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HALAL COSMETICS Should You Be Concerned?





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Expect bigger things from the world’s premier Halal event of the year




Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry to look into developing the sector


New venue, more traders, bigger crowd


How the religion views cosmetic surgeries and Botox injections

34} THE PROBLEM WITH COSMETICS’ INGREDIENTS Swine placenta is just the tip of the iceberg


Manipulating organic materials to fulfil modern food demands

44} FASTRACK EUROPE Danes brace for second consumer boycott


Serbs keen on Halal, but…


French retailer confident on Halal growth

50} FASTRACK MIDDLE EAST Business with heart, really

56} FASTRACK AUSTRALASIA The live export debacle

66} FASTRACK AMERICAS Is cloned meat Halal?

©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.

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“For me, as a female Muslim consumer, seeing the Halal stamp makes me take a step back and think about what Halal stands for, which in my opinion is about purity, eco-ethical and no harm (not just for my body, but also for our planet and the animal kingdom).” DR MAH HUSSAIN-GAMBLES

Regulars 08} GLOBAL NEWS A brief insight into events currently shaping the Halal industry around the globe + Calendar of Events + Online Polls 61} COUNTRY IN FOCUS Indonesia is rebuilding with Halal in

If one needs further convincing of Halal’s spillover effects from the traditional food and beverages sector, just take a look at the burgeoning Halal cosmetics sector and the industry’s value proposition for the mainstream cosmetics manufacturers. As detailed in our latest Cover Story on p26, the potential Muslim market is enormous, but there needs to be coordinated efforts on part of the manufacturers, the consumer associations and the scholars and scientists alike. Without all three, the full potential of Halal cosmetic industry may never be realised. Truth is, the global mainstream cosmetics industry can learn a thing or two from Halal and all of its inherent values, and with the mounting pressures from animal welfare, health and environmental organisations, Halal might just be the answer to all of the industry’s problems. In our eternal search for perfection, the increasing use of cosmetic surgeries and quick-fix injections has been well documented. Our accompanying feature on Islam and the Obsession with Beauty (p30) highlights why these are not just unlawful, but are also dangerous and can even be fatal. We also take a closer look and put some of the most popular cosmetics brands under the microscope to see what they are really made of. The result was mind-blowing to say the least. Read our cosmetic ingredients feature on p32 to see just what we mean. We also take another look at the use of biotechnology by Muslim scientists since a thousand years ago with Al Razi’s pioneering efforts in this field, and how biotechnology can help solve the problems of today’s ummah, especially in cosmetics and personal care sector. Also in this issue are our usual in-depth insights into Halal industry’s current affairs and latest happenings. Like the take from Danish dairy producer, Arla Foods, on how the impending second consumer boycott would affect their bottom line sales (p44). Also included is an excellent insight from a French manufacturer on the real potential of Malaysia as a global Halal hub (p48). As the clock ticks closer to the World Halal Forum 2008 this 12th-13th May, all efforts are currently being geared towards ensuring that this third instalment would be a lot more grander, even more meaningful and offering much more benefit to our esteemed delegates. If you have not signed up as a delegate yet, now is the time to do so. Just log on www. to register online or for more information. Hope to see you in May, Insha’Allah. Assalamualaikum WBT.

the Halal Journal team

Living 67} FEATURE COVER The Evolution of Paper Money Pt 2 70} JOURNEY A little adventure in Hong Kong 72} BROWSING Bayt Al Wakeel in Dubai, Sami Yusuf in Music, and Servants of Allah and Military Inc. in Book Reviews 76} ON DISPLAY Halal and good stuff found on the shelf 78} SNAPSHOTS Images of recent happenings in the industry 80} PARTING WORDS Dr Mah Hussain-Gambles, founder and formulator of Saaf Pure Skincare

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:: 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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PERMISSION & REPRINTS The Halal Journal is written and edited for a worldwide audience and is published bimonthly, except for special issues. Materials in The Halal Journal may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. SUBSCRIPTION INFO For subscription and circulation enquiries, address changes and request for copies, please call +6 03 6203 1025 or fax +6 03 6203 4072. To order back issues, please email us at or log on to The Halal Journal, the name and the logo, are trademark ™ and copyright © 2006 of KasehDia Sdn Bhd. All Rights Reserved. Printed in Malaysia by Art Printing Works Sdn. Bhd.

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“In the past, Wal-Mart has been pretty cookiecutter when it comes to merchandise. But this time, we really got to know the community. We are blazing a trail here.” Bill Bartell, Dearborn store manager US


As America changes, so does the stores where America shops. In Dearborn, Michigan, home to nearly a half-million Arab-Americans – the largest concentration of Arabs outside the Middle East, the world’s largest retailer opens a store like no other among its 3,500 US outlets. Walk through the front door of the 200,000-square-foot super centre and instead of rows of checkout counters, you find a scene akin to a farmers market in Beirut. A walled-off section of the butcher case is devoted to Halal meats, slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law. In the freezer case, you will find frozen falafels. You can also pick up a CD from Lebanese pop singer, Ragheb Alama, or buy Muslim greeting cards. Wal-Mart’s Arab-American emporium provides a preview of the retail giant’s latest strategy to boost business as it reaches the saturation point in its American expansion. “In the past, Wal-Mart has been pretty cookie-cutter when it comes to merchandise,” says Dearborn store manager Bill Bartell. “But this time, we really got to know the community. We are blazing a trail here.” To fit into this bastion of ethnic tradition, Wal-Mart started two years ago to meet with Imams and moms, conducting focus groups at Middle Eastern restaurants. Wal-Mart learned that the community was not as concerned about seeing Arabic-language signs as they were with dealing with Arabic-speaking staff. | SOURCE: NEWSWEEK, 14/3/2008




Lawmakers have approved a request that the House of Representatives include mandatory Halal food labelling in a draft law. House of Religious Affairs Commission chairman, Hazrul Azwar, said that legislators agreed with the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) that Halal certification should be obligatory rather than voluntary. “I agree that all food and drugs producers must obtain Halal certificates and put them on their products because this is what the Islamic law obliges for Muslims,” he told The Jakarta Post. At a hearing earlier this month with the House Commission, the MUI demanded protection on the issue of Halal product assurance to compel producers to certify their products. MUI fatwa committee head, Ma’ruf Amien, told the parliamentary hearing that the majority of Indonesians were Muslims, thus they needed protection and assurance that what they consumed was Halal (permitted under Islamic law). He also asked the House to allow the MUI to retain its authority in administering and issuing Halal certificates. According to Hazrul, a legislator from the United Development Party (PPP), most members of the Commission VIII agreed with MUI’s proposals during the hearing. The council said it wanted the House to pass the bill into the law before the 2009 general elections.

Traders importing food for local consumption in Dubai or re-export must comply with new regulations issued by the municipality. Importers have been given until the end of March to obey the rules, which have been prepared in accordance with the new food quality standards of the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma). Products must be labelled in Arabic and any consignments that do not comply with this requirement will be turned back at the ports, a senior official from Dubai Municipality’s Food Control Department told Emirates Business. Traders have to comply with the new guidelines within the first three months of 2008. “While many traders follow the Arabic labelling requirements, some supermarkets and hypermarkets still display food products without the correct labelling. After the threemonth notice period such food products will not be allowed entry into the UAE,” said an official. Forty health inspectors are being stationed at each of Dubai’s ports to ensure food importers and re-exporters complied with the Arabic labelling requirements.






Spaghetti and American fried rice will be added to the Thailand’s Army Quartermaster Department’s menu to better please soldiers’ taste buds when they go on missions in the far South. MREs, or meals ready-to-eat, are highenergy, high-calorie-packed meals designed for field soldiers. It is hoped that foreign entrees will make an exciting and satisfying change to the current selection of Thai dishes. ‘’We often believe that soldiers when in combat or on other fieldwork can eat anything. However, tasty dishes with a Western flair could cheer them up,’’ said Wallop Pradapsilp, Technical Department Chief, who gave the menu a face-lift. The combat rations, destined for soldiers in the Deep South, carry the Halal logo because some of the soldiers are Muslims.


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The Philippines’ Department of Tourism says it expects to draw Muslim visitors to the country, more now than before, as an interagency body is set to come out this week with the standards on Halal food production. Tourism Secretary, Joseph Ace Durano, described the Philippines National Standards on Halal Food as a “landmark development,” saying that the guidelines would make Halal food more accessible in the country. However, the World Halal Council maintains that the Philippines’ guidelines on producing food for Muslims would only be good for the locals and would not pass requirements of other countries. Last month, World Halal Council secretary general Abdul Rahman RT Linzag said the draft of the standards that the inter-agency body presented to him could not be considered acceptable to other countries. In a letter to the Bureau of Product Standards director Jesus Motoomull, Abdul Rahman said, “a genuine effort should be exerted by qualified persons or groups to formulate an acceptable global Halal standard.” Abdul Rahman, who is also president and chief executive of the Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines, maintained that matters pertaining to Halal, in keeping with the practices of Islam, should not be a government function. The standards were crafted by the Philippine Halal Accreditation Board, composed of 19 ulama or Muslim scholars and religious leaders, in coordination with the departments of trade and industry, agriculture, science and technology, health, tourism, the Office of Muslim Affairs, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. | SOURCE: DAILY INQUIRER, 11/3/2008

“The standards that the inter-agency body presented to him could not be considered acceptable to other countries. A genuine effort should be exerted by qualified persons or groups to formulate an acceptable global Halal standard.” Abdul Rahman, World Halal Council secretary

“There are three main factors driving the growth of sharia-compliant finance in the European markets - Muslim customers, nonMuslims looking for ethical finance, and finally the governments themselves, Halal finance products protect funds from unethical businesses or activities and there has been an increasing trend among westerners to try living their lives by certain ethical principles,” Junaid Bhatti, Islamic finance expert and director of Ballencrieff House UK


The Islamic finance industry, driven by Muslim developments, is making headway in the West. Junaid Bhatti, Islamic finance expert and director of Ballencrieff House, stated that Islamic compliant finance products are not just popular with Muslims, but also people of other religions. “There are three main factors driving the growth of sharia-compliant finance in the European markets - Muslim customers, non-Muslims looking for ethical finance, and finally the governments themselves,” he explained. “Halal finance products protect funds from unethical businesses or activities and there has been an increasing trend among westerners to try living their lives by certain ethical principles,” he added. With over 50,000 UK Islamic finance customers and a worldwide industry growth rate of between 15 per cent and 20 per cent, the products are growing in popularity, claimed Mr Bhatti. Last year, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants launched its first qualification in Islamic Finance, giving those in accountancy jobs the chance to develop the skills necessary in the £250 billion industry. | SOURCE: GAAPWEB.COM, 13/3/2008 MIDDLE EAST


The Muslim market presents significant opportunities for cosmetics and fashion brands, according to management consultancy firm A T Kearney. Despite the worldwide Muslim population standing at 1.56 billion, few companies are taking advantage of the significant opportunities presented by this consumer segment, stated the company. Targeting this market and providing consumers with Halal product alternatives could bring significant benefits to the cosmetics and fashion industries, as well as food and beverage manufacturers. The management consultancy firm notes that Muslim consumers represent a positive outlet for future growth over other consumer segments. “At a time when many other large consumer segments are reaching a saturation point, Muslims are a new outlet from which to build a box for future growth,” reads the company’s report entitled ‘Addressing the Muslim Market: Can You Afford Not To?’ In addition, Muslims make up an estimated 20 per cent of the world’s population and increasing consumer affluence and Western influence means this consumer base is growing increasingly strong. The company highlights the cosmetics and fashion markets as untapped industries that present excellent opportunity for companies to incorporate Muslim values. Although they note that in theory wearing cosmetics is haram, a significant proportion of Muslim women do wear cosmetics and those that do may well prefer the Halal version. | SOURCE: COSMETICSDESIGN-EUROPE.COM, 7/3/2008

WHAT IS MUSHBOOH? : Halal is clear and Haram is clear; in between these two are certain things that are suspected or ‘Mushbooh’ . Mushbooh (suspected) item could come from a Haram source, which must be avoided by Muslims. | The Halal Journal InfoEdu THE HALAL JOURNAL

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GlobalNEWS “I have been saying for a long time that Brazil should expand its participation in the fair, especially with regard to products that are not traditionally exported to the region,” Michel Alaby, secretary general at the Chamber UAE


The Brazilian companies participating in the Gulfood, in Dubai, closed USD 10 million in business during the fair and should close another USD 60 million over the next ten months. The Brazilian pavilion received around 3,000 visitors. The performance was considered, by many of those participating, better than that of other sector fairs, like Anuga, in Germany, and Sial, in France. “I have been saying for a long time that Brazil should expand its participation in the fair, especially with regard to products that are not traditionally exported to the region,” stated the secretary general at the Chamber, Michel Alaby, who was at the event. Dairy Itambé, for example, represented by trading company Serlac, closed around USD 3 million in deals, with the sale of powdered, condensed and evaporated milk to importers in countries like Sudan, the Emirates and Oman. “We managed to reach countries with which we had never done business, especially in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and even the West,” stated the company’s export manager, André Massote. According to him, it is more difficult to reach certain markets at Sial and Anuga, as those fairs are greatly turned to large European trading companies and to the North African market. According to the fair organisers, Gulfood generated at least USD 300 million in business to the exhibitors. This, however, is still a preliminary evaluation. The organisers believe that the volume of business may reach USD 500 million. Preliminary figures show that over 39,000 people visited the fair. | SOURCE: ANBA.COM, 14/3/2008 MALAYSIA


Malaysia has much to gain from food traceability, according to Britain-based Global Food Traceability Forum (GFTF) chairman Ian Smith. “Initialising food traceability would improve the standard of living in Malaysia,” he said. He added that practicing food traceability could leverage Malaysia as an exporter, especially in Halal products. “People are becoming more concerned about their food. With the implementation of food traceability incidents like that (the Mad Cow disease) and the recall of oroducts, which could cost manufacturers huge losses, can be avoided,” he said. | SOURCE: THE STAR, 18/3/2008 UAE


Jawhara Hotels, part of the UAE-based business conglomerate S.S. Lootah Group, received the ‘BS EN ISO 9001:2000’ certification for its Jawhara Gardens Hotel. Mr. Nasser Lootah, Executive Director, Jawhara Hotels, commented, “As the first Islamic family hotel in the region based on ‘True Emirates Hospitality’, we are proud to set new benchmarks in the highly competitive hospitality industry by offering a pure ‘Halal’ atmosphere and a taste of Islamic culture. We will continue to pursue excellence and set benchmarking trends in our delivery of Islamic hospitality through innovative service offerings.” Jawhara Gardens recently introduced the ‘Pure room’ for the first time in the Gulf, called so after being certified by the American company ‘Pure Solutions’, that involves an innovative, oneof-a-kind process for maintenance of the rooms. The hotel also recently launched a new seafood restaurant ‘Qasr-al-Bahr’ and presented the Halal concept of hospitality in a recent exhibition held at the United Kingdom. | SOURCE: AME INFO, 22/3/2008



Malaysia should step up efforts to produce value-added niche agriculture and natural resource-based products to compete with low-cost producers in Asia. Rabobank International regional head of food and agribusiness research and advisory, Thomas Lee Bauer, said, “Malaysia is blessed as it is rich in agriculture and natural resources compared with its rivals in Asia. “For it to be competitive globally and ride on the low-cost wave from countries like China, India, Thailand and Vietnam, it should stress on producing value-added niche agriculture and natural resourcebased products.” According to Bauer, Malaysia still has room for improvement for such products, but nonetheless is in a better position than its regional peers in terms of skills and expertise. Even in the animal husbandry sector, for example, more organic niche Halal food should be looked at as there was a huge potential market for such products globally, he said in an interview. Some of the sectors in Malaysia to which the bank is keen on further providing technical assistance and expertise are palm oil, oleo chemicals, aquaculture and animal protein. | SOURCE: THE STAR, 14/3/2008

“For it (Malaysia) to be competitive globally and ride on the low-cost wave from countries like China, India, Thailand and Vietnam, it should stress on producing value-added niche agriculture and natural resourcebased products.” Thomas Lee Bauer, Rabobank International regional head of food and agribusiness research and advisory


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Rate the following in order of importance of the threats to intra OIC business collaboration. Information (33.33 %)

Do you feel that Malayisa has the credibility to become the hub for international Halal certification?

Trade barriers (33.33 %) No (56.28 %)

Logistics (6.67 %)

Yes (43.72 %)

Access to market (26.67 %) SOURCE: WWW.HALALJOURNAL.COM

“We follow the Codex Alimentarius Commission’s regulations and they say we should not differentiate from other products and genetically-modified foods. We are mainly concerned with making sure the animals were slaughtered in the Halal way ”



Singapore’s food and beverage exports to the UAE are “known not only for their taste and high standards of production, but also their creativity and variety in the Middle East,”

Meat and dairy products from cloned animals or their offspring can enter the UAE from the United States without being labelled as such, after the US Food and Drug Agency declared them safe for consumption. After a six-year scientific review, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday that food products from cloned animals were safe, despite opposition from organic food enthusiasts and some lawmakers. FDA only allows companies to label products ‘clone-free’, but does not require those coming from a cloned animal or its offspring to be identified. Dr Abdullah Abu Ruwaidhah, general health and environment consultant at the UAE General Secretariat of Municipalities, said, “We follow the Codex Alimentarius Commission’s [a world food code body] regulations and they say we should not differentiate from other products and geneticallymodified foods.” The UAE is likely to allow FDA ‘clonefree’ labels on food products to remain as is. The United States supplies meat and dairy products to the UAE, including beef and cheese. Khalid Al Awadi, head of food safety at Dubai Municipality, told Gulf News that GM foods are low on their priority list. “We are mainly concerned with making sure the animals were slaughtered in the Halal way and have high hygienic standards,” he said. Natural and organic food enthusiasts in the UAE are opposed to cloned foods, questioning their safety.

Lim Ban Hoe, regional director at the agency, IE Singapore

| SOURCE: GULF NEWS, 14/3/2008

Khalid Al Awadi, head of food safety at Dubai Municipality UAE


Reinforcing its leading position, Al Islami Foods announced acquiring a major share in Al Farooj Fresh – a UAE based restaurant chain. The move propels Al Islami into a strong position in the fast growing and profitable hospitality segment of the UAE, starting with freshly baked and wholesome fresh Shawarma wraps, a new global healthy trend in the fast food industry. The company, initially started with nine branches of Al Farooj Fresh, plans to expand into the GCC and Middle East markets. As per the terms of the acquisition agreement, Al Islami Hospitality commands the major stake in Al Farooj Fresh, and has full management control.Saleh Abdullah Lootah, CEO of Al Islami Foods, said, “I am very pleased that this acquisition allows us to become a very strong player in the strategic core category of the local hospitality market. “I welcome Al Farooj Fresh, which will capitalise on our capabilities in fresh and superior quality Halal food segment, while making a synergy of such capabilities for the benefit of consumers. This is a very important step for the Al Islami Group to remain on a strategic position in the UAE Halal food market.” | SOURCE: AMEINFO.COM, 14/3/2008 SINGAPORE


According to the government’s trade agency, Singapore’s food shipments to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) jumped 67 per cent last year with UAE’s recognition of the city-state’s Halal certification system. Food and beverage (F&B) exports to the UAE hit 171 million Singapore dollars (USD121 million). The products are “known not only for their taste and high standards of production, but also their creativity and variety in the Middle East,” said Lim Ban Hoe, regional director at the agency, IE Singapore. F&B exports have more than doubled since 2005. The UAE recognised the Islamic Religious Council’s Halal certification system in 2006. | SOURCE: HALALFOCUS.COM, 14/3/2008


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GlobalNEWS “Normally it is easy to export Halal non-meat products from China, but meat products certified in China are more difficult, I think even Chinese Muslims are not so careful with Halal things. They know what you can and cannot eat, but they are not very careful if things are labelled Halal.” Ray Chueng, a Shanghai businessman CHINA


Both Kosher and Halal will be available at the Olympic Athletes Village, a requirement of the International Olympic Committee. The Philadelphia-based company Aramark is running the catering operation and will serve 17,000 athletes and officials at dining rooms capable of feeding 6,000 at once on a 24-hour schedule. Sourcing of most Halal and Kosher products in China is easy – except for meat. No factory has been certified to export Kosher meats from China. Many factories are certified to produce Halal, though exporting Halal meat from China is difficult with some Islamic countries suspicious of Chinese certification. China is estimated to have a Muslim population of 1-2 percent of its 1.3 billion people, most living in the west of China. “Normally it is easy to export Halal non-meat products from China, but meat products certified in China are more difficult,” said Ray Chueng, a Shanghai businessman who helps factories get Halal or Kosher certification. “I think even Chinese Muslims are not so careful with Halal things,” Chueng added. “They know what you can and cannot eat, but they are not very careful if things are labelled Halal.” Penny Xiang, deputy director of the Game Services Department for the 2008 Olympics, said 36 food suppliers have been picked for the Games, “all under very close supervision.” She said daily food consumption at the Athletes Village would reach 220,000 pounds with daily rubbish weighing 110,000 pounds. | SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS, 14/3/2008 MALAYSIA



The Malaysian-based Halal industry magazine, The Halal Journal, was announced to be the winner for the “Continuing Media Contribution To The Halal Industry” award accorded by the International Islamic Finance Forum (IIFF), Dubai, UAE. Nordin Abdullah, Executive Director of KasehDia Sdn Bhd, publishers of the bi-monthly magazine and organizers of The World Halal Forum, will be accepting the award at the IIFF Awards Gala Lunch, scheduled to be held on 14 April 2008 at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai. Two other recipients of the IIFF Halal Awards Category include Al Islami for Continuing Contribution To The Halal Food Industry, and the UAE Halal Certification Authority for Continuing Contribution To Halal Industry Development. | SOURCE: PRESS RELEASE, 21/3/2008



Leading industry magazine The Halal Journal will not only be participating in the 13th Gulf Food, Hotel and Equipment Exhibition and Salon Culinaire (Gulfood 2008) as the official supporting media, but will also be representing Malaysian industry leaders in its special cover edition for the event. The Halal Journal’s special cover-oncover edition uses the magazine’s Jan/Feb 2008 issue with the cover story “Middle East Awakens – New Interest and Moves from the Region on the Halal Sector”. With Halal awareness on the rise in the Middle East, the distribution of the special issue at the region’s biggest trade fair is very timely. Over 1,000 complimentary copies of the special issue will be distributed during Gulfood 2008. “Despite the increased awareness, these countries are still without any established Halal standards, governmentbacked or otherwise.” Said Kamarul Aznam Kamaruzaman, Managing Editor of The Halal Journal. “With Malaysia’s three decades of experience in regulating the Halal standard, we are communicating with all interested parties in the Middle East and the rest of the world, and encouraging them to come and utilise our knowledge, so that everyone, both Muslims and non-Muslims, can benefit from Halal,” He added. | SOURCE: BERNAMA, 21/2/2008



Dear Sir, I have close business friends who intend to import Halal products to Hungary and the neighboring countries; specifically to Bosnia, Macedonia, Serbia, and Bulgaria where the share of Muslim population is much bigger than in other surrounding countries. Would be very grateful if you could furnish me with some kind information or websites concerning the above topics.

