’l-Shari’ah al-Islamiyyah, Amman: Dar al-Nafa’is, 2006/1426, 324; Kamali, Islamic Jurisprudence, 421. 0 The Qur’anic prohibition of pig meat represents a continuation of the Judaic tradition. Similarly the negative view of the Islamic tradition toward dogs is attributed to the fact that the canines were often seen as carriers of rabies and best kept at a safe distance. 1 Ibn Majah al-Qazwini, ed. Muhammad Fu’ad ‘Abd al-Baqi, Sunan Ibn Majah, Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-“ilmiyyah, 1987/1407, hadith No. 3367; al6



ince the ummah is a unity in faith, it must remain open to learning from one another and appreciate their respective mores and cultural diversities within the wider context of the Islamic civilisation. If Islam can be characterised as diversity within unity, of sound ikhtilaf within the purview of tawhid, it is largely due to the unifying influence of the Qur’an, the exemplary teachings of the Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h, and consensus on basic values. Even though we speak of tawhid and unity in essential values, the Muslim world is not a monolithic entity and exhibits a great diversity in lifestyle and preferences for food varieties and cultural predilections that also have a bearing on comprehensive standardisation in the Halal industry. Of the twin concepts of Halal and Haram, one can naturally expect greater levels of consensus on the Haram, which is binding, more than the Halal, which is essentially optional. Some aspects of the mandub and the makruh can also be coordinated in the interest of uniformity if one were to set in place an effective decision-making mechanism and a leading voice that inspires confidence in the industry and the hj Muslim masses at large.

Qaradawi, al-halalwa’l-haram, 23. Cf., al-Qaradawi, al-halalwa’l-haram, 34; Shabir, al-Qawa’id, 324. 13 Cf., al-Qaradawi, al-halalwa’l-haram, 37-38. 14 Id., 34. Al-Qaradawi illustrates this by say calling casino dance as a form of art, or riba as profit. 15 Cf. Wizarat al-Awqaf wa’l-Shu’un alIslamiyyah, Al-Mawsu’ah al-fiqhiyyah, 4th edn. Kuwait, 1993/1414, Vol.V, 125. 16 Id. 17 Muslim, Mukhtasar Sahih Muslim, p. 342, hadith 1262. 18 Al-Kasani, Bada’i’, V: 114; alZuhaili, al-Fiqh al-Islami, III, 5. 19 The substance of this is also conveyed in a hadith: “It is forbidden to take the property of a Muslim without his consent.” See Abu Bakr ‘Abd al-Rahman b. al-Husayn al-Bayhaqi, al-Sunan al-Kubra, ed. M. ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Ata, Makkah al-Mukarramah: Maktabah Dar al-Baz, 1987/1407, Vol.VI, 100, hadith No. 11325. We also read in another hadith “You and your property both belong to your father.” See Tabrizi, Mishkat, Vol. II, hadith no. 3354. 12



LIFELONG HAL FOR MUSLIMS The secret of healthy living is to strike the right balance between eating good healthy food and getting enough exercise. It is important to support your daily physical activities with a planned diet of meat, vegetables and fruits. Halal food is just part of the Halal diet. But do Muslims know enough about Halal food and Halal diet given that there are now so many different food products being offered? Words By PH.D MIDHAT JASIC


he future of Halal food and Halal nourishment (diet) is education, which determines the quality of life through improved Halal food and diet. Globalisation has effected changes in cultures, habits and lifestyles throughout the world, and people are now able to spend more on food. They no longer eat to survive, but live to eat. Advertisements and commercialisation of food, via modern technology, have also encouraged the habit of buying more food among educated buyers and consumers. People are now more aware of healthy eating and want to change and improve their eating habits. The focus is more and more now on healthy diet and lifestyle. This is where Halal food and diet come in. Halal diet means consuming moderate food intake. The basis of a Halal diet is wasatiah, which means moderation with emphasis on balance. The basis of a Halal diet is having small but frequent meals with different types of food. The essence of wasatiah and the Halal


diet, therefore, is not to overeat. The Holy Qur’an has mentioned this, “eat and drink and be not immoderate” (7:31)1. Many health problems encountered today like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity are caused by an improper and uncontrolled diet and lifestyle. It is important, therefore, to maintain equilibrium of the human body. Halal food is crucial to a Halal diet. However, even with Halal food, people need to be reminded of the Toyyib concept, which preaches moderation to achieve wholesomeness. For even with Halal food, one can overeat. Hygiene is also important in a Halal diet. Wudhu’ or ablutions, is mandatory for Muslims before performing their prayers. This element of hygiene is much emphasised in Islam. For example, even in some Muslim communities such as in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Malaysia, washing hands before meals is a must. This can be related to the practice of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) in ensuring food

safety and hygiene. Therefore, to ensure a holistic understanding of the Halal concept, Halal diet and Halal lifestyle, education is pivotal. LIFELONG EDUCATION Firstly is the formal Halal education, which refers to the structured educational system provided by the state, and is usually state-supported and state-operated. Formal Halal education can be implemented within public education by positioning the curricular in primary and secondary schools, as well as universities. Education of Halal should be a specific challenge. It is important to ensure that the school curriculum is relevant for all students to enable them to make the connection between what they learn in school and what they know and experience on a daily basis. It is possible to implement this type of curriculum in some Muslim countries but it becomes difficult in heterogeneous societies as there are different interests that need to be satisfied. Non-formal education, therefore, becomes very important in


projects are necessary for countries less familiar with formal Halal education. Non-formal education channels could be established for ADOLESCENTS AND ADULTS who have not received Halal education in primary schools.

heterogeneous societies. Non-formal education is not compulsory, nor does it lead to a formal certification, and it may or may not be statesupported. This type of education includes scientific and vocational education outside educational institutions. Although there are no certificates given, it can develop proper competencies, which can easily be recognised in professional circles. Technical development and new channels for education are recommended to be used in the area of Halal.

Public communication is an important channel for Halal education. The most important means of a non-formal education are television, radio, the Press, public libraries, cultural and religious centres, cinemas, theatres, specialised associations and institutions of health and nutrition education, self-teaching and training centres, as well as the educational media. Non-formal education projects are necessary for countries less familiar with formal Halal education. Non-formal education channels could be established for adolescents and adults who have not received Halal education in primary schools. Private institutions or non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can also provide vocational Halal courses for those interested in learning about Halal lifestyles. KNOWLEDEGE CULTURE In some western countries where Muslims are a minority, the Muslim communities try to establish Islamic Sunday or weekend schools, or part-time Islamic schools to supplement Muslim children’s education on Halal. There is also what can be termed as informal education on Halal, which is a specific kind of lifelong learning educational process. This may lead to higher wages or better employment probabilities in the future. The informal education depends on the occupation and the rank of the worker. With Shariah determining what is Halal or Haram, it is necessary

to observe the specific requirements along the food chain from farm to the table. New knowledge becomes imperative, especially of food science and technology as well as knowledge from the area of quality system management with special focus on quality assurance. Generally, from a technical viewpoint, the main topics of Halal food education should be Islamic Law (Shariah), food science and technology, standardisation of food products and food processing and food quality system management. THE FUTURE A formal Halal lifelong education is necessary to develop new curricula, especially in the field of certification of Halal food quality. Formal school educations as well as non-formal education are usually dependent on the country’s laws and regulations and do not usually satisfies the needs in this area. Education is the key to an all-encompassing and effective system of Halal certification and accreditation. It is necessary to establish cultural and scientific cooperation with various Halal food educational institutions around the world and related Islamic international organisations to realise a unique programme hj of Halal education. FOOTNOTES 1 Surah Al-A’raf, verse 31

Ph.D Midhat Jasic is the Head of Professorship of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Food Technology, University of Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina



fast track | EUROPE

Mr. Turker Yasar, General Coordinator at the Mediterranean Halal Science Research Centre in Kozan, and the consultant of the Kozan Chamber of Commerce

Halal efforts in the little town of Kozan, Turkey BY HARIZ KAMAL

THE LACK of both a Halal standard and certification agencies in Turkey has long been under the spotlight, and has led Muslim consumers to doubt whether Turkish products are suitable for Halal consumption. This has eroded the competitiveness of Turkish companies, especially those who export their products to Muslim countries. Turkish companies have been seeking the appointment of an agency to control the authenticity of Islamic rituals and Shariah compliance, so that they may profit from the lucrative Halal industry. Thus, the Turkish Standards Institute (TSE) took on the responsibility of providing Turkey with its own Halal standard. The TSE has been working on the standard since 2005 and is expected to introduce it soon. Turker Yasar, General Coordinator at the Mediterranean Halal Science Research Centre in Kozan and the consultant 48 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JULY+AUG 2008

of the Kozan Chamber of Commerce, believes the Turkish Government is moving slowly but carefully on the issue of Halal standards. The people of Kozan wish to help by setting up a laboratory to ensure the Halal standard will be comprehensive enough to cover more than just food products. The standard would need to take into account rules regarding the entire logistical system of production, including packaging, transporting, and labelling. Preparation procedures are also pivotal and need to be analysed to ensure their accordance with Halal requirements. These are also applicable to hotel operations, pharmacies, cosmetics, medical instruments and many other businesses. With a Muslim population of about 70,000, Halal is an important aspect of daily life in the little town of Kozan, Turker said. To ensure the Halal standard is wholesome and

“Having the Halal laboratory would allow Kozan to contribute significantly to the Halal industry and therefore develop the town’s own socioeconomic landscape,” complete, the people of Kozan believe the high-tech Halal lab will be essential in analysing products being vetted for Halal certification. The Kozan Chamber of Commerce wants to set up the laboratory to focus on food safety, nutrition and Halal quality. Turker indicated, however, that these efforts are still not being backed by any organisations or by the Turkish Government. “We are looking to establish the Halal laboratory in the next two years,” he said. “With the support of the Turkish Government and possibly other organisations, this will indeed be an achievable goal.” Having travelled to numerous countries, Turker has met a number of Halal industry experts, such as those

from the Halal Science Centre in Thailand, and has discussed how the development of the lab in Kozan can ensure growth not only for the Halal sector in Turkey, but for the Halal industry as a whole. Located in the Mediterranean part of Turkey, Kozan is conveniently close to the Middle East. This location also highlights Turkey’s position at the nexus of three continents – Asia, Europe and Africa – and makes the Kozan lab a strategic facility to conduct research on exported products from these three continents. “Having the Halal laboratory would allow Kozan to contribute significantly to the Halal industry and therefore develop the town’s own socioeconomic landscape,” said Turker.



fast track | AFRICA As a country where Muslims make up 18 per cent of the population, Mauritius is striving to raise public awareness of the Halal way of life. This is a concept that encompasses all aspects of daily living including speech, behaviour and conduct, as well as dietary laws. BY ZAAHIRA MUHAMMAD

Mauritius Striving to Create Awareness of Halal Living Nissar Ahmad Ramtoola, Director of Jummah Mosque, Mauritius

“ONCE the public understands the Halal concept, Halal living would be adopted easily,” said Jummah Mosque Director Nissar Ahmad Ramtoola. “Halal is not just for Muslims. It can also be a way for non-Muslims to increase their quality of life in terms of food hygiene, behaviour, and much more.” In Arabic-speaking countries, the term “Halal” is used to describe anything that is permissible or lawful under Islamic law, in contrast to “Haram”, which refers to anything prohibited or unlawful. This covers speech, behaviour, manner, conduct, dress, and dietary laws. In non-Arabic-speaking countries, “Halal” is most


commonly used just in the context of Muslim dietary laws, especially where meat and poultry are concerned. The Muslims in Mauritius are approximately 95 per cent Sunni, and many speak Urdu. Other languages include Bhojpuri, Gujarati, and Tamil. Sunnis adhere mostly to the Hanafi school of thought, reflecting their roots in the Indian subcontinent. The highest concentration of Muslims is found in the capital Port Louis. Among the Shi’a minority, some have their origins in different parts of India, while others are supporters of the Agha Khan from East Africa. The Jummah Mosque in Port Louis is the biggest and

second oldest place of worship in Mauritius, but there are also many smaller mosques in the towns and villages. The Jummah Mosque is an authority that resolves Islamicrelated issues, and is also one of the Halal certifiers in Mauritius that caters to local companies. “We focus more on slaughtering and our responsibility is mainly to ensure that factories and slaughterhouses follow the procedures. Ulema and Halal inspectors visit these premises to make sure that Halal procedures are being followed,” said Nissar. The Jummah Mosque also focuses on making sure that foods produced by these factories are Halal in every

aspect, from contents to processes. The mosque also collaborates with the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (JAKIM) and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) to get views and information from different Halal Certifiers from other countries. Mauritius imports Halal products mainly from Malaysia, but also from Singapore, New Zealand and the Netherlands. “Products from these countries are more reliable and bear well-known Halal certification logos,” he said. When asked about Halalrelated issues in Mauritius, Nissar said the biggest problem was poor awareness of the Halal concept: “What people fail to see is that Halal is not just about the animal being slaughtered the Halal way, but also about how the meat is processed. Food production processes are also important in the manufacture of Halal food products.” Nissar believes that Halal authorities worldwide should unite so the Muslim Ummah can consume Halal food without having to question its authenticity and integrity. “We should educate people about Halal, from earning money the Halal way to the purpose of Halal certification,” he said. Muslims in Mauritius are able to practice Islam according the Shariah and at the same time develop the local Halal sector, which will indirectly help improve the socioeconomic landscape in Mauritius.

