The Halal Journal - Sep/Oct 2008

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PP 13884/10/2008 (020334)

| | | SEP+OCT 2008



FOOD SERVICE SECTOR How the changes will affect you HALAL MARKET OF GERMANY HUNGER & POVERT Y The good, the bad and the ugly




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27} THE 6TH MALAYSIA INTERNATIONAL HALAL SHOWCASE Notes on the biggest Halal show on earth 30} FOODSERVICE SECTOR How the changes will affect you 32} HUNGER & POVERTY The good, the bad and the ugly 36} ISLAM AND THE HALAL INDUSTRY (PART 2) Where it starts and ends… 42} FASTRACK AMERICAS Issues Concerning the Use of Hijab 48} FASTRACK ASIA IHI Alliance formulates Global Halal Standards 49} FASTRACK ASIA Century Logistics awarded “Halal” logistics certification 49} FASTRACK ASIA Islamic Relief Malaysia’s Ramadhan Feed the Fasting Programme 2008 54} ISLAMIC FINANCE Roles and Responsibilities of Shariah Scholars in Shariah Advisory Services ©2008 KasehDia Sdn. Bhd. All Rights Reserved

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

Ed’s Note Malaysia is once again taking the lead and playing host to the global.Halal industry as many nations and corporations jostle into position to take advantage of the opportunities created by this ever fast growing market. It was however the first time the spectre of an impending global food crisis cast a shadow over the proceedings. Not all were negative news only though; with rising food prices, certain commodity production has now become economically viable as compared to before; this is an opportunity to be taken advantage of. Paradoxically, the sooner investments into productions are made; the more cost effective it will be in the long run.

Awareness is needed for those OIC countries that are net importers of food to take a more concerted stance on ensuring the Halal integrity of imported products. Darhim Dali Hashim, CEO of the International Halal Integrity (IHI) Alliance

Regulars 08} GLOBAL NEWS A brief insight into events currently shaping the Halal industry around the globe + Calendar of Events + Online Polls 52 } COUNTRY IN FOCUS Federal Republic of Germany: A Treasure Trove of History, Art, Technology & Social Culture

Living 61 } FEATURE COVER Fasting, Feasting in Ramadhan 64 } JOURNEY Essential Paris 66 } BROWSING Pho Hoa, KL in Restaurant Review; Brother Ali in Music; and Dubai & Co. and Lonesome George in Books 68 } ON DISPLAY Halal and good stuff found on the shelf 70 } SNAPSHOTS Images of recent happenings in the industry 72 } PARTING WORDS Darhim Dali Hashim, CEO of the International Halal Integrity Alliance

On the flip side inputs have gone up and you still need funds to invest at early stages of food production, it remains to be seen if the Muslim world, which produces and benefits vastly from oil trade, invests that money into projects that will increase food security for their own country as well as brother nations, or will it find its way into some hedge fund as is the case now? As many Western and other developed nations struggle with the increased food production cost and the impact it has on primary producers, there will be a natural shift to cheaper sources of food. Cheaper land, cheaper labour, and cheaper capital can offset massive price hikes; but ill conceived yet well establish trade barriers will make it increasingly difficult to access these lucrative markets in Europe, Japan and North America. Developing and Muslim world still has a lot of work to do in terms of investment into food production, quality assurance and market access. The Halal industry will need to play an important role in developing this understanding of the different economies. The Halal Journal will keep a keen eye on these developments or the lack of. Peace to all.

the Halal Journal team



Jumaatun Azmi

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Ruzanna Mohamad Hariz Ahmad Kamal Zaahira Muhammad


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Prof. Dr. Mohammad Hashim Kamali Dr. Mohamad Akram Laldin Huzaime Hamid Jaspal Singh

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Francisca Turner Sharifah Noor Juzirawati Syed Othman

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The trend, set in Malaysia, has been marketing participating countries as the perfect destinations for conservative Gulf families seeking touristic entertainment and scenic locations, without worrying about violating Muslim teachings. BY OLD TYPEWRITER

The beauty of Islamic Art is the big picture that is congruent and consistent with the finer details. The building blocks of marble in the pillar of a mosque form nicely with the gold inlay of the design that sets the eye swimming. Both are the full picture, and both are what the architect intended. It KUWAIT


In recent years, the tourism industry has increasingly begun to accommodate the needs of more conservative families in the Gulf region, launching a trend that has come to be known as “Halal tourism.” The trend, set in Malaysia, has been marketing participating countries as the perfect destinations for conservative Gulf families seeking touristic entertainment and scenic locations, without worrying about violating Muslim teachings and traditions. Turkey soon followed, shedding light on the more conservative parts of the country such as the Anatolia, where hotels do not serve alcohol and have separate swimming pools and spa facilities for men and women. Many more countries are now trying to attract tourists from Muslim countries, and thus have come to show more respect for religious beliefs of these people. The Halal tourism industry is now flying planes where no alcohol or pork products are served, and prayer times are announced, alongside the broadcast of religious programmes as part of the entertainment programmes on board. The concept of Islamic hotels is increasingly on the rise, first in the UAE, then spreading through a chain that was set up by the Gulf state’s investors. The Emirates Investment Group plans to build 150 hotels around the world by 2013, beginning in Egypt, the UAE and Malaysia, before moving on to Europe, the US and China. |SOURCE: ARAB TIMES, 12 JULY 2008

is from this example we must take our guidance when we develop the Halal industry. In the building of this industry everyone have to do our part: some will lay the stones, some will produce the gold inlay, and some will merely enjoy the labour of the craftsmen. It is up to the builders of each part to manage expectations, in line with the architect’s requirements. So that even smaller efforts are seen as moving forward on the greater agenda.



Malaysia expects to attract RM9 billion (USD2.8 billion) of investments from Gulf Arab states in the next 10 years, attracting oil money diverted from the West since Sept 11, 2001, officials said. Jalilah Baba, the head of Malaysia’s investment promotion body MIDA, said the country received RM4.5 billion worth of Gulf investments between 1980 and May this year. While Middle East investments in the past mainly involved the manufacture of basic metal products, the focus now is on the oil and gas industries, finance and the Halal food and services sectors. Gulf firms which have recently set up operations in Malaysia include Al-Rajhi Bank (1120. SE), Kuwait Finance House (KFIN.KW) and Qatar Islamic Bank (QISB.QA). A consortium led by Qatar-based Gulf Petroleum Ltd secured approval in April to develop a USD5 billion oil and petrochemical complex in Malaysia. Jalilah was speaking at the signing of an agreement with the Federation of GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) Chambers to locate a centre in Kuala Lumpur to support inter-regional trade and investments with the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Hamad Ali Safran, a senior official from the federation, said “a very high percentage” of money from the Gulf nations has been re-directed to the ASEAN region since the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US. The federation represents 760,000 firms from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Oman, which make up the GCC. |SOURCE: IN.REUTERS.COM, 15 JULY 2008



We are reminded of the simple concept that those that have the broader shoulders should bare the greater weight of the load. The journey has just begun, and with such a long way to go, we will all need to broaden our shoulders to be able to reach the goal of a developed Halal industry so that consumers can truly benefit from the promise of Halal. With the correct intention, merging the broad strokes and the fine details can only be a matter of time.

GlobalNEWS “By forging closer cooperation with Chinese companies, we can penetrate their domestic and the global Halal markets,” Dr. Wong Lai Sum, Matrade Deputy Chief Executive Officer MALAYSIA


Food manufacturers and related service industries can tap into a USD2.1 trillion Halal global market by forming strategic alliances with their Chinese counterparts. The Muslim population in China alone was about 40 million, Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) Deputy Chief Executive Officer Dr. Wong Lai Sum said at the 5th China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO) conference recently. “By forging closer cooperation with Chinese companies, we can penetrate their domestic and the global Halal markets,” she said, adding that Matrade would focus on Halal products and services, information and communications technology, automotive parts and components, electric and electronic products and services, and Malaysian brands at the event. Organised by CAEXPO and Matrade, the Expo will be held at the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Guangxi, China, from October 2225. Registration closed on July 15, but for details on CAEXPO, call 03-6207 7105, e-mail, or log on to |SOURCE: BIZ.THESTAR.COM.MY, 12 JULY 2008 BRUNEI


Brunei hopes its new Halal logo will generate trust in the country’s Halal products in Southeast Asian and international markets, said the Director of Agriculture in the Ministry of Industries and Primary Resources Normah Suria Hayati Dato Seri Utama (Dr) Jamil Al-Sufri. The Brunei Halal logo was designed to help not only in developing the local economy, but also to create a sense of “identiti jenama” (brand identity), she said. Normah Suria Hayati hoped the logo would be applied to other non-food items such as cosmetics, in accordance with the Halal Standard Guidelines and with the aim of generating quality-driven products that could be trusted. The Third Brunei International Halal Expo on August 14 featured achievements within the past year through exhibitions of local Halal products, the introduction of a Halal processing laboratory and developments in agro-technology. The Expo was also a good opportunity for local businesses to learn more about other Halal brands and about how the relevant agencies provided Halal certification. The four-day Expo was held at the International Convention Centre in Berakas. |SOURCE: BRUDIRECT.COM, 11 AUGUST 2008 AMERICA


Two Muslim women claim in a lawsuit that a Detroit area McDonald’s would not hire them because they wore traditional Islamic headscarves. The Detroit Free Press reported that Toi Whitfield of Detroit and Quiana Pugh of Dearborn filed discrimination suits at the Wayne County Circuit Court. The women said they were told by a manager that they would have to remove their Hijabs to work at the Dearborn restaurant and that he couldn’t hire them because of the scarves. A spokeswoman for McDonald’s Corp. told the newspaper that a statement would be forthcoming. The restaurant is one of only two McDonald’s in the country that sell Halal Chicken McNuggets. Dearborn has one of the nation’s largest Arab-American and Muslim communities. |SOURCE: CHICAGOTRIBUNE.COM, 24 JULY 2008


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Thailand’s fairly large Muslim population means there is always a need for Halal food. The Halal Science Centre, a part of Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, has been in existence since 1994. With a vision to be a world leader in the area, the Centre aims to develop Halal science as a discipline and undertake research and academic services to promote quality. At the same time, it aims to safeguard the faith of Muslim communities worldwide.

The goals of The Halal Science Centre are manifold: It applies science and technology to support religious requirements and spiritual safety for consumer protection. The goals of The Halal Science Centre are manifold: It applies science and technology to support religious requirements and spiritual safety for consumer protection. It researches and develops analytical techniques and products in the area of Halal science, draws up lists of Haram and Halal raw materials and chemical ingredients, and provides information and knowledge to consumers and manufactures through the media and the Internet. The use of the laboratory to determine Haram content in Halal foods was initiated in 1996 as a measure to protect Muslim consumers. Non-Muslims have also gained from the Centre’s work. It has trained and educated consumers and manufacturers in Bangkok, Pattani, Yala, Narawithas, Samutprakarn, Satun, Krabi and Phuket. The Centre has implemented the Hygiene, Assurance, Liability and Quality System (HAL-Q) for food manufacturers since 2003. HAL-Q is a system which integrates Halal food qualities with international food safety measures. |SOURCE: HALALFOCUS.COM, 8 AUGUST 2008



Germany’s main Jewish group rejected criticism of kosher slaughter practices, and was immediately backed by a Turkish group in Germany speaking on behalf of Muslims. Both Islam and Judaism reject the stunning of animals before slaughter and prescribe that animals be killed by a swift throat cut. Germany’s federal chamber of veterinarians had earlier called kosher and Halal slaughter “cruelty to animals.” The body’s President, Ernst Breitling, demanded a change in German law to end an exemption for minority butchers who,he said, had allowed 500,000 sheep to be slaughtered annually in this way. Stephan Kramer, General Secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, dismissed the demand, saying it encouraged anti-religious prejudice. “The prevention of cruelty to animals has the highest priority in Judaism and prevailed long before animalprotection societies and laws existed,” he said in Berlin. Only trained butchers were allowed to do such slaughtering and the animal lost consciousness within seconds this way. He denied stunning was more humane. The Turkish Society in Germany, a secular group with mainly Muslim members, agreed. Its President, Kenan Kolat, said in Berlin the Halal slaughter method in Islam killed animals without any cruelty. |SOURCE: EARTHTIMES (PRESS RELEASE), 9 JULY 2008

“The prevention of cruelty to animals has the highest priority in Judaism and prevailed long before animalprotection societies and laws existed,” Stephan Kramer, General Secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany INDONESIA




NOT SURE: 26.65%

YES: 46.7%


YES: 91.78%

NO: 26.65% NO: 8.22%



A French survey has alarmed barbecue lovers and consumers of Halal meat: More than one in two merguez (sausage) contain pork, the French newspaper Le Monde has revealed. According to the Code of Practice, charcuterie, merguez, or real merguez, is composed exclusively of beef and mutton. In practice, there is some tolerance for merguez containing pork, but the words merguez porc must always be present. Otherwise, “insofar as a merguez sausage is called, it must not contain pork,” says the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Repression of Fraud (DGCCRF). |SOURCE: PIGPROGRESS.NET, 28 JULY 2008 CHINA


China held a four-day international festival for Halal food and Muslim commodities in September. The Third China (Ningxia) International Festival for Halal Food and Muslim Commodities was organised by the People’s Government of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, and took place from September 10-13. The organisers held an Investment Trade Fair. With the main theme of ‘opening up, friendship, cooperation and mutual win’, the event sought to promote Halal products and to set up a platform for international cooperation on Halal food and Muslim oriented commodities. Also, to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the (Ningxia) Hui Merchants Convention, the organisers held the First Hui Merchants Convention, the Second China (Ningxia) Cashmere Products Show, and Fourth Western China’s Featured Agricultural Products Show. The festival also included seminars on a variety of related topics and was expected to receive over one thousand prominent guests from home and abroad. |SOURCE: APP.COM.PK, 3 AUGUST 2008



Indonesia has lifted a ban on New Zealand beef imports imposed a week ago. The Muslim country claimed Kiwi companies supplying Halal beef were failing to meet slaughtering and labelling standards. The ban took the New Zealand Government by surprise, but discussions have now changed the Indonesians’ minds. Indonesia lifted the ban at a meeting between its trade officials and New Zealand Trade Minister Phil Goff in Wellington in July.