Dear Sir, Did you have any information concerning the first guide on the manufacture of Halal food made by the Philippines? Will the position of the WHC, which has criticised the guidelines due to the fact that the guidelines are not up to the WHC standards, affect this guide?

Best regards, András Vas Budapest, Hungary (via email) Ed. – Unfortunately we do not have any information regarding this. My suggestion would be to participate in the biggest Halal-specific trade fair MIHAS, which will be held this year from 7-11 May 2008 in Kuala Lumpur. Check out

Thank you for your help. Jean-Philippe Mathieu Belgium (via email) Ed. – At this moment, we only know what you know. And we feel that it’s still too early to say if the said WHC’s position would affect the formation of the new guide for Philippines. There are too many factors to consider and work have not yet even started. Stay tune though, as more insights will be offered as it comes in.


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Calendar of events



Bilal Gourmet Foods BV, a Malaysian-Dutch company, is making inroads into the potential European market for Halal products where demand is exceeding supply. Specialising in cooked poultry products, the company markets 50 per cent of its products for local consumption while the other half is exported to Germany and the United Kingdom, its managing director, Arno van der Pas, said here Wednesday. At the moment, there are 1.8 to 2 million registered Muslims in the Netherlands. Bilal Gourmet, 56 per cent-owned by Malaysian food-based company Prima-Agri Products Sdn Bhd, is located in Waalwijk, a municipality and city in southern Netherlands, an hour’s drive from the Hague – the third largest city after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Prima-Agri is the only Malaysian company, which is already approved by the European Commission to export processed poultry meat products to the EU. | SOURCE: BERNAMA, 14/2/2008

“Tawarruq ... is one of the most critical internal and ideological challenges the Islamic banking industry is facing. Tawarruq...contradicts the fundamental purpose of Islamic banks,” Hussain Hassan, Islamic law or Sharia, Dubai Islamic Bank and Deutsche Bank. UK


It seems to be an increasingly visible logo on an increasing number of British shops and restaurants, but what is this word, and what does it mean? The word in question is ‘Halal’, which will probably mean nothing to the majority of Britons. However for followers of Islam, and when grabbing your lunch or shopping at the butchers, seeing the Halal logo is a must, for UK Muslims to be certain that the food has been prepared in accordance with the teachings of Islamic law. Since the emergence of the first (and now seemingly ubiquitous) curry restaurants in Britain, there have been many firsts for Halal food, with the word Halal now being visible next to Chinese restaurants, steak houses and even school dinners. In today’s Britain, however things have moved on with more understanding of the needs of consumers from a particular segment of society. Slowly too, and in their efforts to attract new customers, corporate Britain has woken up to the strength of the ‘Halal pound’, and are coming up with newer and more ingenious ways of appealing to the Muslim customer. Wander down the aisles of supermarket giants Asda, and see refrigerators full of Halal meat and poultry with labelling from Brazil or New Zealand sit next to boxed kebabs and minced meat samosas. This may be a familiar sight to shoppers in the Gulf, but for Britain this has come as somewhat of a revolution as forward thinking company management aim for an inclusive customer base, and create loyalty. Another retail first came about when, as well as Asda, Tesco and Morrisons decided to sell Halal chocolate bars, the brainwave of London businessman Khalid Sharif who launched his caramel and orange range to wide acclaim four years ago. On announcing its flights to Dubai, and a first amongst British airlines, Luton-based carrier Silverjet announced an ex-UK all Halal menu; and now a branch of McDonalds in London’s Southall is currently trialling a Halal menu for some of it’s burgers. | SOURCE: KHALEEJ TIMES ONLINE, 6/2/2008

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26 – 27TH MARCH 2008 PARIS HALAL EXPO Paris Expo – Porte de Versailles Paris, France Agor Tel: +33 (0) 1 55 62 46 46 Fax: + 33 (0) 1 55 62 46 47 14TH APRIL 2008 WORLD HALAL FORUM INDUSTRY DIALOGUE – BRAZIL Sao Paulo, Brazil KasehDia Sdn Bhd Tel: +603 6203 1025 Fax: +603 6203 4072 E-mail: 22ND APRIL 2008 WORLD HALAL FORUM INDUSTRY DIALOGUE – AUSTRALIA Sydney, Australia KasehDia Sdn Bhd Tel: +603 6203 1025 Fax: +603 6203 4072 E-mail: 22 – 25TH APRIL 2008 FOOD & HOTEL ASIA (FHA 2008) Singapore Expo Singapore Singapore Exhibition Services Pte Ltd Tel: +65 6738 6776 Fax: +65 6732 6776 7 – 11TH MAY 2008 MALAYSIA INTERNATIONAL HALAL SHOWCASE (MIHAS 2008) Matrade Exhibition & Convention Centre Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, Matrade Tel: +603 6203 4433 Fax: +603 6203 4422 E-mail: 10 – 12TH MAY 2008 WORLD HALAL FORUM (WHF 2008) Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia KasehDia Sdn Bhd Tel: +603 6203 1025 Fax: +603 6203 4072 E-mail: 18 – 20TH MAY 2008 BEAUTYWORLD MIDDLE EAST Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre Dubai, UAE Epoc Messe Frankfurt GmbH Tel: +971 4 33 80 102 Fax: +971 4 33 80 041 21 – 25TH MAY 2008 THAIFEX – WORLD FOOD ASIA 2008 IMPACT Challenger Bangkok, Thailand Koelnmesse Pte Ltd Tel: +65 63967180 Fax: +65 62948403 E-mail: 26 – 27TH MAY / 29 – 30TH MAY 2008 BRINGING INTO MARKET – ISLAMIC SUKUKS III/IV Singapore / Hong Kong Avail Corporation Pte Ltd Tel: +65 6236 5750 Fax: +65 6221 1733 18 – 21ST 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:


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event highlights

Third World Halal Forum The World Halal Forum 2008 (WHF 2008) scheduled to be held from 12th to 13th May 2008, at the prestigious Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre will see the result of all deliberations, discussions and developments achieved since the second introductory WHF in 2007, which is expected to steer and chart the future course of the global Halal industry.


hemed ‘Sustained Development through Investment and Integration’, the agenda for WHF 2008 will address issues relating to the demands and challenges of developing this fast-growing Halal industry, focusing on the implementation of plans and taking actions to speed up the growth, and enhance the sustainability of this lucrative industry. The World Halal Forum will feature important perspectives from industry players as well as those from regional and Islamic organisations to help all those involved understand the issues and move their organisations forward. Interactive panel sessions will be conducted so that the participants can learn and contribute to issues discussed. Topics that will be highlighted during the two-day forum will be current and relevant issues surrounding the global Halal market.

First Day

To be discussed in the first session on Day 1 will be areas of developing the Halal industry as well as standards, consisting of: developing the Halal industry; highlighting the issues faced by the industry, and proposed solutions of overcoming them and efforts by the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) in the development of the Halal industry.

Standards and conformity issues in the GCC, presenting regulatory issues faced in the food-manufacturing sector within the GCC, and understanding the regulatory framework to improve the flow of Halal products will also be discussed. Developing the Halal industry within the Islamic principles; focusing on the role of the Ulema, the need for greater understanding and developing guidelines, and convergence of religious and scientific knowledge is another highlight of the recent developments of the Halal industry in the GCC region. The second session of the first day will focus on the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) and European Muslim market, with the following topics for deliberations: developing the Asian market; introducing the Muslim market in ASEAN, and a comparison of ASEAN and multilateral trade agreements

with free trade. European market access – includes a briefing on understanding market access to the EU, the Muslim market in the EU, and trends in the food industry.

Second Day

Day 2, morning session will present the participants with the development agenda of the Organisation of The Islamic Conference (OIC), which will be enlightenment on the International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance) as a global Halal accreditation body, and the role of zakat in the development of the industry. The second session of Day 2 will focus on country-specific planning on the global Halal trade of two countries from South East Asia and Europe. The final session will see deliberations on riveting topics including Islamic Banking as a developmental force in the Halal industry, and the media’s perception of Islam and the Muslim market.


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event highlights Appropriate questions and feedback submitted during the two days of the moderated forum will be compiled, and panellists and speakers will address and deliberate on key issues, concerns and suggestions by the delegates. A formal resolution will be combined at the end of the forum. With all the development initiatives that have taken place since the last WHF in 2007, invited speakers will

site visits to key Halal developments, such as Pulau Indah, Port Klang on 13th May, and Prima Agri Food Park in Pahang on 14th May. The site visits, however, are limited to invited guests only, who includes Head of States, ministers, and senior trade commissioners to encourage multilateral trade and business opportunities between Malaysia and other countries; and knowledge and technology transfer, for developments

be presenting their papers at the two-day forum, which will see industry leaders and world-class speakers highlighting and deliberating on the developments of the Halal market, including business trends, as well as standards and trade policies, and regulations. All of which makes for valuable information for delegates to understand and apply, as well as providing networking opportunities within this fast-evolving market. Apart from presentations by guest speakers, the forum will also have several moderated open panel dialogue sessions, to encourage the exchange of views, ideas, and experience, which will expectantly lead to a formulation of ways to promote, and strengthen the commercial applications of Halal in its entire value chain.

within the Halal sector. These site visits are in line with the Malaysian government’s plan to make the country an international Halal hub and to open doors to trade and investment opportunities for local and international players in the industry.The Halal market is growing at a fast pace, having drawn so much attention and interest from various fields, further development initiatives and strategies are essential for the promotion of the Halal economy. Therefore, WHF 2008 is likely to see more participants from the last WHF, expecting up to 1,000 delegates from 60 countries, and a greater turn-about from OIC member countries keen on exploring the possibilities of developing its society and economy via the Halal industry. Together, major decisionmakers and industry leaders in tune with the Halal sector agrees that the time has now come for discussions to be linked

The Visits

In addition to the Forum itself, there will be exclusive

directly with strategic planning, and action.

The Dine

The annual inaugural World Halal Forum, which happens every May in Kuala Lumpur, does not stop there. All delegates to the WHF are invited to attend the WHF Gala Dinner that will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention centre on 12th May, the first day of the forum. Diners will witness the prestigious third Halal Journal awards held to honour outstanding achievements, excellence and innovation in the global Halal industry. His Majesty the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, and the Malaysian Prime Minister presented the Halal Journal Awards 2007, and will be presenting the awards again this year. The categories of this awards includes Best Halal Product; Most Creative Marketing Campaign; Best Islamic Financial Service or Product; Best Corporate Social Responsibility Project; Travel and Hospitality; Best Halal-Related Service Provider; Best Innovation in Halal Industry; and Outstanding Personal Achievement in the Halal Industry. To be staged at the magnificent Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) with the iconic Petronas Twin Towers as a backdrop, WHF 2008 will also have a world-class convention centre for a venue – specifically designed to host regional and international conventions, trade shows, and public exhibitions. Facilities include state-of-the-art multimedia equipments, a business centre, broadband wi-fi, five-star refreshments and meals, and dedicated press and meeting rooms. What’s more, there is a world-class shopping mall known to all as Suria KLCC, just around the corner! This in itself is a real value-for-money deal.

The Stay

For accommodations, three packaged options are available to suit one’s budget, either in the adjoining 600-room, four-star Traders Hotel, the nearby Prince Hotel, or the chic Novotel Kuala Lumpur. Packaged room price ranges between RM 1,760 to RM 2,960 for a 4-day / 3-night stay from 11th - 14th May 2008. Specially tailored accommodation packages are also available on request from Indalucia Travel – the official travel agent for WHF – at +603 9287 9688, or send an email to for more details. WHF 2008 is the perfect opportunity for market leaders and industry experts to gather and chart the future course of the Halal industry, and the possibility of increasing the economy the Halal way. This is truly an opportunity not to be missed for those in the Halal industry! hj For more information on attending the World Halal Forum and to register online log on to, or call the WHF Secretariat at +603 6203 1025 today! Do not miss the ship; book your seat now!


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event highlights


highlights Malaysia’s gateway for Halal trade into Europe


he World Halal Forum-Industry Dialogue (WHF-ID) troop have yet again embarked on another journey out west with the designated objective of creating an understanding of different areas within the Halal industry, and delving into the heart of issues faced by industry stakeholders. As the first WHF-ID in 2008, the bandwagon set forth to the Netherlands, where the industry dialogue was held on 13th February 2008 at The Hague, to focus on Netherlands as Malaysia’s gateway for Halal trade into Europe. Hosted by the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC), WHF-ID Netherlands was organised by KasehDia Sdn Bhd, with support from the Mayor’s Office of the City of The Hague, the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), the Halal Feed and Food Inspection Authority (HFFIA) of Netherlands, and finally yet importantly, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) based in the Netherlands. This half-day interactive and moderated dialogue was indeed prolific for the delegates, as well as the organisers. With insightful presentations and networking opportunities, the WHF-ID Netherlands was certainly filled with passionate yet well-intentioned deliberations by major individuals within relevant areas of interest. Several speakers took the rostrum, beginning with HDC Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Jamil Bidin, taking the opportunity to drive home key points about the corporation entrusted to realise the vision of making Malaysia a global Halal hub. Dato’ Jamil highlighted that the best platform towards resolving conflicts and addressing

concerns within the industry is actually the World Halal Forum, which is an event held in May annually, and hosted by HDC. The next two speakers that followed suit were Abdul Qayyoem – a representative from HFFIA, and KasehDia Head of Research, Irfan Sungkar; focusing on the situation of Halal certification in the Netherlands, and for the latter, deliberations on the European Halal consumers and market penetration issues. The fourth speaker, Capt. Kees Weststrate, Senior Business Development Manager of the Port of Rotterdam explained the port-to-port protocol for the transport and storage of Halal product. He also announced that the Port of Rotterdam have commissioned the Halal Audit Company to draw up the Halal logistics handbook with its contents being in accordance to the standards of the National Halal Hallmark Foundation of the Netherlands. This was followed by a promotional and introductory presentation on the International Halal Integrity (IHI) Alliance by its Chief Executive Officer, Darhim Dali Hashim. A case study by Arno van der Pas, Director of Bilal Gourmet Foods BV, was then presented to share Bilal Gourmet’s experience in dealing with the Halal food sector in the European market. One of the many highlights of the day was the presence of the Vice Mayor of the City of The Hague, Henk Kool. He expressed gratitude that Malaysia is taking bold steps in further championing the cause of Halal internationally, and reiterated the Netherlands’

support to develop the local Halal industry. The floor was then opened for questions and the dialogue session quickly got underway. One of the major areas discussed was the fact that there has been a lot of investment in logistics infrastructure in the Netherlands especially in the Halal-specific cold chain services. Unfortunately, a lot of food manufacturers and retailers are not aware that these Halal-dedicated services are available, and surprisingly enough, even though they are of the same cost as other logistic services. It is apparent that there needs to be increased awareness of Halal in Europe for the Muslims, and even more so for manufacturers. Kool said, “The time has come to raise awareness (of Halal in Europe), and exchange and share ideas together. Nowadays, in the Netherlands, we are pleased to find a great variety in foods at our local supermarkets and restaurants, catering for Halal and other ethnic foods.” The dialogue commanded a healthy attendance of 120 participants, with the floor well represented by local industry leaders, policy makers in many government sectors, as well as representatives from Malaysia, Thailand, China and Germany. Much useful knowledge was derived from the dialogue in further understanding of the issues in the Netherlands; and participants gained insights on the prospects of developing the Halal industry in the Netherlands, which will be a springboard into European countries. hj

For sponsorship or enquiries, please contact us at or log on to


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event highlights


OIC EYES THE USD580 BILLION GLOBAL HALAL MARKET The ICCI president, Sheikh Saleh Kamel said the ICCI would look into the most basic yet important aspect of the lucrative Halal sector, which is global standards and certification. “The global Halal industry is huge and yet there is no official authority that looks into the integrity of the Halal mark on a global scale. Now there will be one,” said Sheikh Saleh in Dakar. The OIC on the 11th Summit recognised the ICCI as the principle representative of the private sector in OIC member states as regards to values, Halal and quality control, urging all Islamic governments to facilitate the procedures for activating its mechanism. Sheikh Saleh said that this

“There is a need to ensure the entire supply chain of Halal products is protected for the benefit of the Ummah and also those in the industry.”

initiative was expected to help develop and modernise the Halal sector, which affects 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide, foster trade, and facilitate access to genuine Halal products in both Muslim and non-Muslim countries. “There is a need to ensure the entire supply chain of Halal products is protected for the benefit of the Ummah and also those in the industry. “ICCI’s mission for Halal is not only to provide credible and professional Halal certification but also to help develop existing Halal certification bodies to be at par with global industry requirements,” he said. Details of the ICCI’s global Halal programme will be unveiled at the third World Halal Forum, a business gathering of global industry leaders, on 12th and 13th May in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this year. At the summit, World Halal Forum founder Jumaatun Azmi

said, “It is timely that the 57 member countries of the OIC give its attention on the needs of the Halal industry and gave the responsibility to the ICCI to act. With the right partnership and mechanism, work can be done to properly develop the global Halal industry for the benefit of all.” The third World Halal Forum, themed ‘Sustainable Development through Investment and Integration’, is expected to draw some 1,200 participants from over 40 countries. It will look into the issues of global Halal standards, certification, Shariah compliance, and investment and trade issues of the global Halal industry. hj

For more information, please contact Ms. Alaa al Dulaimy (ICCI Egypt) at +201 236 533 355, or Mr. Jami Shaik (World Halal Forum) at +603 6203 1025, or log on to


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Halal 200*267.pdf



Paris International Halal Expo

Gives you access to the 20 million Muslims living in Europe









w w w. p a r i s h a l a l e x p o . c o m

26 & 27 Mars 2008

Porte de Versailles - Paris 5 specialised food trade fairs under one roof in Paris

event highlights

THE BEST GULFOOD SHOW DRAWS TO A CLOSE The biggest and undoubtedly the most successful Gulfood show to date draws to a close as praises are offered from all quarters and exhibitors, eagerly planning for next year’s show. Speaking on behalf of the contingent from Malawi, Nali’s assistant managing director, Edward Labuwa Kholomana, said that the exhibition had gone well for all of them. “It is the first time for all of us Malawians to participate in this trade show, and there has been a lot of interest in all our products; from the sauces, teas, and coffees, to our natural forest honey,” he said. Nestlé Professional’s trade marketing executive, Seem H. Bayyaa, said that the show had been a great opportunity for the regional team to work together. “The exhibition has been organised well and was very smoothly run,” he added. “I just hope that we can get a bigger stand and even more space next year!” The Fairmont Dubai senior executive sous chef, Kamal Silva, was supporting the Fairmont Dubai Hotel team at the Salon Culinaire, which was participating in various competitions including ice sculpting and chocolate carving. Silva said that he had been impressed with the range of products on display. “I think this year has been very successful in terms of

suppliers,” he said. Churchill China export business development manager, Glenn Ewart, said the range of visitors was a big draw for exhibitors. “The leads we take here are from serious people, and serious buyers,” he said. “We get to see not just purchasing people, but also food and beverage (F&B) directors and general managers, which makes it completely different to other trade shows,” he said. Indeed, the success of previous editions led to the addition of the Sheikh Rashid and Sheikh Maktoum halls this year – home to a vast array of European and North American pavilions. “This has made it easier for buyers to source their needs, and it is very visitor-friendly in terms of the layout,” said Elly Habt, Gulfood project manager. For supporting media partner The Halal Journal, this year’s Gulfood has been a massive success especially with the level of awareness for Halal and all that it represents amongst the trade exhibitors and visitors. “We have had streams of visitors from Day One asking about how best their companies can utilise the Malaysian Halal logo and penetrate the global Halal market,” said Kamarul Aznam Kamaruzaman, Managing Editor of the international magazine. One thousand copies of The Halal Journal – with special

cover issue for Gulfood 2008 – was distributed specifically for the event, profiling Malaysian Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) and several Malaysian Halal manufacturers, including Prima Agri, Aron and MM Vitaoils Sdn Bhd. “Our partnership with HDC has been highly beneficial as we are able to cross-promote their new international Halal standards for these global companies, as well as help promote attendance to the World Halal Forum this May,” Kamarul added. Many of Gulfood’s most popular features, like Salon Culinaire, are back for 2008. The Dubai International Food Safety Conference, organised by Dubai Municipality, is running for the third time with renowned international speakers examining the challenges and issues faced by the Middle East’s catering market, drawing roughly 600 participants. The 13th edition of this trade-only show

was sold out in January, and featured more than 2,500 companies that filled the entire Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. In the words of the organisers, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), Gulfood is fast becoming “One of the largest and most international trade shows for food and hospitality in the world.” “Recognising the central economic and social importance of the food, drink, and hospitality sectors to the region, we continue to ensure that Gulfood evolves to meet the needs of these industries,” said Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of the DWTC. More than 86 per cent of the exhibitors are from outside the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and a number of the country pavilions are making their debut, including Ecuador, Hungary, Lithuania, Malawi, Northern Ireland, Poland, Switzerland and Uruguay.