fast track | AFRICA

The Attack on Halal in South Africa BY HARIZ KAMAL

Mr. Moulana Abdool Wahab Wookay from the National Independent Halaal Trust (NIHT), South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA is experiencing exceptional growth in its Muslim population, leading to an increase in demand for Halal products in a country that puts special focus on the ever-growing buying power of its Muslim consumers. The total Muslim population in the country now stands at slightly over half a million, with the majority being women and children. However, the manner of Halal implementation in South Africa was recently attacked, with claims that there are illegal surcharges every time a Halal product is purchased in South Africa. There has been numerous efforts to promote Halal, protect its integrity and erase Muslim doubts of Halal products and Halal as a whole in South Africa. Three of the four largest South African Halal certification bodies have taken steps in this direction, including using one common standard in a bid to regulate activities within the national Halal certification industry. These certifying bodies

had agreed to stop sowing “doubts and prejudices amongst the Muslim consumers” and have been working together for the betterment of the Ummah. Critics, however, insist that South African companies were pressured by Halal certifying bodies to get their products to be Halal-certified. However, the companies themselves insist that they would still have paid the certification fees because they want to penetrate the Muslim market. “Inadvertently, the companies who obtained Halal certification professed that Halal adds value to their products,” said Moulana Abdool Wahab Wookay from the National Independent Halaal Trust (NIHT). Still, it is interesting to note that more than 80 per cent of items in supermarkets in South Africa are Halal, which is a solidly positive development for the Halal industry of a non-Muslim country. Meanwhile, the attack on Halal also called on the people of South Africa to purchase non-Halal certified

Critics, however, insist that South African companies were pressured by Halal certifying bodies to get their products to be Halalcertified. However, the companies themselves insist that they would still have paid the certification fees because they want to penetrate the Muslim market. products and support stores that supply non-Halal products. There were also attempts to persuade consumers to write letters to their local newspapers to “expose” how consumers were being exploited through what was being called “the Halal scam”. This baseless attack on Halal is particularly unnecessary since, from a religious perspective, other religions do not have

a problem with Halal. Be it Christianity, Judaism and even Hinduism, there are no clear and consistent warnings against followers consuming Halal products. This undermines any claim that companies are being dishonest when providing Halal products to non-Muslim consumers or that non-Muslims should not consume Halal products. According to Moulana, it was later discovered that these allegations were made by irresponsible individuals who have grown uneasy over the growing Muslim presence in South Africa. Their attack on Halal, therefore, was just a guise for a more insidious campaign against Islam. Having said that, governmental institutions such as the South African Presidency, South African Department Of Trade & Industry (DTI), South African Department of Foreign Affairs, South African Foreign Trade Commissions, the South African Meat Industry Company (SAMIC), the Consumer Goods Council Of South Africa (CGCSA) and the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) to name just a few, recognises NIHT’s efforts to protect Halal and to provide Muslim consumers with confidence in Halal products in South Africa. Halal implementation efforts in South Africa should indeed be applauded. Besides working to ensure that Muslim consumers receive guaranteed Halal products, the NIHT also provides employment for approximately 300 Muslim personnel to maintain and supervise Non-Muslim Owned (NMO’s) establishments that carry the NIHT certification. In addition, the NIHT has a full-time team of Halal inspectors countrywide to maintain NIHT Halal standards.



fast track | ASIA As a non-Islamic country, the Philippines’ contributions to the lucrative Global Halal Industry have barely been noticed. However, the year 2008 marks a milestone accomplishment for the Philippines after their recognition by the World Halal Forum (WHF).

Philippine Halal initiatives gain world recognition THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME that the Philippines had been invited to speak at WHF. Dr. Sittie Shayma Zenaida P. HR-Laidan, the Regional Director of the Department of Science and Technology XII (DOST XII) who led the crafting of the Philippines’ Science and Technology (S&T) Programme for the Development of Halal Industry and the Chairperson of the National Halal Forum was the speaker at the third WHF. With a presentation entitled, “The Philippines’ Approach to the Global Halal Market through Science, Technology and Innovation”, Dr. Sittie emphasised the establishment of the Philippine Halal Science Centre as one of the components of the Programme that would definitely ensure the Halal status of its products. Her talk focused primarily on the Philippines’ S&T Programme for the Development of the Halal Industry – the same program launched last February in General Santos City. According to Dr. Sittie, delegates lauded the programme’s comprehensiveness and relevance with its scientific and technological aspects appropriately integrated into Islamic principles, considering that Halal equally involves both Shariah and Science. “Being a Non-Islamic country, it is highly necessary for the Philippines to have a Halal Standards and Testing Laboratory to boost the integrity of locally-made Halal products and consequently guarantee the credibility of our


Dr. Sittie Shayma Zenaida P. HR-Laidan, the Regional Director of the Department of Science and Technology XII (DOST XII) and the Chairperson of the National Halal Forum

“Being a Non-Islamic country, it is highly necessary for the Philippines to have a Halal Standards and Testing Laboratory to boost the integrity of locally-made Halal products .... The Philippines can now be spotted in the global Halal arena with our shared moves and initiatives,” country’s Halal manufacturers and producers to attract more Halal investors and increase Halal-product export winners,” Dr. Sittie stressed. She added that Halal SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) were the primary target of the programme to allow them to become big players in the Halal industry, and that they would be assisted in creating a niche in the global Halal market by making their products highly compliant with both Shariah

and Scientific requirements to ensure product acceptability according to international standards, and therefore penetrate the global Halal market. “It was indeed a golden opportunity to have been invited to share with the world what our country has to offer as far as Halal is concerned and what our moves and initiatives are, as well as our future plans for the sustainability of the Halal Industry,” she said. “The Philippines can

now be spotted in the global Halal arena with our shared moves and initiatives,” Dr. Sittie said, adding that with this, the Philippines was likely be a potential major player in the global Halal market. She stated that penetrating the lucrative global Halal market could be a big boost to the Phillipines’ national economy. “Though we already have taken several steps, much work has yet to be initiated to come up with a premium Filipino Halal brand in order for our local Halal manufacturers and producers to thrive in the global halal market,” she continued. Relative to this and to guarantee the Halalness of Halal Philippine products, the Philippines’ Halal Science Laboratory Centre – the pioneering Halal Standards and Testing Laboratory of the country would be established in South Central Mindanao with DOST XII as the lead agency in carrying out the program under the leadership and supervision of Dr. Sittie. “I encourage SMEs to engage in Halal business, especially the Muslim communities, to strengthen our domestic market while we look at the global market through the provision of innovative S&T support and services to empower small firms to become big players in the industry, while at the same time maintaining Halal integrity and sanctity, especially of food products for the benefit of the Muslim Ummah, who are primary consumers,” Dr. Sittie stated.


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fast track | ASIA

Adnan ul Hassan, a food and beverage (F&B) auditor from RINA Certification in Pakistan

The Pakistan Halal Initiative

In the markets of Pakistan, butchers slaughter chickens the Halal way but then place them in dirty barrels, which are also favourite spots for strays cats and dogs to find food. The same barrels are used every day – can the slaughtered chickens be considered Halal? BY HARIZ KAMAL

EVEN THOUGH the Halal concept is much needed, it must still strike a balance with being Toyyib. Toyyib means ensuring a wholesome end result of the entire chain of the Halal process, including the amount and the way Halal food is consumed. The call for a global Halal standard is indeed essential for all the players in the industry, and naturally important for consumers to be able to tell the difference between genuine and bogus Halal products. The Muslim population in Pakistan stands at more than 95 per cent, and everyone considers the food they consume to be undoubtedly Halal. “Unfortunately, there is an extensive lack of knowledge and education on the holistic view of the Halal process,” said Adnan ul Hassan, a food and beverage (F&B) auditor. “People tend to overlook the hygiene requirements, even though the Halal and Toyyib practices were written in the Quran,” he said. “The practice of Halal slaughter should be balanced with fulfilling hygiene requirements as well. Zabihah slaughtering and hygiene will fulfil the Halal and Toyyib aspects and practices.” Adnan, who was given the responsibility of developing Pakistan’s Halal standard by the Italian RINA Certification company in Pakistan,


believes that Pakistan needs Halal certification; most importantly, the country needs Halal standards, requirements and guidelines that are globally recognised. “This is not just to provide consumers with peace of mind, but it’s also important for Pakistani companies who want to export to Muslim markets such as Malaysia,” said Adnan. Without a recognised Halal certification, these companies are not able to do so. There are now many organisations in Pakistan issuing the Halal certificate, just as there are certification bodies for ISO, HACCP and so on, but without the presence of religious scholars.” “They assume their Halal certification will get the same recognition as other standards such as ISO and HACCP. This is actually not the case with current

Halal certificates in Pakistan,” Adnan said. This has impelled Adnan, food technology experts, and Shariah experts to pursue developing a Halal standard or guideline for Pakistan. At this stage, they have developed the first draft of a Halal guideline for local F&B manufacturers. “This standard is actually a combination of extracts from the Halal Guidelines in Codex Alimentarius, ISO 22000 and of course other international guidelines for Halal certification. These include Halal guidelines from Australia and several countries in the Southeast Asia region,” Adnan said. While the group believes their guideline could go global, Pakistan is unfortunately not widely recognised for the quality of its products and practices. Adnan feels that in order to be accepted by the global Halal market, Pakistan needs global recognition and accreditation from Malaysia, Singapore, or other credible countries. “We are looking at having a discussion with the International Halal Integrity Alliance, which has been put in charge of developing a global Halal standard, to get recognition and develop a standard that is Halal and Toyyib and acceptable worldwide,” said Adnan.

fast track | ASIA

MM Vitaoils Sdn Bhd awarded the Superior Taste Award 2008 in Brussels MM Vitaoils, known for its downstream palm oil industries, manufacturing and exporting of quality edible oil products, was recently awarded the Superior Taste Award 2008 from the International Taste and Quality Institute (iTQi) in Brussels. The award, which was given out at Cercle Royal Gaulois in Brussels on 29 May, 2008, was for the company’s easy-to-spread, strawberry flavoured margarine product, Blossommm. All food and beverage products underwent a rigorous selection process by juries of top European chefs and sommeliers as well as from iTQi. Blossommm is one of the company’s prominent brands and has been gaining much interest as an alternative to butter. The spread is made from premium quality palm oil blended with palm kernel oil. Rich in Vitamin E, Blossommm proudly

Halal certified

Front row (left to right): Mdm Hayati Jantan, Director of MM Vitaoils, Mr Mazlan Muhammad, Managing Director of MM Vitaoils, and Mdm Rusiah Mohamed, Malaysian Trade Commissioner in Amsterdam. Far right: Mr Carlo Cranchi, President of the Italian Chefs Association and renowned European Chef and Sommelier.

promotes a healthy diet as it is free from cholesterol, lactose and fatty acids. Guided by MM Vitaoils’ philosophy – By Our Heart, To Your Heart – the product encapsulates the company’s honest desire to provide the best for its customers. Constantly developing and improving its products and services to offer value in terms of price and consistently

superior quality, MM Vitaoils has received numerous accreditations such as ISO 9001:2000, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). MM Vitaoils is now aiming to achieve ISO 22000:2005 by this year. Manufacturing and exporting its quality edible oil products such as margarine, pastry margarine, cooking

oil, shortening, vegetable ghee and cooking oil to 63 countries, MM Vitaoils has indeed marked a new milestone with this award. Mazlan Muhammad, the Managing Director of MM Vitaoils said, “MM Vitaoils is the only company in Malaysia’s food sector to win this award, beating out 709 other world-renowned products that were tested.”