Making Halal cuisine readily available in tourist destinations will encourage more tourists from Muslim countries to visit the Philippines, said officials of the country’s Department of Tourism (DOT) who also stressed the need to intensify the promotion and availability of Halal food. Halal food would help the country get a bigger share of the global Muslim tourist market, said Tourism Secretary Ace Durano. The DOT co-sponsored the recent National Halal Convention held at the Philippine Trade Training Centre in Pasay City. The two-day event gathered 600 local and national Government officials, Muslim religious leaders and experts, food manufacturers and exporters, certification professionals, local and international civic group representatives and diplomats to discuss issues on improving the production of and access to Halal food in key consumer areas of the country. The department implements a country-wide program that advocates the preparation and presentation of Halal meals and food products in hotels, restaurants, resorts and airlines.






Pakistan is ready to sign Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with Malaysia for visa abolition for diplomatic and official passport holders, and counter-terrorism, said Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani after bilateral talks with his Malaysian counterpart Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The agreement was signed in hopes of facilitating Pakistan’s links with the growing economy of ASEAN, and Gilani said it would help Pakistani exporters and industrialists source raw materials and intermediary goods from Malaysia at zero or reduced duty, enabling them to reduce the total costs of their exports. Abdullah assured him of Malaysia’s support of Pakistan’s efforts to become a full dialogue partner with ASEAN, and also accepted Gilani’s invitation to participate in the Halal Exhibition to be held in Pakistan in October 2008. He said Pakistan could contribute in a big way by offering Halal raw materials, processing and logistics services, as well as the development of cold-room storage facilities. |SOURCE: PAKISTAN DAILY, 15 JULY 2008

It would help Pakistani exporters and industrialists source raw materials and intermediary goods from Malaysia at zero or reduced duty, enabling them to reduce the total costs of their exports. MALAYSIA


Malaysia said it has the attributes and credibility to evolve as a regional biotechnology hub for the production and supply of a wide range of Halal products and services. These products and services could be marketed to Muslim communities and the entire global market, Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp) Chief Executive Officer Iskandar Mizal Mahmood told leaders from the Group of Eight Developing Countries (D-8) at their summit in Malaysia recently. Under the country’s development plan, the Malaysian Government has allocated RM2 billion (USD1 = RM3.20) to enhance the application of biotechnology in various economic sectors, including developing the Halal industry. The D-8 is an economic grouping consisting of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey. Meanwhile, Bangladesh felt that there should be a limit to the extent of high food prices influenced by the surge in demand for biofuel. “The debate is: To what extent?” Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dr. Ifthekar Ahmed Chowdhury said on the sidelines of the meeting. “We have good experience in tackling food shortages, not necessarily the cost, and are prepared to share it with D-8 member states. We will be happy if we are able to reduce the cost somewhat,” he added. |SOURCE: HINDU.COM, 3 JULY 2008 MALAYSIA


More non-Muslim entrepreneurs have Halal certificates than their Muslim counterparts, who feel that they do not need one as they are Muslim. Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim said this was a misconception on the part of Muslim entrepreneurs due to a lack of awareness and understanding of the Halal concept. Muslim entrepreneurs also have to apply for the Halal certificate, especially when they were planning to export their products, she told reporters after opening the state-level National Halal Industry Development Seminar here. On the seminar, she said it was aimed at creating awareness on the importance of the Halal standards to entrepreneurs and consumers. HDC Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin said the Government provided grants to companies, including small and medium enterprises, to acquire Halal certificates for their products. |SOURCE: BERNAMA, 6 AUGUST 2008 12 THE HALAL JOURNAL | SEP+OC T 2008

“With the setting up of Halal hub complexes nationwide, PIHB believes this will offer bigger opportunities for SMEs to become more productive and competitive in the Halal industry, which demands high quality nationwide and in the world,” he said. Datuk Dr Abdullah Md Zin, PIHB Chairman



Perbadanan Industri Halal Bhd (PIHB) intends to set up 40 Halal hub complexes nationwide by 2010, said its Chairman Datuk Dr Abdullah Md Zin. He said the complexes would offer various products like daily necessities, healthcare, cosmetics and medicines under one roof. “The first complex will start operations in December through the purchase of Warta Selayang complex today,” he told reporters after witnessing the signing of an agreement to buy the building in Kuala Lumpur. Abdullah said the building cost RM28 million and the company would spend about RM15 million to refurbish it. He said the Selayang Halal hub complex was the first supermarket of its kind in Malaysia offering goods that were pure and clean. Abdullah said the complex would welcome customers of all races and faiths with its slogan ‘Halal Hub - Halal for All’. He said the establishment of Halal hub complexes would also give small and medium enterprises (SMEs) the opportunity to sell their products, as they produced many Halal goods. “With the setting up of Halal hub complexes nationwide, PIHB believes this will offer bigger opportunities for SMEs to become more productive and competitive in the Halal industry, which demands high quality nationwide and in the world,” he said. Meanwhile, PIHB Managing Director Datuk Norashikin Shahrom said PIHB had identified 15 strategic locations in Sarawak, Sabah, Penang, Selangor, Perak and Johor to set up the Halal hub complexes. |SOURCE: BERNAMA, 7 AUGUST 2008



The Fourth World Halal Forum (WHF), slated for May next year, will address trade and market access issues for Halal products. Themed “Achieving Global Halal Integrity”, the two-day forum from May 18 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre will focus on 10 standard modules and their impact on business. WHF deputy chairman Nordin Abdullah said over 2,500 delegates, the biggest number ever, were expected at the forum which would be split into two sessions: The first on business and investment, and the second on standardisation and integrity. The forum’s endorsement by the 59-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) at the recent Foreign Ministers’ Meeting would help woo more delegates, he said at the WHF 2008 sponsors’ appreciation lunch here. “Right now the OIC is looking at Malaysia to be the role model for the development of the Halal industry in OIC member states,” he added. |SOURCE: BERNAMA, 13 AUGUST 2008

“Right now the OIC is looking at Malaysia to be the role model for the development of the Halal industry in OIC member states,” Nordin Abdullah,WHF deputy chairman THAILAND


Thai restaurants are being urged to improve the quality of their food to meet stringent Muslim standards in order to better serve the growing tourist segment. Thai restaurants could gain more income if they improve food quality to Halal standards. Currently, only 30 restaurants meet the Halal Food Services Standard for Tourism developed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Halal Standard Institute of Thailand. Tourist arrivals from the Middle East have risen steadily over the years. In 2007, visitors from the region rose 20 per cent year-on-year to 453,891. They spent an average of 9.48 days in Thailand, with per capita spending of (baht?) 4,276.14 per day. For the first five months this year, Middle East visitors via Suvarnabhumi airport totalled 67,993, up 16.6 per cent from the same period last year. The TAT is forecasting Middle East visitors to total 476,900 this year and 482,200 next year. The statistics exclude the two million visitors from other countries with large Muslim populations including Malaysia, Indonesia and India. According to Thanitta Maneechote, director of the Tourism Development Office, the TAT is preparing to approach more restaurants, particularly on tourist routes, to encourage them to adopt Halal standards. It expects to see a total of 80 Halal-certified restaurants next year. |SOURCE: BANGKOKPOST.COM, 11 AUGUST 2008

15TH OCTOBER 2008 WORLD HALAL FORUM CEO ROUNDTABLE II Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia KasehDia Sdn Bhd T: +603 6203 1025 F: +603 6203 4072 E:

19-23RD OCTOBER 2008 SIAL, PARIS Paris Nord Villepinte France Exhibition Centre, France T: +33 1 49 68 56 10 E:

11 – 13TH NOVEMBER 2008 HALAL WORLD EXPO – ABU DHABI IIR Middle East PO Box 28943 Dubai, UAE IIR Middle East T: +971 4 3365161 F: +971 4 336 5886 E:

18 – 19TH NOVEMBER 2008 5TH KUALA LUMPUR ISLAMIC FINANCE FORUM 2008 Istana Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia CERT Events Sdn Bhd T: +603 4108 1439 F: +603 4106 1549 E: 25-26TH NOVEMBER 2008 WORLD HALAL FORUM INDUSTRY DIALOGUE SARAWAK Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia KasehDia Sdn Bhd T: +603 6203 1025 F +603 6203 4072 E:



Marhaba Halal Food launched in the UK, for the first time, a new range of Halal Belgian chocolates, cake bars and sweets. Waitrose stocked the confectionery from August 23 in 35 stores nationwide, and Harrods sold the range in time for Ramadan. Marhaba products have been Halal inspected and certified, and guarantee Halal hygiene and traceability. Demand for Halal products is on the increase amongst the UK’s 1.6 million Muslims, and the population is growing all the time with an estimated Halal market consumption of around £700 million. As well as Harrods and Waitrose, Marhaba is also currently talking to distributors with the view of rolling out the product nationally in supermarkets, co-ops and c-store chains. The range is already selling very well in Holland and was launched in France in time for Ramadan. Demand for high-quality Halal products is also on the rise amongst the 15 million Muslims across Europe. A chain of hypermarkets in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Qatar has also shown great interest in the range. |SOURCE: ASIANIMAGE.CO.UK, 5 AUGUST 2008

27-28TH NOVEMBER 2008 THE STRATEGIC RICE AND FOOD SECURITY CONFERENCE Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia KasehDia Sdn Bhd T: +603 6203 1025 F: +603 6203 4072 E:

9-10TH DECEMBER 2008 INDEPENDENT POVERTY DIALOGUE Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Dasar Kurnia Sdn Bhd T: +603 6203 1025 F: +603 6203 4072 E:




Speakers at SFS Mauritius 2008 - From left to right: Mr. Mahmood Anguillia, Mr. Zairulnizad Shahrim, Mr. Roslan Abdul Razak, Mr. Brian Kettell, Ms. Norfidah Abdullah, Mr. Tan Chee Peng, Mr. Joseph A. Divanna, Mr. Ahmed Moola, Mrs. Hari Bhambra.