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he growing trend of the global Halal food market has caught the world’s attention. Estimated to be worth up to USD2.3 trillion annually, the global Halal industry poses endless opportunities in business and trade, and is certainly not a market to be simply overlooked. The Government of Malaysia recognised Halal as a global brand even as early as 2004, and has consequently widened its reach to tap into this growing acceptability for Halal products and services to include the non-Muslims. Malaysian Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Hj Ahmad Badawi, has even proclaimed Halal as the new benchmark for safety and quality. Today, people from diverse races and religions looking for clean and wholesome food are convinced that Halal is their choice. Translating the Government’s initiatives into active Halal investments, different agencies and platforms have become paramount. The establishment of the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) under the National Implementation Task Force (NITF) was indeed significant to expedite Malaysia’s role as a leading global Halal hub. Among HDC’s tasks include developing a common Halal standard; implementing a proper audit and certification procedures; training for Halal producers and service providers as well as promoting and marketing Malaysia’s Halal brand to the world. Malaysia’s vast experience in the Halal industry, including in non-food products and services, has gained recognition by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), especially when some 1.8 billion Muslims make up the existing world population. As a member of the OIC and the NonAligned Movement (NAM), Malaysia has taken the lead with aggressive promotions in Halal and acceptance that Halal is also good for non-Muslims. The Malaysia International Halal Showcase, MIHAS, was staged for the first time in 2004 just for that reason – to realise the Malaysian Government’s vision of transforming the country into a global Halal hub. MIHAS has brought together many people, businesses, organisations, and Governments to champion one single cause: for the dynamic growth of the global Halal industry, not just


for the Muslim market but also for everyone, regardless of race or religion. This year, MIHAS 2008 will be held from 7th to 11th May. More than 600 booths from 30 countries are expected to participate, which states an encouraging increase from its debut show in 2004. It will be held at the MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre, MECC, Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur. It is hosted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), and organised by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) jointly with the Islamic Dakwah Foundation Malaysia (YADIM), in association with the Ministry of

Entrepreneur and Co-Operative Development (MECD). Earning its place at the world’s largest showcase of Halal products and services, MIHAS 2007 attracted 36,792 visitors from 64 countries with 514 booths taken up by participants from 26 countries including Malaysia. With 19,635 trade visitors, mostly from Singapore, China, Indonesia, Iran, and Brunei, and 224 trade buyers from 29 countries flown in, total direct sales of RM213.9 million was recorded over the five-day event. MIHAS has brought together not only Muslim nations in trade and commerce, but also like-minded economies that


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MIHAS 2005 415 332 233 99

MIHAS 2006 505 392 302 90

MIHAS 2007 514 426 330 96





MIHAS 2004 (%)

MIHAS 2005 (%)

MIHAS 2006 (%)

MIHAS 2007 (%)





Non Food Products





Islamic Capital Market & Financial Services





Gov. Agencies & Associations










Booths Companies Local International Exhibiting countries

EXHIBITOR’S PROFILE Halal Food & Premises


MIHAS 2004 17,254

MIHAS 2005 12,431

MIHAS 2006 27,523

MIHAS 2007 36,792

No of Visiting Countries






MIHAS 2005

MIHAS 2006

MIHAS 2007




No. of Countries




No. of Malaysian Suppliers




No. of Meetings




Immediate Sales

RM217.1 mil

RM29.7 mil

RM209.7 mil

Sales Under Negotiation

RM12.8 mil

RM138.6 mil

RM473.5 mil

Total Sales

RM229.9 mil

RM168.3 mil

RM683.2 mil

For more information contact MATRADE HEADQUARTERS 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 E

Today, as the world’s largest Halal trade show, MIHAS provides the best venue for international Halal certified consumables, product manufacturers and international buyers to capitalise from. wish to pursue further development of the global Halal market. The Government has given their vote of confidence in MIHAS as the catalyst for the Halal marketplace, which has boundless opportunities as it encompasses the entire value chain, beginning with production, and manufacturing of products, to shipping, logistics, exporting, and retailing. MIHAS chief executive officer, Mohd Shukri Abdullah, said, “Malaysia has been leading the global Halal industry for almost four decades. However, a void exists when it comes to facilitating the selling and sourcing of Halal certified products. “MIHAS was created to provide solutions for this situation. It aims to serve the global Halal consumer markets through this vital trade platform. “Today, as the world’s largest Halal trade show, MIHAS provides the best venue for international Halal certified consumables, product manufacturers and international buyers to capitalise from. “We all have the same objectives and goals in mind: to make sure that the Halal products and services are able to gain their rightful place hj in the world,” Mohd Shukri said.

For more information please contact the MIHAS SECRETARIAT at Tel: +603 6203 4433 or Fax: +603 6203 4422, or send an email to or log on to


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event highlights

• EVENT: Singapore International Halal Showcase, SIHAS 2008 • VENUE: Singapore Expo Hall 4 • WHEN : 24th-27th January 2008

with a Personal Touch

TAPPING THE POTENTIAL IN ASIAN MARKET The first ever exhibition to focus on the emerging Asian Halal market was held last January at the Singapore Expo. Organised to cater for the evergrowing Halal markets in ASEAN, China, India, and the Middle Eastern regions, the Singapore International Showcase (SIHAS) – according to the organizers – offer the best platform to tap into these lucrative markets. Boasting a population of some one billion Muslims or 59 per cent of the 1.8 billion Muslim population of the world, the Asian economy is still relatively untouched. Hence the theme: “Halal Asia Markets – The Untapped Opportunities.” Hosted by the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI), and organised by Adex Communications Pte Ltd, SIHAS 2008 featured 8,000 Halal products from Singapore and 1,800 premises that have undergone stringent Halal assessment by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) – the sole custodian of Halal certification in Singapore. After the success of its inaugural show, SIHAS seemed set to become the one-stop event for Asia’s Halal entrepreneurs, professionals and service providers to seek for the latest information, and keep abreast of the international Halal trends and developments that impact the planning, design, investing, and managing of Halal markets in Asia. “SIHAS also aims to provide an excellent environment for Halal buyers to access a large number of Halal suppliers in one location, compare products and services, research new Halal marketing

“At the event, exhibitors and visitors were also able to attend new product education sessions, and see demonstrations, as well as participate in the hands-on product and businessmatching sessions.” solution options, and focus on finding the right investors, dealers and distributors,” said Harini Hari, Director of Adex Communications. He said, SIHAS has proven to be able to bring leading international companies from Asia to display their latest and most innovative Halal products and services. At the event, exhibitors and visitors were also able to attend new product education sessions, see demonstrations, as well as participate in the hands-on product and business-matching sessions. Also held in conjunction with this trade and consumer exhibition, is a two-day Halal seminar with the theme “The 21st Century International Halal Markets: Asia’s Untapped Opportunities”. The seminar reflects the fast growing Halal industry in the region, which is currently gaining momentum in the global market. It will also highlight channels to reap the vast potential of Halal business opportunities in the Asian market. hj

Official Travel Agent WORLD HALAL FORUM 2007 For details contact:

IN D A L U C IA T O U R S & T R AVE L SD N B H D ( KKKP N o. 2477) ( C o. N o. 1 0 6 0 1 3 - M )

Ground Floor, Wisma Ismaz u ri N o. 38, Jalan 4/76C, D esa Pa n d a n 55100 Kuala Lum pur, MALAY SIA t : +6 03 9287 9688 f: +6 03 9282 3188 e: inda2477@stream yx .com THE HALAL JOURNAL

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Cover Story

Halal Cosmetics Between Real Concerns and Plain Ignorance

Despite commanding an impressive market size, the Muslim cosmeticusing population seemed blissfully happy dabbing their cheeks with products of questionable health and religious compliance. On the other hand, perhaps they just sincerely did not know… Words by Kamarul Aznam Kamaruzaman


asha just turned fourteen and among her Form Two peers at the Convent Bukit Nanas Secondary School here in Kuala Lumpur, she is considered to be the most popular, not least because of her looks. Of mixed parentage between her Malay mom and her German dad, Tasha’s Pan-Asian look have been featured in many television commercials and teen magazines. It is not surprising that of all her many birthday presents, the one she loved the most is from her mom: a Body Shop’s birthday gift set. Mom says she respects and support what the brand stands for, using only natural and organic ingredients, against animal testing and cares for the environment. These values she hopes to pass on to her daughter. “I want her to feel good about herself, but I also want to teach her to be more responsible. She needs to know what she is doing or using is not harmful to herself, the environment and most importantly, to her faith,” said mom.


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ike many other emerging economies, Malaysia is not spared from the global marketing onslaught wielded by major cosmetics manufacturers. Fear of being left behind has driven Malaysia’s Muslim majority population to embrace the Western image of perfection, however flawed it might be. “With an increase in global communication, mass consumerism and sophisticated marketing, there is so much social pressure on women to emulate the 16-year-old, slim and tall models with porcelain skin and no signs of ageing,” said Dr Mah HussainGambles, founder and formulator of her own Halal certified skincare range – Saaf Pure Skincare, a UK-based Halal cosmetics brand. “With improved technology, it is now also becoming easier to maintain youthful looks. With all the choice and availability, it is no surprise that female consumers are increasingly buying more cosmetics,” said the Londonbased Muslim chemist turned entrepreneur. As it is, Europe remains as the world’s largest producer of cosmetic products, followed by the United States and Japan. Out of the total projected global cosmetics sales of € 126 billion in 2007, the European market commands the largest share of about 55 per cent. Major global cosmetics producers are mainly multinationals. Many of them are also involved in other sectors such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals and food products.


ehind this glitter and glamour however, lies an overgrown monster desperate for an extreme makeover. “It is actually a much more ruthless global industry than we are led to believe,” said Muhammed Hamudi Sheikh Abdul Khalid, executive chairman of El-Hajj Products Sdn Bhd, who manufactures a range of Halal certified skincare products for use during umrah and Hajj. “Adhering to Shariah is probably the last thing on their minds,” he added. Rising cost of funds meant that the market players had to continually invest in the most cost effective raw ingredients, and that is happily rendered by the rendering industry. Renderers call themselves “the invisible industry” and are thankful that most people remain blissfully unaware of their existence. At hundreds of plants in the United States each year, more than 12.5 million tonnes of dead animals, bones, fat and meat waste, and used cooking fats and oils are heat-treated and melted down. Most of it to become protein supplements fed to pets, chickens, cows, sheep and other animals, whilst the rest are used

to make products ranging from gelatine to cosmetics. Although Islamic scholars have differing opinions on the rendering process, citing the change-of-state, or istihala, as the central argument to the acceptable use of gelatine and cosmetics, the verdict is however clear on the use of swine placenta in many types of cosmetics including wrinkle creams and facemasks. Due to its biological similarities to human placenta and its excellent skin healing properties, swine placenta is considered as the darling of the cosmetics industry, not least because it is cheap and is easily available. “With regard to swine placenta, I would not be surprised if it is still used in some commercial brands, in parts of the world that have little or no regulatory processes,” said Dr Mah. “I would advise buying cosmetics from the EU, which has very strict legislations for the manufacturer to indicate all ingredients on the label.” Considering the hefty investment the industry pledges in scientific research and development, product innovation and expansion into new markets across the globe, she says it should be easier for the industry to come up with ‘friendlier’ alternatives.


onncerns over the health and environmental hazards posed by the cosmetics industry are also on the rise. In 2002, the Breast Cancer Fund, Environmental Working Group, National Black Environmental Justice Network and others launched the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Its goal is the phase-out of cosmetics ingredients linked to cancer, birth defects, and

other health problems. In May 2006, Friends of the Earth and the International Centre for Technology Assessment petitioned the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to monitor products with nano-particle ingredients, including more than 100 cosmetics and sunscreens. Due to their incredibly small size, nano-particles can enter tissues and cells, thus are able to cause biochemical damage. Some of their findings are staggering: breast cancer, genital abnormalities, and distortion and damage of genetic material, passed on to infants during breastfeeding. These are just some of the health hazards discovered but played down and categorised as “junk science” by the deep-pocketed global cosmetics industry. Whenever the public’s approval ratings go down, the industry would activate “green-washing” tactics, or environmental public relation exercise, to portray the renderer and the entire cosmetics industry to be as “socially responsible” and “dedicated to preserving the environment.” This is quite understandable, as the stakes are very high indeed. Nevertheless, while many animal, health and environmental organisations are pushing for some form of reform within the mainstream cosmetics industry, the Muslim consumers are continually being left unheard, despite the potentially high market share it commands.


recent survey conducted by Messe Frankfurt GmbH, organisers of the Beautyworld Middle East event in Dubai, tells of a more compelling argument

Behind this glitter and glamour however, lies an overgrown monster desperate for an extreme makeover. “It is actually a much more ruthless global industry than we are led to believe,” THE HALAL JOURNAL

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“We not only need to create awareness amongst the Muslims that they should be concerned about the cosmetic’s composition, but also tell them that Halal cosmetics are available and where to get them.” – approximately USD150 million worth of Halal merchandise are distributed through the United Arab Emirates every year, and a significant proportion of these are said to be accounted for cosmetics and personal care items. In the Middle Eastern region, the market size of Halal personal care products is currently estimated to be worth approximately USD560 million. Sales of cosmetic-related products alone were valued at USD2.1 billion last year. The market for beauty and grooming products in the Middle East as a whole is said to be growing at 12 per cent per annum and in Saudi Arabia alone, the total sales of cosmeticsrelated products reached USD1.3 billion in 2006. According to Elaine O’Connor, senior show manager for Messe Frankfurt, organisers of Beautyworld Middle East, the growth is being mirrored by the demand for Halal personal care products, which in turn is being driven by increased consumer knowledge of the ingredients used and the way they are produced. A recent survey conducted by KasehDia Consulting revealed that although the existing awareness of Halal cosmetics is still low, there has been increasing level of awareness concerning Halal cosmetics, and consumers will purchase Halal cosmetics, if and when they are readily available. The survey found that approximately 57.6 and 37.7 per cent of Muslims in emerging markets like Singapore and Indonesia, respectively, are aware and claim that they will purchase Halal cosmetics if the products are available. Among these respondents, however, more than half admitted to having difficulties finding Halal cosmetics. “Admittedly, the current level of awareness on Halal cosmetics is still low,” said Irfan Sungkar, head of research and strategic projects at KasehDia Consulting, “but it is definitely increasing. “The problem here is availability of these products. This may be due to the accessibility of ingredients and raw materials that complies with Halal standards, and assuring the integrity of its Halal status. It is a vicious cycle that the industry needs to overcome,” he said.


he common problem here it seems, is choice, or in this case, the lack of it. “The only way I can get Halal certified cosmetics is if a friend drives up to Malaysia and buy it for me,” writes a Singaporean blogger MissFit. “At least they have more home-grown and natural products, and they are also Halal certified.” By capitalising on the country’s diversified natural flora and fauna with the help of

biotechnology, Malaysia has been successful in developing its resource-based bio-generic industry, including the cosmetics and personal care sector. The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) ensures that they are also Halal-compliant. “For Halal cosmetics, we really need to do very aggressive promotions,” said Wan Norma Wan Daud, director of the Product and Services Development Division, Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation or MATRADE. As the agency entrusted to promote Malaysian trade and export overseas, MATRADE is also responsible in promoting Malaysian Halal exports overseas. “We not only need to create awareness amongst the Muslims that they should be concerned about the cosmetic’s composition, but also tell them that Halal cosmetics are available and where to get them. Malaysia can sell a lot especially to the Middle East, simply because ours is certified Halal,” she added. She also thinks that Islamic scholars must set the record straight on various issues concerning the use of cosmetics and the set limits for Muslims. One immediate issue is the fatwa on cosmetic plastic surgeries to beautify ‘defects’, or the use of Botox injections for a more youthful and younger looking skin.


o far, Malaysia remains as the only country to issue a fatwa and disallow the use of Botox by Muslims. Others however, regard a fatwa on such a matter as irrelevant. “Can we even consider putting on makeup to show non-muhrims as darurah?” asked Yazid Yahya, a local banker and a doting dad of

two daughters. “In other words, will one die if they did not get their daily dose of powder, lipstick and eyeliner?” Yazid looked utterly bewildered. Scientists should also come up with more affordable Halal alternatives to replace the existing controversial ingredients. The legacy of Al Razi (Rhazes) in the fields of biotechnology over 1,000 years ago should easily be the main driving force for today’s Muslim scientists. The global Muslim consumers themselves should also exercise their rights and push the mainstream cosmetics industry to listen to their grievances. Just Google “cosmetic concerns” and a whole list of websites dedicated to various causes opens up. Halal activists however, are nowhere to be seen. In fact, the Muslim market can easily find powerful allies from organisations who support ethical and healthy businesses, including natural and organic, animal welfare, vegetarian, environmentally friendly and fair trade industries. The potential Muslim market is indeed enormous. However, before anybody can reap the rewards, there needs to be serious mindset shifts on the part of the mainstream cosmetics manufacturers, the global Muslim consumers, and the scholars and scientists alike. But the signs are all there: the next wave of change in cosmetics will be more faith-based. Truth is; there are so much the mainstream cosmetics industry can learn from Halal and all its inherent values. Not just a lifestyle, Halal is a confirmation that what Allah swt has designed for us is undoubtedly better. Better for us, both physically and spiritually; better for the animals we raise and eat; and better for the environment and the land we live on. Ultimately, it can also hj be very good for business.


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• Master ad HJ.indd 2

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y beaut

Many would agree that beauty, as a cultural creation, is extremely commercialised. Despite this, we still read of surgeries gone extremely wrong, or the rising trend of Botox use or other beauty injections, as well as other nasty side effects in the pursuit of something as subjective as beauty. How does Islam view this? Zaahira Muhammad analyses.


eauty is a characteristic of a person, place object or idea that provides a perceptual experience, meaning or satisfaction. The subjective experience of beauty often involves the understanding for some as being in balance with harmony and nature, leading to emotional well-being and feelings of attraction. Hence, the phrase, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Beauty is also perceived from a religious perspective, interpreted within the context of Shariah. Islam does not scorn or debase physical beauty, nor does it relegate inner beauty to a secondary position. A husband can be proud that his wife is righteous, but will certainly enjoy the fact that she is also physically stunning.

Stunning Issues

Islam encourages humankind to be more grateful with what Allah the Almighty has given. Think about the unfortunate who are born with deformities. Al-Bahi Al-Khuli in his book, Al-Mar’ah bayna Al-Bayt walMujtama’ (2nd ed, p105), writes, “It may happen that a person has an unusual birth physical defect, which attracts the attention of others to the point of inflicting on him physical and psychological pain every time he meets people.


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THE BLIND PREY OF ‘CIVILISED’ MEN’S INVENTION. Surgeries for beautification are in trend today as the result of the materialistic pattern of Western civilization, whose “In this case, he may treat the defect and thus, alleviate the embarrassment that makes his life miserable. Allah The Most Merciful has imposed no hardship on us in religion.” The Hadith concerning widening the gap between the teeth for the sake of beautification supports this statement. “What is disapproved here is doing this merely for the sake of artificial beauty,” says the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf AlQaradawi. “However, if it is needed to eliminate pain or distress, there is nothing wrong in doing it.” Islam denounces excess in beautifying oneself to the extent of altering one’s physical features as created by Allah. Such alterations are deemed to be inspired by the Satan himself, who “…will command them (his devotees) to change what Allah has created...” (An-Nisa: 119). Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi also mentioned, “Surgeries for beautification are in trend today as the result of the materialistic pattern of Western civilization, whose focus is the body and its desires. Women and men alike spend hundreds and thousands of dollars to reshape their noses or breasts, or whatever they consider defective. “This behaviour most certainly belongs to the category of excessive beautification, unnecessarily changing Allah’s creation and it makes one subject to the curse of Allah and His Prophet (PBUH). “Likewise, it involves torture, pain, and waste of money merely for the sake of one’s appearance, in addition to it being an expression of an individual’s preoccupation with form rather than substance; with body rather than the soul,” he added.

Faith in Fake

Many are also resorting to surgical procedures like rhinoplasty (nosesurgery), skin tightening, and other non-surgical procedures like chemical peels, and contour threads procedures. This can be for a variety of reasons, including fear of aging, losing of spouse or just merely for the sake of vanity.

focus is the body and its desires. Women and men alike spend hundreds and thousands of dollars to reshape their noses or breasts, or whatever they consider defective.