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DagangHalal.Com to spur Asia Halal B2B Industry BY AHMAD KHAIROL SHAFIZAN JOHARI

The global Halal industry has marked another milestone with the introduction of DagangHalal.com – a business-to-business (B2B) electronic marketplace that focuses on Halal products and services.

All eyes at DagangHalal’s booth at MIHAS 2008...

DagangHalal promoting their existence to the locals at MIHAS 2008...

ACCORDING to DagangAsia Net Sdn Bhd’s Operation Manager Edward Kong, both local and regional Halal manufacturers and exporters should capitalise on cyberspace to expand their business reach by investing in Information and Computing Technology and the power of the Internet. “DagangHalal.com is the ideal B2B Halal portal for companies to join in order to market their Halal products and services to global trade buyers and importers. On top of that, today’s Halal industry continues to have vast potential as a profitable business proposition,” he told The Halal Journal recently. Kong added that its potential was attributed to the increasing awareness of Halal dietary requirements and a growing worldwide demand for quality Halal products and services. “This is also reflected by the fact that there are about 1.8 billion Muslims throughout the world. The Halal products and services industry is currently valued at about USD2.3 trillion, and still has huge market potential for further development,” he noted. DagangHalal.com, which was introduced during the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) in 2008, is expected to have 5,000 registered members by the end of its first year. Kong forecasted that the website’s membership may rise to 15,000 registered members in the next two years, based on the fact that Malaysia’s Halal standards are recognised globally, including in non-Muslim countries, and


“There is huge potential for business opportunities in the Chinese Halal industry. As China has more than 18 million Muslims, it is looking to collaborate with Malaysia and regional Asian countries to develop its Halal food and consumer goods industries.” are therefore respected by both local and regional Halal manufacturers and exporters. He said that this number was realistically achievable due to the Malaysian Government’s consistent support of the Halal industry, and its recognition of the importance of the industry through its major emphasis on developing and promoting the Halal sector. Commenting on the progress of DagangHalal.com’s

development, Kong noted that DagangAsia Net had been promoting its online directory listing service to local and overseas partners who share the common vision of developing and promoting Malaysia’s Halal industry, particularly from the Small and Medium Industries and Small and Medium Enterprises sectors. He stated that under mutual cooperation, Small and Medium Industries Development Corporation (SMIDEC) 2008 exhibitors will be joining DagangAsia and DagangHalal directory listing services. DagangHalal will also team up with Ning Xia Islamic Friendly Council Promotion Of International Economy And Culture (NXICPEC), China to promote and facilitate Halal trade and investment opportunities between Chinese and Malaysian companies. Kong added: “There is huge potential for business opportunities in the Chinese Halal industry. As China has more than 18 million Muslims, it is looking to collaborate with Malaysia and regional Asian countries to develop its Halal food and consumer goods industries.” He is also confident that through a partnership between NXICPEC and DagangHalal.com, both countries can reap mutual benefits from business and product-services sourcing and trading. The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between DagangAsia Net and NXICPEC will be witnessed by a representative of the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Office, Deputy Minister Dato’ Mohd Johari Baharum. DagangHalal.com has so far recorded 4,851 trade leads from 46 counrties, with Malaysian B2B users contributing 70 per cent of trade, followed by 30 per cent from overseas trade. Its biggest segment is made up from the manufacturing of consumable Halal products.


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fast track | ASIA

Dewina Holdings -Veterans in the Halal Business BY AHMAD KHAIROL SHAFIZAN JOHARI

Datuk Ibrahim Hj. Ahmad Badawi explaining the food process at Dewina.

“HALAL has always been our business,” said Dewina Holdings Sdn Bhd Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Datuk Ibrahim Hj. Ahmad Badawi. The Malaysian-based company is a veteran in the Halal business and celebrated its 20th anniversary this July. With a start up capital of only RM5.3 million, the company, formerly known as Dewina Foods Industries, began with a small plant on July 16, 1988. Using the Brahim’s brand, the company also introduced the “retort pouch” in Malaysia, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. In 2001, Dewina transferred its listed shell to MTD-Infra and went private. Ibrahim admitted that his company had been lucky in the overseas market: “For the first year until 1991, we were pushing our products for military use in Sri Lanka, Brunei, and other countries. The foreign market understood the product better and we were awarded contract packing for Canada and Italy. The local market picked up more slowly.” The first public-listed,


Dewina’s brand is standing tall.

Bumiputera-controlled Halal food producer, Dewina was also the world’s first Halal military ration provider to the United Nations’ peacekeeping forces. “Our highest record was 54 containers in one order,” Ibrahim noted. Today, its consumer products are also doing well in the foreign market. “In the last eight years, our biggest commercial market is the UK. We have two approaches in the UK – one is through our Brahim’s brand but the bigger ones are actually under a private label.” Seven years ago, Dewina started carrying out contract packing for Sainsbury’s, the second biggest supermarket in the UK with 517 branches. “When we sold to the foreign market, our goods usually went to the Asian store, Chinese Emporium and so on. These are all individually operated and you don’t get the numbers. To do that, you must go to mainstream supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s.” Currently, 60 per cent of Dewina’s commercial

“For the first year until 1991, we were pushing our products for military use in Sri Lanka, Brunei, and other countries. The foreign market understood the product better and we were awarded contract packing for Canada and Italy.” productions – mostly ready-toeat products and sauces – are sold to the overseas market. Apart from the UK, Dewina is also doing well in Singapore, Australia and the Netherlands. Ibrahim noted that there are problems accessing the American and European markets, which have demanding standards and an apparent resistance to meat products from Southeast Asia. “Generally they assume Southeast Asian countries have food and mouth disease,” he said, adding that these markets do not readily accept red meat or even poultry products. ”Exporting raw meat into America and Europe is tricky but our products are processed and sterilised. There is no reason why they should not accept our products.” Despite these problems,

Dewina continues to work towards capitalising on the world market. Its latest plans include establishing a new, USD12 million plant by the first quarter of 2009 in Amman, Jordan. It is a 50-50 jointventure with the King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau and will produce a range of shelf-stable products. While the initial market will be Jordan, Ibrahim hopes that the plant’s products will also be taken up by other countries in the region. Ibrahim believes taking advantage of the many opportunities in the Halal industry will help Muslims to engage with the larger world economy. As a company with very humble beginnings, Dewina’s every achievement certainly makes all Malaysians proud.

country in focus

Landscape in the mountaineous region of Poland




The Country, Its History of Muslims, and Its Halal Potential


olish economic cooperation with foreign businesses grew rapidly after its accession into the European Union in 2004. The move has also revealed that Polish food industry possesses a competitive advantage over food producers in other EU member states. On top of this, access to the large, well-developed European market (with over 400 million consumers) has facilitated the rapid increase of Polish food exports and enhanced the position of Polish food producers in the EU. The past 10 years has also seen the vibrant development of the small- and medium-sized business sector. This reflects the freeing up of private enterprises and the involvement of individual citizens’ private capital in economic activity. Some of the factors pushing the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has been the reactivation of local governments who are interested in the economic development of local communes and the introduction of systemic solutions. Poland is a leader in the production of apples, berries (strawberries, raspberries and currants) and outdoor vegetables such as onions, cabbages and cauliflower. Dubbed as the “Land of a thousand lakes”, Poland is blessed with forests, the sea and mountainous regions. Poland’s low land cost and accessibility provide great possibilities for foreigners while competitive labour costs, the size of its market, industrial diversity and possibilities for the development of new economic entities make it attractive to foreign investments. 60 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JUL+AUG 2008

Even though Poland is mainly which has eight centres located a Catholic country, Muslims have in the biggest cities of Poland. lived here in mutual tolerance since the 14th century, and potential for he end of Communism growth in the Halal sector is vast. in 1989 also saw many Historically, Poland has always been other Muslim immigrants associated with the Tatars, many of arriving in Poland. A whom settled in Poland after wars relatively prominent group but who continued to practise their was from Turkey. There were also other traditions and religious beliefs. The smaller groups of immigrants from first significant non-Tatar groups of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Algeria as Muslims arrived in Poland in the 1970’s well as others such as the Chechnyan and 80s – when Poland attracted refugee community. In addition to the students from many socialist-aligned growing immigrant Muslim population Arabic-speaking states of the Middle is the growing number of ethnic East and Africa. Many of them decided Polish who have converted to Islam. to stay in Poland permanently. This rising number of Muslims in Now with an estimated 30,000 Poland has initiated the establishment Muslims in Poland, Halal is indeed of the Halal Polska Institute, which pivotal for Muslims in the country. is responsible for Halal goods Poland has three main Muslims throughout Poland. Its duties cover organisations that attend to various Halal production in Polish companies, aspects of Muslim life, whether social, slaughtering, certification and the economic or religious. The first Muslim monitoring of all Halal Polish products organisation initialised by the Tatars in the country as well as abroad. in 1936 was the Muslim Religious Poland’s low land cost and accessibility Organisation. provide great possibilities for foreigners Today, however, while competitive labour costs, the size of its the largest is market, industrial diversity and possibilities the Muslim for the development of new economic entities League in RP, make it attractive to foreign investments


A mosque in Gdansk city

Masurian county - the land of a thousands lakes

City of Malbork

Halal - beauty for life, quality for production

Polish agriculture is suitable for Halal production

The main aim for setting To ensure Halal is up the Polish management in fact beneficial for in Halal production was to all, and to gain the pay more attention to the confidence, especially needs of Muslims in and of non-Muslims, out of the country. It was Halal Polska has initiated on a big scale with been working with Poland’s first Program Halal scientists to ensure Polska. The programme was that Halal products do formulated by a group of indeed equal quality, Polish experienced in Halal hygiene and health programmes, inspection, certification and the management and identification of Halal products in Poland. Halal Polska works closely with the council of Imams of the Muslim League in Poland and with the EU’s committees on environment, public health, food safety as well as the veterinary committee. With these collaborations, the institute has been verified by the council of Imams on its authenticity and reliability in Halal procedures. The institute adheres to all Islamic rules from slaughter to manufacture to end products. Halal Polska strictly manages all Halal products and guarantees that Polish products with the Halal logo are in fact Halal. It is also the mission of Halal Polska to cater to the non-Muslim market by ensuring that every piece of Halal is of the best quality. This means that Halal products are healthier and more beneficial for all consumers. In fact, Middle European businesses now regard Halal Polska as the leader in protecting consumers with its ‘‘Program Halal”. To ensure Halal is in fact beneficial for all, and to gain the confidence, especially of non-Muslims, Halal Polska

has been working with scientists to ensure that Halal products do ndeed equal quality, hygiene and health. The institute is currently working on creating a Halal System Quality Apply – the first quality product system for Halal goods.


hen comparing Poland’s current economic development to the EU average, it s clear that GDP growth in Poland s twice as high, its development is paralleled with its unemployment rate, and inflation is much lower than average. In addition, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Poland is one of the most favoured ocations for investment in Europe. There is also allocation for Poland in the EU budget to encourage ecological farming that supports agricultural and environmental activities as well as the improvement of animal welfare. Thus, EU membership has brought Poland not just more stability and greater market access but also financial assistance. The vibrant Polish economy s also backed by a young and

Beautiful Polish white winter at the countryside

better educated society. The fast economic growth and investment incentives are the key factors that make Poland an attractive location for foreign investment. The country also offers great opportunities for industrial and service expansions for investors. Furthermore, the variety of natural resources, available within its borders as well as in its neighbouring countries, creates a favourable situation. Almost 17,000 companies with foreign participation do business successfully not just in Poland but also, from their Polish bases, throughout Europe and the world. An increase in the labour force would accelerate the pace of development and create additional opportunities for investors and inevitably opportunities for the Halal market as well. Poland is indeed a low risk and high opportunity hj country for the Halal industry.