The Shari’ah-compliant Finance Summit (SFS) Mauritius 2008 was successfully concluded on 14th August 2008 at the Maritim Hotel, Mauritius. It drew more than 100 participants from various financial services, corporate, government/ investment/ regulatory agencies and SME/SMI organisations in Mauritius, Africa and the Middle East, local and international solution service providers/ consultancy firms, media and graduating students. SFS Mauritius 2008 was officiated by Dr Streevarsen Narrainen on behalf of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, the Honourable Rama Sithanen. Organised by Team Synthesis (Mauritius & Africa) Ltd in collaboration with the Board of Investment, the three-day summit was a

booming success. With top-notch speakers and attendees from the UK, US, Malaysia, Singapore, Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Bahrain, the SFS provided full coverage of the second generation of Shari’ah-compliant banking and finance products. The SFS also kick-started the operational seeding of the regional Centre of Excellence (COE) for Shari’ahcompliant Finance in Mauritius by focusing on the three key aspects of the Government’s 2007/08 objective: 1. SF must add dynamism to MRU FRI & IFC (instruments choice) 2. Inclusive financial system offering broader circle of opportunities 3. Globalise MRU FSI & increase the export of financial services In line with the said government objectives, SFS Mauritius 2008 covered three aspects of its own: 1. Banking, Takaful and Sukuk emerging as second generation trends and best practices 2. Innovation, products and services

meant for both FSI professionals and the public at large covering new ideas and opportunities 3. A stellar line-up of world class CEOs and practitioners collaborating with industrious and innovative local players, in the hope that it helps give rise to a win-win value proposition. Following the success of SFS Mauritius 2008 and based on feedback from conference attendees, courses have been planned to maintain the momentum on certification and training. Four different courses were planned including Shariah-compliant Banking: The A-Z of Operationalising SB in Conventional Banks, 17th - 19th November 2008; Shari’ahcompliant Finance: The A-Z of Operationalising Takaful Workshop, 17th - 19th March 2009; Shari’ahcompliant Fund Management: From Concept to Reality, 12th - 14th May 2009; and SFS Mauritius 2009: Global SF Success Stories in Mauritius and Beyond, 20th - 22nd October 2009. For more information, log on hj to



An international seminar entitled Awqaf: The Social and Economic Empowerment of The Ummah, was concluded recently. The two-day seminar was aimed at attracting foreign as well as local participants to discuss related issues, exchange thoughts, ideas and experiences and formulate a resolution to achieve the social empowerment and economic independence of the Ummah through Awqaf. This seminar was also targeted to be the platform to address the prospects and potential of investing in 14 THE HALAL JOURNAL | SEP+OC T 2008

Awqaf properties via Islamic financial investment. The seminar, which drew over 300 participants, was jointly organised by the Department of Awqaf, Zakat and Hajj (JAWHAR), Kumpulan Wakaf An-Nur Bhd (KWANB), the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM) and Johor Corporation. The seminar brought participants from Singapore, Indonesia as well as from the Middle East to discuss pertinent issues with the objective of bringing Islamic economics to the next level. With extensive support from organisations such as state Islamic affairs departments, regulators, Islamic financial institutions, various chambers of commerce, professional associations, academicians and regional media groups, the seminar

enabled participants to meet and network with key decision-makers of the various stakeholders. Keeping up with the evergrowing Islamic finance and the Halal industries, the seminar provided insights into what draws new institutions of Awqaf. It enabled participants to identify the obstacles, challenges, problems and opportunities in the development of Awqaf and its economic sustainability at the national and international levels. Most importantly, the seminar addressed the prospects of investments in Awqaf properties via Islamic finance and investment, and highlighted the potential of Awqaf as the social and economic framework for achieving the social empowerment and economic hj independence of the Ummah.



Visitors at the Malaysian Pavillion.

Having staged two successful expos, the third International Halal Products Expo (IHPE) at Brunei Darussalam proved that the Halal industry in the country is very much up and running. The four-day event presented visitors with a variety of products ranging from Halal consumables; Halal-certified premises, non-food products and services; Islamic investment, banking and Takaful (Islamic insurance) products and services; Government agencies and associations; and food packaging, machinery and catering equipment. The highlight of IHPE 2008 was the promotion of the Brunei Halal Brand, which by nature of its strict compliance and conformity to Shariah requirements and specifications, is a certification that can be trusted by Muslim consumers worldwide. Brunei’s commitment to developing the Brunei Halal brand included tapping into the expertise of a UK-based consultancy in drawing up a master plan for an agro-technology park to support the Sultanate’s aim of creating a niche in the global market for Halal products. IHPE 2008 was held from Aug 14-17, and placed Brunei on the international Halal map, which augurs well for the country’s plans of becoming a significant player in the regional Halal economy. The event continues to provide an important platform to showcase the country’s capabilities and commitment to this increasingly valuable market segment. This year has seen the largest number of participants so far, with 260 booths exhibiting 180 companies from 13 countries. Local companies occupied 113 booths, while 67 were drawn from other countries, including 42 from Malaysia; six each from Indonesia and Australia; 16 THE HALAL JOURNAL | SEP+OC T 2008

The highlight of IHPE 2008 was the promotion of the Brunei Halal Brand, which by nature of its strict compliance and conformity to Shariah requirements and specifications, is a certification that can be trusted by Muslim consumers worldwide. two each from Singapore, the Philippines and China; and the rest from Algeria, Dubai, India, Syria, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. Since the Aug 1, 2008, enforcement of the Halal Certificate and Label Order 2005 in Brunei, 12 companies have applied to use the logo, and nine so far have been granted the right to use the Brunei Halal logo. IHPE 2008 was jointly organised by the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Ministry of Health. These Ministries also organised The International Halal Market Conference (IHMC) 2008, concurrently with the Expo Thirteen speakers spoke on the theme “The Emergence of the Halal Market Economy”: AbdalHamid Evans, Normah Jamil, Ahmad Adam, Salleh Abdullah Lootah, Mohamad Faisal Fadzil, Annette Isaac, Othman

Md Yusoff, Marco Tieman, Shahed Amanullah, David Smith, Prof Dr Abd-ElAziem Farouk Gad, Selma Djukic and Redhuan D. Oon. IHMC 2008 gave participants another opportunity to increase their knowledge through presentations and discussions on various issues, research findings and the latest developments in the Halal industry. Collectively, IHPE and IHMC 2008 provided avenues to learn and to increase public access to trade representatives, special product prices and the presentation of new brands and product ranges. With three successful Expos, IHPE and IHMC are likely to further assist companies wishing to strengthen their involvement in the Halal market. The events will also help create more awareness to ensure support from related industries for excellence and innovation in the development of the Halal industry. hj

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


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

event highlights

THE THIRD ISLAMIC BANKING, ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE CONFERENCE 2008 July 30th this year saw the close of the two-day Islamic Banking, Accounting and Finance Conference 2008 (iBAF 2008), organised by the Faculty of Economics of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM). Held at the Legend Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, iBAF 2008 saw xxx number of participants consisting of experts, academics and students, both local and foreign, from various local universities and learning institutions. Themed “Financial Intelligence in Wealth Management: Islam Hadhari’s Perspective”, the conference was relevant to Malaysia’s aspirations of becoming a key resource and service provider in Islamic wealth management. The conference gathered shared knowledge in various areas in an effort to determine the best methods of educating and providing information to parties that dealt with portfolio management and the provision of Islamic financial services. With the participation of academics and industry practitioners involved in Islamic banking and finance, the conference covered many key issues in Islamic finance today. The first day opened with a workshop on Islamic structured products and derivatives by Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar, President of the International Institute of Islamic Finance (IIIF), followed by the official opening of the conference by Dato’ Azmi Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of SME Bank, and a welcome address by USIM Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dato’ Dr. Abdul Shukor Husin. Following that were presentations on Islamic wealth

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Participants at the third Islamic Banking, Accounting and Finance Conference 2008

management, Fiqh Muamalat issues in Islamic banking and finance, issues in Islamic banking and financial services (part 1), and risk management, accounting and auditing for Islamic banking and finance. The second day of the conference saw presentations on strategic issues in wealth management, Shariah and legal Issues, issues in Islamic banking and financial services (part 2), marketing and services issues of Islamic banks, issues in Islamic finance and investment,

and the Islamic capital market. The last two sessions also included a Doctoral Colloquium as an avenue for postgraduate students to present their Master’s or PhD thesis findings, frameworks or proposals. Academic experts in Islamic banking and finance chaired the colloquium. Overall, the conference was a successful and fruitful one for both the organisers and participants. We look forward to the fourth Islamic Banking, Accounting and hj Finance Conference next year.

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TRACEABILITY AND THE GLOBAL HALAL INDUSTRY The World Halal Forum CEO Round Table (WHF CEO) on “Traceability and the Global Halal Industry” saw over 90 participants representing multinational corporations, local businesses and Government Ministries and agencies. The roundtable, held on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, was the first in a series of CEO roundtables, and the issue of traceability — coupled with the current food security situation — took centre stage as it has become of increasing global importance. Traceability is a very good tool to ensure that systems within organisations comply with the strict regulations of the European Union, which in turn helps companies ease their entry into the EU market. WHF CEO highlighted the importance of traceability in the Halal industry, and noted that traceability will also improve the quality of food products for export and internal consumption. Inevitably, it will also improve

A gathering of CEOs to discuss traceability issues...

the balance of trade in food products. The meeting, which was divided into two sessions, emphasised that traceability also ensures safety throughout the entire supply chain, making it possible to trace elements such as allergens in products, as well as keep track of product expiry dates. Traceability deals with record-keeping, which helps companies take prompt action when faced with problems and helps them prevent potential losses of reputation, as well as brand and business credibility. The WHF CEO roundtables are the perfect platform to help companies position themselves to take the best

advantage of the Halal industry. It also helps them discuss, identify and outline standards for the industry and its supply chains. The series is an initiative in line with the World Halal Forum Charter endorsed by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, and the roundtables assist and support the development of world-class Halal industry standards hj covering the entire value chain.


TRADE AND MARKET ACCESS The WHF CEO Round Table series is an initiative in line with the World Halal Forum Charter, which is designed to assist and support the development of world-class Halal industry standards covering the entire value chain. With trade and market access being a recurring theme and an issue highlighted during the recent WHF 2008, the second CEO Roundtable, themed Trade and Market Access, is specifically tailored to deal with issues at the highest level, enabling companies to make strategic decisions and to understand the cutting edge of the Halal industry. “Trade of Halal goods and services is growing at a rapid rate, creating increased competition and significantly widening the information gap between 20 THE HALAL JOURNAL | SEP+OC T 2008

the Muslim world and Halal suppliers. This may be the biggest challenge facing the continued growth of this industry,” said Nordin Abdullah, Deputy Chairman of the World Halal Forum. In order to understand the industry and its issues and challenges, the CEO Round table will be highlighting key segments such as: • Local investment strategies for overseas market penetration • Understanding destination regulatory requirements • Global standards & impact on trade • Increasing intra OIC trade • ASEAN Free Trade agreement • Navigating foreign markets • Multi-lateral vs. Bilateral agreements & impact on business • Benefits & roles of Islamic trade finance • Increasing global Halal trade and the challenges it presents • Strategic reverse investment as a facilitator to trade The CEO Roundtable is expected to help companies position themselves to take the best advantage of the Halal industry

and at the same time help them to discuss, identify and outline a standard of unity for the industry and supply chain, benefiting the entire sector and supporting sustainable development. For success in the globalised economy, government officials, the business community, and representatives from academia and non-governmental organisations must have opportunities to discuss actions that will lead to effective strategies and smart partnerships between the public and private sectors. It is hoped that this CEO Roundtable meeting will generate ideas to meet the challenges and sustain the momentum in the development hj of the global Halal industry.




event highlights EVENT: WORLD HALAL FORUM INDUSTRY DIALOGUE (WHF ID) SARAWAK DATE: 25-26 NOVEMBER 2008 VENUE: KUCHING, SARAWAK, MALAYSIA In recent years, many OIC economies have grown on the back of high oil and commodity prices. These developments have increased wealth for parts of the Muslim world, but many of these economies still struggle to evolve into developed nations. Economic growth has created an unprecedented demand for services in the Muslim world, translating into demands for “traditional” services, while fuelling a boom in a wide range of new services. To cater for the 1.8 billion Muslims globally, there have been numerous industry developments -- the most prominent of which are the Islamic finance and the Halal industries. With a view towards developing these industries to their next

levels, the inaugural World Halal Forum Industry Dialogue (WHF ID) Sarawak to be held from 25-26 November in Kuching, Malaysia, will focus on six key areas: • Exporting the Islamic capital market model • Wakaf and the role of the corporation • Zakat as a development tool • Muslim nations as exporters of educational services • Globally-compliant services for the Halal industry • Developing a relevant and just legal system for Muslim nations With the steady growth of the world’s Muslim population, unique services need to be identified for Muslims to help them engage effectively in the modern, globalised arena. Thus,

questions will turn towards what Muslim world service providers have to offer, and how Muslim economies (and Islamic financial services) can help to eradicate poverty, as well as other urgent matters. The forum will help answer these questions and will examine the impact of social and economic developments on the world’s Muslims. The event will be of especial interest to policy makers, the media, academia, as well as businessmen and industry leaders. For more information, or to register, log on to www. or contact the WHF ID Sarawak Secretariat at +603 6203 1025 or email hj


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



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

rice production • Food security in the Muslim World The conference will culminate in all stakeholders, including policy makers, industry leders, business communities and the media, having a better understanding of the forces causing the food crisis, the ideal solutions and myriad of opportunities it presents for the rice industry. Through this conference, it will help find solutions for over 1 billion people hj affected by the food crisis.