Placenta in Cosmetics Placenta has been hailed as an excellent skin healer because of its nutritious qualities. Since the placenta is the inside layer of the womb, which helps the foetus get its food, placenta cosmetics has been proven to produce wonders for the skin. Placenta is best known as an anti-aging remedy. Placenta in cosmetics does its job by stimulating cell renewal function in the body. In due course, cell replenishment function helps to slow down the human aging process. In the past, it was known as being strictly for the rich and famous. Today, placenta use is not just for the high heeled, but also for people of all ages, races or sexes. Now there are plenty of placenta-based natural skin care products with an assortment of wrinkle creams and facemasks. Placenta cosmetic products are as pure and natural as you can get. Commonly used in placenta cosmetics are extracts from sheep, cows, pigs as well as human placenta. A few studies have shown that the use of human and pig placenta extracts are more compatible when used for skin care products. Since they are sourced from something biologically equal to our own skin, they are more beneficial and will not create a physical dependence. Although pig and human placenta are biologically similar to the human skin, issues have been raised concerning the use of these sources in cosmetics, especially for Muslim consumers. Most natural cosmetics manufacturers now opt for sheep placenta, more commonly known as ovine placenta, to be used in cosmetics to get the Halal certification, and to cater for the increasing demand for and use of cosmetics by Muslim women around the world, who are

actually spending a fortune for cosmetics. This is supported by the market trend for Halal cosmetics, which has shown to be worth an estimated figure of USD560 million worldwide in 2007, as stated by organisers of the Beautyworld Middle East, Messe Frankfurt. With this burgeoning market for Halal cosmetics, ovine placenta, which also has nutritious qualities that are as good as the human or pig placenta, is obviously an unexplored market worth tapping. “Halal” is an Arabic word which means lawful, permitted or accepted in accordance to the Islamic law (Shariah). Halal can refer to food and non-food products, which does not contain any ingredients from non-Halal sources, and that has not been contaminated with non-Halal products. Sheer Secret cosmetics are a range of Halal skincare products that features sheep placental extracts from New Zealand. Shown to be stable, with clinical test that has proven that these products do not have side effects. With hopes to broaden this business in Muslim countries, Ms. Yanna Mohamed Zainol, the Director of Sheer HealthPharm Pte Ltd entered the company in the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) 2007. Sheer Secret products have been tested in New Zealand to ensure the safety of consuming or applying these products on human skin and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) certifies them. With the certification, it is no doubt that these products are safe and permissible for Muslims and non-Muslims to use. Notably, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) does not approve products that claim to be “cruelty-toanimal-free”, “does not contain non-Halal ingredients” and is “hypoallergenic”.


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BOTOX BOTULINUM TOXIN or most commonly known as Botox, is actually a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum. It is one of the poisonous naturally occurring substances in the entire world, and it is considered as one of the most toxic protein. The substance is sold commercially under the brand names Botox, Myobloc and Dysport. Despite its high toxicity, it is still used in small doses as a cosmetic treatment in certain areas of the world. Apart from its application in cosmetics, Botox is used in different medical treatments, such as for painful muscle spasms, migraine, neuromuscular disorders involving the head and neck, uncontrolled blinking,

excessive sweating, and failure of the lower oesophageal sphincter. Treatment areas for Botox injections are usually vertical lines between the eyebrows, bridge of the nose, squint lines at corners of the eyes, horizontal lines on the forehead and muscle groups visible on the neck. Side effects are considered as ordinary occurrence, but are generally minimal and are usually related to the local injection. Soreness or mild bruising may appear around injection sites, and headaches are normal after injections around the forehead area. In rare cases, patients may develop weakness of the neighbouring muscles leading to a temporary droopy eyelid or brow.

Plastic surgeries can also be addictive, especially if one has the financial means to support it. The cases in point are Hollywood celebrity, Michael Jackson and socialite, Jocelyn Wildenstein. The mainstream media is also responsible in over-popularising extreme makeovers, giving unjust representation of the phrase, “and they live happily ever after”. Many do not realise however that they do not usually turn out that way. Because of cosmetic surgery addiction, many have confessed to having lost friends, and facing subtle criticism from families and colleagues at work. Some becomes frustrated and feel the need to have another surgery to make them feel better about themselves. The death of writer Olivia Goldsmith, author of the First Wives Club, from plastic surgery highlights the risks associated with our vanity and fear of aging. Botox is another common technique to make a person look younger. Most people know about the existence of Botox and its use for cosmetic enhancement. In Malaysia, Muslims are banned from using Botox for cosmetic purposes because of its dangerous compounds. Besides, Muslims in general are not allowed to alter their physical appearance unless it is a matter of life and death. The question often asked, however, is why; why are people willing to cut up their faces, and obsessing about their bodies?

The negative outcomes of such “simple” surgeries have made the news for far too many times. Facelifts have often resulted in “loss” of facial expression; eyelifts have resulted in “vacant” looks; and contour threads have resulted in threads popping out of the skin! Nevertheless, death of the patient is by far the worst outcome of all. There are other more natural alternatives to plastic surgery like body massage, yoga, anti-aging creams, facial masks, exfoliators, and conditioners – none of which inflicts pain on our bodies. Natural homemade facial masks and yoghurt packs are also known to be very relaxing and rejuvenating for our skins. Daily exercise routines help keep us in shape and daily skin care regime will help increase confidence level. Moreover, why worry about aging, when it is as easy as accepting the fact that aging is a part of the cycle of life? Living healthily will eventually reflect on one’s physical beauty. With all of these methods, who needs plastic surgeries anyway?

Beauty in Halal

Nowadays, a number of Halal facial products have been proven to work as anti-aging remediation. As an example of Halal cosmetics that works, Halalcertified Sheer Secret cosmetics (based in Singapore) offers a line of products containing unique cells of sheep placenta, commonly

In Malaysia, Islamic ministers have prohibited Malaysian Muslims from submitting to Botox treatment for cosmetic purposes because the substance contains forbidden and harmful compounds. The National Fatwa Council issued the proclamation sometime in 2006 but stated that using Botox for medical reasons for example, cerebral palsy sufferers, is permissible to use if necessary. Council Chairman, Shukor Husin, said that Botox contains extracts from pigs, and that the council ruled on the issue after studying reports by local and international specialists’ as well as religious edicts from the Middle East.

FEEL GOOD PSYCHOS. Some becomes frustrated and feel the need to have another surgery to make them feel better about themselves. known as ovine placenta, which helps slow down the aging process. Ovine placenta offers rich nutrients that are essential to both health and beauty of the human body. According to Mariam Abdul Latif, Halal Integrity Vice President of the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC), “It is allowed to use ovine placenta in cosmetics as long as the sheep is slaughtered according to Islamic principles.” All methods mentioned above are for people who loves themselves and who are not blinded by the influence of the media and the western culture. People do not need to wear a mask to understand or reveal their inner beauty and to achieve beautiful physiques. True beauty is honesty and cheerfulness. Narcissism-based plastic surgery is the most evil cut of all. The trick is spiritual health, which will ultimately reflect on one’s physical appearance. hj THE HALAL JOURNAL

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The Problem with

Cosmetics’ Ingredients Words By KHATIJAH RAHMAT



he situation is more deceptive for cosmetics, because one can easily believe that not anything that is externally functional can cause any significant harm. One applies it on the skin, and regularly washes it off. The objective of cosmetics rarely transcends aesthetics in any case – no one hopes to be healthier from the use of cosmetics. Unfortunately, the above assumptions can be dangerous if taken for granted. In truth, take the United States (US) for example, its cosmetic products rarely

communicate with their national Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The common understanding is that FDA would determine whether a product is safe or not, but the complex nature of cosmetic chemicals means that any substance, harmful or not, can be hidden in some clever cataloguing. The FDA can only identify ingredients by name, and for substances that are more ‘exotic’, the FDA usually refers to the producers themselves. The FDA would seek sources such as the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association that may have their own personal objectives. The FDA has no way of determining the clinical safety of

every substance in the myriad of products that reach the market. Take for example, the harmless instance of vitamins mentioned in products. The FDA cannot determine if vitamins actually transfer its ‘goodness’ into the skin. Whilst products such as Neutrogena are happy to admit that the immediate effects of vitamins (advertised as Vitamin C, B, and so on) on skin remain mysterious, other large labels refuse to acknowledge this, going so far as to say that these added vitamins will improve conditions. Even if a determination were made, it would enter in a procedural quandary. Vitaminbased ‘cosmetics’ that supposedly


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• Master ad HJ.indd 2

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Hidden Ingredients in Your Cosmetics There are thousands of technical and patented names for cosmetic ingredients, and many ingredients, which are known by one name, can be of animal, vegetable, or synthetic origin. “Natural Sources” can also mean animal or vegetable sources, and most often in the cosmetics industry, it means animal sources, such as animal elastin, glands, fat, protein, and oil. The following information will provide the reader with a basic knowledge of the most common animal-derived ingredients. Other good sources of additional information are the Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients and the Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives. All of these are available at most libraries. • ALBUMEN: Usually derived from egg whites and used as a coagulating agent, frequently used in cosmetic industry. • ALLANTOIN: May be derived from uric acid from cows or other mammals, and is used in treatment of wounds and ulcers, and in cosmetics (especially creams and lotions). • AMBERGRIS: Obtained from whale intestines and used as a fixative in making perfumes. Also used as flavouring in foods and beverages. • AMINO ACIDS: The building blocks of protein in all animals and plants, and are used in some cosmetics, vitamins, supplements, shampoos, and so on. • ARACHIDONIC ACID: A liquid unsaturated fatty acid that is found in the liver, brain, glands, and fat of animals and humans. It is generally isolated from animal liver, and is used in some skin creams and lotions to sooth eczema and rashes. • CHOLESTEROL: A steroid alcohol in all animal fats and oils, nervous tissue, egg yolk, and blood, it can be derived from lanolin. It is sometimes used in cosmetics, eye creams, shampoos, and so on. • COLLAGEN: A protein that is usually derived from animal tissue. • COLOURS/DYES: Pigments from animal, plant, and synthetic sources used to colour foods, cosmetics, and other products. Cochineal is obtained from insects, whereas colours are coal tar (bituminous coal) derivatives that are continuously tested on animals due to their carcinogenic properties. • CYSTINE: A sulphur-containing amino acid found in highkeratin sources such as animal and human hair, animal skeletal and connective tissues, and hooves. Can also be found in digestive enzymes. It is used as a nutritional supplement, in emollients, hair treatment and anti-ageing skincare products, bread/dough processing, and food flavouring. • ELASTIN: Protein found in the neck ligament and aorta of cows, and is similar to collagen. • GELATINE: Protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments,

and/or bones in water, mostly derived from cows and pigs. It is used in shampoos, facemasks, and other cosmetics. Also widely used in the food and beverage sector. • GLYCERINE: A by-product of soap manufactures (normally using animal fat). It is used in cosmetics, foods, mouthwashes, chewing gum, toothpastes, soaps, ointments, and medicines. • HYALURONIC ACID: A protein found in umbilical cords and the fluids around the joints. It is used to produce oil in cosmetics. • HYDROLYSED ANIMAL PROTEIN: Commonly used in cosmetics, especially in shampoo and for hair treatments. • KERATIN: Protein from the ground-up horns, hooves, feathers, quills, and hair of various animals. Typically used in hair rinses, shampoos, and permanent wave solutions. • LACTIC ACID: Found in blood and muscle tissue. Also in sour milk, beer, sauerkraut, pickles, and other food products made by bacterial fermentation. Used in skin fresheners, and as a preservative, in the formation of plasticisers, and the likes. • LANOLIN: A product of the oil glands of sheep, extracted from their wool. Used as an emollient in many skin care products and cosmetics, and in medicines. • LARD: Fat from hog abdomens, used in shaving creams, soaps, and cosmetics. • LECITHIN: Waxy substance found in nervous tissue of all living organisms. It is frequently obtained from eggs and soybeans for commercial purposes. Lecithin can be found in eye creams, lipsticks, liquid powders, hand creams, lotions, soaps, shampoos, other cosmetics, and some medicines. • LIPIDS: Fat and fat-like substances that are found in animals and plants. • MYRISTIC ACID: A type of acid found in most animal and vegetable fats. Used in shampoos, creams, cosmetics, and so on. • OLEIC ACID: Obtained from various animal and vegetable fats, and oils,


but is usually obtained commercially from inedible tallow. Found in some soft soaps, bar soap, permanent wave solutions, creams, nail polish, lipsticks, many other skin preparations. • PROGESTERONE: A steroid hormone used in some anti-wrinkle face creams. • PROPOLIS: Tree sap gathered by bees that is used as a sealant in beehives. Used in toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, supplements, and so on. • ROYAL JELLY: Secretion from the throat glands of the worker honeybees that is fed to the larvae in a colony and to all queen larvae. • SHELLAC: The resinous excretion of certain insects, commercially used as candy glaze, hair lacquer, and on jewellery. • SILK POWDER: Obtained from the secretion of silkworms; it is used as a colouring agent in face powders, soaps, and so on. May cause severe allergic skin reactions and systemic reactions (if inhaled or ingested). • STEARIC ACID: Fat obtained from cows and sheep. Most often refers to a fatty substance taken from the stomachs of pigs. Used in cosmetics, soaps, lubricants, candles, hairspray, conditioners, deodorants, creams, chewing gum, and food flavouring, but may be harsh and irritating to the skin. • STEARYL ALCOHOL: Is a mixture of solid alcohols that can be prepared from whale sperm oil. Used in medicines, creams, rinses, shampoos, and so on. • TALLOW: Rendered beef fat, mostly used in candles, soaps, lipsticks, shaving creams, and other cosmetics. Chemicals (e.g. PCB) can be in animal tallow. May cause eczema and blackheads. • VITAMIN A: Found in fish liver oil (e.g. shark/cod liver oil), egg yolk, wheat germ oil, carotene in carrots, and synthetics. Frequently used in cosmetics, creams, perfumes, hair dyes, and so on.

“NATURAL SOURCES” CAN ALSO MEAN ANIMAL OR VEGETABLE SOURCES, AND MOST OFTEN IN THE COSMETICS INDUSTRY, IT MEANS ANIMAL SOURCES, SUCH AS ANIMAL ELASTIN, GLANDS, FAT, PROTEIN, AND OIL. improve health now fall under the definition of ‘drug’ and it would open a new can of worms. How does this affect the Halal-conscious consumer? The health regulations surrounding cosmetics provide similar concerns, if not identical. The US FDA was responsive to general outrage when use of human placenta in cosmetics was first discovered. However, after careful rebranding following numerous reports from independent observers, by calling human placenta ‘protein’, it was approved again by the FDA. One should have

the above processes in mind when looking at cosmetic ingredients of any biological nature, including commonly known substances such as collagen from young cows, and cerebrosides – a fatty substance that can be extracted from both animals and plants. What many Muslim women have done prior to new insistence for institutionalised Halal standards is to be conscious of such biological substances. One can be rest-assured that until Halal concerns encompass the whole world and at all levels of purchase, from cheap to expensive,


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the Muslim consumer will have to simply reject animal-based products without further scrutiny. The chances of products coming from properly slaughtered animals, or from animals that Islam would deem unnecessary for slaughtering, remain subject to creative catalouging. The challenge comes from deciphering the scientific jargon cosmetic producers use to hide health risks. It has become an independent effort, as it remains, for most of the world’s consumers throughout the world for the more discerning consumer. With Malaysia’s determination to set the standard for Halal products according to Islamic principles, one can expect new efforts by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) to bring the credibility of the Halal logo for cosmetics as well. What will it spell for international products, however? Whilst it may be easier to determine the Halal Nature of cosmetic products made in Malaysia, it may be harder to infiltrate Muslim standards outside our national scope. With some products careless of their own local standards, and FDA approval so ubiquitous, can the Malaysian cosmetic market enjoy variety, international standards and Halal-assured products? JAKIM will have to work closely with Malaysia’s local FDA but it does not reveal the future for international products in Malaysia. The Halal Hub envisioned for Malaysia needs to strike the delicate balance of meeting the needs of Muslims whilst at the same time attract international appeal and not run the risk of suggesting Halal efforts as an insular market.

Halal certified

The current Halal market is highly dependent on a concentrated area: The Middle East. Despite the narrow market, its total value is at an impressive USD2 billion, and may be the driving force needed to make Halal a global international brand, but this remains a possibility. Whilst it is easy to look at green alternatives such as The Body Shop and other producers that run green policies, many are not available in Malaysia and many are charged at a high price. It will be interesting to see how JAKIM hopes to embark on the adventurous undertaking of securing Halal in cosmetics whilst at the same time provides customer satisfaction. Of course, to provide any securely Halal option is an achievement in itself. Halal, is after all, to provide peace-ofmind to the Ummah. It remains imperative, however, that the vision of providing the Halal label to cosmetics be from JAKIM approval. It will require a strict revision of FDA practices, the study of imports, and a close understanding of current

trends in the beauty industry. New challenges that may face the Fatwa Committee of Malaysia may be how they wish to catalogue Halal cosmetics, especially cosmetics that may contain complex substances of alcohol. In 1984, it was established that whilst liquor contains alcohol, it does not follow that alcohol derived from non-liquor sources are equally non-Halal. Alcohol in different forms may be Haram for its generally harmful properties, not because it is seen as the ‘filth’ a Muslim must assume in liquor. As far as Malaysia is concerned, alcohol in perfume is permissible. How this would be deduced for the several cosmetic products to either Halal or non-Halal will be an interesting precedent to observe. For now, until there are credible international standards for cosmetics, many young Muslim men and women have gone for the strictest and safest option: vegan products. This is possibly the most effective precaution for modern hj Muslims until Malaysia steps in.

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The use of technology based on biology, or biotechnology has proven to be the perfect method to manipulate organic materials to reach the demands of today’s food production. Islamic scientists have actually begun using biotechnology as means to harness nature.

Biotechnology in the Islamic world Words By HARIZ KAMAL

Through science and research, it helps humankind discover & use some of the secrets of His creation.


iotechnology is the application of science, engineering, and processing of materials by biological agents to provide goods and services. Increased importance in biotechnology has spread to various economic sectors as well as in various disciplines. With biotechnology assistance, farmers have the choice of selecting the best-suited and highestyielding crops to produce enough food to support a growing population, which is pivotal to those in the developing countries. Biotechnology is defined as the use of biological processes of microbes, and of plants or animal cells to develop new products for the benefit of humans. Biotechnology and its related fields such as biomedicine, biopharmaceuticals, proteomics, agricultural biotechnology and many others have seen much progress. This progress includes genetic engineering and modification of food, plants and animals. Genetically engineered crops are also now available in many countries worldwide. These include genetically engineered crops for soybean, cotton, corn, potato, canola, tobacco, squash, papaya, and carnation. Additionally, herbicide-tolerant, and insect- and virus-resistant crops – which offer effective options for controlling pests, reducing pesticide use, and increasing crop yields – are produced through biotechnology. Nevertheless, even with such advancements in biotechnology, lies a string of issues opposing biotechnology in the perspective of ethics, moral, environment and religion. Questions on the authenticity of biotechnological benefits arise; doubts about the connotation on its long-term effect on the environment are cast; and allegations that scientists are tampering with God’s creation have tagged along with the advancement of biotechnology. However, on the intellectual basis of the Islamic worldview, Islamic civilisation in the past brought about unique contributions to all walks of life, especially science. For instance, even Islam’s greatest physician, Al-Razi (also known as Rhazes) has used science in assisting him in choosing the best building site for the Muqtadari Hospital. He had chosen the position by hanging pieces of meat in various parts of Baghdad, and noted which putrefaction of meat was the slowest. He chose the spot of the least rotten meat as the building site for the hospital. Based on the Islamic texts of revelation, the Qur’an and Sunnah, the Islamic approach to natural sciences are assumed that science and research do not represent a challenge to the privileges of God. Through science and research, it helps humankind discover and use some of the secrets of His creation. In fact, in Islam, human beings are encouraged and even ordered to read, look, investigate and understand their surroundings. Hence, from the correct point of view, any scientific discovery will only lead the human being to understand and appreciate the omnipotence and power of Allah s.w.t. and bow down in humility. Thus, bio-scientists or any scientists for that matter are responsible and accountable to his Creator. The scientist is bound by the commands and prohibitions of His law. The human being has to bear in mind that he is part of this creation, subject to its order and none but a vicegerent on earth. Allah s.w.t. has made his creation subservient to humans in the sense of taskhir (1) and the exploitation of resources has its well-defined boundaries. Therefore, the authenticity of biotechnology is even more emphasised


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in Islam in addition to ethics in the context of Halal. For example, the most debated issue in biotechnology is the usage of biotechnological procedures especially in the production of food – Genetically Modified (GM) food. The debate over genetically modified foods is dominated by disagreements over the potential risks and benefits of agricultural biotechnology. “Apart from its potential risks and benefits, these discussions will now need to take consideration of moral, ethical as well as religious values, which has a vast backdrop of values and principles. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity concur that the process of genetically modifying plants or food animals is not in itself intrinsically wrong, and may benefit mankind,” says Judith N. Scoville, an ethicist at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. “The issues surrounding the use of biotechnology are complex and thus difficult for religious bodies to deal with at an official level,” she added. The main reason of the prolonged discussion is the introduction of GM crops into the environment as an irreversible decision, whose long-term results are unknown, be it to the environment or to the human health. GM food issues are debated globally and many argued that these foods have the potential for damaging impacts on public health and the environment. Some Muslims feel that tampering with nature by implanting genes from one organism into another, which nature has not sanctioned through natural processes, and then claiming legal ownership over such GM products is considered to be intolerable. As for the Haram concept, it is usually associated with what is harmful and unhealthy. If it is determined beyond doubt that any of the food or ingredients developed through genetic modifications as harmful and unhealthy, the government will not approve them and the Islamic scholars will immediately declare them Haram. Thus, the Halal industry should