DR. SALAH MESSIKH and DR. THOMAS STERNICKI are from MSM-INT Halal Polska, Poland REFERENCE: (1). Halal Polska - www.halal.biz.pl (2). Ministry Of Agriculture And Rural Development - Agriculture and Food Economy in Poland (3). PricewaterhouseCoopers - http://www.pwc.com/pl



islamic finance

The Sukuk


Sukuk, or Islamic bonds, are the fastest-growing segment of the Islamic finance market, which has seen phenomenal growth itself in the past six years. The global volume of Sukuk issuance up to the year 2007 reached USD97.3 billion, with the majority coming from Malaysia and the Arabian Gulf. By Dr. Mohamad Akram Laldin, Executive Director of the International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



n terms of percentage of issuance, overall Sukuk issuance volume increased by 71 per cent to USD32.65 billion compared to 2006. The number of Sukuk transactions also rose to 119 from 109 in 2006, while the average deal size increased to USD269.8 million from USD175 million. Some 88 Sukuk deals were issued by corporations, compared to 31 deals issued by sovereigns. This was generally influenced by buoyant government budgets, mainly in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) over this period as fiscal and current account surpluses widened. Moreover, since the 2006 equity market crisis, corporations have shifted their funding focus to debt markets. This trend continued into 2007, even though equity markets recovered significantly during the year. Malaysia continues to lead the way in terms of the issuance of sukuk and it offers an attractive environment for Islamic finance. The Government has been very proactive in encouraging Islamic finance, implementing measures such as numerous tax benefits that favour Sukuk funding over conventional methods.

islamic finance

The Chairman of the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI’s) Shari’ah Board, Sheikh Taqi Usmani, issued a statement which stated that,

“85 per cent of the GCC Sukuks do not comply with the Shariah principles and thereby, don’t qualify to be called Islamic at all.”

percentage of the capital and not as a percentage of actual profits. Sometimes the interest is fixed, while oftentimes in bonds with longer tenors, the rate of interest is allowed to float.

The Controversy

Recently, the Chairman of the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI’s) Shari’ah Board, Sheikh Taqi Usmani, issued a statement which stated that, “85 per cent of the GCC Sukuks do not comply with the Shariah principles and thereby, don’t qualify to be called Islamic at all.” This statement has sparked wide debate and discussion over the “Islamicity” of Sukuk issued globally. The primary point which was raised is that the Sukuk which was issued resembles the characteristics of conventional bonds. Some of the prominent features of conventional bonds are: 1. Bonds do not represent ownership on the part of the bond holders in the commercial or industrial enterprises for which the bonds were issued. Rather, they document the interest-bearing debt owed to the holders of the bonds by the issuer, the owner of the enterprise. 2. Regular interest payments are made to the bond holders. The amount of interest is determined as a

3. Bonds guarantee the return of principal when redeemed at maturity, regardless of whether the enterprise was profitable or otherwise. The issuer of such bonds is not required to return more than the principal and the agreed amount of interest. Whatever profits may have been earned by the enterprise accrue entirely and exclusively to the issuer. So the bond holders have no right to seek a share in the profits beyond the interest.1 To a certain extent the above characteristics are not in line with the intended purpose of Sukuk; however, there are attempts by many Sukuk issuers today to imitate these characteristics and make them features of Sukuk. One of the arguments used to justify the inclusion of such features is the fact that investors are used to these characteristics, and it will therefore be easy for them to make investment decisions if such characteristics were to be imbued in the issuance of Sukuk. In order to accommodate the above features, several mechanisms have been devised

by Sukuk issuers. Among these questionable mechanisms as stated by Sheikh Taqi are:

SUKUK HOLDERS’ OWNERSHIP OF THE UNDERLYING ASSETS IN THE ISSUANCE OF SUKUK The issuance of Sukuk generally shall represent ownership shares in assets that bring profits or revenues, like leased assets, or commercial or industrial enterprises, or investment vehicles that may include a number of projects. This is the one characteristic that distinguishes Sukuk from conventional bonds. However, quite recently, the market has witnessed a number of Sukuk in which there is doubt regarding their representation of ownership. For example, the assets in the Sukuk may be shares of companies that do not confer true ownership but which merely offer Sukuk holders a right to returns. Such Sukuk are no more than the purchase of returns from shares, which is not lawful from a Shariah perspective. Likewise, there has been a proliferation of certain Sukuk that are based on a mix of Ijarah, Istisna’ and Murabahah contracts undertaken by Islamic banks or institutions, such that these are packaged and sold to Sukuk holders who hope to obtain the returns from these operations.



islamic finance

As for purchase undertakings to repurchase Sukuk, this will deem the Sukuk to be seen as mirroring the structure of a conventional bond. The issue here is such arrangements violate the principle of risk- and profitsharing in which risk and reward are not shared according to the actual venture proceeds. GUARANTEEING THE RETURN OF PRINCIPAL

The inclusion of Murabahah contracts into such Sukuk, however, cannot but bring into question the issue of the sale of debt, even if the percentage of the Murabahah contracts may be considerably less than that of the Ijarah, Musharakah and Istisna’ contracts.

REGULAR DISTRIBUTIONS TO SUKUK HOLDERS Most of the Sukuk that have been issued are identical to conventional bonds with regard to the distribution of profits from their enterprises at fixed percentages based on interest rates (LIBOR). In order to justify this practice, issuers include a paragraph in the contract which states that if the actual profits from the enterprise exceed the percentage based on interest rates, then that amount of excess shall be paid in its entirety to the enterprise manager (whether a Mudarib, or a partner, or an investment agent) as an incentive for the manager to manage effectively. In the structure of certain Sukuk, they do not state that such excess will become the right of the manager as an incentive but, instead, it is stated that the holders of the Sukuk will be entitled to a fixed percentage based upon the rate of interest at the time of regular distributions (as if the excess as an incentive was established as a tacit provision of the agreement). If the actual profits are less than the prescribed percentage based on interest rates, then the manager may take it upon himself to pay out the difference (between the actual profits and the prescribed percentage) to the Sukuk holders, as an interest-free loan to them. That loan will then be recovered by the lending manager, either from the amounts in excess of the interest rate during subsequent periods, or from lowering or increasing the cost of repurchasing assets at the time the Sukuk are redeemed.


Virtually all of the Sukuk issued today guarantee the return of principal to the Sukuk holders at maturity, in exactly the same way as conventional bonds. This is accomplished by means of a binding promise from either the issuer or the manager to repurchase the assets represented by the Sukuk at the stated price at which these were originally purchased by the Sukuk holders at the beginning of the process, regardless of their true or market value at maturity. Then, by these complex mechanisms, Sukuk are able to take on the same characteristics as conventional, interest-bearing bonds since they do not return to investors more than a fixed percentage of the principal, based on interest rates, while guaranteeing the return of investors’ principal at maturity.2 Many discussions have taken place to debate the above issues. As for the issue of transfer of ownership, it is pertinent to assert exactly the effect of the contract of sale and whether or not the legal fraternity of a particular jurisdiction recognises the beneficial ownership. In jurisdictions where the beneficial ownership are recognised, the issue of legal transfer of ownership might not be that pertinent. In jurisdictions where beneficial ownership are not recognised, there is a real need to ensure legal transfers of ownership are done. In addition, it is important to note that Islam recognises the concept of beneficial ownership, which means when offer and acceptance (al-ijab wa alqabul) takes place between the contracting parties, the transfer of ownership of the asset is deemed to have taken place.

When such arrangements take place, all the liabilities and risks associated with the ownership of the asset is transferred from the seller to the buyer. The transfer of the ownership in the formal registration is the legal requirement. The ideal situation is for both transfers to take place simultaneously; however, in certain jurisdictions some legal impediments might delay the process or make the transaction too costly or impossible. In such exceptional situations, the legal title can remain with the seller with the agreement that the buyer will bear all the ownership liabilities and risks as he is the actual owner of the asset from the Shariah point of view. As for purchase undertakings to repurchase Sukuk, this will deem the Sukuk to be seen as mirroring the structure of a conventional bond. The issue here is such arrangements violate the principle of risk- and profit-sharing in which risk and reward are not shared according to the actual venture proceeds. Indeed, investors should face the actual consequences of their investment. It is not impossible to structure Sukuk without the purchase undertakings as some institutions have already embarked on such an initiative. Finally, it is important to emphasise the importance of innovation in Islamic financial products, so that their dynamic nature will prevail and, more importantly, the “Islamicity” of a particular product will not be questioned. More efforts and interaction between Shariah scholars and market practitioners are needed in order for such hj noble a vision to materialise. (Footnotes) 1 Taqi Usmani, Sukuk and Their Contemporary Application, unpublished paper 2 Ibid

islamic finance

Dato’ K. Salman Younis, Managing Director of Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Berhad



KFHMB or Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Berhad opened its doors in Malaysia three years ago and has been actively creating new landmarks in the Islamic finance landscape in the country and within the Asia-Pacific region. The Halal Journal was given the privilege of an exclusive interview with its Managing Director, Dato’ K. Salman Younis. Several areas were covered, in particular, the prospects of Islamic finance and its role and future contributions to the Halal industry. Words By AHMAD KHAIROL SHAFIZAN JOHARI

IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE HALAL INDUSTRY, WHERE DOES ISLAMIC FINANCING FIT IN? Based on our experience at KFHMB, we have provided Shariah-based financial solutions to companies involved in the food industry or those producing consumer goods. For example, we have activities in dairy farming, food processing and aquaculture, just to name a few. Evidently, there is huge demand for Islamic banking products and services in the Halal industry. Some USD50 billion worth of products are being imported into Muslim countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) bloc, and the bulk of this is from


non-Muslim countries such as the United States, Australia, France, Brazil, and Denmark. For a country highly-populated with Muslims like Malaysia, anything related to the cattle industry can be a lucrative business, including import of cattle and other related activities from cattle farming, abattoirs and downstream activities, such as processing facilities for beef and its by-products.

WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE HALAL INDUSTRY, HALAL PARKS ARE ONE AREA WORTH LOOKING INTO. ARE YOU INVOLVED IN ASSISTING IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ANY OF THESE PARKS? To date we have yet to receive any proposal for the development of Halal parks. Should we receive such a proposal accompanied by a feasibility

islamic finance

study we will be more than happy to consider it.

CONCERNING SUKUK, HOW DOES IT CONTRIBUTE TO THE HALAL INDUSTRY? Sukuk is a form of Islamic bond with wide applications even in the Halal industry. As such, Halal parks and facilities are ideal candidates for Sukuk. Given that Sukuk is normally used to raise long term money, there is good potential for developers or promoters of Halal parks to tap funds from the Sukuk market. This is on condition that there are good sponsors who are committed in such Halal park projects and that the [Sukuk] market is very liquid. The Sukuk market can be tapped by the Halal industry, because there is a lot of liquidity. In 2007, there were 59 Sukuk issuances in Malaysia itself, with a total nominal value of RM121.3 billion (USD38.1 billion), which represented 76.4 per cent of the total corporate bonds issued. There is also a lot of money available in the GCC to support your funding. So funding is not an issue. But the issue is the structure - to get the commitment of various parties in black and white.

HOW IMPORTANT IS ISLAMIC FINANCE IN HELPING HALAL BUSINESSES? The finance industry can play an important role -- when it comes to coupons, they can buy the coupon, lease the coupon to these companies and then also provide preshipment for financing to exporters or even people who are supplying food to the local industry here. Even Islamic banks can provide pre-shipment finance, and if it is exported outside of Malaysia, Islamic banks can provide pre-shipment finance and they can finance all shipments, so definitely Islamic banks can play a major role. Islamic banks can also construct a complete food processing facility and lease it on a toll basis, where you can have a contract for four years, which means you can lease the facility from Islamic banks, and use it for four years and pay rental. There are various ways Islamic banks can work with the industry and provide them with financing opportunities with assurance of Shariah compliance, because Islamic finance is an asset-based financing. This is the difference between Islamic banks and conventional banks. For example, if you ask for a loan from a conventional bank, they will give you an overdraft loan and you may tell them that you need the overdraft facility for your business. But once they give you the money, you can do anything with the money, and you can use it to finance anything. Islamic banking on the other hand must make sure that whatever the money is given for, it is used for that purpose only.