ABU DHABI BUILDING SOLID PLATFORM FOR A GLOBALISED HALAL INDUSTRY Abu Dhabi is building a solid platform to create globalised standards in the Halal industry, a rapidly expanding business now reaching 1.8 billion consumers worldwide and worth an estimated USD2.1 trillion. While Malaysia and Brunei have well-established regulatory bodies to verify products that are Halal compliant, and levels of protection are in place in countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, there is a growing demand for a universal standard that would be applicable to all Halal products. Meeting that demand will require a major combined effort between the industry and government authorities. Abu Dhabi’s role in creating and developing a comprehensive Halal trade event, bringing together major players and experts from around the world, has been highlighted as an important catalyst for this purpose. Halal World Expo, the Middle East’s largest and most comprehensive event dedicated to the global Halal industry, takes place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 11-13 November, 2008. With the official support of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Halal World Expo is being encouraged by the Abu Dhabi Government to ensure the event emphasises discussions that will reinforce efforts to set up globalised standards for the Halal industry. “Following the event’s successful launch last December, the Government sees this year’s exhibition as another crucial step in increasing the role the UAE plays in meeting the demand from Halal consumers worldwide,” said Christine Weaver, Exhibition Director for Halal World Expo. “It will give national industry leaders the chance to work together with global professionals from countries such as Malaysia, South Africa, Brunei, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, which have Halal compliance systems in place. “It is often taken for granted that processed food and products 24 THE HALAL JOURNAL | SEP+OC T 2008

available in supermarkets of an Islamic country like the UAE are fully Halal compliant, unless it is stated that it is for ‘non-Muslim’ consumption or use. “While there are currently systems in place to protect consumers in the UAE, the rapid growth pattern in the Halal consumer market means there is increasing demand for a globalised standard across all Halal products. A universal standard will provide consumers with peace of mind when making buying decisions which are directly related to their lifestyle and beliefs,” she said. The diversity of the Halal industry is being highlighted within Halal World Expo 2008, which has introduced a number of dedicated product sectors aimed at catering to the increasing demand for Shariah compliant products and services. The event will see the introduction of a dedicated Islamic Finance Pavilion for the $700 billion Islamic finance sector, along with an Islamic fashion showcase so suppliers can portray their varying styles. With its dense concentration of Muslim consumers, the Middle East is one of the premier users of quality Halal products, and there is huge potential for the Halal industry to produce and distribute high-quality, regulationcertified Halal products throughout the region.

In the UAE, 80 per cent of imported food is Halal, with products coming from countries such as Brazil and Australia, the latter exporting 43,071 tonnes of mutton, 17,685 tonnes of lamb and 3,312 tonnes of beef to the Middle East in 2006. Last year the Emirates accounted for 7.77 per cent of the world’s lamb and beef imports and 15.38 per cent of all poultry imports, second only to Saudi Arabia. The UAE is a major Halal industry hub, importing and channelling an estimated AED550 million worth of Halal merchandise each year, and the Gulf region as a whole has a huge requirement for Halal food. The latest industry trends will be highlighted on 11–12 November at the Halal World Expo Forum, which runs alongside Halal World Expo. During the forum, industry leaders will present a series of diverse topics the industry needs to address. For more details or registration details for Halal World Expo from 11–13 November, contact the organisers directly on +971 (0) 4 336 5161 or visit their website on hj

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Islamic banking and finance is the fastest growing financial market segment, with competition becoming fiercer by the day. The concept of an Islamic financial system is now fully understood worldwide and its parameters are no longer in doubt. However, some fundamental issues still need to be addressed before Islamic Finance can claim to be a part of the mainstream financial system. In accelerating the development of Islamic banking and finance, the Centre of Research and Training (CERT) is taking the great opportunity of organising the fifth Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum (KLIFF 2008). KLIFF offers an integrated basis for promoting a dialogue on Islamic Finance to foster its orderly development as an efficient, competitive, sound and innovative financial system, particularly in a rapidly changing global environment. CERT, in collaboration with Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes (DJIM), the International Institute of Islamic Finance (IIIF) and Messrs. Hisham, Sobri and Kadir (HSK) are proud to present the 5th Kuala Lumpur

Islamic Finance Forum 2008, which is scheduled to be held from 17–20 November 2008 at the Istana Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC) and the Halal Development Industry Corporation (HDC) will co-host this grand event. In addition, the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC), who has come onboard as a strategic partner, has approved KLIFF 2008. KLIFF 2008 will highlight the 3rd KLIFF Shariah Forum on 17 November. The main forum will be held on 18 –19 November; the gala dinner and KLIFF Islamic Finance Awards 2008 on 18 November; and the master class workshops on 17 and 20 November. For more information on the events, contact Zarina and Ana from CERT Events Sdn Bhd at +603 4108 1439 or email zarina@cert. and my or visit the event’s website hj at



Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Hj Ahmad Badawi at the opening ceremony of MIHAS 2008

Visitors eagerly queuing and waiting to be registered for entrance to MIHAS 2008...

Themed “A Fusion of Halal Worlds”, MIHAS 2009 offers the largest and most comprehensive showcase of the world’s Halal products under one roof. MIHAS, which is also Malaysia’s largest food and beverage expo, will gather various sectors of the industry from food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, herbal products, cosmetics, health care to banking and financial services. Since its first showcase in 2004, MIHAS has established itself as the premier event anticipated by the Halal business community of the world, and has since then clocked significant mileage and earned a reputation as an international showcase that effectively energises the world Halal market. Support from various countries across Southeast Asia and the Middle East to Europe has equipped MIHAS with the extra edge to break through barriers to enter new, young and vibrant markets committed to serve the needs of the Halal consumer and to reach a qualityconscious generation seeking quality Halal food products. Over the past five years, MIHAS has created business opportunities, introduced new products and developed fresh ideas, accommodating various industry players locally and internationally in the Halal food and services industry. To be held from 6 to 10 May at the MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur, MIHAS 2009 expects to see more than 600 booths from 25 countries, an encouraging increase from its debut show in 2004. A trade fair with a difference, MIHAS does not only showcase food; it embraces the concept of Halal by displaying a complete range of related products and services, including food, beverages, meat, poultry and dairy, ingredients, emulsifiers and raw materials, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals products as well as food processing and packaging equipment. A comprehensive Shariah-compliant financial industry is also represented at MIHAS, offering value-added Islamic banking, capital market and takaful products and services

which fuel economic growth. Like any other industry, the Halal industry responds to the needs and demands of the consumer. Muslims form many different cultures and societies around the world and this has prompted the food industry to prepare a range of Halal products. A tremendous demand for Halal consumables has in turn given added value to MIHAS. MIHAS is not only a gateway to the Malaysian market, but more importantly is a springboard to the Muslim consumer market of ASEAN and the rest of the world. The presence of prominent buyers at MIHAS, especially from Malaysia and its ASEAN neighbours, allows international Halal entrepreneurs to gauge receptiveness to their products and their potential in the huge ASEAN market. This international trade fair continues to attract global attention, especially among captains of industry, influential policy makers, entrepreneurs, importers, retail consultants, buyers from prominent hypermarket and supermarket chains, and important wholesalers from countries across the globe. MIHAS is hosted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and jointly organised by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and the Islamic Dakwah Foundation

Malaysia, in association with the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development (MECD). Industry presentations, seminars and market briefings by foreign countries will also be held concurrently with MIHAS. This will pave the way for Halal manufacturers and producers to meet, network and trade with international buyers who seek new products and ideas. MIHAS 2009 presents a fusion of Halal worlds that will inspire the Halal industry to move further and beyond. MIHAS is growing from strength to strength and we proudly invite you to explore the exciting opportunities and embrace new ideas that await you in MIHAS 2009. Be a part of this USD 2.1 trillion market. Be a part of MIHAS 2009. For more information on MIHAS and its exciting opportunities visit our website or contact: MIHAS SECRETARIAT Level 8, West Wing, Menara MATRADE Jalan Khidmat Usaha, Off Jalan Duta 50480 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Tel: +603 6203 4433 Fax: +603 6203 4422 hj Email:



Cover Story

By Irfan Sungkar, KasehDia Head of Research and Strategy



Food security is undoubtedly an issue of prime importance that Muslim countries are facing today, as it penetrates to the heart of the concept of human survival.


ccording to the World Food Summit 1996, food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy lifestyle. Hence, it is not only a question of food availability, but also the ability of the population to have access to food, which is related to the distribution system, ability to pay, and so on. Some of the food security effects resulting from domestic agriculture and food production may be expressed through market mechanism and transmissions, but others are public goods, such as the assured and secured feeling of a certain level of self-sufficiency or the provision of national strategic needs, for example food safety and balanced nutrition. Many Muslim countries after gaining national independence became dependent on agriculture and food production. They became the producers and suppliers to the world food market, particularly in terms of primary agriculture and food products. However, the value added of these agriculture and food raw materials was very small and almost negligible; that is when they bought back processed food products for domestic consumption to feed their population, they had to pay much more. In addition to that, many Muslim countries face problems of inadequate food production due to insufficient food supplies and inefficient food distribution system. In this context, this has led to dependency on massive import from other countries to meet their basic requirements. Overdependence on food imports threw some of the poor countries including those of Muslim countries into a vicious debt cycle. In the global context, the negative consequence of food security is staggering. The number of people without enough food to eat on a regular basis is estimated to be more than 800 million out of a 6.4 billion world population. Over 60 per cent of the world’s undernourished people live in Asia, and a quarter in Africa, whereby most are Muslim-majority countries. The latest FAO figures indicate that there are


22 countries, 16 of which are in Africa, in which the prevalence rate of malnutrition is over 35 per cent. THE ISLAMIC CONCEPT ON FOOD SECURITY Now, let us look at the Islamic concept on food security. Many scholars such as Hassan [1991] has reiterated the Islamic position on food security. There is no doubt that food, clothing and shelter are bare necessities for the survival and basic needs of a human being. Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h prayed: “Allah, I ask thy refuge from apostasy, scarcity and ignominy” (reported in Bukhari); and “Allah, I ask thy refuge from hunger for it is the worst bed fellow” (reported in Nasa’i). The vision of an organised Islamic living is among others, the guarantee to every human being of the fulfilment of their basic needs, which literally include food security. Despite the wellto-do of the society and religious responsibility to the needy, the state or government leaders bear the ultimate responsibility of arranging fulfilment of basic needs including creating a policy to overcome food security issues. In reality, this

the paradox is clear.

It is really shocking to note that the two major food famine in recent history in which millions of people dies of starvation occurred in Muslim countries.

represents a daunting task for many Muslim countries at present given the lack of clear and consistent economic and food production policy. In the context of state leadership, as stated by Hassan [2001], the Prophet p.b.u.h said that: “The Ruler is the guardian of one who has no guardian” (reported in Tirmidzi). Therefore, it is clear that the role of state leadership is important to ensure that food security can be achieved. However, there are also ample evident from the Holy Qur’an for man to be involved in food production: “He it is has made the earth a cradle for you, and has traced out for you ways (of livelihood) thereon and (who) send down waters from the sky; and by this means We bring forth various kinds of plants” (Qur’an, Surah Ta’Ha, verse 53). THE PARADOX OF MUSLIM COUNTRIES: DIVERGING WEALTH The paradox of the problem is demonstrated by the striking phenomena that many Muslim countries are experiencing food shortages and deficits in food trade balance. Production factors are plenty; population and labour supply is enormous and at the same time cheap, and land is abundant while Islamic banking and finance are flourishing. The paradox is clear. For example in MiddleEastern countries alone the total size of their Sovereign Wealth Fund easily exceeds USD 1.2 trillion. But on the other hand, numerous Muslim countries are experiencing tragic conditions of food shortages and chronic inflation. It is really shocking to note that the two major food famine in recent history in which millions of people dies of starvation occurred in Muslim countries. In the early 40s, widespread famine and hunger in Bengal

(currently known as Bangladesh and the state of West Bengal in India), which existed due to economic malfunction, had resulted in the deaths of more than four million people from starvation and malnutrition. This happened when the food production in that area was high; except most of the food was exported and this left the domestic population to face famine and starvation. FOOD AS THE NEW WEAPON FOR GLOBAL DOMINANCE Nowadays, it is easy to witness that global dominance can be achieved in so many ways. Gone are days when modern warfare is the only deterrent. Indeed, food is successfully being used as a weapon to achieve economic and political domination, and hegemony as well as political subservience of poor countries. The simple fact is, however we try to preserve our own justification that we are progressing, we will always be internally unstable and externally vulnerable so long as food security is a threat. Although self-sufficiency in all food products is neither desirable nor economically justifiable, we should, at a considerable degree, have a certain ‘safety level’ and ‘group accessibility’ to food products, especially those of staple food products. OVERCOMING FOOD SECURITY We are now at a juncture of mindset change… We have been fed by the thought that our own resources are limited so we have to preserve it and get something else that we do not have. First and foremost, we must understand that our resources are not limited. It is our ability as humankind to use resources at an efficient and productive manner that is limited, and not the resources itself. Increasing food supply within a country is the most favourable option, although it does not guarantee that poor people will have access to it. Hence, accessibility to food and the objective of food security can only be achieved if the economic status of the lower income groups can be upgraded. In the Islamic approach to economic development, every person in a community must contribute to the development of the community. For example Zakat: through effective collection and distribution of Zakat, the wealth of communities could be improved. Our ideas are not complete and we are living in a society where we are the laggard. We are no longer winners. The good old days will only be back when we are able to re-set our minds and deliver effective and comprehensive socioeconomic policies that are able to increase our self-sufficiency in food production. Only then will the present paradox faced by many Muslim countries be history for our grandchildren... hj

REFERENCES: ASEAN Secretariat. 2006. Country Case Studies on Multi-functionality of Agriculture in ASEAN Countries. The ASEAN Secretariat and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan. Jakarta, Indonesia. Hassan, Nik Mustapha. 2001. The Concept of Food Security in Islam. Institute of Islamic Understanding of Malaysia (IKIM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.