Thus, incessant research and development in the Halal industry is indeed pivotal as research, and innovation of products and services would provide for the growth and prosperity of the industry itself be buoyed with the introduction of biotechnology. According to Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation chief executive officer, Dato’ Iskandar Mizal Mahmood, “The critical impact of biotechnology is not only in healthcare, agriculture and industrial development, and the underlying economy, but also in the quality of our life. Hence, with Halal being an all-encompassing concept, biotechnology is a useful tool to ensure sustainability of the Halal industry. Biotechnology is needed in areas such as meat production, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and even nutraceuticals.” Currently, Muslims worldwide rely on non-Halal vaccine for meningitis – inflammation of the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord – which is imported from western countries producing it from pig extracts. However, with biotechnology, all of that will change with the production of the world’s first Halal vaccine for meningitis by the University of Science Malaysia (USM), in collaboration with Finlay Institute in Cuba. Thus, the vaccine, which will particularly benefit thousands of Hajj pilgrims who are to meet the mandatory requirement set by the Saudi government for pilgrims performing the Hajj and umrah in Mecca. Hence, biotechnology is an essential element in sustainable agriculture that will benefit the environment. Benefits include reduced pesticide use, water and soil conservation, and greater safety for workers and the ecosystem. Alas, biotechnology is an area that takes years to

develop; and to commercialise it will need heaps of effort to fast-forward its commercialisation. With commercialisation, consumers would have increased knowledge about biotechnology and its implications. Many experiments had shown that GM food is safe for consumption and the technology does not contradict Islamic tenets on food intake. Thus, incessant research and development in the Halal industry is indeed pivotal as research, and innovation of products and services would provide for the growth and prosperity of the industry itself, not only in terms of products but also in unearthing better Halal standards, certification and procedures. The Quran has indeed reminded us to eat things that Allah swt has provided us that are Halal and Tayyib. Advancements of technology in analysis and testing of Halal products such as Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy; Electronic Nose; Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Molecular Biology techniques are essential for the Halal industry. With that been said, the enlargement of players in the Halal industry has been intensified and attracting both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Hence, this will raise many issues including security of supply, integrity and operational processes, in which the development and innovation of biotechnology will indeed help in safeguarding these issues. Without the advancement of biotechnology, development of new genre of food such as nutraceuticals, and availability of various food supplements will be a challenge. Halal food scientists, nutritionists and health-related professionals in the Halal industry, in combating diet-related diseases and disorders, nevertheless, face these challenges. This proves that biotechnology, in fact, champions Halal and supports the concept of Tayyib as well, which covers every aspect of all hj things pure, wholesome, ethical and good. (1) The concept of taskhir in the Qur’an refers to the easily observable fact that nature, in both its cosmic and biospheric dimensions, has been constrained by Allah to render service and benefit unto humankind. Reference: 1) Change of Creation or Harnessing Nature? The Reception of Biotechnology in the Islamic World, Dr. Anke Iman Bouzenita, “Islamic Science in Contemporary Education”, 2008 2) Genetic Modification, Ruzanna Muhammad, The Halal Journal Sept/Oct 2007. 3) 4) Pg 138, Halal Food Production, Mian N. Riaz and Muhammad M. Chaudry, 2003 5) Food and Technological Progress: An Islamic Perspective, Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM), 2006


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Chemical Company of Malaysia (CCM) has a significant corporate presence as a public listed company since 1966 – initially as a subsidiary of the Imperial Chemicals Industry (ICI) PLC of the United Kingdom, and now as a Malaysian-owned corporation. CCM Berhad has since progressed to become a “bluechip” company in the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia with good returns to shareholders.


he CCM Group offers a wide range of products and services to the chemicals, pharmaceuticals and agricultural industries. An integrated approach to business makes CCM a unique ‘one-stop’ agency, with business activities including: Chemical products and applications Fertilisers and technical advisory services Pharmaceutical products and services CCM’s business operations are structured into three divisions: 1) CCM Chemicals, 2) CCM Fertilisers and 3) CCM Pharmaceuticals that are responsible for these activities. Today, CCM Group is one of the nation’s largest chemicals, fertilisers and pharmaceuticals companies, manufacturing a wide range of products to meet the growing needs of the domestic and overseas markets. CCM recorded a 27 per cent increase in revenue of RM1.4 billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2007, up from RM1.11 billion in the previous year. The Group will embark on a

number of strategies to enhance the Group’s presence in the domestic and international markets, and is confident of achieving RM1.7 billion in revenue for its financial year ending December 31, 2008. From just two offices in Singapore (in 1997) and Indonesia (Jakarta in 2004), CCM has expanded its regional footprint to include Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh in 2006) and Thailand (Bangkok in 2007). CCM have recently opened an office in the Philippines (Manila) this year.

As CCM continues to grow from strength to strength, it aims to tap the fast-growing Halal market through its wide range of products and services. This is in line with the government’s determination to spearhead Malaysia’s development in the international Halal industry, and realising the country’s vision of becoming a global Halal hub. CCM’s Pharmaceuticals Division is its jewel in the crown, contributing between 30 to 40 per cent of overall profits. It started out with small facilities to manufacture liquid products and creams, and has since extended its facilities to become the largest manufacturer of generic drugs in Malaysia with a portfolio of over 280 products. Currently the top local pharmaceuticals producer, CCM is also Malaysia’s leading over-the-counter (OTC) product manufacturer with well-known brands such as CHAMPS, Proviton, Flavettes, Donna, and Uphamol. The Islamic consumer market is known to be the fastest growing in the world, valued at over USD580 billion and caters to some 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide. The Group currently exports to over 25 countries worldwide with improving sales contribution from Muslim countries. CCM now has a strong presence in ASEAN countries


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CCM not only emphasises the significance of the Halal concept in its Pharmaceuticals Division but also in its Chemicals Division. In 2004, CCM’s Chemicals Division was awarded the Halal certification by JAKIM for all products manufactured at its facilities. as well as the Middle East. The Group envisages enhancing its position as Malaysia’s and the region’s largest Halal pharmaceutical manufacturer to grow its Halal business. It is also exploring new opportunities in Central Asia, Central Europe and more countries in the Middle East. CCM is also leveraging its research and development (R&D), and manufacturing capabilities to be a market leader in this segment. Through Innovax Sdn Bhd – its wholly-owned R&D company – CCM aims to develop more Halal products, hence establishing its profile in becoming the leader in world Halal pharmaceutical industry. One of CCM’s initiatives to strengthen its presence in the Halal market locally and internationally is by establishing a Halal Council at Group level. The Group Managing Director and Halal Committees chair the Group Level Halal Council throughout its subsidiaries to enhance its product exports to the global Islamic community. Last year, CCM’s Halal Council collaborated with the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) and the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) to organise its first Halal Seminar as a prelude of the Group’s participation

at the third World Halal Forum and fourth Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS). It was also one of CCM’s key milestones towards cementing the relationship with the two major organisations, which have been entrusted by Malaysia’s government to spearhead the establishment of Malaysia as the world’s Halal Hub. The seminar was attended by 130 of CCM’s heads of departments and key personnel to reaffirm the knowledge, and to achieve a common understanding of the Halal certification concept. The Group’s participation in MIHAS offers an excellent platform to display its extensive range of Halal-certified pharmaceutical products. It also gives CCM the opportunity to inform and educate consumers on the availability of Halal pharmaceutical products, as well as to promote the benefits of consuming Halalcertified health supplements. CCM also understands the importance of a strict compliance to quality in managing a strong Halal business. Besides receiving JAKIM’s internationally recognised Halal certification, CCM is certified by the Malaysian Ministry of Health as a manufacturer meeting the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines of the Pharmaceutical

Inspection Convention and Cooperation Scheme (PIC/S) – which is widely recognised in Europe, and the requirements of the World Health Organisation (WHO). CCM was also accredited with the Therapeutic Good Administration (TGA) certification from Australia’s Ministry of Health, which recognises quality, safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products. The TGA certification affirms CCM’s compliance to the strict requirements of the Australian GMP standards, which allows its products to be sold in Australia. The TGA forms a framework to ensure companies manufacture products that are of acceptable standards, thus developing confidence and acceptance of TGA-certified products sold in Australia. CCM not only emphasises the significance of the Halal concept in its Pharmaceuticals Division but also in its Chemicals Division. In 2004, CCM’s Chemicals Division was awarded the Halal certification by JAKIM for all products manufactured at its facility in Pasir Gudang, Johor in Malaysia, such as liquid chlorine, sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, sodium hypochlorite, polyaluminium chloride, and ferric chloride. These products are supplied to various industries such as water treatment, food, food additive, edible oil, oleochemical, and beverage, within and outside Malaysia. They are used either in primary raw materials or as process additives, which consequently has a direct effect on final product quality. CCM is committed in ensuring that its products are of the highest quality and standards for human consumption, and will continue to comply with good manufacturing practices. CCM considers the Halal concept as an exclusive means to rise above its competitors and become the leader in the Halal marketplace. The global Halal sector is very competitive and consumers are always on the lookout for not only high product quality but also the best in manufacturing practices throughout the whole production process. CCM has taken up that challenge; and will continue to provide the best for its customers. THE HALAL JOURNAL

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Arla Foods braces for Second Wave of Consumer Boycott It might easily turn out to be a really bad case of deja-vu but Danish dairy producer, Arla Foods, are hoping that the latest uproar involving reprinted cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and an anti-Islam movie would not affect their bottom line as big as it did in 2006. BY KAMARUL AZNAM KAMARUZAMAN

AS THE NETHERLANDS raised its national risk level of a terrorist attack to “substantial” before the launch of a film said to be critical of the Qur’an, and with the recent republishing of cartoons insulting Islam by Danish newspapers, representatives of Arla Foods hopes that they would not be victimised again over something that they do not have control over. Speaking on the sidelines of the recent Gulfood 2008 in Dubai, Lars Eggars, director of Consumer International, Arla Foods amba, said that they have been extremely saddened by this whole episode, as it interrupted not only some very good business in the Middle East, but also plenty of personal relationships built over the past 40 years. “The whole situation has upset us of course, but we are not in the business of politics or religion for that matter. We are in the business

of producing and selling dairy products,” said Eggars. “And as such, we felt that we have been drawn into something that we have no inputs on, and basically, we cannot do much about it.” “The only thing is that we have to accept the situation as it is and try to work our way around it. That was what we did in 2006, and it seems this is what we are going to do this year,” he added. Danish exports to Muslim countries fell by more than 11 per cent in 2006 during the boycott, according to Denmark’s national statistics

agency. Recalling the tumultuous 2006 when Arla was estimated to lose as much as £1 million a day at the height of Middle East’s Danish products boycott in March 2006, Eggars pointed out that the ones truly affected are actually the simple farmers who were merely trying to earn enough for their families. “You know that we are not a capitalist-structured company; we are a cooperative owned by dairy producers. Therefore, we have farmers who milk their cows every morning to produce either fresh milk for Denmark,


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or cheese for the Middle East. These people are just like you and me, and they have families to support,” he said. Admitting that they did lose a significant market share and had to close down several non-core businesses as a result of the consumer boycott, Eggars hoped that this time the authorities and the consumers would exercise a little due consideration. “Let me give you an example. Many Danes have been going on vacation in Spain for years, and they have been behaving in a certain manner. Therefore, when I go there, I would not like to be judged by how my compatriots have been acting; I want to be judged based on what I have been doing, and not by how somebody else has been behaving,” he reasoned. Although many would think that it should be easy for the respective governments to impose sanctions on its citizens for national interest, Eggars says this is almost impossible in many European countries as freedom of speech is deeply rooted within their culture and constitution. For the record, Arla’s chief executive officer, Peder Tuborgh, did urge the Danish government to take action. In a statement, he said, “I urgently beg the government to enter a positive dialogue with the many millions of Muslims who feel they have been offended by Denmark. Freedom of expression is an internal Danish issue but this has a very different dimension. This is about Denmark having offended millions of Muslims.” Consequently, Arla took out a full-page advertising in Saudi Arabia apologising for the cartoons and indicating Arla’s great respect for Islam in the country. This however raised controversy back in Denmark, where women’s organisations and some

Danish politicians criticised Arla, and called on Danish women to boycott Arla’s products in Denmark. This year, although there were similar calls for Muslims to repeat the boycott, most notably from Dr Yusuf Al Qaradawi, an Egyptian cleric based in Qatar late February, supermarkets and hypermarkets across the UAE are still waiting for an official call for boycott. “We do not have all the information to take a decision on pulling Danish products from our shelves,” said Bejoy Mathew, Marketing Manager, Abu Dhabi Co-operative

Society. “Last time, we respected public sentiment and participated in the boycott of Danish products and brands. If there is an official call, we will participate and arrange alternative products for our customers.” A spokesman for the Abu Dhabi-based Emke Group, which runs Lulu hypermarkets, said, “We have not received an official communiqué. Last time we followed public sentiment and removed Danish goods – including dairy products, confectioneries and chickens.” For Arla Foods however, signs of the boycott are already being felt, with the company

forced to cut production at its Bislev Dairy in Denmark by 150 tonnes per week because of decreasing demand from the Middle East. However, unlike 2006, Eggars reckon that the decision this year would be a lot simpler. “Yes, it has been hard and I imagine it will be a lot harder still,” says Eggars. “But then again, our farmers still have families to support, and at the end of the day, if we cannot do our business here, we have to take it somewhere else. Of course we think it is a shame and is unfortunate, but if this is what we have to do, then this is what we will do.”

“You know that we are not a capitalist-structured company; we are a co-operative owned by dairy producers. Therefore, we have farmers who milk their cows every morning to produce either fresh milk for Denmark, or cheese for the Middle East. These people are just like you and me, and they have families to support,”


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THERE IS A marked increase in awareness of Halal certification within the Serbian business community; but two main factors are hindering its progress – the credibility of the Halal logo and the high fees to obtain one. Speaking on the sidelines of Gulfood 2008 in Dubai, Remer Y. Lane, the USAID Agribusiness Project in Serbia Marketing and Export Lead, said Serbian manufacturers pursue Halal certification primarily based on the domestic opportunity and market access to key Muslim markets. “The companies pursue Halal based on market opportunity,” said Mr Lane. “It is also based on strong historical trade ties with Middle Eastern and North African countries. Therefore, there is a very strong push to pursue Halal, which they hope to provide a competitive advantage. However, it needs to be credible and recognised.” Lane said that although there are three main Halal certifiers in Serbia, each of them have their own set of standards. “Within Serbia, we have one in Belgrade, and he has his process, which is by far the most recognised. In Novi Pazar, another city in the south, we have two Imams, and they each have their own process, some of which is in correspondence with Belgrade, but not always. “Unfortunately, Serbian companies are saying that it looks like they are all looking for a substantial fee,” he said. There is also a great deal of misunderstanding, it seems, about what needs to be Halal and what does not. “Does a frozen fruit processor need to

be Halal? Or is it required for people who only deal with animal products?” he asked. Unlike the certification process for meat-based suppliers – who had to undergo a thorough check in all stages of slaughter, the certifiers are so far not doing any kind of standardised checks for frozen fruit manufacturers. “On the meat side, they actually stay for the slaughter, the bleeding, the inspection, and so on. However, one example we have is that it costs up to 500 Euros a week, for every time they are there. That is 2,000 Euros a month! That is what Halal in Serbia is costing, especially for the meat industry,” he said. Lane also cites an example where a poultry company outside of Novi Pazar did not have to pay a single cent, nor get Halal certification at all because they are “a member of the Imam’s mosque”. “This is why it is very, very important to have a brand and standardisation,” Lane suggested. “There should be a single stamp that is recognised worldwide and everybody must get that stamp to be Halal. Otherwise you will get all these different people doing their own thing, charging their own fees and having an expensive and difficult time getting their Halal logos internationally recognised.” Lane suggests the industry authorities to buck up, and realise the immense opportunity with Halal and come up with a unified global seal – one that incorporates certain standards and administered by a central body with authorised bodies in each country.

“There should be a single stamp that is recognised worldwide and everybody must get that stamp to be Halal. Otherwise you will get all these different people doing their own thing, charging their own fees and having an expensive and difficult time getting their Halal logos internationally recognised.” “That way it will give more credibility to it more than anything else, the way EuropeGap transitioned into GlobalGap, and enforcing their standards all over the world. Why can it not be the same with Halal?” Despite these known issues, more and more Serbian companies are getting themselves Halal certified. Lane also mentioned that the Mufti in Belgrade has been very proactive in reaching out to the Serbian food industry. The Mufti has even begun educating companies on what is Halal and the size of the

global Halal markets, as well as assisting them in making market contacts in other countries where Halal is in demand. So far, 25 companies have been certified by the Islamic Community of Serbia’s Halal Certification Agency. “At least ten companies from Serbia attended the Halal fair in Abu Dhabi last month, and they are all Halal certified. In Gulfood this year, Serbian companies raked in over USD6 million of expected sales, and definitely a better understanding of the opportunities in the global Halal market,” he added.


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HDC HALAL TRAINING PROGRAM In an effort to support Malaysia’s vision in becoming a global Halal hub, the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) is organising its own Halal Training Programmes to increase the understanding of Halal as a concept and develop the human capital within the Halal industry. HDC’s Halal Training Programmes are catered for all target audience related to Halal matters, both for Muslims and non-Muslims. Developed by two local universities that are internationally-recognised for their advance researches in Halal matters, our comprehensive training modules cover not only the Shari’ah aspects but also Halal certification processes, Halal market, Halal food and consumerism and also biotechnology. All training programmes are conducted by our panel of Halal experts with more than 10 years of experience in various fields, including Shari’ah, food technology, cosmetics, Halal certification and Halal audits. Course fee is competitive (RM 950 per person for a 2-day course or RM 880 per person if more than two participants are registered for the same course) and is developed by a recognised and reputable organisation that is 100% funded by the Malaysian government.

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1/21/2008 4:59:03 PM

fast track | EUROPE

French Confident of Malaysia’s Halal hub Aspirations BY RUZANNA MUHAMMAD

MICHEL ROBICHON SAS, one of two performing factories under the French international centralised organisation established by Groupe Glon and specialising in further processed cooked and coated products, now realises the increasing awareness and demand for Halal produce. In the search for a credible Halal system, they have stumbled upon Malaysia’s Halal system, which they found to be the one meeting their requirements in terms of credibility, integrity, and assurance. For two and a half years now, the international

centralised organisation has been established with the purpose of international sourcing for multiple raw materials, a network of agreed suppliers, an integrated production, control of different cooking processes, and mutual technical development. All this on the basis of expanding out to meet the increasing competition in the industry, and to enhance the production technology they are lacking. With a working system similar to that of a factory, this organisation consists of five divisions in charge of purchasing, research and development, logistics,

quality, and commercial, each specifically responsible of its purpose. This organisation acts as a hub for mainly meat- and poultry-based raw materials from international sources outside France, further processes them, and then sends the processed raw materials back out to their customers, who are mainly manufacturers of ready-to-eat meals. Simply put, this organisation is the supplier of raw materials (both locally and internationally sourced) to manufacturers who will then put together components that make up a ready-to-eat meal.

These manufacturers may be the local French manufacturers, or other manufacturers outside of France, for example in other parts of Europe, the Middle East, Thailand, Argentina and Australia, all of which working both ways as raw material suppliers, and manufacturers. Their most important concern is at being consistent in terms of maintaining and guaranteeing the quality of their products, which trickles down to the suppliers they source from, and the manufacturers they provide for. All in all, quality runs throughout their whole value chain, running on a system of


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its own. An interesting occurrence, however, met them while dealing with customers from the Middle East, whereby the Middle Easterns requested for something they did not have, which is no other than the Halal certificate for their products. Admitting they do not have Halal certified products, they responded to the Middle Easterns, “We will check for sources certified Halal, and will come back with the supply once we have ascertained a

experience of working in a factory producing chicken for the Middle Eastern market, Moullec explained, “The demand for Halal does not only come from a small community; it is starting to be a growing trend as a lifestyle and a choice – not only in France, but all over the world.” “Coherently, as a food service provider that respects and is responsible to their customers’ needs, we will ensure that if the product is suppose to be Halal, then it will be; and we will guarantee

spearheading the global Halal industry, such as the annual World Halal Forum and the Malaysian International Halal Showcase (MIHAS). Additionally, Malaysia was seen to match with Michel Robichon’s parameters of sourcing requirements, such as global recognition and approval, competitiveness, and the drive and reactivity in pushing a global business. Seeing the stability, credibility, and integrity of the Malaysian Halal standards, plus the fact that it is widely

Moullec. “We believe that Prima agri have the same global reflection as we do, and with their projection and other market views, we will be a good mix,” he added. In explaining other reasons for choosing Prima Agri as their supplier of Halal produce, Moullec says, “We are not looking for huge factories. We are looking for factories that are able to produce what we want. Bigger factories cannot deliver this, because sometimes, they do not

recognised worldwide, Prima Agri was seen as the best Halal manufacturer to source from, in addition to it being the only Malaysian company with compliance to the EU regulations and standards. Michel Robichon sets forth to Malaysia with the mission of solely meeting with Prima Agri to secure a business agreement for Halal raw materials. “When it comes to Halal demands, we are responding to our customers’ demands, and surely, our customers – food service sectors – are the same as Prima Agri’s. They are the same all over the world, and we have the same guarantee from the industries involved,” says

respond to what we ask for; they only offer what they want to sell, rather than those you are waiting for. “Therefore, with this Prima Halal Food Park, although still in its developing stage, its 60 mini factories will be able to respond to our demand – with the ingredients we want, and the way we want it done.” Believing in the potential of Halal and that it is the right choice for expansion, Moullec highlights that the scenario with Halal products back then is not as it is today, whereby it is respected and trusted as it corresponds to everyone’s standards, both Muslims and non-Muslims.