WHAT IS THE CURRENT MARKET SIZE OF ISLAMIC FINANCE? At present, the market size of Islamic finance internationally is approximately USD750 million -- a combination of pure Islamic banks like KFH, Islamic windows, Islamic investment companies. This size is expected to double in the next five years especially because of the growth in the GCC market,

“ As it is, Islamic finance is not only growing in Muslim countries, but also in non-Muslim countries. For example the United Kingdom wants to be a hub for Islamic Banking, and they have already issued three pure Islamic Finance investment banking licenses to GCC groups and they are going to issue more licences.” whereby liquidity, on account of the high oil and gas prices, is giving a tremendous boost to the liquidity position of these oil-producing countries. Islamic finance is growing very fast, especially for countries like Saudi Arabia, whereby Islamic finance is growing at the rate of 25 per cent per annum. In Malaysia itself, 15 per cent of the size of the banking sector comprise of Islamic banks. As it is, Islamic finance is not only growing in Muslim countries, but also in non-Muslim countries. For example the United Kingdom wants to be a hub for Islamic Banking, and they have already issued three pure Islamic Finance investment banking licenses to GCC groups and they are going to issue more licences. To name a few, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore are amongst the many non-Muslim countries with interests in the Islamic finance sector. The reason is they see so much wealth being generated in the GCC that they want to respond to the demand for more Islamic finance and banking products.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN ISSUES FACED IN ISLAMIC FINANCE? Awareness is one major issue in Islamic Finance. Whilst Islamic banking in Malaysia has a 30-year history, many still have little or no knowledge and understanding of the basic principles underlying how Islamic banking and finance operates. We cannot blame the customers, but the industry needs to

take the responsibility for creating awareness of Islamic banking and finance; the differences between Islamic and conventional banking; as well as encourage more people to benefit from the products and services offered by Islamic banks. For example, when we first came to Malaysia three years back, the media used to ask us: “Why do you come to Malaysia where 70 per cent of businesses here are controlled by the non-Muslims; and being a Muslim bank, how can you be successful?” In response, we asked them if they thought Islamic banking is only for Muslims, in which we clarified that it is absolutely not. Today, 60 per cent of our customers are non-Muslims; therefore, it is evident that the main problem with Islamic Finance is awareness or the lack of it.

WHAT IS KFH’S FUTURE CONTRIBUTION IN MALAYSIA? In terms of private equity we have invested an estimated amount of USD100 million into Malaysia and in this region, and more funds can be expected. We are also funding projects in the Iskandar Development Region of Malaysia and we regard this as very important. Today we are the biggest investor in Iskandar in terms of money invested. Apart from that, we are also keen to support and participate in the development of other economic corridors, especially in the development of Halal parks and other Halal-related initiatives. hj THE HALAL JOURNAL | JULY+AUG 2008


islamic finance

The World’s First Internationally Accredited Islamic Finance Qualification


The UK-based Securities and Investment Institute (SII) has formulated the Islamic Finance Qualification (IFQ) to fill the gap in the Islamic banking and finance industry.


ccording to IFQ Course Director Brian Kettell, the IFQ is a groundbreaking qualification that covers Islamic finance from both a technical and Shariah perspective, providing the first international benchmark in the area of Islamic finance. He said Islamic banking is now one of the fastest growing sectors of the financial marketplace, and is largely driven by the new wealth of the Middle East. It is also fueled by the need for Muslims, who represent one-fifth of the world’s population, to find financial products that are acceptable in Islam. “However, compared to the very top institutions, the majority of industry participants are lagging far behind in investing in training provisions (for Islamic finance and banking),” he said. He added that the qualification is designed for those seeking a career in Islamic finance and for those staff working in Shariah-compliant finance trade, investment and insurance. It is also appropriate for individuals who recognise the industry’s massive growth potential. The qualification mainly targets professionals already working in the conventional and Islamic finance industries, but is also available for candidates who are not yet in employment. It also will assure regulators, employers and consumers that candidates and employers can perform their role according to Islamic banking (Shariah) requirements. “The IFQ is designed to equip staff with an understanding of the influence of Shariah in a business context and prepare them to hold key positions in the Islamic finance and Takaful (Islamic insurance) industries,” Kettell told the Halal Journal. Words By AHMAD KHAIROL SHAFIZAN JOHARI


The course, which can be tailored to the client’s requirements, is taught in-house worldwide. The examination can also be conducted globally using a computer-based testing network, which is the first of its kind in Islamic finance qualifications. Kettell added that IFQ is jobfocused and requires candidates to demonstrate a practical understanding of Islamic finance. Apart from SII, the candidates will also be recognised by Supérieure des Affaires, managed by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry. IFQ was also initiated and supported by the Central Bank of Lebanon. The key features of the IFQ are as follows: • Staff gains a basic knowledge of the general principles of Shariah (Fiqh at Muamalat) and its application to Islamic banking and finance. • Staff acquires knowledge of the different Islamic finance contracts and products from both a technical and Shariah perspective. • Staff expands their understanding of the practices used in the Islamic financial markets and the principles behind investment decisions. • Equipping staff with the IFQ

indicates that a company is willing to contribute to the development and promotion of high ethical standards of employees working in the Islamic financial services industry. The syllabus, workbook, other teaching materials and examinations have been developed with the support and collaboration of a panel of internationally-recognised experts in Islamic finance. The qualification is reviewed annually to reflect developments in the fast-changing world of Islamic financial services. The qualification was initiated and is supported by the Central Bank of Lebanon (Banque du Liban). Staff gains a prestigious qualification from both the Securities & Investment Institute (recognised by the UK government education regulator) and the École Supérieure des Affaires, which is managed by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The qualification is available hj internationally.

More information may be obtained from the websites, www.sii.org.uk or www.esa.edu.lb



The skyrocketing prices of basic food, has led many nations to relook at their agricultural policies and re-evaluate their priorities. FOSECO (The Strategic Rice and Food Security Conference) is a timely platform bringing together worldwide experts and leaders to outline and evaluate the current scenario & issues, and debate solutions and opportunities that the world food crisis presents. FOSECO will cover vital topics such as: • Managing shortages and prices • Public policies • Impact of biotechnology, biofuels and other advances • Creating regional rice cartels –pros & cons • Business opportunities in meeting market demand • Re-using agriculture as a major economic engine • Awareness and development programs The conference will provide all stakeholders, including policy makers, industry leaders, business communities and media a full understanding of the forces causing the food crisis, the ideal solutions and myriad of opportunities it presents for the rice industry.


FOSECO SECRETARIAT 31-2, PLAZA CRYSTALVILLE, JLN. 22A/70A, DESA SRI HARTAMAS, 50480 KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA Tel: +6 03 6203 1025 Fax: +6 03 6203 4072 Email: info@kasehdia.com www.halaljournal.com www.kasehdia.com www.worldhalalforum.org

Islamic finance update


JUL+AUG ‘08 ISLAMIC FINANCE IN NEED OF MORE DIVERSITY A lack of diversity in their investments could mean Islamic asset managers are losing out to conventional firms, said a report published recently. Islamic funds, which invest in accordance with Islamic law, ignore important asset classes. In Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s two biggest markets for Islamic asset management, fund subscriptions have fallen since 2005, the report said. “As demand for diversification grows, Islamic institutions will face the risk of losing significant market share to conventional institutions that can provide more comprehensive coverage,” Ernst & Young said in the report. Key gaps in the variety of investments offered by Islamic funds include fixed income assets, such as Islamic bonds. Only seven per cent of Islamic funds target such assets, compared with 22 per cent of conventional mutual funds. Despite the lack of diversity in asset classes, Islamic funds have increasingly diversified the geographical reach of their investments, and last year 76 per cent of them targeted regions outside the Middle East and Africa, Ernst & Young said. Bahraini Islamic lender Ithmaar Bank was among a group of firms to launch a Latin America real estate fund this month, while fellow Bahraini lender Gulf Finance House has launched an energy fund in Kazakhstan. |SOURCE: REUTERS, 2 JUNE 2008

KUWAIT FINANCE HOUSE PLANS 175 NEW BRANCHES BY 2008 END Kuwait Finance House (KFH), the region’s second-largest Shariah-compliant lender by market value, yesterday unveiled its expansion plans to open as many as 175 branches by the yearend, including in Bahrain. 70 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JULY+AUG 2008

“The Kingdom figured on its expansion map along with its home market, Kuwait and Turkey and Malaysia. The bank plans to have 50 branches in Kuwait in addition to the existing 42; 113 in Turkey; and the rest in Bahrain and Malaysia,” said the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Omar. “Our worldwide presence is evident in the interest Governments and financial institutions across the globe have shown to benefit from the development of Islamic banking. They opened their markets for us, offering many facilities to ensure optimum performance,” he added. Al-Omar also said that KFH, as a pioneer of Islamic banking, sought to achieve added value in the new markets it enters. “This value might be seen in financing projects or deals, or by offering competitive and innovative products and services. It can also take the form of forging economic ties between these new markets and Kuwait and the GCC, leading to development of open markets, commercial trading and common benefits and bridging the gap between people and cultures. Moreover, this allows Islamic financial business to add dimensions that other economic businesses cannot achieve.” |SOURCE: MENAFN.COM, 30 MAY 2008

ALBARAKA UNVEILS MAJOR ASIA EXPANSION PLANS The Bahrain-based Albaraka Banking Group announced plans to expand its investments and operations in Islamic markets in Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia. The announcement came during a visit by a high-level delegation headed by Albaraka Banking Group President and Chief Executive Adnan Yousif to Indonesia. The purpose of the visit was to inaugurate its representative office in Jakarta after having received official

approval from Bank Indonesia, the country’s central bank. “Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in terms of population, and its commercial and economic links with the Arab and Islamic world are growing while it witnesses significant economic and financial changes that reflect an improving investment environment,” Albaraka Banking Group Chairman Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel said. “All these factors encourage major Islamic financial institutions to open offices in Indonesia to serve the Muslim people there, and participate in financing and facilitating trade and investment between Indonesia and the Arab countries,” he added. He said Southeast Asian Islamic countries are considered to be central to technology, trade and labour, while the Gulf States are centres of finance and energy in the Islamic world. “It is necessary to rely on ingredients from all parts of the Islamic world in order to achieve the hopes and aspirations of peoples and Islamic societies,” he added. |SOURCE: GULFDAILY-NEWS.COM, 10 JUNE 2008

GLOBAL SUKUK MARKET TO REACH $200BN BY 2010 Appetite for Islamic bonds is growing at an unprecedented rate due to the support of regulators and governments in the Gulf and Muslim Asia. And the Sukuk market is expected to reach USD200 billion (Dh734.61bn) by 2010 on the back of Gulf oil wealth and sovereign debt sales by the United Kingdom, Japan and Thailand, said a report by Damac Capital International. “The increasing acceptance of Islamic finance applications – which are becoming more of a global phenomenon – has played a major role in this rapid growth. Currently, the Islamic banking and finance market is

worth more than USD500bn and is growing at 15 to 20 per cent annually,” said Hany Hussein, Vice-President and Head of Asset Management and Equity Research at Damac. “The middle class’s demand is driving Islamic finance. Now that they have money, they want choice. If they can invest money, then why not do it in a Halal way? Now you see Sukuk that are almost always oversubscribed. It is because while there are many interested in Halal products, there are not so many Halal products being offered,” said Mohammad Faiz Azmi, global Islamic finance leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers. The West is also upbeat about joining the Sukuk bandwagon. The UK has set out plans to become the first Western government to issue Sukuk this year. London has already been named as a leading financial centre with regards to Shariahcompliant finance, and experts agree it is currently the strongest European centre for the industry. Financial analysts agree a major challenge in Islamic finance is the lack of standardisation and homogeneity. Because there is no single interpretation of Islamic law, each financial institution has a board of religious scholars who determine which products are Islamic. And what one bank considers Shariah-compliant may be unacceptable to another. “Companies issue Sukuk to diversify their source of funding and to benefit from the strong demand for Islamic finance products,” Hussein said. |SOURCE: BUSINESS24-7.AE, 29 MAY 2008

KFH-BAHRAIN NAMES ALKHAYYAT AS NEW CEO The Kuwait Finance House (KFH’s) Bahrain board of directors has appointed Abulhakeem Alkhayyat as

Islamic finance update

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the bank. The decision was taken at a KFH-Bahrain board meeting held recently. Alkhayyat has been with KFH-Bahrain for five years and has extensive experience in Islamic banking and related industries, which has enabled him to adopt a pivotal role in the strategic development and success of the bank, a KFH statement said. Commenting on his appointment, Alkhayyat said, “I am looking forward to continuing my aim of realising the bank’s vision and mission for the benefit of its shareholders, customers, staff and its various committees. “Whether we’re providing commercial and investment banking services or financial products for consumers, we listen to our customers’ needs. Then, by focusing on innovation, we provide leading edge Islamic banking solutions that truly enhance their lives whilst staying faithful to Shariah principles,” he added. |SOURCE: TRADE ARABIA, 14 JUNE 2008