THE FOODSERVICE SECTOR RM1,999 (USD320–USD640) spend only about 33.1 per cent in the same category (see Figure 1). The above illustrates the positive correlation between income and trends towards eating out in food service outlets. Therefore, with the projected sustained increase in income, a greater proportion of spending will be directed towards eating out in food service outlets rather than dining at home. FOURTH, the rise in consumer demand for Western-style food, such as burgers, French fries, sausages, pizza and fried chicken is another factor that has stimulated the rise of the food service sector in Malaysia. The increased level of Westernisation correlates to the popularity of Western fast-foods and coffee-shops, etc. FIFTH, the growing number of tourists visiting Malaysia during the period Visit Malaysia Year 2007 has seen a direct increase in food spending. Tourist spending on food products

has helped propel the growth of the food services sector in Malaysia, and has assisted in nurturing new and innovative food service concepts. The above trends have led to a transformation towards a greater proportion of food service sales vis-à-vis retail food sales in Malaysia between 2000 and 2007, as indicated in Figure 2. Trends indicating the proportionate increase of the food service sector relative to the retail food sector also can be seen in several other Asian countries such as in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and many others, and are among the main factors behind the growth of this sector in these countries. Generally, it can be said that these trends also occur in most developed and developing countries, albeit in varying degrees and magnitude. PURCHASING REQUIREMENTS Purchasing requirements by the food service sector
















> 5000

70_ 60_ 50_ 40_ 30_ 20_ 10_ 0_



Sources: Calculated from the 2006 Household Expenditure Survey, Department of Statistics Malaysia, and KasehDia Analysis









Sources: KasehDia Foodservice Survey 2008; interview with industry sources, and various publications

are very stringent. This is primarily due to the fact that international players in the food service sector are governed by strict guidelines established by their global brand owners. One of the key elements that these parties must always ensure is the minimisation of possible food-borne illnesses. For the foodservice sector, the danger of food-borne illness is immense and must be avoided at all costs, and this has a direct impact on the requirements of quality and safety standards for suppliers. Based on our recent survey conducted on almost 500 respondents representing various segments within the food service sector in the region (quick-serve restaurants, coffee shops, catering services, hotels, etc), a high percentage (about 93.1 per cent) revealed that they required their food suppliers to have safety certifications such as GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) or HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical

Control Points). In addition to food safety and quality requirements, adherence to strict Halal requirements is also necessary for food service outlets in Malaysia, reflecting rising awareness and concern for Halal integrity throughout the supply chain. With rising disposable income in Malaysia, urbanisation and the growing popularity of eating out in the food service outlets, the total sales of the food service sector is projected to grow to USD7.5 billion by 2010. This creates enormous opportunities for local suppliers of food service outlets, and inserts them in the global supply chain owned by multinational food service companies operating in almost every part of the world. These developments also conform to the Malaysian Government’s desire to harness the growth of the domestic Halal food industry and aid its evolution into a worldclass industry that puts the country on the map as an international Halal Hub. hj





n general, compared to other economic sectors or industries, the food industry as a whole is generally the least vulnerable to economic changes and external forces: Food is among the most basic human necessities, and its response to negative income changes is relatively slow. For this reason many Governments, including those of Muslim countries, realise that the revitalisation and upgrading of their food and agribusiness industries has become a major strategic policy direction. In many countries (such as Thailand and Brazil), food and agribusiness helped safeguard economies from external shocks, such as the financial crisis of the late 1990s. In today’s globalised economy, the food industry is constantly evolving. It is driven not only by changes in consumer preferences and behaviour, but also by interactions among players within the whole supply chain, regulatory frameworks and business environments. Understanding the competitive nature of the food industry requires an understanding of changing consumer preferences and the food industry’s efforts to meet these demands. The food service sector can be deemed to be the final link in the entire food industry supply chain before a product reaches the customer. The retail food sector is also a key sector, and, with food services, acts as the final link to customers. The importance of the food service sector has increased over the years due to several factors which will be discussed further.


This sector plays a crucial role in advancing the development of the food processing industry as a whole, and it is important to note that the food service sector is relatively self-regulated in most countries. Regulations pertaining to this sector are linked directly to international standards and requirements largely due to the fact that multinational chained foodservice companies operate in a large number of countries. Hence, high standards must be maintained by the master franchisors (brand owners) such as, for example, McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, Starbucks and others. The growth of the food service sector has had a positive effect on the domestic food processing industry, which is the main provider of input into the foodservice sector. Growth has also provided opportunities for local suppliers to act within the global supply chain established by multinational food service outlets. When local food suppliers are able to supply to certain chained multinationals in their own countries, they are already in a good position to supply to outlets in other countries (and hence, throughout the world), after import regulations in destination markets have been accounted for. In Malaysia, examples are MacFood Services and Prima Agri Products. As these companies are able to supply to certain chained multinational food service outlets in Malaysia, they are also therefore

able to supply to the same outlets in other countries, such as Singapore and those of the Middle-East. MAJOR GROWTH FACTORS/ CONSUMER TRENDS The major growth factors for the food service sector in Malaysia can be summarised thus: THE FIRST and most obvious is the increasing number of working women. A large number of women now spend less time in the kitchen preparing meals and have relatively low cooking/ culinary skills. This has contributed to a higher turnout in food service outlets, especially fast-food and quick-serve restaurants. SECOND, the traditional culture of eating together as a family is declining. This is attributed to the fact that individual household members tend to be pre-occupied with their own activities. THIRD, an increase in income has led to a higher proportion of income spent on eating out in food service outlets, as compared to expenditure for dining at home. In Malaysia, based on data published by the Department of Statistics, it was found that expenditure on food and beverages away from home, relative to spending on food for cooking (dining at home) tended to increase proportionately more than increases in income. In general, a household with an average monthly income of more than RM5,000 (USD1,500) spends 45.7 per cent of its income on eating-out, while those in the income bracket of RM1,000–

Photography by Lars Sundström, Sweden



id ul Fitr is celebrated throughout the Muslim world as one the most joyous times in the year. It signifies, among others, one’s personal victory over hunger and temptation during a month of daily fasting and abstinence from Subuh to Maghrib (roughly dawn to dusk). Indeed, one of the reasons for the yearly fast is for all Muslims to understand what the poor and hungry go through in their daily lives. Words By HUZAIME HAMID

The past few years have seen a rise in good fortune for the Islamic world, driven generally by macroeconomic management improvements and higher oil and food prices. Based on the Islamic Development bank’s Statistical Monograph of 2008, there has been, inter alia: 1. A sharp increase in income (see FIGURE 1) 2. Healthy current account balances (a surplus of USD64 billion vs “High Income” countries at a deficit of USD249 billion in 2000) 3. Greater trade openness (at 76 per cent of GDP, the highest compared to all other regional groupings, with “High Income” countries at 50 per cent),and 4. Less poverty recorded (see FIGURE 1). Oil prices have been credited as the main reason for the improvement of the OIC countries’ aggregate income. An example of its meteoric rise, see FIGURE 2. However, behind this veneer of improved prosperity is the spectre of poverty and hunger, rates of which are still remarkably high for Muslim nations. While the increased prices of oil has been a boon to many OIC countries, not all nations are oil exporters and higher oil prices means higher transport costs, which are especially painful for food import-dependent nations.



FIGURE 1 Country Groupings


GDP (current, USD billion) 2003 2004 2005


OIC Less Developing Developing High Income World

1,544 194 5,924 26,197 32,854

1,805 223 6,746 29,369 36,931

2,942 353 11,367 35,894 48,436

2,118 259 8,064 32,567 41,546

2,518 303 9,654 34,179 44,881

Total Growth (%) 90.5 81.9 91.9 37.0 47.4



Price USD

Annual Change %

Cumulative Change %

2005 2006 2007 As at 13/6/2008

57.25 60.50 93.25 134.87

45.2 5.7 54.1 YTD – 44.6

n/a 5.7 62.9 To YTD – 135.6

Total Price Change from 1999 to end 2007




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

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Food staple price movements in the major exporters of the world in recent years have been as follows, see FIGURE 3: Prices have skyrocketed due to many factors, not the least of which has been higher petrol prices, which increased transport and electricity-generation costs and spurred demand for biofuels, or propellant substitutes derived from plants. Added to this is the multiplier effect that investment funds have made on prices as they seek to make profits. Price increases have been so pronounced that some food exporters have banned such exports and supply for net food-importing countries have started to become a problem. This in turn has evoked greater political-security concerns. United Nations SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-Moon said it best in the 12th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development: “According to the World Food Programme, the price of essential agricultural staples...has gone up by more than half over the last six months...Scarcely a day passes without some new manifestation...This threatens to distort international trade and exacerbate shortages. If not handled properly, this crisis could trigger a cascade of other multiple crises – becoming a multidimensional problem affecting economic growth, social progress, and even political security around the world.” This is undoubtedly a problem that the Ummah needs to collectively attend to urgently. The true magnitude of the problem for Muslim nations is revealed when looking at the UN FAO’s The State of Food Insecurity in the World report of 2006. In it, the picture for the 43 (out of a total 57) reporting countries of the OIC is revealed as in FIGURE 4. Some 187 million members of the Ummah were undernourished as of 2001-03.


FIGURE 3 Staple Food Prices (in) Rice (Thailand) Wheat (USA) Maize (USA) Sorghum (USA)

Producer Prices USD/ ton ‘99 ‘00 ‘01 ‘02 ‘03 ‘04 ‘05

Change % 1999 -2005 147 120 101 113 122 136 164 11.6 95 94 104 125 127 131 123 29.5 74 73 74 84 89 97 78 5.4 62 74 76 91 97 101 79 27.4 SOURCE: UN FAO (FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL ORGANIZATION)

THIS IS UNDOUBTEDLY A PROBLEM THAT THE UMMAH NEEDS TO COLLECTIVELY ATTEND TO URGENTLY. This is higher than the total population of any country in the OIC, save for Indonesia’s 217 million people. It is higher than the populations of Russia, Canada, and of any individual country in the rest of the world save China, India, and the USA. It is approximately the size of the population of Brazil. The number of people who are undernourished can only grow in the light of higher food prices and difficult supply. The Ummah is fully capable of helping itself. The main beneficiaries of the recent oil price run, for example, could lead to FIGURE 5. Help is certainly available from within the OIC countries itself. The question is how to structure mechanisms to enable aid from one country to reach another. Several suggestions include: • Enable increased trade within OIC nations (which stood at a paltry 17 per cent in 2005), with trade enabling mechanisms such as transport infrastructure set up as soon as possible. • Speed up the accomplishment of the OIC Free Trade Area. • Increase the number of Halal food trade fairs to familiarise food industrialists of OIC nations with each other. • Enable greater trade financing for food and agriculture, perhaps from the IDB and commercial banks within the OIC.