“Coherently, as a food service provider that respects and is responsible to their customers’ needs, we will ensure that if the product is suppose to be Halal, then it will be; and we will guarantee that the source is from a truly credible, approved and recognised Halal compliant source.” MR DIDIER MOULLEC source that is credible and that can guarantee its compliance with Halal principles,” says Mr Didier Moullec, who is in charge of international sourcing for Michel Robichon. With similar occurrences of the like, the organisation thus recognises the increasing demand for Halal, which had ultimately led to the growth of the global Halal industry. Seeing this as an opportunity to tap into, and keeping with their principles of quality consistency, responsibility, and maintaining consumers’ trusts, the organisation started sourcing for Halal meat-based raw materials. Having had 20 years

that the source is from a truly credible, approved and recognised Halal compliant source. It is not about merely coming up with a paper that declares something is Halal, it is about the responsibility that comes with providing that piece of paper,” he added. With many news, and promotion of the Malaysian Halal system and its variety of products and services, Michel Robichon saw the real potential of Malaysia as a global Halal hub, with the launching of the Prima Agri Halal Food Park. They also heard of Malaysia’s other Halal-related initiatives in its efforts of


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fast track | MIDDLE EAST

International Muslim Business Union (BOU) formed In collaboration with

BUSINESS OWNERS UNION (BOU) is an exclusive businessmen club formed by the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in hopes to group Muslim business owners and the private sectors around the world, to encourage business networking, and enhance the volume of intraOIC (Organisation of the Islamic Conference) trade. BOU acts as a shadow organisation for FORAS – a Jeddah-based investment company. Open to all OIC-based Muslim businessmen, as well as to non-OIC countries, BOU also operates as a medium to overcome obstacles that hinders the progress of inter-OIC trade through seminars and discussion sessions. The idea is simply to help Muslim businessmen expand their businesses to other OIC countries and attract possible investors to their projects overseas through the help of their many liaison officers based in different cities and capitals of OIC countries. These officers will help the members develop by supporting them with the right information, the right associates, or the most suitable businessmen who can help distribute their products in other OIC countries. The ICCI activated BOU from the second half of year 2007 to enhance OIC’s ten-year plan. The ICCI made sure to make a detailed introduction to the decision-makers at the Federations of the Chambers, followed by an official meeting to discuss the goals, objectives and plan of

The most appealing benefit of becoming a member is the privilege of sharing attractive projects with each other, as well as being given the preference to undertake any OIC- or ICCI-related projects. action for BOU throughout the years to come. This is in order to set up the stage for signing the Memorandum of Understanding with the federations to start the marketing campaign for BOU membership through local chambers and commerce in OIC countries. The president of the Islamic Chamber Sheikh Saleh Kamel sent 17 letters to the biggest Federations of Chambers in OIC countries asking to support BOU start-up with an open membership. This open membership aims to create a medium

for business owners, private sectors and for the Muslim minorities in OIC’s 57 member countries to encourage trade exchange between these countries and to assist them in coordinating their trade policies in order to understand their common interests. Since then, a total of 74 chambers and commerce in the Islamic world joined the Business Owners Union to activate the plan of action through the liaison officers at the federation of Chambers who signed the “BOU memorandum of understanding” and others who


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

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

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

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

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

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

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fast track | MIDDLE EAST

“We would like to invite all elite Muslim businessmen to join BOU and make a difference by promoting change within our ummah through commerce and trade. We feel that the only way the Muslim ummah can change is through active business participation.”

are committed to support the Union in writing. Throughout 2008, BOU is expected to attract more Chambers in the OIC countries to join, in supporting the “BOU plan of action”. A great number of businessmen have joined BOU from several different countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Malaysia, Indonesia, Qatar, Oman, Mauritania and Senegal having found and realised that BOU truly acts as a medium that encourages business networking. The most appealing benefit of becoming a member is the privilege of sharing attractive projects with each other, as well as being given the preference to undertake any OIC- or ICCIrelated projects. A project has to be feasible and ready with promotional materials including the business plan, profit projection, cash flow and it has to be Halal or Shariah compliant. In addition to giving priority of presenting evaluated projects to members, BOU also aims to create continuous ties among Muslim

businessmen, trade companies and investment corporations within OIC countries. This will be done through annual conferences and seminars as soon as the government begins giving the private sectors more freedom in the economic field. According to BOU’s Assistant Secretary General, Abdulmohsen Linjawi, “BOU will always be looking for

as most other chambers go through. Firstly, BOU members’ needs are identified by questionnaires and will then be provided with the right data and contacts directly for business expansion. Abdulmohsen also said, “We would like to invite all elite Muslim businessmen to join BOU and make a difference by promoting change within our ummah

profitable projects and ideas through the BOU members in the OIC countries; and these good ideas will be communicated to the rest of the BOU members if they are detailed and approved business plans.” ICCI hopes that BOU will be able to actively remove obstructions that slow down the growth of commercial exchanges by facilitating free movement for Muslim businessmen within OIC countries as well as enhance the volume of tourism and the exchange of labour. BOU is different from other chambers of commerce because BOU does not go through the normal routine

through commerce and trade. We feel that the only way the Muslim ummah can change is through active business participation.” BOU considers a person or corporation with a net worth of at least USD500,000 to be eligible for membership apart from being a Muslim or Muslimowned corporation. BOU membership fee packages are available either in Silver or Gold package at USD1,000 and USD2,000 per annum.

To become a member, log on to or send an email to BOU’s regional office at


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3/26/08 5:24:43 AM

fast track | ASIA

ARMM Initiatives on Halal Food Industry Development

The call made by the Mindanao Food Congress in 2002 proposing to the national government to designate Mindanao as the Halal production centre may have triggered a challenge to the stakeholders of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in engaging and developing its Halal food industry.

THE LEADERSHIP of the autonomous region since its creation has long been working hard to bring much needed economic development in the resourcerich region and to set a public-private sector agenda to develop the area as a business and investment haven. “ARMM’s Halal initiatives was idealised as a socio-economic solution to combat poverty within this region, as well as to tap into this lucrative market; and to protect the local Muslim consumers within the region, and later in the Philippines,” according to Engr. Marites K. Maguindra, the Assistant Regional Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry, ARMM. As an initial step through the effort of the Department of Trade and Industry-ARMM (DTI-ARMM), and with the endorsement of the ARMM Business Council (ABC), the Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) enacted acts that provides legal framework and mechanism for the creation of the Regional Economic Zone Authority (REZA). REZA shall plan and administer the economic zones to be established throughout the region, and locate Halal industrial parks. ARMM was then buoyed with the inclusion of the Halal food industry development in the national government’s 2004-2010 Medium Term Philippines Development Plan (MTPDP). MTPDP promises to provide necessary interventions to include, among others, technical assistance, standardsetting and market facilitation, capability-building for Halal certification and accreditation process, and provisions of infrastructure and facility support (Ch. 2, pp. 34-35). “We will take the lead role in the growth of Halal food industry in the region considering its huge potential markets in the East ASEAN Growth Area and elsewhere,” says Governor Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan. The participation of the Dar’ul Iftah of the Philippines (House of Opinion), based in Cotabato City, is a key advantage for ARMM because the Dar’ul Iftah consist of the most eminent and credible jurists in Islamic Law in the Philippines, who can render judgments or fatwas on Halal-related matters and concerns. “ARMM is working very closely with the Philippines government, particularly in the crafting of the Philippines National Standard (PNS) on Halal Food, whereby the Muslim

Mindanao Halal Certification Board Inc. (MMHCB) Technical Guidelines on Halal was agreed to be the basis,” says Dir. Keise Tan Usman, Regional Director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources, DA-ARMM. According to Engr. Dr. Abubacar Datumanong, “ARMM has a comparative advantage when it comes to the Halal industry because it has 4 million Muslim consumers of Halal. Hence, any Halal certification based in the ARMM has a built-in advantage. Moreover, the ARMM is the only Muslim (majority) region in the country and is the natural starting-off point for the Halal industry in the country.” Filled with vigorous enthusiasm, Governor Datu Zaldy headed a delegation to Malaysia for a state visit in January 2006. During this visit, the Deputy Director General of the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) assured the ARMM government a technical assistance and tie-up to the Halal Certification Scheme of ARMM. As an offshoot of the ARMM Officials’ visit to Malaysia, the stakeholders wasted no time in getting things moving on the ground. DTI-ARMM, DAARMM, and the ABC agreed to pool its resources and technical expertise through a Memorandum of Agreement to plan for the promotion and development of the region’s Halal food industry. What ensued were a series of roundtable discussions, where the current Halal Food Industry Development framework was finally crafted in March 2006. The framework anchors its direction on three main components: the constructing

of a unified Halal certification system and in the process of creating the Halal certifying body; marketing and promotion, and business development; and the aspect of production – including poultry and livestock, and aquaculture and fisheries as the focus for Halal commodity development. The Japan International Cooperation AgencyPhilippines (JICA) likewise sponsored a study tour to Malaysia to afford the key players of the ARMM Halal Technical Working Group, which was organised by KasehDia Sdn Bhd. The focus for this second working visit was to contribute to the present Halal industry development in Mindanao, with the intention of drawing knowledge of Malaysia’s development efforts in its Halal sector. Fulfilling its specific objectives, this four-day working visit – headed by the project manager of the ARMM Social Fund Project, Atty. Mustapha A. Sambolawan – was filled with pre-arranged meetings with major government agencies, and private sectors involved in the development of the Halal industry in Malaysia. Despite major development strategies and the groundwork that needs to be covered for the development of ARMM’s Halal industry, ARMM is still going on strong with their efforts and initiatives to make it work with their Halal Industry Development Programme. Realising the many limitations and challenges to conquer, “ARMM still has a long way to go, with many bumps to overcome, on our way to achieving our goals,” says Mustapha Sambolawan.


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AD prima08.pdf










10:24:56 AM

fast track | AUSTRALASIA

Recently, there have been numerous calls to ban live exports to the Middle East by animal welfare campaigners. A new international report, launched in Sydney, alleges Australia’s live animal trade as one of the worst in the world, especially with Australia’s live sheep export to the Middle East.

The Live Exports Debacle BY HARIZ KAMAL

DURING THE LAST 30 YEARS, Australia has sent more than 150 million sheep and cattle to be slaughtered in other parts of the world, such as the Middle East and South East Asia. Approximately five million sheep a year are being exported from Australia for slaughter overseas – travelling on crowded ships for up to three weeks or more, causing severe emotional stress for all animals exported en masse in cruel and cramped conditions. It is important to note that two per cent of these sheep die during the voyage, albeit being young and healthy animals. Big ships carry 100,000 sheep, translating to 2000 dead sheep every three weeks. In addition, over two million sheep have perished during export since 1981. The appalling condition during shipment – standing and lying in ankle-deep urine and faeces for weeks – will inevitably cause diseases and respiratory distress, which will eventually lead to death due to loss of appetite, Salmonella infection, and other injuries. On top of that, pellets and water are usually rationed out only once a day. There is also the distressing handling and treatment of the animals once they arrive in the Middle East, which includes the beating of animals, throwing them into trucks, and so on. All this put together is simply analogous to animal cruelty. On that note, one would wonder why there is such a huge demand for live exports to the Middle East. The answer is simple: Halal. More often than not, Halal has been said

to be an all-encompassing concept and a lucrative industry. For example, the value of live sheep exported to Egypt in 2006 was approximately AUD2.8 million. Subsequently, the Australian livestock export industry is a major contributor to the Australian economy, contributing AUD1.8 billion each year to GDP, or Gross Domestic Product. It is also reported that the industry created export earnings of over AUD831 million in each of the last five years. However, even with such an important income for Australia, why is there still commotion about live exports and the call to ban live exports from Australia to the Middle East? The main reason why there is such an enormous demand from the Middle East for Australia’s livestock is that there is still a lack of trust, transparency, and accountability in the Halal slaughter practice in Australia. “The reason why live exports of animals to OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Conference) countries is so important is because Halal slaughtering methods need to be closely adhered to in nonMuslim exporting countries,” says KasehDia executive director, Nordin Abdullah. Presently, the Australian live export industry adheres to an Operations and Governance manual, containing the operational procedures of a livestock export business. However, there is still something missing in the framework. In the manual, operators of premises registered for preparing, holding or assembling livestock

“The reason why live exports of animals to OIC countries is so important is because Halal slaughtering methods need to be closely adhered to in non-Muslim exporting countries,” prior to export must submit an operations manual with their application for registration. The manual must contain operational procedures for ensuring that the premise addresses the standards. This is to ensure compliance to the procedures and the standards. Thus, to overcome this livestock debacle, there is a need to incorporate the livestock standards in Halal standards, and then to integrate these standards with quality assurance systems. The Halal concept is indeed a holistic concept, which includes logistics, slaughtering method, packaging, and science. Naturally, the Halal standard would also be an all-encompassing one. There are various areas to cover in the

Halal standards; for example, in terms of Halal slaughtering, the key requirement is not to kill animals in the presence of other animals. These animals are also not to be bound and should be killed with a single cut to the throat. Thus, the nature of Halal itself champions ethics and protects the animal welfare. “This is one area that the animal rights lobby needs to understand if they are truly concerned with the well-being of the animals,” added Nordin. Integrating the Halal standards with ethics, animal welfare, operational procedures, and slaughtering into the framework is much needed and welcomed to ensure Halal integrity is protected from farm, across the sea and in the ship, to fork.


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KasehDia Consulting will be publishing comprehensive reports on the Malaysian F&B Country Report, Middle East F&B Country Report and Halal Restaurant Industry Survey in Malaysia. It will be highly beneficial to all existing and would-be players of the Halal industry in Malaysia. Don’t miss this excellent opportunity and secure your copy today! Email for more details.

THE HALAL MARKET SPECIALIST K A S E H D I A S D N B H D • 3 1 - 2 Pl a z a C r ys t a l v i l l e, Jalan 22a/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia • Tel +603 6203 1025 • Fax +603 6203 4072 • email: •

KDCON half.indd 1

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fast track | AUSTRALASIA

Snowy Mountains is a family-owned company of farmers in Australia who believes in humane farming activities using less chemicals, and employ cleanliness, safety and hygiene, which expanded with a difference; they moved on to producing Halal.

Snowy Mountains Australia BY RUZANNA MUHAMMAD

SNOWY MOUNTAINS saw Halal as a lucrative business venture, as there is a great demand for Halal meat and produce. “This move to Halal production was not a problem, and we saw it as a system that is worth going into,” says Roger Burns, Chairman of Snowy Mountains Australia. Snowy Mountains started with only managing livestock and farming activities, and expanded to production of dairy products, wool, and meat. They also have their own abattoir, and as a result, they are the only company in Australia that has control over its entire livestock supply chain. With their experience in livestock from farming to processing, and the attitude of promoting ‘clean food for a healthier living’, Snowy Mountains decided to invest in a

system for Halal production – providing consultancy and farming services to Muslims wanting to go into Halal production. Its farming service is targeted for Muslim businesspersons and farmers to encourage Halal produce by Muslims, as there are currently more non-Muslimowned businesses in the Halal arena. Included in this service is hands-on assistance and training by Snowy Mountains’ farmers; also raising the cattle of Muslim-owned businesses on their farm, or on

farms in Australia, managed by Snowy Mountains. Mr Mohamed Adil Rahman, who is the Manager of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) Inc, supervises all activities by the company, therefore Snowy Mountains is fully Halal accredited – the only such Australian farming company. Under this farming service, Snowy Mountains has an ongoing project in East Africa with a farm of 110,000 acres in size. The focus is to improve product activities, feed and types of animals raised, and especially


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fast track | AUSTRALASIA

Beginning with Al-Falah as a pilot project in Malaysia, Snowy Mountains is looking for more local farmers who want to go into this business, especially for Halal production throughout the livestock supply chain, from raising livestock, to breeding, to feeding, and all the way to the abattoir and the boning room. raising cattle and goat for export into the Middle East. With the success of this project in East Africa, Snowy Mountains expanded further by looking at Malaysia as their next potential project, since Malaysia is spearheading the development of the Halal industry with a vision of becoming a global Halal hub. In addition, based on Malaysia’s Third National Agriculture Policy (NAP3), Malaysia is currently looking at improving the agriculture sector as one of the engines to boost Malaysian economy, and promoting self-sufficiency in agriculture and food industries. Snowy Mountains saw this as a great opportunity to provide assistance. Burns said, “I was impressed with the government’s aims of self sufficiency, boosting their agriculture sector and developing a Malaysian brand, but I felt that these aims would be more efficiently implemented if Malaysians had access to Australian farmers

and their generations of farming knowledge. I felt that by making this knowledge available, I could make a real difference in Malaysia.” “Snowy Mountains operate on small holding and high scale companies, and the level of national policy,” he added, and therefore sees fit to assist Malaysian companies at all levels in the livestock sector. On what inspired Burns to go to Malaysia, he said, “I went to a seminar in Melbourne and heard your International Trade and Industry Minister, Dato’ Seri Rafidah Aziz. I was struck with her energy and commitment to Malaysia, therefore I wanted an opportunity to be involved. Having seen the natural resources available in Malaysia, I know that with the right knowledge, these aims can be achieved.” At the end of February 2008, Snowy Mountains Australia agreed to a joint venture with a Malaysian family-based farm, Al-Falah Farm Sdn Bhd. The joint

venture between these two farms was created with an agreement under knowledge and expertise transfer from Snowy Mountains, which was sought out by Al-Falah. In response to Malaysia’s call for improvement and establishment of selfsufficiency in the local agriculture and food sectors, Al-Falah went forth into the livestock venture, seeing this as an opportunity, since Malaysia is currently dependent on imports of livestock and its by-products from countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, India, and so on. Realising the hindering factor to the Malaysian livestock sector being the lack of technology, knowledge and expertise in farming and livestock production, Al-Falah went on a search for a remedy to this problem. “I believe that without knowledge, we will not be able to grow and be successful,” says Md Zubir Abdul Rahman, Chairman of Al-Falah. Their search for expertise, through the Malaysian Embassy and AFIC, led them to Snowy Mountains Australia, who are problem solvers as a principle. “Australian farmers are not merely farmers, but are problem solvers,” says Burns. “We were delighted to meet Al-Falah. They are an entrepreneurial company with considerable energy and vision. They wanted our knowledge, and we wanted to provide it.” The initial stage of this project will begin by the end of March 2008, with plans of setting up the property and conditioning it to be fit for raising livestock. During the initial stage, Roger Burns himself, along with another farmer from Snowy Mountains, and Md Zubir will start training the local farmers in Al-Falah to show the right way of managing a farm. Al-Falah will start with raising local goats, and some Australian

and East African breed of goats, and will start to develop milk and beef industry. This JV will also be looking at developing a sort of Malaysian cattle breed by inter-breeding two different breeds of cattle. The purpose of this initiation is to develop cattle that are bigger and more productive, with tropical capabilities, tick resistance and higher growth rate to prepare Malaysia for the beef and dairy export market. “We have already started work on this, and this can be done easily and effectively. It is only a matter of finding the right mix,” Burns added, and his confidence is based on the successful breeding in Australia and East Africa. Beginning with Al-Falah as a pilot project in Malaysia, Snowy Mountains is looking for more local farmers who want to go into this business, especially for Halal production throughout the livestock supply chain, from raising livestock, to breeding, to feeding, and all the way to the abattoir and the boning room. This will be done with Al-Falah as a point of contact, and farmers fulfilling the additional requirement of having genuine commitment and passion for this business, and the resources to work on. With additional support from national policies and resources by the government, Al-Falah is optimistic that this project – in collaboration with Snowy Mountains – will be successful, and will grow from a small-scale farm to become bigger. Al-Falah hopes to solve Malaysia’s problem with its supply of livestock and meat; and perhaps secure a strong foothold in Malaysia’s self-sufficiency in dairy products as well. For further information, please contact Md Zubir Abdul Rahman at +603 6156 1117, or send an email to THE HALAL JOURNAL

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fast track | AMERICAS After an exhaustive evaluation, US FDA’s findings suggest meat from cloned animals are safe for consumption and as such, regulators feel there should not be any special labels to differentiate meats from cloned animals or otherwise. But not everyone agrees. BY ZAHIRA MUHAMMAD