DUBAI ISLAMIC BANK INKS MOU TO FINANCE REALTY PROJECT AT DUBAI SILICON OASIS Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Al Abbas Group for the Lynx real estate project at Dubai Silicon Oasis. The project is being built by Earth Developers LLC, the realty arm of Al Abbas Group in Dubai. According to the MoU, DIB will provide Islamic financing facilities to meet the needs of prospective owners of real estate units at the Lynx in Dubai. Mohammad Ameery, Chief of Retail and Business Banking, DIB, said, “We are delighted to sign this agreement with Earth Developers, Al Abbas Group. Supporting this initiative falls in line with DIB’s vision to work on the foremost developments that are shaping the future of Dubai.” Launched in 2007, the Lynx at Dubai Silicon Oasis is Al Abbas Group’s debut in the Dubai real estate market. The Lynx is an exclusive mixed-

use real estate project that is set to meet the growing demand for affordable residential and commercial spaces in Dubai. |SOURCE: GOWEALTHY.COM, 15 JUNE 2008

NOR MOHAMED HOPEFUL BUDGET WILL NOT BURDEN THE PUBLIC Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop is hopeful that the 2009 Budget, which will be tabled in August, will not burden the local community. “I cannot reveal much now or else there will be no suspense,” he said. “However, the good news is there. The budget this time is not expected to be a burden because we want to find ways to bring prosperity to the people,” he told a media briefing after meeting agencies under the Finance Ministry here today. Nor Mohamed said that one of the reasons for the country’s success was that it adopted a flexible approach in managing its economy

and financial system. “Malaysia practises a dual banking system – conventional and Islamic -- simultaneously. Most parts of the world, including the Arabs, were reluctant to implement Islamic banking 25 years ago. Malaysia had already implemented it. The country now is the premier centre for Islamic banking,” he said. |SOURCE: NST.COM.MY, 15 JUNE 2008

FCB GOES LIVE POWERED BY PATH SOLUTIONS’ IMAL Path Solutions, the leader in the provision of high quality integrated Shariahcompliant software solutions to the world’s Islamic banking industry, announced that First Community Bank (FCB) Kenya has gone live using iMAL Islamic Banking & Investment System only four months after the project kick-off date. FCB is Kenya’s first fully fledged Islamic bank. The bank was granted an approval to pioneer Islamic banking in the country by the Central Bank of Kenya in May 2007.

Islamic finance update


ISLAMIC BANK LAUNCHES TRAINING PROGRAMME Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has launched the seventh round of its Iktasib training programme, which provides professional development training for UAE nationals. It will train more than 100 participants, who will be given priority over other applicants for careers with the bank. The programme, which takes place every summer, prepares UAE nationals for careers in the banking sector. “The Iktasib programme gives nationals more than just a chance to work at DIB. It also gives them the tools necessary for a career in banking. The banking sector remains one of the most dynamic industries in the region, and we want to give the young people of this country every opportunity to be involved in it,” the bank said in a statement. Its primary focus is educating nationals who are students or recent graduates, and immersing them in bank activities and the complexities of Islamic 72 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JULY+AUG 2008

finance. Students are also given hands-on training in practical applications in day-to-day banking operations. |SOURCE: TRADEARABIA.COM, 16 JUNE 2008

CLIFFORD CHANCE ADVISES THE JOINT LEAD MANAGERS ON THE DHS3.75BN SUKUK AL-IJARA ISSUANCE FOR ALDAR PROPERTIES Clifford Chance LLP has advised Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC, Barclays Bank PLC, Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Limited, Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC, First Gulf Bank PJSC, Lehman Brothers International (Europe), National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC and Noor Islamic Bank PJSC as joint lead managers of the issuance of Dhs3.75bn Sukuk trust certificates due 2013. Debashis Dey, Capital Markets Partner at the Dubai office said: “The involvement of eight international and local banks in this transaction demonstrates the continued appeal of cross-border capital markets and Shariahcompliant financing, which we believe fits well with the strengths of Clifford Chance.” Qudeer Latif, Islamic Finance Partner based in Dubai said: “We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with the banks on the structuring and execution of this transaction, in particular the Dubai Islamic Bank’s Shariah Board, with whom we continue to strengthen our relationship.” |SOURCE: AMEINFO.COM, 18 JUNE 2008

ABC ISLAMIC CLOSES $100M MUNSHAAT SYNDICATION DEAL ABC Islamic Bank has successfully closed the syndication for a USD100 million, three-year syndicated revolving Murabaha financing facility on behalf of Munshaat Real Estate Projects Company. “The company was listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange in November

2007 and this is the debut syndication for Munshaat. The funds will be used to finance the development of prime properties in the Haram area in Makkah and Madinah,” said Bader Bu Rashed, Chairman of Munshaat. Abdulmagid Breish, Chairman of ABC Islamic Bank and Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Banking Officer of ABC said, “Aref is a muchvalued client of ABC Group and arranging this facility for Munshaat builds further on that excellent relationship.” At the general syndication stage, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Libyan Foreign Bank joined as senior lead arrangers with Arab Islamic Bank and Banque BIA as co-lead arrangers. |SOURCE: TRADEARABIA.COM, 18 JUNE 2008

AMISLAMIC BANK TARGETS RM40M FOR MAIDEN INVESTMENT-LINKED PLAN AmIslamic Bank Bhd launched its first Syariah-compliant investment-linked plan, the AmHigh Takaful Investment Linked Plan, targeting 11,000 participants and RM40 million in contributions within the first year. The plan offers participants Takaful protection and a choice of two investment strategies, AmHigh Islamic Cash Strategy or AmHigh Islamic Equity Strategies. Takaful protection for the plan is provided by Syarikat Takaful Ikhlas Sdn Bhd, while its shared services system is provided Germany-based financial services group FWU AG. AmIslamic Bank said the plan would invest in Syariahcompliant unit trust funds, with up to 50 per cent of its net asset value allocated for international funds. The collaboration between the three parties would enable AmIslamic Bank to leverage on foreign expertise for systems and product

development whilst riding on AmBank Group’s sales force, branch networking and customer database, said AmBank Group Chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim at the launch of the plan. |SOURCE: THE EDGE DAILY, 02 JULY 2008

NEW AL HILAL BANK TO OPEN 10 BRANCHES New UAE-based Islamic lender Al Hilal Bank will open 10 branches in its first year of operations in 2008 and expects to post first profits next year, a company executive said. The bank, which has a paid-up capital of 1 billion dirhams (USD272.3 million), is looking to tap into growth in the Islamic finance sector, where assets are reportedly increasing by at least 60 per cent a year. “The economy of the UAE is big. It continues to grow, as does the Islamic finance sector. It is a big pie and we want a share of it,” said Chief Executive Mohamed Berro. The bank, set up by Abu Dhabi Investment Council in 2007, has an authorised capital of 4 billion dirhams, and will eventually sell shares to the public. It will begin operations on Saturday with four branches, including two in Abu Dhabi, one in Dubai and one in al-Ain. It plans to open branches in Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah. |SOURCE: TRADEARABIA.COM, 19 JUNE 2008


Hassan Muhammud, Head of Business Technology & Project Manager at FCB said: “It was important to select a partner that shares our bank’s grand vision of Islamic finance. Indeed, Path Solutions understood our business model, are adaptive and flexible in perceiving Kenya’s dynamic financial requirements – with special attention to Shariah principles and compliance.” He added: “We are proud to have chosen the right technology solution not only to cater to our current business requirements, but also to support us in the fast-growing Islamic finance industry. Last but not least, we thank Allah for this achievement as we usher a new era in Kenyan banking with the birth of FCB.” |SOURCE:

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cover story Think tanks, relatively new to the world, are now making their roles felt in many areas, especially in policy making. The fact that there are benefits to having such highly-focused research and policy advocacy centres is becoming indisputable.


THINK TANKS for the Muslim World

or many, the mere mention of the words “think tank” evokes the image of a shadowy world where masterminds manipulate world affairs, or where covert operations are plotted and controlled. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. A think tank, as defined in Wikipedia, is an: “…organisation…that conducts research and engages advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economy, science or technology issues, industrial or business policies, or military advice.” A “proper” definition, however, remains debated today, with conference organisers, NonGovernmental Organisations, and academic centres sometimes confused as think tanks. Three elements would differentiate think tanks from these other organisations: 1. Making policy recommendations


(which are subsequently adopted) in their mandated fields of study; 2. Conducting highly-focussed and policy-oriented research that is built into a managed knowledge bank, and 3. Organising national and international events and activities such as technical publications and conferences to either form a consensus on issues or to disseminate knowledge on defined issues. Think tanks were few and far between before 1970, when their numbers exploded. Debate still rages as to which was the first think tank; the reason for such a debate is the still-elusive definition thereof. The following are seen as candidates for the honour: 1. The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, founded in 1831 2. The Fabian Society,

founded in 1884 3. The Brookings Institution, founded in 1916, and 4. The RAND Corporation, founded in 1946. Within the Muslim world, the number of think tanks is small but growing. The more prominent ones are: 1. The Al-Aghar Group of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2. The Ravand Institute of Iran 3. The Gulf Research Centre of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 4. The Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER), and 5. The Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) of Indonesia. Think tanks can take several forms, but are usually combinations of multiple fields of study (“integrated” think tanks) such as Indonesia’s CSIS, or “monoline” think tanks, which specialise in one specific

area, such as MIER in economics. The different fields of studies within an integrated think tank may be constituted as either departments or stand-alone centres, with such centres responsible for their own financial management. Think tanks are usually agglomerations of the top thinkers and researchers -- academics and professionals alike -- in a country. They may be attached to the think tank as employees or as independent “Fellows” whose expertise and attention are called upon when needed. It is important to choose a leader capable of seeing multiple, often conflicting points of views of the same subject and who can make decisions based on the merits of each argument. It is also important for the continuity and standing of the think tank to have teamwork and professionalism at the core of its organisational mechanisms. Too many promising organisations have gone down based on personality cult-ism of the leader. Increasingly, think tanks are hiring non-citizen experts of international stature to bolster their capabilities, or are forming cooperative ties with other think tanks in specific fields of study. Further, think tanks are joining together in networks, such as those defined by existing or planned regional groupings. Two examples would be: 1. ASEAN-ISIS, a network based on the Association of South East Asian Nations, and 2. NEAT, or Network of East Asian Think-tanks, which is based on the East Asian movement. In both networks, think tanks from the Muslim countries of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia play active roles. Think tanks’ sources of revenue can be manifold, including: Establishment grants Research grants Consulting project fees Retainer fees Income from publications Conference revenues, and Royalties.