FIGURE 4 Region

Arabia, Iran & Turkey Africa Central Asia & Europe Asia OIC Countries

Number Of Undernourished (mn) 1990-92 2001-03

Percent of Total Population 1990-92 2001-03

9.5 65.1

14.0 66.8

5.6 18.4

6.6 14.5

7.4 83.9 165.9

13.3 92.7 186.8

11.5 19.5 16.3

19.4 17.3 14.6

Note: calculations by author

FIGURE 5 Country

Saudi Arabia Iran Kuwait Malaysia Kazakhstan Algeria Libya Nigeria Brunei Indonesia

GDP per Capita in current prices (USD) 1999 2002 2004 2007 8,065 1,674 13,358 3,537 1,138 1,630 6,527 310 14,514 746

8,785 1,776 15,761 4,112 1,655 1,810 3,593 464 17,146 928

11,126 2,390 21,567 4,898 2,863 2,631 5,309 656 22,002 1,188

15,481 4,149 33,364 6,948 6,868 3,825 9,372 1,159 32,167 1,925

Change % 1999-2007

91.9 147.8 149.8 96.4 503.5 134.7 43.6 273.9 121.6 158.0


• Centralise donations from within the OIC countries to each other, perhaps via the creation of a International Sadaqat (alms) organisation as a sister entity to the newly created International Zakat Organisation. • Enable the sharing of food and agricultural technology within the OIC, through identified multinational entities and international cooperation mechanisms. • Create national, regional and intra-OIC level food generation amplification programs, and • Establish the attainment, maintenance and

betterment of intra-OIC food security as a key and permanent agenda item at top-level OIC meetings. This Eid ul Fitr, spare a thought and a dollar for the 187 million souls and more within the Ummah who need help climbing out of their hunger and poverty. hj

Huzaime Hamid is an independent researcher in Malaysia. The opinions he expresses are his own. He can be reached at abstemi

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M A L AY S I A N F O OD S E RV I C E S S E C TOR R E P ORT 2 0 0 7 Overview

This report covers key elements on procurement for the food industry in Malaysia. This includes all elements concerning current food safety, practices and other key consideration. The report provides the necessary insights valid for a period of 1 year supported by a 5 year trend projection, which provide a representation of the potential direction of this industry.

Target Audience

This report is targeted at those manufactures and suppliers who wish to leverage of the “Halal Concept” and related elements . A brief insight is given on the overall benefits of the Halal industry; however the key focus of this report is information relevant to the various producers that are supplying the food industry, covering restaurants, hotels and caterings services . This report contains information that will allow your organisation to effectively maintain market dominance in their respective food service domain.

Why buy this report • • • •

Get insight into trends of market performance Pinpoint growth sectors and identify factors driving change Identify market and brand leaders and understand competitive environment Formulate positioning strategies to allow for timely change and face competition

Table of Contents Introduction Overview of Foodservice Sector in Malaysia • Restaurants; Quick-Serve Restaurants; Fast-foods, etc • Distribution by type of outlets • Major players, etc

For details please contact

Performance of Foodservice Sector in Malaysia • Number of outlets • Estimated sales and growth rate • Proportion and sales value by type of outlets • Major trends; Consumer purchasing behavior • Etc

Major Procurement Characteristics (From Field Survey) • Major Purchasing Characteristics • Food safety/ quality requirements • Halal requirements • Raw materials requirements • Etc Analysis of Market Potentials of Malaysian Foodservice Sector • Analysis on major purchasing trends • Projected sales • Projected sales of purchased raw materials • Analysis of raw materials (food, beverages, packaging materials) • Present and future trends; Tourism, etc • Opportunities: Suppliers, Vendors, etc Summary and Recommendation


w w w. k ase h d i a .co m


Halal Industry within Islamic Principles:



Muslim jurists have discussed the source evidence and formulated guidelines to regulate the application of the value indicators to dietary substances based on Islamic principles. Let’s recall Part 1 of this series, where we saw that Halal and Haram are not black-and-white categories. Part 2 therefore discusses the grey area known as Al-Shubhat, or doubtful matters that may occasionally call for fresh juristic enquiry and Ijtihad as to their permissibility. Fiqh works provide details for almost every known variety of animals, birds, insects, and so on. 36 THE HALAL JOURNAL | SEP+OC T 2008




hese are the intervening (and often undetermined) matters that fall between Halal and the Haram. Doubts may arise due mainly to two factors: Either the source evidence of Shariah is not free from doubt, or else its application to a particular subject or case is uncertain.

Sarawak - more than a paradise A meting pot of culture, adventure and nature. That is the best description for Sarawak. This enchanting state of Sarawak is Malaysia’s largest state and the country’s new tourism frontier, endowed with the world’s richest and most diverse ecosystem. Located on the exotic island of Borneo, Sarawak’s ancient rainforest canopies the world’s largest flower-the Rafflesia, squirrels and snakes that can glide through air, mouse deer the size of kitten, pitcher plants that eat insects and even small mammal. In fact, there are countless species of flora and fauna, yet to be discovered inhabiting the rainforest.

From pristine underwater marine life and untouched coral reefs to rich heritage and wilderness to modern city landscape, Sarawak is a potpourri of experiences appreciated by travelers from all over the world. Such a setting is idyllic for any holiday-makers game for enriching escape. Kuching is the capital city and it is the main gateway to Sarawak with Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia, SilkAir, Batavia Air and Royal Brunei Airlines making regular flights from the federal capital of Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Brunei and Pontianak in Indonesia.

A former colony of Britain, Sarawak gained independence in 1963 and since then it has prosper into a vibrant city with interesting skyline that made up of a mixture of colonial influence and modern architecture. In fact, the intricate blend of modern design and colonial architecture has become an attraction for visitors to this state that has a population of more than 2.2 million. Head into Sarawak’s interiors and your heartbeat will flutter at the fascinating and entrancing dances of the multi-ethnic tribes living harmoniously with each other. While it is fondly known as the Land of the Hornbill, Sarawak is also land of colourful cultures boasting 27 ethnic groups, 45 languages and dialects. The main groups of the people in Sarawak are the Iban, Malay, Bidayuh, Chinese, Melanau, Orang Ulu and Penan. The Orang Ulu tribe is made up of the Kayan, Kenyan and Kelabit. There are also several othersub-groups which have made Sarawak to be known as one harmonious city in Malaysia.

Inter-marriage is a common thing among Sarawakians and this culture mix has inculcate a high level of tolerance and cooperation between the many races living in the State. Sarawak’s natural beauty is legendary and so are its arts and crafts. Inspired by the effortless flight of the hornbill, the supple curvatures of the fern or an ancient glimpse in a dream, skilled craftspeople work their hands in shaping beautiful crafts that can be taken home as souvenirs by visitors. The wide selection of crafts identify to each community living in the state. The Orang Ulus are known for their skill in beadworks while the Chinese are renowned for the pottery making. Made of clay these potteries are beautifully painted with intricate motif. Take home any of these crafts to remember the good time that you had while holidaying in Sarawak.

The Iban, particularly the women are known to be best weaver, producing the finest textile using tie and dye method. The colourful textiles with ethnic motifs are locally known as pua kumbu which has by now making its way to the international market. Both the Melanau and Bidayuh are associated with basketry making and weaving of hats and artifacts using natural resources like bamboo, palm, rattan and tree bark. Steeped in tradition, the multi-racial community in Sarawak also celebrates a kaleidoscope of events and festivals all year round. Despite the differences in religious belief and cultural background, the people in Sarawak have a common feature in celebrating their respective festival. All will practice the “open house� tradition where they welcome relatives, friends, acquaintances and even strangers to their home and join in the merry-making.

In fact, there are countless species of flora and fauna, yet to be discovered inhabiting the rainforest.

The main festival that is celebrated only in Sarawak is the Gawai Dayak, which is celebrated by the Dayak community to mark the end of the harvest period. The Dayak community is made up of the Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu. The festival is a celebration to thank the god of rice for the bountiful harvest. It is celebrated on June 1 every year. Other festivals include the Hari Raya and Chinese New Year celebrated by the Malays and Chinese Apart from traditional festivals, Sarawak also has other events including cultural and musical festival like the Pesta Kaul, Kuching Festival, Rainforest World Music Festival, Sarawak Regatta, Miri International Jazz Festival, Borneo Cultural Festival and World Harvest Festival.

Pesta Kaul is celebrated by the Melanau community, as a mark for thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest. The festival is celebrated in April where a special ceremony is held by the beach, where the Melanau community will offer offering to appease the god. The offering place on a basket weave from palm leave will be left adrift in the sea. Other festivals which had been putting Sarawak on the world map are the Rainforest World Music Festival and the Miri International Festival.Staged at the Sarawak Cultural Village- a living museum, the Rainforest World Music Festival is held every year on the second week of July and it has attracted thousands of festival goers over the last 11 years.

The world’s largest flower- the Rafflesia also grow in abundant in Sarawak particularly at the Gunung Gading National Park. But, Sarawak’s treasures of natural wonders are best appreciated in the many protected national parks and ancient rainforest where alluring caves, cascading waterfalls, pristine beaches are waiting to be enjoyed. The Miri International Jazz Festival is held in Miri every year on the second week of May. The festival has been running since 2006 and it has also attracted scores of jazz music fans. For those who enjoy natures at its best, Sarawak’s rainforest is one of the most diverse and protected ecosystem in the world. It is also home of many exotic flora and fauna found only in this treasure trove of nature’s splendor. In fact, its rainforest is one of the oldest in the world.

There are 16 national parks and two wildlife centres found in Sarawak and among them that need no introduction is the Mulu National Park that has been enlisted as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Apart from touring the four show caves namely Lang Cave, Deer Cave, and Clearwater Cave, visitors can also watch the bat exodus where millions of bat came out of the cave looking for food every evening. A walk along the world’s long tree-base Canopy Skywalk is also an interest activity in Mulu. However, this is not for the faint Hop on the plane to visit the highland, homes of the Orang Ulu community who are known for their hospitality and the fragrant rice in Bario highland and the sweet and juicy apple in Ba Kelalan highland.

Located in Miri and very near to Brunei, Gunung Mulu also has the world’s largest cave chamber and the world’s most extensive cave system with razor sharp limestone pinnacles.

Among the many creatures that are found roaming the jungle ofSarawak include the Orang Utan, proboscis monkey, hornbill bird, Rajah Brooke butterfly and leaf monkey.

The adventure on land continues to the sea where water challenge awaits anyone game for vigorous activities like diving, fishing, skiing and yachting. Many dive sites off the coast of Indeed, Sarawak has much to offer its Sarawak are waiting to be explored. visitors, befitting its marketing tagline The dive sites are found in Kuching and “Sarawak…More Than A Paradise.” Miri offering an awesome reefs and coral Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Royal Brunei and many fish species. There is also the Kenyalang rig- man-made artificial reef Airlines and SilkAir fly regularly to made of an unused oil rig off the coast Kuching, the capital of Sarawak. of Miri.

Apart from the many wonders on land and underwater, Sarawak’s delicacies should also not be missed. Sarawak’s signature laksa (vermicili noodle in spicy gravy),kolok mee (egg noodle served with barbeque meat), umai (local sushi of raw fish dish), midin (wild fern dish), terubok masin (salted terubok fish) and pansoh manok (chicken cooked in bamboo) are a must try for that gastronomical experience.