Is Cloned Meat Halal? AS WORLD POPULATION continues to grow unabated, addressing food shortage remains a global concern to the extent traditional food production boundaries are constantly being pushed. One such advancement, albeit a controversial one, is the cloning technology. Cloned meat is not entirely new. Researchers have been cloning animals for meat as early as 1996. When it became clear that cloning could become a commercial undertaking, the United States Food and Drug Administration’s (US FDA) Centre for Veterinary Medicine asked in 2001 that all food from clones and their offspring to be kept out of the food chain until a thorough food safety evaluation is complete. Cloning is a complex process that allows one to copy the exact genetic traits of an animal. Livestock species that have been successfully cloned include cattle, pig, sheep, as well as poultry. Scientists have also cloned other animals such as cats, mice, rabbits, horses, and dogs. Most people think of livestock breeding taking place through traditional mating in which males and females get together to reproduce. However, if the goal is to produce as many offspring as possible, traditional mating might not be very efficient – depending on the breed in question. There are also risks of infection or transmission of venereal diseases during traditional mating. Because of these factors, many farmers use artificial insemination – a process where sperm is placed into a female’s uterus using artificial means; embryo transfer, and in vitro fertilisation, which is a technique in which egg cells are fertilised by sperm outside the womb. The livestock industry in the United States and Brazil now uses all of these methods regularly. Cloning is a more advanced form of these assisted reproductive technologies. Public perception of cloning usually comes from science fiction movies and books where people believe that clones grow in test tubes. In reality, this is not the case. Clones are born just like any other animals; but share the same genes as the donor animal. The main idea behind animal cloning is to produce higher quality meat, using the most superior specimen and clone them for the meat industry. Muslim scholars initially expressed concerns that cloning contradicts with diversity of creation. However, discussions have since pointed towards the fact that because Islam embraces scientific progress and research, it is possible that animal cloning is not against the religion; “If it brings about real benefit to mankind, where it must not result in harm, which is greater than the benefit it has produced,” according to the World Fatwa Management and Research Institute (INFAD). “In addition, cloning must not bear any kind of damage to the animal used in the process; because torturing or causing harm to an animal is forbidden in Islam,” it added. The cloning process however, is still very expensive; therefore, people will most likely not consume cloned animals, but the cloned animal’s offspring instead. Despite US FDA’s release clearing the consumption of cloned meat and milk as not hazardous to one’s health, many are still not convinced, with a growing number questioning even the need for such meat. Surveys conducted by International Food Information Council shows a significant number of people refusing to consume

“The public will be completely alarmed with labels that say it is cloned food; and no one will buy it,” cloned meat or milk. Although many disagree, perhaps due to the questionable nutritional value of the product, there is still a possibility consumers will change their minds in the future, especially if livestock production decreases in a highly industrialised, modernised, and futuristic era. Unfortunately, for a lot of people safety is not the only concern among consumers. Carol Tucker foreman, Director of the Food Policy Institute at the Consumer Federation of America said, “The primary issue is that the food should be labelled so consumers can avoid products derived from clones if they wish.” The US FDA decided to not require labelling as part of its ruling. Because of that, 13 bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country that call for words or symbols alerting shoppers to the presence of cloned foods, including California, New Jersey, Kentucky and Tennessee. The bills produced are almost similar in content. For example, the Kentucky house bill that was introduced on 28th January 2008, by a representative, Jim Glenn. “No person shall sell, offer or expose for sale; have in his possession for sale, or give away – for human consumption – any fresh or frozen meat, meat preparation, meat-by product, dairy food or dairy food product, poultry or poultry product

derived from cloned animal, or its offspring, unless the product is clearly and conspicuously labelled as such,” says Glenn. Naturally, the biotech and livestock industry, which are hoping on the cloning technology to reproduce the highest quality of meat and milk in the food industry for mass consumption strongly disagree on these bills. “The public will be completely alarmed with labels that say it is cloned food; and no one will buy it,” says Donald Coover, a veterinarian from Galesburg, Kan., who performs cloned-embryo transfers for farmers that raise cattle for meat and milk. Director of FDA’s Centre for Veterinary Medicine, Stephen F. Sundlof, D.V.M., Ph.D says, “Cloning poses no unique risks to animal health when compared to other assisted reproductive technologies currently in use in US agriculture.” Because the agency cannot find any difference between cloned animals and other animals, Sundlof says that the FDA does not require meat from clones or their offspring to carry particular labels. For Muslim consumers especially, the only question left here is whether the consumption of cloned meat and milk is permissible and wholesome according to the Islamic law (Shariah).


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country in focus





he financial crisis aggravated popular discontent with the Suharto administration, causing the then President of Indonesia to announce his resignation in 1998 – one year after the crisis and after 32 years of authoritarian rule – ushering in the Reformasi era in Indonesia, which marked a new beginning for Indonesia. In 1999, Indonesia successfully held a democratic general election in search for political stability. At the same time, economic reform had slowly begun, and Indonesia started to recover from the crisis. Now, although ten years has come and went, things are far from settled. Nevertheless, with a strong sense of nationalism and a new government, the building blocks are continuously being put together for the future of Indonesia.

ROAD TO RECOVERY The last decade was probably one of the hardest the Indonesians had to endure. Centralised development policy under Suharto’s regime with wide practice of corruption, collusion, and nepotism caused suffering to Indonesia’s economy, already burdened by bad private credits and mounting foreign debt. Peace and stability were continuously challenged after Suharto’s fall: separatist movements rose in Aceh and Papua, ethnic conflict spread like wild fire; and then there were terrorist bombings in Bali and Jakarta. Indonesia’s credibility as a favourite for foreign investment was beginning to deteriorate, with USD10.1 billion of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) moving out from 1998 to 2003. Despite these misfortunes,

Indonesia is putting great efforts on rebuilding and restructuring itself socially, politically, and economically. In 2001, the decentralisation policy was implemented, and policy-making and budget allocations were moved from central government to city or regency government. With this policy, local governments are able to directly source and invite investments on their own accord. The new image of BKPM, or the Investment Coordinating Board, also promises under-one-roof services and provides comprehensive information on foreign investments. With improving enforcement on investment rules and regulations, Indonesia recently made it in the “25 Most Attractive FDI Destinations According to Corporate Executives” survey conducted by management consulting firm


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country in focus With an estimate of 230 million people, Indonesia’s market potential is still very promising. Despite its problems, Indonesia has enjoyed positive trends in terms of economic growth, with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) estimated at USD3,900 in 2007.

A.T. Kearney, re-entering the Index’s top rankings in 21st place, with Asian investors ranking it 11th. In this report titled New Concerns in an Uncertain World: AT Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index 2007, it was also stated that developing country investors consider Indonesia the 15th most attractive destination for first time investments. Realised FDI in the first half of 2007 rose to USD3.5 billion, up by 17 per cent in a year-on-year comparison, according to BKPM. Truth be told however, several socio-economic problems still remain. Unemployment rate in 2007 reached 10.8 million or 10.3 per cent from total workforce in Indonesia. As a remedy, one of Indonesia’s economic policies aimed at developing a wide range of Home or Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) were initiated. Unfortunately, this policy was not very popular because not many people dared to take the risk, especially with memories of the 1997 financial crisis. Resulting from the bank’s inability to channel their funds for lending quickly enough, the banking sector faced excess liquidity: bank loans grew at 11.9 per cent annually, while bank deposits grew by 14.3 per cent (2006). This shows uncertainty amongst Indonesians in developing their own businesses. Besides, the economic growth is consumptionbased as foreign investments that came into Indonesia were more focused on the financial sector. Thus, the government realised that they needed to attract long-term employment-generating investments rather than spur their own local industries. Reducing the level of unemployment is not the sole reason for this, seeing that cheap labour in Indonesia still greatly attract foreign investors. Another benefit gained from this kind of investment is to help decentralise industrial centres, and to minimise urbanisation – as Java Island has become the most populous island. As written by Helmi Arman, an economist at PT Bahana Securities, in his article in The Jakarta Post, “There is apparently not much that can boost the income at the lower levels, apart from job creation in the formal sector, and perhaps government subsidies. Investments in new palm oil plantations for the governments biofuel

project may help somewhat. “However, most of the benefit will accrue to the farmers living outside Java, where most plantations are located, which do not constitute the bulk of the farming population…Therefore, the obvious path of recovery for the economy will begin from the higher income segments of society, before trickling down to the masses.” POTENTIAL AGRICULTURE MARKET With an estimate of 230 million people, Indonesia’s market potential is still very promising. Despite its problems, Indonesia has enjoyed positive trends in terms of economic growth, with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) estimated at USD3,900 in 2007. This was a result of the macroeconomic openness policy by the government, such as the recently signed preferential trade agreement with Japan, creating a good environment for the trading of goods and services. As it is, GDP growth in Indonesia largely occurs because of strong consumer spending. Although most Indonesian work force is in the agricultural sector, the market for imported agricultural product is still huge, and is greater than its export. The high imports may also be a result of supply and demand imbalance, whereby the supply does not fulfil the demand. Some such example is the import of beef products and soybean, which are among the most-imported commodities in the

country. It was stated that raw beef imports reached 135,000 metric tonnes or approximately 28 per cent of domestic demand, whereas soybean imports reached one million metric tonnes or 55 per cent of the domestic demand, in 2007. For years now, Indonesia’s agriculture production only fulfils and is targeted to its domestic needs. This is mainly because the technology used for agricultural production is still traditional or conventional. Thus, agricultural products are not meant to be exported or are difficult to be exported because there is not enough processing technology. HALAL ASPIRATIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES Indonesia is the country with the largest Muslim population in the region, whereby more than 80 per cent Muslims makes up its total population. Ultimately, Halal food has always been an important concern, and is seen as a market opportunity in this country. The Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) or the Ulama Council of Indonesia is the only body responsible for Halal food certification in Indonesia, where imported foods and agricultural products also need to be certified by MUI. Nevertheless, not all Muslim consumers have faith in imported products, even though they carry the Halal certificate. Prejudices still arise among Muslims especially on raw meat or meat-based products such as corned beef and sausages. Moreover, some Muslims prefer to consume


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country in focus Indonesia is the country with the largest Muslim population in the region, whereby more than 80 per cent Muslims makes up its total population. Ultimately, Halal food has always been an important concern, and is seen as a market opportunity in this country. imported products from Muslim majority countries. Halal products from Western countries or China are among those considered as doubtful, and Muslims will try to find products from Malaysia or Middle Eastern countries first. If we consider Indonesian Muslims as our target market, then preferences and prejudices will still play a significant role in terms of market access. Earlier this year, the parliament discussed the draft of Halal bill for mandatory Halal certification on food products. The debate favours to agree on mandatory certification, but with the consideration to avoid high-cost economy for Halal certification, and that the government should liberalise Halal certification. The Chief of Indonesian Consumer Foundation (YLKI), Huzna Zahir, said that there should not be a monopolised certification, to ensure that it will not be a burden to producers, especially small-scale manufacturers. Such an irony said by Agriculture Minister, Anton Apriyantono, was that the debate shows how Indonesia is only focused on domestic consumption. “Indonesia merely contributes one per cent out of the total global Halal market, said to be worth USD580 billion. Mandatory Halal certification will then push Indonesian products to comply more with a unified Halal certification standard, which

will allow products to be exported and the ability to move freely within the global Halal market,” he added. Short of any obstacles, the Halal bill will be passed into law before the general election next year. As such, Indonesia will gain momentum in their role in, and contribution to the global Halal market. With support and assistance from the government on the development of a Halal certification that meets international standards, Indonesian products will be able to penetrate the global Halal market, thus increasing agricultural exports from Indonesia, and ultimately, will promote the growth of its Halal services. At the same time, it could also expand Halal business opportunities in Indonesia. In addition to investments on its agriculture sector being promoted by the government, several incentives have mushroomed. For example, investment on food processing will be given a tax deduction, and so on. As Indonesian Finance Minister, Sri Mulyani said, “The incentives will be given more to businesses that are export-oriented, labourgenerating and those located outside of Java Island.” As the business environment in Indonesia becomes favourable, its local Halal industry will also grow. Along with the bonus of domestic market access, it is not impossible

for Indonesian Halal players to become significant in the world, similar to achievements by its neighbouring countries, Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore. CONCLUSION According to a senior economist of Global Markets Research, Deutsche Bank, Sanjeev Sanyal, “From a macroeconomic stability perspective, Indonesia has finally recovered from the Asian Crisis: public finances look healthy again, external debt is manageable, the exchange rate appears stable, and even inflation appears tamed. “However, it does not yet seem to have regained the economic dynamism that characterised many South East Asian countries before the crisis. Over the last decade, investor attention has drifted away to China, India and even Vietnam. Nonetheless, Indonesia’s industrial sector is at last showing some signs of competitiveness. “Manufactured goods exports rose 18 per cent year-on-year in the first eight months of 2007, and if sustained, they will probably bring back much needed fresh investment. A Special Economic Zone in the Riau Islands is under implementation, and this may trigger a revival. This could be an important step towards bringing back dynamism hj to the Indonesian economy.”


INDONESIAN EARTHQUAKE: LOCAL UNIVERSITY CHIPS IN A series of earthquake in some areas in West Sumatera in March and September last year had delivered yet another big blow to many Indonesians. Thousands of lives were lost and hundreds more were injured. A Malaysian university came forth and offered a helping hand. The Kulliyyah of Economics and Management Sciences of the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), in collaboration with renowned institutions in Padang, West Sumatra – namely Andalas University and the State Institute for Islamic Studies (I.A.I.N)

Imam Bonjol – had organised an international collaborative programme called the Indonesian-Malaysian Mission of Economics Excellence (I-MMEX). Held from 6th – 11th February 2008, the programme aims for multiple objectives, namely educational, humanitarian and social. Through this unique programme, the organisers strive to not only provide assistance to the neighbouring country, particularly West Sumatera, but also aim to promulgate the Islamic economics model, and seek to cultivate beneficial long-term ties between

Malaysia and Indonesia. It is also hoped that the programme will be able to mould the involved students in becoming caring future leaders who are committed in championing the welfare of the community. Among the humanitarian activities, which will be operated in selected locations in Padang – predominantly Kampung Koto Panjang – are the distribution of foods and financial assistance to the victims, the reconstruction of mosque and provide free medical check-up to the villagers by Malaysian medical students in Andalas University, as well as

the medical team of doctors from Dewan Dakwah Islamiyyah. These humanitarian activities are also done in collaboration with the Global Peace Malaysia. The organisers had also initiated the “Sumatera Earthquake Fund” with the aim of raising funds from the society to help in the relief efforts.

For further information or enquiries, kindly contact +60193502703 (Miss Khadijah) or +6012-5613061 (Brother Adnan), or send an email to


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islamic finance Islamic finance has become the buzzword in Malaysia’s financial landscape of today. Almost every industry practitioner is engaged in the discussion, in one form or another, due to the seemingly determined push by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and other regulatory bodies to make the nation an international hub for Islamic finance. By Habhajan Singh, Associate Editor, The Malaysian Reserve

The Growth Path of Islamic Finance in Malaysia


alaysian outfits are also going abroad, sharing the virtues of Islamic finance almost with an evangelical zeal. Some key developments in the explosive growth of Islamic finance include the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) initiative, the setting up of a number of sector-related institutions, opening up the local banking sector to foreign Islamic banks, and floating innovative Islamic finance products such as Islamic bonds called sukuk. All these happened in the not too distant past. One of the key initiatives to support the global development of the Islamic financial services industry was the establishment of the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) by BNM in March 2006, with an endowment fund of RM500 million. The objective of INCEIF is to produce high-calibre practitioners and professionals in Islamic finance as well as specialists and researchers in the disciplines of Islamic finance. In short, it was an investment in human capital. Malaysia’s experience in Islamic finance for over more than two decades will also provide a

training environment, including internships for developing Islamic finance professionals. Some of the other supporting institutions in Islamic finance include the Islamic Banking and Finance Institute of Malaysia (IBFIM), and International Centre for Leadership in Finance (ICLIF). While INCEIF acts as a professional certification body and education institute for postgraduates in Islamic Finance, ICLIF provides leadership and management programmes for the financial services sector including Islamic finance.

FORTIFYING POSITION When talking about the growth of Islamic finance in Malaysia in the recent past, the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre or MIFC certainly stands

out as a key initiative. Launched on 14th August 2006, it is aimed at fortifying Malaysia’s position as a vibrant, innovative and competitive Islamic financial hub. In a nutshell, MIFC is specifically undertaken by the collective efforts of the country’s financial and market regulators, together with the participation of the industry representing the Islamic banking, Takaful and capital market in Malaysia. MIFC has significant roles in facilitating relationships between the international Islamic financial markets as well as bridging and expanding investment and trade relations between the Middle Eastern, West Asian and North African regions with East Asia. This is supposed to be a part of the equation to the ‘New Silk Road’. In addressing one of the


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islamic finance

“Islamic finance is now a global phenomenon, one of the rare expertises that Malaysia is able to export and become a leader therein.” concerns of both players and investors, the authorities realised the need to streamline its public service delivery channels to smoothen MIFC’s advancement. It also takes into account the fact that Islamic finance, as an industry, has now reached a stage of development in which it is no longer regarded as a niche product serving a specialised market. Today, regulators see it as a robust industry as it is already operating in more than 60 countries. They also see the huge potential of turning the rising tide into a viable form of financial intermediation that is both competitive and resilient. As part of addressing concerns with regards to access and speed, the MICF Committee comprises a highlevel group of 28 top officials from key federal ministries, government departments and agencies, financial and market regulators and key representatives from the banking and Takaful sectors. The committee provides high-level policy direction while overseeing the review of existing policies towards ensuring the comprehensive and coordinated promotion of the MIFC. The MIFC Secretariat

was formed by BNM, and functions as the single contact point for the MIFC. MIFC aims to create a vibrant, innovative and competitive international Islamic financial services industry in Malaysia, supported by high calibre human talents, excellent infrastructure and globally recognised standards. It comprises a diversified range of financial institutions operating from anywhere in Malaysia that offer Islamic financial products and services in any currency to non-residents and residents. It has spelt out some clear objectives, which include the promotion of Malaysia as the centre for origination, distribution and trading of Islamic treasury and capital market instruments; Islamic fund and wealth management services; international currency and Islamic financial services (including deposits and financing); takaful and re-takaful; and Islamic finance education, training, consultancy and research. The collective efforts of Malaysia’s financial and market regulators specifically undertake the MIFC initiative. It is aimed towards building greater intermediation linkages

between the East Asian and Middle Eastern regions, which will in turn, further expand inter-regional trade and cross border investment flows. As part of the MIFC initiatives, BNM outlines that local and foreign financial institutions are allowed to establish International Islamic Banks (IIBs), International Takaful Operators (ITOs), as well as International Currency Business Units (ICBUs), to undertake international currency business in Islamic finance with non-residents through either a locally incorporated entity or a branch. These entities enjoy attractive incentives, designed to pull in major names to Malaysia. Among others, they are granted attractive tax packages in terms of a ten-year tax holiday. The Foreign Investment Committee (FIC) rules have been further relaxed to allow 100 per cent foreign equity ownership in these financial institutions. On top of that, the Malaysian commercial banks and investment banks are allowed to establish ICBUs to carry out Islamic banking businesses under their existing entities. For interested foreign players, Malaysia is allowing foreign financial outfits to take up to 49 per cent of the equity of domestic Takaful operators and Islamic banks. One perennial problem in the past has been the question of delay in delivery. To enhance the delivery system, BNM is communicating to investors that expatriates for long-term employment passes with multiple entry visas have accorded an “executive green lane” to expedite applications. To allow greater operational flexibility within the Shariah parameters, the Islamic financial system adopted a relaxed stance on Shariah interpretations and practices, consistent with its international dimensions. It mutually

recognises and accommodates the various juristic reasoning that has been approved by recognised Shariah advisers.

MOVING FORWARD The central bank and many industry players have shown keenness in pushing further the Islamic finance envelope. Together, the regulators and players are trying to pull their weight to charge along the path in ensuring the success of the sector. The initiatives are charging forward quickly. As part of the MIFC move, for example, the central bank is attempting to push ahead with an idea of allowing foreign lawyers practicing in the Islamic finance area to establish local offices. The move is intended to allow foreign legal firms heavy on Islamic finance to book their businesses from Kuala Lumpur, thereby boosting Malaysia’s role as an international hub for Islamic finance. However, the central bank is reportedly facing some opposition from the Malaysian Bar Council on that proposal. Nevertheless, some lawyers familiar with Islamic finance are supportive of the move. They feel that the move would bolster Malaysia’s role in the push for being a hub for the sector. “Islamic finance is now a global phenomenon, one of the rare expertises that Malaysia is able to export and become a leader therein. One essential requirement for an international hub is the existence of a melting pot of individuals and experts from various fields, legal included,” said Datuk Dr Nik Norzrul Thani Nik Hassan Thani, head of legal firm Zaid Ibrahim and Co’s Islamic finance practice, in a recent interview with a local newspaper. With such zeal, one can expect to continue hearing this buzzword for hj many years to come. THE HALAL JOURNAL

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How did money as a medium of exchange for foods and services evolve into its current form we know and use today? Hazel Hassan Hisham transports us back into time and traces its origins in this second of a two-part article that chronicles the evolution of paper money.

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cover story

The Origins of Monetary System in the Islamic World The first Muslim coins were struck during the Caliphate of Uthman (ra), 644-656 CE. The first original minting of Islamic dirham was done in 695 CE (75 AH) during the reign of Khalifah ‘Abd al-Malik. It followed the standard set by Umar Ibn al-Khattab (ra). These coins included the phrase: “Allah is Unique, Allah is Eternal”. Beginning with these coins the use of human figures and animals was discontinued. Both the dinar and dirham coins were round in shape. Typically, one side of the coin was stamped with the words “La ilaha illallah” and “Alhamdulillah” and the obverse side with the name of the caliph or ruler and the date of minting. The earliest Arab coins imitated those of the Persians (the Sassanians) and the Byzantines. The Arab-Sassanian series goes back as far as 31 AH (Hijriah) just 21 years after the death of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. The Sassanian coins resumed a century later by the Arab governors of the Tabaristan province (on the southern border of the Caspian Sea). The Arab-Byzantine coins imitated the copper 40-nummia pieces of the 7th century Byzantine Emperors. The Arab coinage was reformed in 77-79 AH (696-98 AD), creating the main Umayyad series. Its copper denomination, the Fals, exhibited a wide variety of types, but the silver coin, the dirham, used a single calligraphic type at all of the mints of the Caliphate. This coin, with its religious inscriptions and its consistent use of a date and a mint name, set a pattern that was followed for the next few centuries throughout the Islamic world. The Abbasid series is similar to the Umayyad, but the script takes on a distinctive form that exaggerates the horizontal letters and makes the others microscopic. The Caliph’s name is absent on the early issues (as on the Umayyad Dirhams), but it appears on some coins of al-Mahdi (775-85 AD) and becomes a standard feature on all later issues.