Most costs would centre on personnel and the human capacity development thereof. Nonetheless, it is observed that most think tanks are run as non-profit organisations. It is important not only for think tanks to choose their fields of study well but also to choose their sponsors properly. The wrong choice could well colour the think tank adversely and make it appear to have leanings it does not. In several countries, think tanks

Increasingly, think tanks are hiring non-citizen experts of international stature to bolster their capabilities, or are forming cooperative ties with other think tanks in specific fields of study.

are grouped as either “conservative”, “leftist”, “centrist”, “rightist”, and so on, with all the attendant consequences. Some have even been accused of being biased, denuding them of the key attribute any think tank must have: independence. Think tanks’ outputs are generally similar, and are mostly focused on the following: Generating research and consultancy papers Organising conferences Making policy recommendations Publishing technical journals, and Engaging in “Track 2” diplomacy. It is important to point out that any technical papers that think tanks

produce should be peer-reviewed, internationally if possible, to ensure their superior quality. These publications cannot be simply printed and distributed, because this runs reputation risks against the organisation from outside in. “Track 2” diplomacy refers to a role think tanks play in discussing difficult issues with their international counterparts, such as in the field of international relations, with the results of these discussions made into recommendations for their respective governments. These are then taken as input for proper government-togovernment dialogue (“Track 1” diplomacy) in resolving the issue. Think tanks can play important roles for a nation, such as: 1. Conceptualising and/or helping realise national aims 2. Formulating national policies 3. Recommending international relations policies for a nation 4. Conceiving national Master Plans 5. Serving as focal points for policy oriented matters 6. Forming national consensus on issues 7. Disseminating knowledge 8. Setting standards for research, and 9. Being a knowledge bank or “brain trust” for a nation. It is then incumbent upon a nation to pick and choose how such highly focused banks of research and knowledge can help them, as governments sponsor many think tanks in smaller countries. How a think tank is constituted then, usually depends on the sponsor’s own priorities, aims and visions. Needless to say, a range of monoline think tanks may be set up rather than one integrated institution to give sharper focus to each issue. Implementation of any accepted ideas, then, is through designated government entities or private sector organisations. Think tanks can also play a role in alleviating the many problems within the Muslim world. Its sad state of affairs is all too evident, for instance as stated in the Islamic Development Bank’s Statistical



cover story Monograph, No. 27, 2007: 1. Of 27 reporting Organisation of Islamic Conferences (OIC) countries for the period 1995 to 1999, 11 have 15 per cent or more of their population living under USD1 a day 2. For the Human Poverty Index measure of 2004, 32 of 40 measured countries have 15 per cent or more of their population “left out of progress”, 3. Of the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index (HDI) for 2004, 15 of 53 measured countries rank number 150 or higher among the countries of the world as the poorest developed HDI countries 4. The difference between living standards is marked; within the OIC countries, the highest Gross National Income in 2005 was USD21,186 and the lowest USD180, and 5. The intra-OIC trade is at a lowly 17.2 per cent in 2005, compared to the EU’s more than 50 per cent. By their very nature, think tanks are deeply knowledgeable in their particular fields of study. Hence, their knowledge can be put to good use in studying a problem, coming up with possible solutions, and providing further ways and means to ensure such a problem would not recur. For example, there are three main problems of the Ummah: 1. Immediate provision of aid for daily living needs 2. Education and the provision of employable skills, and 3. Infrastructure development, entrepreneurship, investments, trade, and labour exchanges. Now these problems could be tackled by think tanks using a top-down approach; that is, by providing holistic development plans for the nation on a step-bystep basis with particular emphasis on overcoming particular, identified problems. That there is no accepted “one size fits all blueprint” for a nation’s development means that each particular country needs to be studied and its development


managed uniquely and individually. An example of how a think tank can help a country overcome a particular problem would be ISIS Malaysia’s “K(knowledge)based Economy Master Plan” of 2002 which, “… charts the course

Think tanks could

also recommend ways in which regional or Ummah-wide resources can be used to help each other.It would also be worthwhile to consider the creation of a network of think tanks throughout Islamic countries. for the development of Malaysia from an input-driven economy to a knowledge-based one in order to sustain competitiveness and dynamic growth, to fulfil the goals of Vision 2020. The Master Plan contains 136 recommendations to be undertaken in seven critical areas…” Think tanks could also recommend ways in which regional or Ummah-wide resources can be used to help each other. It would also be worthwhile to consider the creation of a network of think tanks throughout Islamic countries to identify and deliberate upon issues and challenges important to the Ummah as a whole.

Perhaps one day, if the OIC were to be elevated to a regional grouping à la the European Union, then such a network would have a crucial role to play in realising such an aim. As an example, in the ASEAN+3 community-building processes, NEAT plays a significant role in germinating ideas to further such an aim. In 2006, for example, the think tanks within NEAT organised themselves into several working groups, tackling issues in community building such as studying the possibility of a common East Asian currency, to the handling of labour and migration issues. The report for 2006, containing recommendations to move the process forward, was sent to the ASEAN+3 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. That meeting acknowledged NEAT’s contribution in the Chairman’s Press Statement for the 7th ASEAN+3 Foreign Ministers Meeting, dated 26th July 2006: “The Ministers welcomed the stocktaking exercise being undertaken on the progress of the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation since 1997, which would take into account recommendations made by the various ASEAN Plus Three mechanisms, including those from the Network of East Asia Think-Tanks (NEAT) ….” Certainly, a network of OIC countries’ think tanks can play a similar or even an expanded role in the development of the Muslim world. Think tanks, relatively new to the world, are now making their roles felt in many areas, especially in policy making. The fact that there are benefits to having such highly-focused research and policy advocacy centres is becoming indisputable. Certainly their existence within the Islamic world can advance the aims and ideals of a nation and the Ummah as a whole. After all, who does not want to be valuable, contributing, and respected members of the world society? hj Huzaime Hamid is an independent researcher in Malaysia. The opinions he expresses are his own.

11 – 13 November 2008 Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre United Arab Emirates

YOUR GATEWAY TO THE HALAL INDUSTRY IN THE MIDDLE EAST... HALAL WORLD EXPO is dedicated to the global Halal industry, encompassing Food Production, Food Manufacture & Processing, Pharmaceuticals & Cosmetics, Islamic Fashion & Textiles, and Islamic Finance & Insurance Services. As an exhibitor or visitor, there is no better place to:

Access a highly lucrative and growing global Halal market-place, in the Middle East, currently estimated to be worth over US$12 billion.

Establish new business contacts and source new dealers and distributors, both locally and internationally.

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This event is your opportunity to conduct business within this rapidly expanding market. For more information, contact our sales team on: Quote Code: HJ208 Tel: +971 4 407 2534, Fax: +971 4 336 5886, Email: halal@iirme.com, Web: www.halalworldexpo.com Supported By:

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the Land of


Maple Leaf Ride the La Vampiro

M Downtown Montreal at dawn

ontreal, Canada is perhaps one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Famous for its comedy, arts and of course for being the home of the Canadian Formula One GP, Montreal is a vibrant city that not only radiates beauty but also culture and history. Halal Journal was fortunate enough to spend a few days in this intriguing city. WALK THE OLD TOWN Montreal’s primary tourist attraction happens to be Old Town, where most of the city’s tourist attractions are located. Architecture is one of the highlights of the district and many of the old buildings have been converted into restaurants, shops and art galleries. Street entertainers, buskers, antique shops and bazaars are located just off Jacques-Cartier Street. Other tourist attractions include


Hard Rock Montreal

the Notre Dame Cathedral, the waterfront and the Noel gift shop where -- believe it or not -- decorative Christmas items are sold 365 days a year. VISIT THE BASILICA OF NOTRE DAME Although this is a place of worship, no visit to Montreal would be complete without stopping by the Basilica. The Cathedral boasts a spectacular architectural design, not to mention glorious stained glass views. If you have the time, take a guided tour or even pay a visit in the evening when a sound and light show highlights the founding of Montreal and the Basilica of Notre Dame itself. EAT A HEARTY STEAK North Americans pride themselves in making good steaks and if you’re stopping over in a city like Montreal then a steak meal is a must. There are numerous Halal restaurants in the city but we suggest a visit to Kara Mia on 3175 Rutherford Road

for excellent Italian and grilled food. If the hunger pang is right opt for the menu’s Grilled Sandwich or the Montreal Cut Steak, which will no doubt delight meat lovers. Another worthy option is Ben’s Pizza located at 173 Sherbrooke W. Famous for Halal trios and all-meat pizza, this quiet parlour serves up delicious pizzas, hamburgers and pies at attractive prices. HOP A RIDE ON A ROLLERCOASTER It’s not exactly Disneyland but it probably stands as the happiest place in Montreal. La Ronde Amusement Park, located just on the fringes of the city, is part of the Six Flags theme park

Travel Note

Noel Giftshop where Christmas is 365 days a year


An ideal time to visit Montreal will be during the summer months where the sun is shining with a favourable temperature of 22-28 degrees.

Shop at the Underground Mall

The main languages spoken are French and English. All road signs and directional maps are written in both languages so you will never get lost.

The Notre Dame

The amazing stained glass of the Basilica An artistic sculpture at City Hall

Treat yourself to a succulent Montreal steak

There are several modes of public transport in the city with the Metro train being the most popular. An unlimited day travel pass will cost 10 Canadian dollars and will take you to most places around the city.

Hop on board The Metro to get around Montreal

franchise. Over 40 theme park rides are located throughout the park ranging from the slower kiddie rides to the faster, heartpumping kinds. If you get bored of theme park rides, there are also shows and parades being held as well as loads of F&B outlets serving sugary confections like soda pops and cotton candy. If you’re pressed for time and can only make one ride then make a beeline for the La Vampire. This rollercoaster not only defies the laws of gravity but also provides thrill seekers with a ride that spans for over a kilometre, at speeds of up to 80km/h. With loop the loops, the ride will let you soar to over 30 metres with your legs dangling in the air. SHOP IN THE UNDERGROUND CITY Montreal’s underground city located in the downtown area is actually a network of underground tunnels and walkways which have been converted into shopping malls. The network connects these shopping malls to Metro

stations, universities, office buildings and hotels. Just like any shopping mall, you can find designer wear and places to eat, or take in a movie at one of their many cinemas. But why an underground city, you ask? Go to Montreal during winter and you’ll soon find out. DROP BY THE HARD ROCK CAFÉ The city also has a Hard Rock Café, so it’s only natural that it becomes one of the touristy places to visit in Montreal. Like any Hard Rock, this one boasts overpriced HRC merchandise, but then again no visit to Montreal would be complete without a Hard Rock Montreal tee-shirt. Like most Hard Rocks around the world this one also has a restaurant and a chance to catch some of the best live bands the city has to offer, making this a good way to kick back and relax after a hard day of walking and taking in the sights. Take a walk along Rue Crescent hj Street to visit the outlet. THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING | JULY+AUG 2008




Restaurant + Foodservice

CATERMATE SDN BHD CaterMate Sdn Bhd provides catering services for all sorts of functions – including corporate, private, and outdoor events – and provides a myriad of Halal fusion food ranging from local, Japanese, Western, Italian, and BBQ. What CaterMate specialises in, however, is local cuisine, from Chinese to Mamak to Nyonya. This one-stop catering service prepares delicious food for any group size to suit any budget and client requirements. Its team of chefs consists of experienced, full-time professionals and a network of talents from the food industry. Fresh, high-quality ingredients are used to provide customers with delicious local or international cuisine, while high-end equipment is utilised to achieve outstanding quality and service. CaterMate invested in sophisticated catering equipment from famous brands such as Cambro and Spring USA to ensure that all transportation, storage, and serving of food achieve high standards of quality. To lock in, isolate and maintain the chef’s appetising creations, equipment such as CamWears with CWPolymercarbonate Grip Lids™ is used. CaterMate’s equipment also has the ability to regulate food and drink temperatures, so food stays hot and drinks stay cold throughout the event. With a wide network of chefs and talents from renowned restaurants, guests will relish delicious food, personalised to each customer’s event and theme. For an event that caters to Malay guests, for example, the Halal menu adheres to the strictest standards. As a full-service caterer, CaterMate ensures that events are hassle-free. The company supplies and sets up tents, chairs, tables, dinnerware, royal porcelain, luxurious cutlery, and ice sculptures. It also manages servers, chefs, bartenders, AV systems, DJs and whatever else needed to host an impressive event. CaterMate also rents out catering equipment. Let CaterMate plan and run your events with great food, impressive style and quality service. Call Alan Yap at +6019-266 4297 to host an impressive event.


AZAAN.COM.AU Azaan was founded by Sydney-born designer and graphic artist Peter Gould to explore his passion for contemporary graphic design, photography, art, and the rich visual and physical traditions of the Middle East. Azaan was developed as the specialist artistic wing of Gould’s Australian web and graphic design studio.

Peter also runs Creative Cubed, another web and graphic design studio which collaborates with a number of international and local brands. His travels and studies throughout the region have inspired a unique fusion of cultures that reacts to a world of misunderstanding surrounding Islamic culture. Azaan is ‘the’ site to browse if you’re an Islamic arts and design enthusiast. The simple yet modern interface makes it easy to navigate the site and view its contents, and the website provides useful links to other creative and innovative Islamic Artists’ websites. 82 THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING | JULY+AUG 2008



Author: B.S. Nursi | Publisher: Nur Publishers • ISBN: Book 1 (0933552084), Book 2 • (0933552130), Book 3 (0933552114), Book 4 (093352122)

Human beings often contemplate the purpose of life and are prompted by their own nature to ask: Why am I here? What is my purpose? Is there life after death? The Search for God series answers such questions, demanding new explanations to match the expanding dimensions of the world. The series explores the Risale-i Nur (The Treatise of Light), a collection of works written by B.S. Nursi, an intellectual holy man who recognised the need for new methods of conveying religious teachings. He firmly believed that solutions to the many problems facing humanity could only be found in religion. His extraordinary capacity for physical and religious scientific knowledge and his original ideas earned him the name Bediuzzaman, or Wonder of the Age. By merging science and religion, B.S. Nursi explained relevant religious truths and countered scientific attacks on religious ideas. B.S. Nursi developed a method of proving and explaining questions revolving around God’s existence, the resurrection of the dead, and the afterlife, for example. He provided answers where materialist science and philosophy failed to do so, despite their spectacular technological successes. Besides solving numerous mysteries of religion, he offered convincing explanations of complex concepts like continuous motion in the universe, and Man’s ego. These questions are presented as reasoned, logical arguments and are revealed as necessary explanations of the events we see around us. Parable and comparison are used widely, making difficult topics easy to comprehend; the most important characteristic of these books is therefore that they are accessible to all readers. One of Nursi’s greatest achievements was that he opened up the search for God to everyone. These fantastic books provide a different view not only of knowledge, but also of science and religion.