STB is a proud supporter of the Strategic Rice & Food Security Conference (FOSECO) For information please log on to FOSECO’s secretariat website at

such as the remains of small amounts of alcohol in cooking utensils in big hotels, the doubt in them may be overlooked but avoidance is preferable.7



akruh according to the majority of leading schools refers to an act, object, or conduct that should be avoided but whose perpetrator is not liable to punishment and does not incur moral blame. The Hanafis are in agreement with the majority

According to the Hanafis, an act is Haram when it is decreed in definitive terms, but when there is an element of weakness in the prohibitive language of the Qur’an or Hadith, the matter falls under Makruh Tahrimi. For example, it is Makruh Tahrimi to make an offer of betrothal to a woman who is already betrothed to another man. The reason for this is that the Hadith proscribing this is a solitary (Ahad) Hadith, which is not altogether devoid of doubt in respect of authenticity.9 There is much disagreement among jurists about Makruh in foodstuff and other substances for

slaughtered and Halal animals have also been declared non-Halal. These include blood, the phallus, testicles, vagina, glands, gall bladder and bile, which are considered by the Hanafis to be Makruh Tahrimi due to the fact that the prohibitory Hadith text on them is a solitary Hadith that is not free of all doubt.12 The subject also falls under the Qur’an text that “he (the Prophet) forbids to them (Muslims) the Khaba’ith” (al-A’raf, 7: 157). But this verse is also a manifest text (Zahir) which is in the nature of probability. It is not certain, in other words, that the six items were actually meant to be

Other instances of Makruh to be noted in

conjunction with the rituals of slaughter include rough handling (such as dragging the animal by its feet), abandoning the Tasmiyah (i.e. Bismillah) according to the Shafi’is and Malikis, slaughter in front of another animal, the use of bones and stones as cutting tools, cutting or skinning the animal before the complete exit of life, not facing the Qiblah, and citing the name of Muhammad next to that of Allah. position in respect of only one of the two varieties of Makruh, namely Makruh for the sake of purity (Makruh Tanzihi), but not with regard to what they classify as Makruh Tahrimi (Makruh closer to Haram), which does entail moral blame but not punishment. The Madhahib are in agreement that one who avoids Makruh merits praise and gains closeness to God.8 Makruh is the lowest degree of prohibition and, in this sense, it is used as a convenient category for matters that fall between the Halal and Haram (that is, matters that are definitely discouraged but where the evidence to establish them as Haram is less than certain). The Hanafi category of Makruh Tanzihi is subsumed under Mubah by the majority. 38 THE HALAL JOURNAL | SEP+OC T 2008

human consumption, but most include rotten meat that develops an offensive smell, water of a well in the midst of a graveyard, and unsupervised cattle and poultry that feed on impurities and filth such that changes of taste and smell in them may be detectable. The relevant Hadiths also include the milk of such animals.10 This impurity is, however, removed when animals are kept away from their dirty habitats for a number of days (three for poultry, four for sheep and goats, and ten for camels and cows). The preferred position of the majority of schools on this issue, however, departs from these specifications and merely advises isolation until the offensive signs and smells are no longer present.11 Certain organs of lawfully

included under the Khaba’ith. The prohibitive view also holds these organs to be abhorrent to people of sound nature (al-Taba’i’ alSalimah). 13 The other three schools are less restrictive, but their preferred position also considers the organs in question to be Makruh.14 As for the use of rennet (Al-Infahah) from the stomach of cattle for use in fermenting and processing cheese, if it is taken from a lawfully slaughtered animal, it is Halal by consensus; but if taken from carrion, it is non-Halal according to the majority, but Halal according to the Hanafis on the ground of an analogy they draw between this and the milk of such an animal.15 Other instances of Makruh to be noted in conjunction with the rituals of slaughter

include rough handling (such as dragging the animal by its feet), abandoning the Tasmiyah (i.e. Bismillah) according to the Shafi’is and Malikis, slaughter in front of another animal, the use of bones and stones as cutting tools, cutting or skinning the animal before the complete exit of life, not facing the Qiblah, and citing the name of Muhammad next to that of Allah. The Malikis do not stipulate facing the Qiblah as a requirement of slaughter due to the absence of textual evidence on this. The basis of this they say is a weak analogy that is drawn between Salah and slaughter.16



andub (also known as Sunnah, Mustahab, Nafl) denotes an act or conduct that the Shariah has recommended, but which is not binding. To comply with the Mandub earns one spiritual reward but no punishment is imposed for its neglect. Mandub is the opposite of Makruh, and this means that avoidance of Makruh amounts to Mandub. Handling the slaughtered animal with clemency and care is Mandub, and rough handling is Makruh. To set up a charitable endowment (Waqf ), attend to the sick, and honour one’s neighbour and one’s guest are all recommended. If the Mandub is an act which the Prophet pbuh has performed on some occasions but omitted on others, it is called Sunnah, which is also of two types: It is emphatic Sunnah (Sunnah mu’Akkadah, also known as Sunnah al-Huda) if the Prophet has performed it regularly, or which he has strongly recommended, such as attending the congregational Salah, and calling out the

“in between them there are the doubtful matters which are

not known to most people whether they are Halal or Haram. One who avoids them for the purity of one’s religion and honour would have saved oneself….”

The Qur’an itself has confirmed that some parts of it are inherently doubtful (Mutashabihat -- Al-‘Imran, 3:7). The Prophet pbuh has further acknowledged this in a long Hadith to the effect that Halal and Haram had been made clear from one another, but that “in between them there are the doubtful matters which are not known to most people whether they are Halal or Haram. One who

avoids them for the purity of one’s religion and honour would have saved oneself….”1 To avoid doubt, and to make an effort to stay clear of it, is thus conducive to piety and one’s good name and reputation. This much is indicated in the wording of the Hadith, which speaks of absolution (Istibra’), and the course of action suggested in it indicates caution over doubtful matters.

The advice so conveyed partakes, in al-Qaradawi’s view, of the nature of “obstructing the means to an evil end (Sadd al-Dhara’i’), which is informed by certain insights into the health of one’s personality and character ….”2 In yet another Hadith, Muslims are instructed to “abandon that which is doubtful to you in favour of that which is clear of doubt.” 3 Today, doubts arise about factory farming where animal remains are fed to other animals, and the use of hormones and antibiotics present difficulties in verifying whether meat is Halal. Factory practices may also fail the test of compatibility with the Islamic principle of compassion. Definitive answers to these questions need to be informed by scientific evidence. The frequent incidence of BSE (“mad-cow disease”) in the West,4 has also presented questions about feeding and rearing methods and the wholesomeness of meat. These are genuine doubts that merit investigation and research. Yet I find somewhat restrictive the view that “Muslims are required to eat meat that is not only Halal but also Tayyib.”5 The question posed here is whether Muslims should go a step beyond Halal in their choice of food — something that the Fiqh tradition does not stipulate. This demanding position can also amount to inflicting hardship on ordinary consumers who are not sufficiently informed about the food varieties they buy in the marketplace. According to a legal maxim of Fiqh, “when the Halal and Haram are mixed up, the Haram prevails.”6 In other words, when available evidence can imply both permissibility and prohibition, the latter prevails. Confusion may thus arise due to the existence of two divergent Hadith reports, or

two conflicting analogies: One is prohibitive, the other permissive, and the former prevails over the latter. The doubt that arises may be genuine (Haqiqi), such as ambiguity in the actual wording of a Hadith, or it may be relative and metaphorical (Idafi, and Majazi), and doubt arises in their application to a particular case. In all of these, an opportunity may arise for fresh interpretation and Ijtihad, which should be attempted and an effort made to secure that which is in the public interest and Maslahah. Thus in cases of confusion between lawfully slaughtered meat and carrion, the prohibitive position prevails and consumption is consequently not recommended. Similarly in the case of confusion arising between revenues from Riba and from a lawful sale, one should exercise caution on the side of avoidance. In the case of the hybrid breeding of animals, such as between a horse and a mule, the issue should be excluded from the Halal range. Most jurists would, however, take the mother’s side as the stronger indicator of permissibility: If the mother is Halal, the issue is also considered Halal. Should there be a mixture of two varieties of food, one Halal and the other Haram, two situations may initially arise: Either the separation of the two parts is not feasible, such as when wine, blood or urine is mixed with water — then Haram prevails over Halal; or else the two parts can be separated, as when an insect or unclean substance falls on solidified butter — the object itself and its surrounding parts are removed and the rest becomes Halal. However, if the mixture is of very small quantities that are hardly detectable and establishment of complete purity is not devoid of hardship, THE HALAL JOURNAL | SEP+OC T 2008


Compared to Ikhtilaf, Tawhid is a much more prominent feature of Islam. Adhan preceding it. To perform an act of merit, such as offering two units of Sunnah prior to the obligatory Salat al-Zuhr, or Salat al-‘Asr, or being generous in charity above the level of the obligatory Zakah are examples of supererogatory Sunnah, or Sunnah Ghayr mu’Akkadah. The schools of law have employed a variety of other expressions for Mandub, such as Tatawwu’, Fadilah, Ihsan and Ragha’ib with finer distinctions that often consist of sound advice and cultural refinement.17

Since uniformity and standardisation bear greater affinity with Tawhid, to promote standardisation in the Halal industry is not only desirable but also eminently feasible.





ince the Ummah is a unity in faith, it must remain open to learning from one another and must appreciate the respective mores and cultural diversities within the wider unity of Islamic civilisation. If Islam can be characterised as diversity within unity, of sound Ikhtilaf within the purview of Tawhid, it is largely due to the unifying influence of the Qur’an, the exemplary teachings of the Prophet Muhammad pbuh , and a degree of consensus on basic values. The Ummah also upholds a moral code of spiritual and legal dimensions that is grounded in the dual notions of Halal and Haram. Halal food, Halal trading and finance

are among the tangible manifestations of the shared values that give the Ummah ts distinctive characteristics. Compared to Ikhtilaf, Tawhid is a much more prominent feature of Islam. Since uniformity and standardisation bear greater affinity with Tawhid, to promote standardisation in the Halal industry is not only desirable but also eminently feasible. The purpose would naturally be better served f one aims at the common denominators of values, cultures and customs that can appeal to greater uniformity n trading practices, and Halal food and finance among Muslim countries and communities across the globe. Standardisation in all the material aspects of the Halal ndustry should naturally take its cue from scriptural sources that constitute the basis of our efforts for uniformity and coordination throughout the Muslim world The Fiqh discourse essentially elaborates the textual guidelines on Halal

and Haram, which also have devotional (Ta’abbbudi) features that go beyond common rationality. One can promote uniformity in Halal standards with regard to the Halal or Mubah, and also the Makruh and the Mandub, by recourse to the principle of selection (Takhayyur) and single out among the various rulings of the Madhahib one that may be most suitable for that purpose. As an accepted method of Islamic jurisprudence, Takhayyur is premised on the recognition that the leading schools of Islamic law have extended to one another and on the acceptance of one another as equally valid interpretations of the Shariah. Another method of selection, also known to Usul al-Fiqh, is the patching up (Talfiq) of certain aspects of the rulings of different schools or jurists with a view to amalgamating them in a single formula. Talfiq differs from Takhayyur in that the latter selects the ruling as it is of a different Madhhab to one’s

own, whereas Talfiq attempts to combine certain parts of different rulings/interpretations into a single formula for purposes of implementation.18 Standardisation in the Halal industry should also be informed by the approved mores and customs of Muslim communities. Since people’s likes and dislikes in foodstuffs and marketing practices are influenced by a variety of factors, including climate, soil characteristics and even geographical proximity with other cultures, all of this may need to be taken into consideration in one’s quest for standardisation in the Halal industry. Nevertheless, levels of diversity and variation are not always self-evident and may need to be verified. Hence we need to enrich our efforts by research into the customary practices and predilections of countries and regions, as well as by setting in place consultative decision-making mechanisms that are duly informed by scientific and sociological research. hj

FOOTNOTES Paper presented at the World Halal Forum “Sustained Development through Investment and Integration,” Kuala Lumpur, 12 May 2008. 1 Muslim, Mukhtasar Sahih Muslim, p. 253, Hadith No. 956. 2 Al-Qaradawi, al-Halal wa’l-Haram, 37. 3 Tabrizi, Mishkat al-Masabih, vol. II, p. 845, Hadith No. 4046. 4 BSE stands for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. See more on this in Richard .C. Foltz, Animals in Islamic Tradition and Muslim Countries, Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2006, p118. Foltz thus informs us on the same page that “Middle Eastern countries now import much of their meat from places such as New Zealand and that factory farming

presents considerable difficulties in verifying whether meat is Halal.” 5 The view is attributed to Mazhar Hussaini, Director of North American Halal Foundation, quoted in Richard Foltz (see the previous note. p118.) 6 The Arabic version reads “idha ijtama’ al-halal wa’l-haram, ghuliba al-haram.” Cf., Shabir, al-Qawa’id al-Fiqhiyyah, p325. Interestingly enough, alQaradawi does not refer to this maxim n his brief discussion of “avoidance of the doubtful – ittiqa al-shubhat,” which s perhaps not accidental, due to another line of evidence that advises taking that which is the easier course and brings facility and relief. This may why al-Qaradawi subsumes the issue under the rubric of sadd al-dhara’i’. 7 Cf., Shabir, al-Qawa’id al-

Kulliyyah, 326-328. 8 See for details Muhammad Abu Zahrah, Usul al-Fiqh, Cairo: Dar al-Fikr al-‘Arabi, 1958/1366, 34; Kamali, Islamic Jurisprudence, 424. 9 Cf., Kamali, Islamic Jurisprudence, 426. 10 Thus according to one Hadith “The Prophet pbuh proscribed eating the flesh of a Jallalah camel,” and according to another “The Prophet pbuh proscribed drinking the milk of a Jallalah.” Both Hadiths are quoted in Sunan Daraqutni and Sunan Abu Dawud respectively and quoted in al-Mawsu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah of Kuwait, V, 149. 11 ‘Ala al-Din al-Kasani, Bada’i’ al-Sana’i’ fi Tartib al-Shara’i’, 2nd edn., Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1986/1406, V, 39-40; Ibn ‘Abidin, Hashiyah, V, 194.