During the early 900s AD, the Abbasid Caliphs came under the power of the Buwayhid rulers and lost their temporal authority. Their coins came to an end, but their names were often placed on the coinage of other rulers, citing them as Islam’s spiritual head. In a later age, the Abbasid Caliphs regained control of a temporal state, but those coins are of a much different style. Some non-Abbasid coins can be deceptive when

they include the Caliph’s name but happen to omit the name of the temporal ruler.

The Stable of Dinar In the medieval Islamic world, a vigorous monetary economy was created during the 7th-12th centuries based on the expanding levels of circulation of a stable highvalue currency – the Dinar. The Islamic gold dinar (sometimes referred as


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Paper Money REPUBLIC OF CHINA (1914)


efforts made to obtain it. Prospecting for gold was a worldwide effort going back thousands of years, even before the first money in the form of gold coins appeared. In the quest for gold by the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Indians, Hittites, Chinese, and others, prisoners of war were sent to work the mines, as were slaves and criminals. This happened during a time when gold had no value as ‘money,’ but was just considered a desirable commodity on itself.

The Golden Rule



Islamic dinar or Gold dinar) is a bullion gold coin made from 4.25 grams of 22-carat (k) gold with historical Islamic significance. The Dirham and Dinar were both used as the official Islamic currency beginning with the second Caliphate, 634-644 CE. The Islamic Dinar is the weight of gold equivalent to 4.25 grams, whereas the Islamic Dirham is the weight of silver equivalent to 3.0 grams. Umar Ibn al-Khattab established the known standard relationship between the two based on their weights: 7 dinars must be equivalent to 10 dirhams. Gold has always had value to humans, even before it was money. This is demonstrated by the extraordinary

The first use of gold as money occurred around 700 BC, when Lydian (Turkey) merchants produced the first coins. These were simply stamped lumps of a 63 per cent gold and 27 per cent silver mixture known as ‘electrum.’ This standardised unit of value, had no doubt helped Lydian traders in their wide-ranging successes, for by the time of Croesus of Mermnadae – the last King of Lydia (570-546 BC) – Lydia had amassed a huge hoard of gold. Today, we still speak of the ultra-wealthy as being ‘rich as Croesus.’ Gold, measured out, became money. Gold was money in ancient Greece. The Greeks mined for gold throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East regions by 550 BC, and both Plato and Aristotle wrote about gold

Part II of 2

and had theories about its origins – one of them is that Gold was associated with water and it was said that gold was a particularly dense combination of water and sunlight. The Islamic gold dinar came back to life as a consequence of a currency crisis in Asia in 1997. The then Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, proposed the Islamic gold dinar as currency for international trade in the Muslim world. It was supposed to suppress the overly traded American dollar and ensure that dollar’s instability does not affect international trade because Islamic gold dinar was to be tied to the price of gold, and thus provide a stable value of the currency. Tun Dr. Mahathir once emphasised that the Gold Dinar policy is being driven by the crushing reality of the economic and strategic crisis. The Gold Dinar can be a trading currency for all countries, not necessarily Muslim countries alone. He strongly feels that the Muslim countries are in the best position to demonstrate the viability of the system and in the process, show the world that they are capable of growing with stability and peace. However, the idea has since been halted. Perhaps one day, it will become a reality and the gold dinar will reign within the hj Muslim world one day. THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING

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Urban Adventure journey





hen we were first approached to do a travel feature of Hong Kong, truth be told, we were not too keen on the idea. Sure, the idea of visiting the former British colony seemed appetising enough but then again this was Hong Kong: the land of shopping, eating, and a million people who will deliberately bump into you when you walk on their streets. Besides stuffing yourself silly with Dim Sum, racking up a healthy credit card shopping bill, and visiting the Disneyland theme park, what else was there really to do in Hong Kong? Well after the five-day and four-night trip to Hong Kong’s adventure sights, we found out there was actually plenty enough…

Giant Buddha, Heart Sutra, and some of the best hiking trails around Hong Kong, Lantau is ‘adventure central’ for locals and tourists alike. Our time in Lantau was largely spent at the Silver Mine Falls, where we were introduced to Waterfall abseiling. Not for the faint hearted, waterfall abseiling is a daring sport for thrill seekers looking for a little adrenaline rush. The reason the fact that it not only requires you to repel down a 35-metres flat slippery surface, but doing so with gushing water, which was another thing all together. Luckily enough for us though, we had experts who guided us through the motions, and more importantly ensured our safety as we went sliding and banging into the moss covered surface of the waterfall before making it to the top. Care to waterfall abseil? Check it out at!



Water babies should make Lantau Island their first destination on their itinerary. Famous for its

Also on your list of things to do is to visit Sai Kung Harbour. Famous for sea caves and fish

farms around the area, it is home to a wakeboarding centre, which was converted from an old abandoned fishing village. For those unfamiliar with the sport, wakeboarding includes strapping on a pair of skis and being pulled by a speedboat, riding the wake that has been left behind. For wakeboarding and other water sports, such as sea kayaking, or sea canoeing, and windsailing log on to

SQUID FISHING Sai Kung is also a perfect spot for Squid Fishing. Numerous old junks have been converted to offer this service for eager tourists willing to try this one of a kind adventure. Squid fishing largely encompasses sitting in the anchored junk in the bay area and dropping fishing lines below brightly lit fluorescent lamps. “The bright light attracts the squid,” said our tour guide and soon enough we had a few bites. An hour later, with our patience running thin, we decided to hang our hooks. Nevertheless, we decided to stay on the moment our tour guide informed us that we were going to have the squid prepared for a little snack on board. The captain of


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If you want a different view of Hong Kong, do consider the option to see the city from a bird’s eye view.

the junk, a 60-year old woman, pulled double duty as a cook and captain, as she cleaned and prepared a meal from our catch.

these magnificent creatures was indeed a treat as they often swim around the boat, usually to catch fish for food, just like any other dolphins - except these were pink!

PINK DOLPHINS If you are on the lookout for some other forms of wildlife, this popular attraction cannot be missed! The Hong Kong Dolphin watch organises tours to view Chinese White Dolphins (IndoPacific Humpback species), who are regularly found around Lantau Island and in other parts of Hong Kong such as Junk Bay and Hebe Haven. Spotting these cute little mammals however is mostly dependent on sheer luck as they can be rather ‘shy’ at times. Fortunately, lady luck was shining on us when we took the Dolphin Watch Tour because we managed to see as many as twenty pink dolphins that morning. Watching

More on Hong Kong’s Pink

CHOPPER RIDE If you want a different view of Hong Kong, do consider the option to see the city from a bird’s eye view. Helicopter operator, HeliExpress offers tours by air, which takes off at the old Kai Tak airport. The Heli tour lasts approximately 30 minutes and is rather expensive, but it is well worth the money, as you will get to enjoy a view of Hong Kong, and experience the amazing architecture, coastline, and the many tourist hj attractions – all from the sky! THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING

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BAYT AL WAKEEL • DUBAI Bayt Al Wakeel, a building where each intriguing corner holds some history of Dubai, was the first location of Dubai imports and exports, and the hub of significant activity during the early years of development and is a showcase for Dubai. Bayt Al Wakeel, which means “Agent’s Home” in Arabic, was originally built as a shipping office in 1935 on the creek. Down by the Textile Souk, Bayt Al Wakeel is now a fine dining restaurant that serves a fusion of seafood Arabic dishes where you can sit on the jetty overlooking the Dubai Creek and enjoy the cuisine. The house provides locals as well as tourists from not only fantastic food, but also a magnificent ambience; and to top it off, a spectacular view from the platform extending out from one of Dubai’s few old buildings that include water taxis, dhows, and abras crisscrossing the busy water way. The interior of the restaurant

is decorated in such a way to maintain a homely and heritage feel to the house. For people who enjoys food, Arabic cuisine in particular, this is the perfect place to be as the food is reasonably priced – given the location and the fact that it is a fine dining restaurant – with delicious appetiser dishes such as moutabal, tabouleh, hummus, and falafel. The shish tawouk and lamb chops are delightfully spiced and marinated, served with warm bread and zesty Arabic salad. To wash down the food, their rich fruit juices such as strawberry, guava, and avocado juice are not to be missed! Alternatively, for something lighter and less thick, you could opt for their refreshing lemon mint juice. After a filling meal, while you are there, do not pass the chance of trying some mint tea, or Arabian coffee, along with the fragrant shisha. Honestly, you will not feel like rushing off from this place!

Who in their right mind, would miss this chance of experiencing good food, great ambience, and a great view? Well, nobody should, as this restaurant also makes a great place to just chill, and relax after a tiring day. This restaurant also provides other services that include fishing in the summer where the house provides fishing gears plus preparing a delicious dish from your catch at the end of it. Other than that, Bayt Al Wakeel also organises gatherings or parties at their premise in VIP rooms, or the openair area upstairs. The best thing (on top of others) about this restaurant is they do not charge extra for the VIP rooms. For diners, these rooms can also be made available prior booking and request upon order. Therefore, if you are ever stuck in Dubai, with nothing to do after a long day, this is truly a great place to be to sit back, relax, and unwind!


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22-AD HJAWD08.pdf










4:58:48 PM




Pakistan is a strategic ally of the US in the “war on terror”. It is the third biggest receiver of US aid in the world but yet Pakistan is a state run by its army. Ayesha shows how the influence of the military has transformed Pakistani society, where the armed forces have become a self-governing class. With the military entrenched in the corporate sector, Pakistani’s companies and its main assets are in the hands of a tiny minority of senior army officials. The author examines this military economy and the cost of merging



Servants of Allah, written by Sylviane Diouf, present a history of African Muslim slaves following them from Africa to the Americas. It points out how Black Muslims maintained their faith and rituals in most unspeakable living conditions, and often, despite being forced, to convert to Christianity. While many of the knowledgeable and educated Muslims were discriminated against or even killed, regular Muslims showed remarkable strength. Although Islam, in its conventional form did not survive in the Americas, its mark can be found in certain traditions, religions and artistic creations of people of

Music the military and corporate sectors. Military Inc. analyses the internal and external dynamics of this power building and the impact that it is having on Pakistan’s political economic growth. The author has, very effectively brought into the open a side of the Pakistani military, which has been unexplored up until now. The timing of the book is appropriate and captures the current mood of the nation. Most importantly, Siddiqa has researched an unmentionable subject without drama and with precision. This makes the book both convincing and thought provoking. People whose interest lies in military regimes or Southern Asia will find this book valuable and a work of great significance, especially to those on the other side of Pakistan’s borders.

African descent. However, for all their accomplishments and contributions to the cultures of the African Diaspora, the Muslim slaves have been mostly ignored. Servants of Allah is the first book to examine the role Islam in the lives of both individual practitioners and in the American slave community as a whole, while also shedding light on the legacy of Islam in today’s American and Caribbean cultures. This book, Servants of Allah, is an extensive approach in examining the Muslim experience topically using a wide range of sources that results in a presentation which is reader-friendly. The paucity of knowledge in this area of history of both America and Islam requires more than one book to be prepared. This book, however, is a main contribution to this task, which other Muslims should take up.

Sami Yusuf


orn in July 1980, Sami Yusuf is set to surprise the world by his amazing voice with his lovely concept of Islamic music. Sami is a British composer, singer and a successful musician. As a young boy, he studied music at a few different institutions with legendary composers and musicians including composers from the Royal Academy of Music in London, one of the world’s most prestigious music institutions. Sami Yusuf started composing at a very young age and his fantastic voice is complemented by his wide knowledge of music harmony and theory. He also has another quality that complements to his singsong voice in which helps his career in singing Islamic songs that expresses his good understanding of the Middle Eastern modes. Sami has sold over a million copies of his debut album ‘al-Mu’allim’ in addition to his second album ‘My Ummah’ with exceeding sales of three million copies worldwide. Sami is a devoted Muslim who sees songs as a way of promoting the message of mercy, peace, love and tolerance, and at the same time encouraging youths to be proud of their identity and religion. Up until now, he has performed at sell-out concerts in over 30 countries across the world – from Istanbul to Casablanca, and from the United States to Germany. His performance in Turkey drew an enormous crowd of over 200, 000, which was considered his biggest, most successful performance so far.


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SCHOLARSHIP Halal Journal Scholarship (HJS) been conceptualised to enhance knowledge, research, talents, and intellectual discourse in matters relating to Halal. HJS is one of KasehDia’s initiatives to strengthen development of the Halal industry both locally and globally. HJS is aimed at encouraging and developing the concept of halal being a diverse spectrum of activities not only promoting scholastic discourse but developing the industry into a major economic sector.


The Scholarship is open to all citizens of the world. Candidates should be pursuing or intend to pursue a bachelor’s degree in journalism, food science, logistics and Islamic finance and other Shariah related studies from an institution of higher learning. The institution must be accredited by the local educational accreditation authority. Applicants should not be in receipt of any other scholarship awards.

Nature of Award

HJS will cover approved tuition and examination fees but excludes board and lodging. Where and when applicable, other allowances such as for books and equipment, approved return air fare, warm clothing, relocation, end of study and thesis/dissertation completion, will be considered.

Application Process & Deadlines

Applications shall be submitted in English in the following manner: Write a letter/report setting out your case as to why HJS should choose you as its recipient. This letter/report should contain your personal information and details of your expected tuition and examination fees. Copies of academic certificates and transcripts. Letter of Offer from the institution of higher learning. Photocopy of personal identification document (e.g. passport, driver’s license) Letters of recommendation written by individuals under whom you have studied or worked will be requested upon your application being short listed. Any other relevant details to support your application. Please mail the completed application to: Halal Journal Scholarship Selection Committee C/O KasehDia Sdn. Bhd. (492275W) 31-2 Plaza CrystalVille, Jalan 22A/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur. Deadline: Applications for 2008 should be received by 31st March 2008. Only short-listed applicants will be notified and will be required to attend an interview. HJS reserves the right to award any applicants or none whatsoever if applicants do not meet its aspiration and philosophy.

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Safi Beauty Cream

Safi is developed exclusively to meet the needs of modern Muslim women. Made with the finest quality ingredients that conform to Halal requirements, Safi products do not contain alcohol or gelatine. Safi Beauty Cream with Aloe Vera is another product that helps replenishes skin’s natural moisture balance. The cream is suitable as a moisturiser, make-up base or treatment cream. Aside from that, it also helps reduce the appearance of blemished and blackheads, leaving skin softer and smoother. The Safi range is currently distributed and marketed in Malaysia, Singapore and other Muslim countries.

Shokubutsu Green Freshness Shower Foam

Striving to continuously improve the quality of life of consumers, Shokubutsu now offers the Green Freshness shower foam with 100 per cent plant-based cleansing ingredients to gently cleanse, nourish and re-energise the skin. The shower foam is rich, easy-lather, easy-rinse foam that leaves skin fresh, smooth and supple with refreshing fragrances, each catering for different shower experiences. Consciously listening and understanding the needs of its consumers, the Shokubutsu Green Freshness purifies the skin in natural goodness of an energising shower. It is indeed a quality product, is Halalcertified, and is approved by the Ministry of Health Malaysia, enhancing value to shareholders, customers and employees.

OYO’s Chicken Mchuzi Mix

This product works as a seasoning that is suitable for all chicken-flavoured dishes. It also helps thicken the gravy, as well as adds a delicious taste of chicken in your favourite food. This Halal certified product is manufactured in Nairobi, Kenya.

Xango Juice

The mangosteen has been used for centuries in traditional medicine throughout the world. Now with an attractive bottle, Xango Juice is rich with mangosteen, and is likely to be the single most powerful prevention supplement available to us today. The tasty juice gives us the nutrition of mangosteen through its formulated proprietary. Xango Juice also adheres to the strict quality standards from the mangosteen straight to the bottle. Each bottle fulfils the ISO standard and produces a premium fruit juice to benefit consumers around the world. The Xango Juice is bursting with xanthones, which is the world’s most powerful super anti-oxidant, and above all, it is Halal! For more info e-mail

The Robert Chicken Luncheon Meat

The Robert Family prides their products of being ‘the best in taste’. With the tagline “It is not what we add that makes Robert best in taste; it is what we do not add,” Robert guarantees the quality of their products. The chicken used in their products are derived from chickens that are bred on Danish farms and have been bred without the use of feed containing animal protein, fats, animal remains or antibiotics such as growth hormones. The Robert Family strictly obeys all Islamic requirements throughout the entire slaughtering and manufacturing processes of Robert Halal products – all Halal-approved by the Islamic Cultural Centre of Scandinavia (ICC) and the Muslim World League (MWL). With over 40 years of experience, the Robert Family can proudly say that it has an exceptional long-term experience in pleasing its consumers.

Halaqah Corned Meats

Halaqah’s corned beef, mutton and ostrich meat are products from Brunei that contains 100 per cent meat with no preservatives added. Its bursting flavour goes very well in sandwiches or salads and even casseroles. These canned corned meats are thoroughly cooked and ready to be served as it is. Talk about easy preparation! It does not get as easy as this.


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parting words

CSI of Halal Cosmetic On the current state of the cosmetics industry and why Halal actually has a niche more powerful than green, organic and vegan combined, The Halal Journal – in our quest for independent voice – spoke to an enterprising Muslim chemist based in the United Kingdom, Dr Mah Hussain-Gambles, founder of her own range of Halal certified cosmetics. With over 15 years experience of researching skincare, and a PhD in Clinical Trials, Dr Mah is considered both the industry’s pioneer scholar and practitioner with her foray into business as founder and formulator of Saaf Pure Skincare range ( Here’s an excerpt of our ‘small talk’. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE NUMBER ONE FACTOR CONTRIBUTING TO THE BURGEONING OF THE GLOBAL COSMETICS INDUSTRY? “With an increase in global communication, mass consumerism and sophisticated marketing, there is so much social pressure on women to emulate 16-year-old, slim and tall models with porcelain skin and no signs of ageing. With improved technology, it is now also becoming easier to maintain youthful looks. With all the choices and availability, it is no surprise that female consumers are increasingly buying more cosmetics.”

I use the ecoethical (natural/ organic) stance as this sits more comfortably with nonMuslims. Like they say: small steps...

HOW CAN A HALAL LOGO HELP CHANGE THE PERCEPTION OF MAINSTREAM COSMETICS INDUSTRY? “For me, as a female Muslim consumer, seeing the Halal stamp makes me take a step back and think about what Halal stands for, which in my opinion is about purity, eco-ethical and no harm (not just for my body, but also for our planet and the animal kingdom).” SOME OF THE MORE COMMON EXCUSE MUSLIM WOMEN GIVE FROM SEEKING HALAL CERTIFIED COSMETICS IS THE SUBSTANDARD QUALITY OF THE ONES AVAILABLE. WHAT DO YOU THINK? “Sadly, I agree with these women. In the West, we have strict Cosmetic Safety Regulations, which if not adhered to, would in worst cases, mean a jail sentence and a hefty fine for the manufacturer. To get a cosmetic product to comply means it has to undergo rigorous testing and toxicological profiling. This gives me – the consumer – full confidence that if I buy a product from the West it will be ‘safe’. “Let me give you an example, to get our product into Dubai, we had to test for mercury, arsenic, chromium, pesticides and the list goes on. It actually cost us more in testing than the actual order but it just highlights the case that many products from the ‘East’ may contain these chemical nastiness. Otherwise the Middle East would not be asking for these tests.”

THE LEVEL OF AWARENESS OF “HARAM” INGREDIENTS IN MANY PRODUCTS SHOULD ALSO BE INCREASED, ON A GLOBAL SCALE. WOULD AN ASSOCIATION OF WORLD HALAL COSMETICS PRODUCERS DO ANY GOOD? “The level of awareness of Haram ingredients in cosmetics needs to be highlighted. As a Muslim Chemist, I sometimes struggle to find out which ingredients are likely to be Haram due to the INCI listing (chemical names) on the boxes. To be frank, I used to use alcohol-containing toners all the time and never thought that they would be Haram, until my husband (newly converted to Islam) pointed the obvious to me. “In the UK, we have an organisation called Naturewatch, which is a cruelty-free charity, and it publishes pamphlets going through all the skincare in the West, and pointing out which ones should be boycotted (as they test on animals) and which ones are free from animal testing. A similar model, or a website, at the very least, is a good idea so that Muslim consumers can find out which products are alright for Muslims to use.” FINALLY, THERE IS AN INCLINATION OF PEOPLE TO ASSOCIATE HALAL AND GREEN AND ORGANIC/ NATURAL. IS THIS THE BEST WE CAN DO? “I think this is a gentle route in at present, and this is the angle I am taking when I speak on the subject. At the last event in Paris (Cosmetics show), I had a hard job convincing non-Muslims that Halal certified cosmetics is in no way associated with cruelty to animals. Sadly, that is the perception in the West; to many, Halal equals inhumane killing of animals. In my presentations, I use the eco-ethical (natural/ organic) stance as this sits more comfortably with non-Muslims. hj Like they say: small steps...”


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The Halal Journal - Mar/Apr 2008  
The Halal Journal - Mar/Apr 2008  

Issue 21, March/April 2008 | Halal Cosmetics - Should You Be Concerned? | Islam And The Obsession With Beauty - How The Religion Views Cosme...