Author: John Hart | Publisher: St. Martin’s Minotaur (October 2, 2007) • ISBN-10: 0312359314 • ISBN-13: 978-0312359317

John Hart’s previous novel, The King of Lies, made its debut in 2006 as a superb mystery, thriller and psychological study. Down River, his second novel, is equally impressive, assembling a cast of memorable characters in a story of greed, passion and deception. Down River returns to Rowan County, North Carolina. The setting is more rural this time, although emotions run just as high and deception runs just as deep. The book focuses on Adam Chase, the son of a wealthy landowner who refuses to sell the 1,400-acre family farm to developers despite strong community pressure. Five years earlier, Chase had been accused of murdering a teenager in Rowan County, a death many continue to hold him responsible for despite the fact that he had been acquitted of all charges. Following his release, Chase fled to New York, leaving behind his resentful father and Robin Alexander, one of his few steadfast supporters. At the request of boyhood friend Danny Faith, Chase reluctantly returns to Rowan County. His reappearance worsens the emotional situation surrounding his family. Most people, including the local sheriff, feel he is nothing but a murderer who escaped justice, and his presence only increases the resentment generated by Chase’s father’s refusal to sell the property. Another murder occurs in Chase’s proximity, and it seems as if he has either killed again or brought a curse with him. The new death unravels the Chase family secrets, buried in a series of devious acts which began with good intentions but became tainted by evil. Chase will learn things about his family and himself before the events of the book come to an end. Down River raises the spirit of the best of southern literature and is definitely not to be missed. John Hart is a deep and strong talent whose future contributions will be highly anticipated and welcomed.


Hamza Robertson

Something about Life is a unique album in every sense, from its style to its beautiful lyrics. Hamza Robertson was born in the north-west of England and studied Performing Arts & Popular Music for three years, composing and writing music whilst taking part in a variety of bands throughout his school and college years. He eventually produced Something About Life as his debut album in the hope that it would play an important part in redefining the Islamic music genre. His first tour, Evening of Inspiration, was extremely well received in the UK, while his recent performance in Sweden proved so popular with the audience that they demanded an encore. Something about Life is a truly refreshing blend of Eastern and Western musical styles and cultures. THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING | JULY+AUG 2008


on display


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.


Golden Beach Roasted Anchovies is rich in calcium and protein. Its delicious sweet and spicy flavour is suitable for all ages and is conveniently packed as snacks. This snack is good to enjoy anytime and anywhere.


ZACT Stain Fighter Toothpaste is specially formulated to help remove stains formed by tobacco, coffee and/or tea, while refreshing your breath. Its fluoride will protect your teeth from cavities. ZACT stain fighter toothpaste is safe for daily use. ZACT Toothpaste is available in a 90g packing tube in most pharmacies and personal care stores.


DURU Fruity Soap refreshes, softens, and cleanses your skin with enriched cream and fruit extracts. The fruity scent gives you a relaxing feel when you are in the shower. This soap range comes in four different scents: Watermelon and Cream, Grape and Cream, Mandarin and Cream, and Peach and Cream. This Turkish product is made of palm oil extract and can be safely used by all consumers who are conscious of ingredients in their personal care products.


Bowel-Ease Herbal VegeCapsules is traditionally used for improving bowel movement and for the relief of flatulence and constipation. It is a 100 per cent herbal remedy, suitable for vegetarians as well as Halal consumers, and is a blend of nine different herbs in one convenient capsule. The recommended dose is one capsule, twice a day, to be taken after meals. The packaging is convenient and small enough to slip into a purse or a handbag. It is very handy to have around to avoid any potential discomfort or embarrassing moments. Bowel-Ease can be purchased at any drugstore or pharmacy.



As one of the biggest food manufacturers in Thailand, Charoen Pokphand Foods (CP) has endeavoured to produce highquality, animal protein-based food products that are nutritious and safe. Not only is it easily available in most 7-11 outlets in Bangkok, CP Seaweed Roll Chicken also comes with clear reheating instructions. The Seaweed Roll Chicken is ideal for Muslims who find it difficult to get Halal food around Bangkok. 84 THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING | JULY+AUG 2008

Produced by Hamac Food Industries Sdn Bhd, Simply Guava Chewy Candy is packed with vitamin C and bursting with real guava flavour. It can be enjoyed by people of all ages and is suitable for consumption by Muslim consumers. Most products by Hamac Food Industries Sdn Bhd have obtained the Halal certification from the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (JAKIM).

snapshots Imam Feisal leading a discussion at the “3rd International Conference on the Muslim World and the West: Bridging the Gap”.

Dr. Habib Nasria from McDonald’s exchanging jokes with IHI Alliance CEO, Darhim Dali Hashim.

At the recent WHF Investment Site Visit: CCM extends a warm welcome to their facility…

Hard knocks… WHF Gala Dinner guests experience hands-on in pewter crafting.

At Thaifex 2008: A businessman with a mission...

A touch of class and a taste of the Malay tradition in music…


On stage – The Malaysian Prime Minister sharing a light moment with Sheikh Saleh Kamel

Say cheese! Winners of the HJ Awards poses for a photo with Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Jumaatun Azmi, KasehDia MD…

The newly appointed WHF Chairman, Sheikh Saleh Kamel welcoming foreign delegates at the WHF Welcoming Dinner…

Food Taipei 2008: The Halal Journal magazine caught the eye of an interested reader at the MATRADE booth…

Heated discussion at recent WHF: Selma Djukic from Canada highlighting issues concerning Halal certification and ethics...

WHF 2008: A forum packed full to the brim…



AUG 2008

parting words During the recently held Third International Conference on the Muslim World and the West: Bridging the Gap, The Halal Journal met with the American Imam in Kuala Lumpur, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf – founder of the Cordoba Initiative. Imam Feisal tells us about the existing gap between the Muslim world and the west... WHAT IS THE CORDOBA INITIATIVE AND WHY WAS KUALA LUMPUR (KL) CHOSEN AS ITS MUSLIM WORLD HEADQUARTERS? Cordoba Initiative was founded in 2006 with their Muslim world Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and Western world Headquarters in New York. It is a multi-faith, multinational entity working through civil dialogues, policy initiatives, and education and cultural programmes focusing on “Thought, Action and Outcomes”, to improve relations and to close the widening gap between the Muslim world and the west. KL was chosen as our Headquarters, because Malaysia was chairing the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) – the political affiliation that represents the ummah, therefore Malaysia could play an additional role on the international divide. Malaysia is also a pluralistic country – having managed to create cooperative relationships between different ethnicities and religions. It is a microcosm of existing problems in the world, but with a localised context: the relationships are between the three major sociological groupings – Chinese, Malays and Indians; or between Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus. However, Malaysia’s experience can be scaled out for the global experiment to create global peace. THE RECENTLY HELD CONFERENCE WAS FOCUSED ON BRIDGING THE “GAP”. WHAT IS THIS “GAP”? The gap or the divide is just a word to describe the fact that there is existing tensions, and everyone recognises there is tension. Poll and surveys that measure perceptions on each side of the other also showed that the divide is growing, with many negative impressions. The boundary between the two worlds is not just geographical, it is also a mindset. Tension exists between different races and religions; but this does not mean they cannot be managed. This is what good governance and management of the situation is all about.

WHAT COULD EASE THIS TENSION BETWEEN THE TWO CIVILISATIONS AND WHAT WAS ACHIEVED THROUGHOUT THE CONFERENCE? The first step is defining the divide, so that we understand it. The conference agreed that the divide has political, sociological, religious and economical aspects, and issues of misinterpretations. The next step is to have agreements on the definition by all high-level players from both worlds; once reached, a project to create movement on these issues can start. Over the two days, we have made incredible progress both on the issue of definition, and a process of identifying projects that would help address the problems. The biggest thing that came out of the conference was effective communications – a media initiative that will be able to amplify, strengthen and draw more support for all of the projects. A steering committee was also structured at the conference with high-level members and interested organisations to aid us in ensuring we have enough resources, capacity and energy to steer the project towards fruition. WHAT POLICIES SHOULD A MUSLIM GOVERNMENT HAVE TOWARDS A WESTERN GOVERNMENT AND VICE VERSA? Governments and nations have different policies and different levels of policies. For example, trade agreements, i.e. one level of policy that many different institutions have developed and experienced, which become patterns people have evolved towards as links bridging Muslims and non-Muslims on many issues of combined interests. So there are issues of policy; however, the problem is that no governments, in both civilisations, have yet mastered the craft of knitting religion into the picture. Religion has become part of the problem; therefore it takes on a religious dimension. Think tanks, for example, are essential as it is a partnershi

(between them and governments, and so on) that requires skill sets of experts from different fields to be pooled together and partnered in a way that can create movement forward. WHAT IS THE ROLE OF HALAL INDUSTRY PLAYERS IN BRIDGING THIS GAP? They can play a very significant role because when people know more about something, they are less afraid of it, they feel more at ease and may even come to like it. For example in Malaysia, you can find a variety of Halal cuisines that can be consumed by everyone. The community literally gets a taste of other cultures and familiarising them. This is really a non-verbal dialogue between different races, ethnicities, cultures, and religions. Primarily driven to business, manufacturers will move on to partake in the Halal food business because it is a fast growing niche in the food industry today; but to do that, they must understand Halal, which involves education: not only on what Halal means operationally, but also the ethical reasons behind Halal, because the laws of Islam are done for the best interest and welfare of people. The role of Muslim industry

players is to explain and cast our dietary laws, not as parochial Islamic laws, but to talk about it in terms of universal values and explain the reasoning behind these laws in universal terms, for others to gain a better understanding of the concept. Trading, coupled with communication will allow both worlds to gain more understanding on practices and beliefs of others; ultimately opening their hearts to acceptance and respect. GOING BACK TO THE CONFERENCE HOW IS IT MORE EFFECTIVE IN BRIDGING THE DIVIDE AND WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER CONFERENCES OF THE LIKE? The conference was crafted from definition to action, which differentiates this conference from others as well as in making it more effective with participants well represented from every level, i.e. the high-level to the grassroots level. We collected wisdom from the participants for the definition of the gap, and we also pooled the participants for related project proposals for follow up after the conference. With efforts and cooperation, I am very confident that we will achieve many with this hj initiative, Insya Allah.

An American Imam in Kuala Lumpur… 88 THE HALAL JOURNAL |


WORLD ISLAMIC SERVICES FORUM 2008 1 & 2 D E C E M B E R 2 0 0 8 • K U A L A L U M P U R • M A L AY S I A

AS MUSLIM ECONOMIES DEVELOP AND MOVE UP THE VALUE CHAIN, SERVICES THAT COMPLEMENT INDUSTRIAL, SOCIAL, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN-LINE WITH THE SHARIAH WILL BE THE NEXT ENGINE FOR GROWTH. For the first time, the World Islamic Services Forum will bring together the developments in this under explored sector and will be discussing: Islamic Finance Zakat Takaful Waqf Legal Advisory Halal Products & Services An understanding of these areas will be important for policy makers, governments, businesses, professionals and media alike.



Profile for The Halal Journal

The Halal Journal - Jul/Aug 2008  

Issue 23, July/August 2008 | The World Halal Forum 2008 Special Report | Islam And The Halal Industry (Part 1): Where It Starts And Ends......

The Halal Journal - Jul/Aug 2008  

Issue 23, July/August 2008 | The World Halal Forum 2008 Special Report | Islam And The Halal Industry (Part 1): Where It Starts And Ends......


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