Cf., Zuhaili, Al-Fiqh alIslami, Vol.III, p.667. Cf., Wizarat al-Awqaf, alMawsu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, V, 152. 14 Id., V,153. 15 Id., V, 155. 16 Cf., Ibn al-Rushd, Bidayat alMujtahid, Vol.I, p.329; Wahbah al-Zuhaili, al-Fiqh al-Islami wa Adillatuh, 3rd edn., Damascus: Dar al-Fikr, 1989/1409, Vol.III, p.663-664. 17 See for details Kamali, Islamic Jurisprudence, 419f. 18 See for details on takhayyur and talfiq, Mohammad Hashim Kamali, “Shari’ah and Civil Law: Toward a Methodology of Harmonisation,” Islamic Law and Society 14(2007)391-421 at 406-411. 13


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

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fast track | AMERICAS

Issues Concerning the Use of Hijab The Hijab is commonly known as modest dress for women, which most Islamic legal systems define as covering everything except the face and hands in public. The Hijab has emerged as a symbol of Islamic consciousness and a statement of Islamic identity and morality since the 1970s. Islam sees the Hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations, unlike the Christian crucifix or Jewish Kappa. BY ZAAHIRA MUHAMMAD

Hijab on display at Lebanon’s fashion mall.

Photo: Benjamin Earwicker

ISSUES OF THE HIJAB are raised every now and then, not only in nonMuslim countries but also in some Muslim countries. Those who reject the Hijab as being obligatory on Muslim women consider it part of a culture that has nothing to do with religion, though it is in fact part and parcel of the religion and constitutes the dress-code ordained by Islam on Muslim women. Recently in Dearborn, Michigan (in the US), two Muslim women were denied jobs at a McDonald’s restaurant because they wore Islamic headscarves. According to them, the store manager told them they would not be able to get jobs at the restaurant if they did not remove their headscarves. It seems a tad strange considering the fact that the Dearborn outlet is one of only two McDonald’s restaurants in the United States that sells Halal Chicken McNuggets. In recent years, a number of corporate restaurants in Dearborn have started selling Halal meat in order to tap into the growing Muslim customer base. These two women filed a case against the store manager, a management company and McDonald’s. Many American Muslims have complained of being discriminated against on religious grounds. Last January, a US high school star runner was pulled off the track for wearing a uniform that enables her to compete while complying with the Muslim faith. These are recurring issues


Issues concerning the use of the Hijab are raised in all parts of the world, from Asia to the West. Perhaps what people fail to realise is simply the fact that wearing the Hijab (or any other religious clothing for that matter) is simply an expression of freedom of choice. on the Hijab and Hijab bans are also being enforced in other parts of the world, especially in some countries in Europe. For example, a few years ago French schools came up

with a new law to stop students wearing the Hijab. Donning it was viewed as a religious symbol that did not conform to the state’s ideals of secularism. However, the law was not

exclusive to the Hijab – it also applied to the display of any religious symbol including Jewish yarmulkes, Sikh turbans and Christian crosses. The ban on the Hijab in schools has had the predictable effect of promoting anti-Muslim prejudice. One physician in Paris, professing concern for human and women’s rights, announced that he would no longer accept patients wearing the Hijab because fanaticism had led to many crises far and wide. Issues concerning the use of the Hijab are raised in all parts of the world, from Asia to the West. Perhaps what people fail to realise is simply the fact that wearing the Hijab (or any other religious clothing for that matter) is simply an expression of freedom of choice. Associating the Hijab with symbols of “terrorism” or “oppression” is simply naïve, if not entirely ludicrous and contradictory to the essence of human rights. Thus, banning the Hijab and discriminating against those who wear it clearly works against liberty. By definition, liberty is freedom from control, interference, obligation and restriction. Liberty provides the power or right of doing, thinking, and speaking in accordance to choice. It is therefore ironic when the issue of the Hijab is raised on the basis of religion, oppression and discrimination. Women wearing the Hijab are the epitome of liberty: They choose to wear it for their own style, dignity, identity, and for the sake of their religion.




CCM Drives the Halal Initiative through R&D

CCM’s Innovax Sdn Bhd factory in Shah Alam, Malaysia

Malaysia’s pharmaceutical industry is one of the fastest growing in the Asia Pacific and is expected to generate continuous development in light of its strength in the production of generic products, which is seen as the future consumption trend in the local market. THE COUNTRY’S PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY has also become increasingly discerning following its ability to develop high quality products of international standard in compliance of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards of the European Pharmaceutical Inspection Cooperation Scheme (PICS). In recognising the growth potential, the Government has identified the pharmaceutical industry as one of the 12 target growth industries in the manufacturing sector for further development and promotion under the Third Industrial Masterplan (IMP3) from 2006 to 2020, to drive the industry to a higher level of resilience and global competitiveness. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are encouraged to undertake higher value-added activities and venture into new growth areas, which include research and development and the production of Halal products. The Chemical Company of Malaysia Berhad Group (CCM) believes that the demand for Halal pharmaceutical products will continue to rise following the significant presence of the Muslim population (Malaysia – 60 per cent, World – 21 per cent). The pharmaceutical industry faces many challenges in the era of globalisation but this does not detract us from accomplishing the Group’s goal of acquiring new technologies to discover and develop innovative medications, healthcare and wellness supplements that benefit both patients and the society at large. Research and development (R&D) is pivotal in ensuring continuous development of new and innovative products to ensure that CCM stays ahead of our competitors. Throughout the years, CCM has been promoting innovation not only as a competitive tool but also as a value-creating intellectual property (IP) and economic profit. Investment in R&D is critical to the Group’s progress and CCM 44 THE HALAL JOURNAL | SEP+OC T 2008

invest approximately three per cent of revenue annually for R&D. Additionally, CCM has also invested RM10 million in a hi-tech R&D centre, which will significantly boost the Group’s efforts in promoting breakthrough technological developments. In the 90s, CCM understood the consumers’ needs, Muslims and nonMuslims alike for high quality and affordable pharmaceutical products that adhere to the strict Halal quality standards. CCM saw the importance and opportunity of acquiring knowledge and the latest technology to promote Halal medicinal products to strengthen our position as a reputable player in the industry. This inevitably prompted us to secure Halal accreditation for our products in 1999. The Halal certification was a stepping stone that led us to introduce the world to our Halal technologies. These include our advanced soft gel and slow release technologies. In pharmaceutical technology, gelatine is used to manufacture capsules and the embedding of vitamins. It is widely used because it provides longer shelf life, easy applicability for consumption, protection from light and oxygen during long-term storage. As gelatine is sourced from Halal (bovine) and non-Halal (pig skin or bovine of non-Islamic slaughter compliance) sources, its use is a sensitive issue among Muslims as well as other communities. Through our research and development arm, Innovax Sdn Bhd, CCM has experienced to develop and formulate end product in soft gel form that meet the highest international standards and adhere to the stringent Islamic procedures of handling and processing techniques, certified by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM). The benefits of soft gels include better protection of certain type of active ingredients from oxidation and degradation, improved absorption and bioavailability, easier to swallow, absence of unpleasant odour or taste, excellent dose uniformity and accuracy and tamper-resistant (a

punctured or tampered soft gel will leak or become discoloured) which protects against counterfeiting. Manufacturers can also modify the appearance of soft gels into various shapes, sizes and colours to suit customer taste and preference. Besides that, CCM also understand the pharmaceutical industry’s need to provide solutions for people who need to take their medications several times a day by developing slow-release medications. Certain medications need to be administered several times in a day to enable the desired effect in the human body. Consuming the medication in a large single dose reduces that frequency but it is not always a viable option as large doses are toxic and may have dangerous side effects to the body compared to small doses. The slow-release formulation is introduced into the human body system at a reduced pace and it combines the advantage of administering a single large dose distributed over a longer duration. This function will prolong the release and stabilise the level of active ingredients into the human body for up to 10 hours. Therefore, slow-release drugs promote patients satisfaction and compliance

Obtaining Halal certification for our pharmaceutical products reflects how serious CCM is in implementing the Halal concept in R&D to meet the Halal requirements of high quality, hygiene, safety and effectiveness. because they only need to take their medications once or twice a day with the same effect as compared to the usual dosage of three to four times daily. Some medications are not effective because patients have difficulties in adhering to the daily regiment of consuming them several times a day. For that reason, CCM takes pride in embarking on this technology as it helps to improve the efficacy and prolong the product life cycle in the market while being Halal. CCM also look forward to further developing this niche area and applying it in our other pharmaceutical products. Looking at how 70 per cent of the local market share goes to generics, healthcare supplements and herbal based products have the potential of capturing a major portion of the market. CCM aims to seize the opportunity by focusing on biotechnology innovation (biogenerics), which is expected to influence the future of the local

pharmaceutical industry. CCM is always on the lookout for potential collaboration in the biotech industry to deliver a sustainable pipeline of new Halal biotech products. Over the years, CCM has inked strategic partnerships with Golden Hope Research Sdn Bhd and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) to jointly undertake R&D activities and commercialisation of products in areas such as herbal oil palm phytonutrients healthcare; guava phytonutrients; nutraceuticals, health supplements, cosmeceuticals and therapeutics as secondary dosage forms and herbal healthcare. These initiatives exemplify our continued commitment towards extensive research and development to produce high quality Halal products that promote overall well-being, in line with our tagline of “Enhancing the Quality of Life”. Obtaining Halal certification for our pharmaceutical products reflects how

serious CCM is in implementing the Halal concept in R&D to meet the Halal requirements of high quality, hygiene, safety and effectiveness. CCM realises the importance of efficient and productive R&D activities to generate high quality and cost-effective Halal pharmaceutical products. The quality of our development pipe coupled with our expertise and cutting edge manufacturing technology has provided us with a distinct competitive edge in local and international markets. CCM is committed to further develop leading edge Halal pharmaceutical products that comply with certification standards and cater to the requirements of consumers who prefer Halal healthcare supplements and medications. CCM is confident that our R&D capabilities will meet our consumers’ needs and exceed their expectations, as well as aspire to establish ourselves as a leader in the global Halal pharmaceutical industry. THE HALAL JOURNAL | SEP+OC T 2008


fast track | ASIA

CCM celebrates its 45th anniversary

Permodalan Nasional Berhad Chairman YABhg Tun Dato’ Seri Ahmad Sarji launched CCM’s coffee table book

IN CONJUNCTION with its 45th anniversary, the Chemical Company of Malaysia Berhad Group (CCM) launched its CCM Coffee Table Book: Inside Story 1930-2007

on 20th August 2008 to mark the historic milestones of the group’s emergence as a leading participant in the chemicals, healthcare and agrochemicals industry. “Documenting significant landmarks in a company’s history is becoming increasingly important,” said Permodalan Nasional Berhad Chairman, Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, who launched the book at the Sime Darby Convention Centre. “This book doesn’t just signify the success of the key strategic and operational decisions made by the company, but also landmarks its growth, innovation and contributions to the various sectors of the economy.” Ahmad Sarji emphasised the importance of highlighting past events and achievements to improve future accomplishments, and spoke

of inspiring personalities and company role-models who will be celebrated in history. The book is the vision of CCM’s Group Managing Director Dato’ Dr. Mohd Hashim Tajudin. A passionate photographer and an avid reader, Hashim believed that a company such as CCM Berhad deserved to be immortalised. The Inside Story 1930-2007 archives CCM Berhad’s evolution: Its rise as a powerhouse and its fundamental contributions to Malaysia’s economy. The book takes readers on a journey of guided introspection of the company — and it is clear that CCM has very much been defined by its corporate social responsibility, and its view that community needs are actually opportunities to develop ideas and demonstrate business technologies. Today, CCM Group is

one of Malaysia’s largest chemical, fertiliser and healthcare companies. It manufactures a wide range of products, including Halal pharmaceutical products, to meet the growing needs of domestic and foreign markets. Mohd Hashim said CCM would continue promoting Halal pharmaceutical products to new destinations abroad: “We are working closely with the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) to expand the market for these products not only in the country, but also at the global level.” He added that each of the company’s pharmaceutical products carried the Halal certificate, and that among the areas covered by the certification were the materials used for the product, preparation processes and storage.

MM Vitaoils launches TV Show and Recipe Book IN CONJUNCTION with the holy month of Ramadhan, MM Vitaoils launched a 30-minute television programme called Selera Ramadhan MM Vitaoils. The first television programme of its kind, each episode featured two recipes and a segment discussing various aspects of Ramadhan. It aimed to be not just “any other cooking show”, but a knowledgeable one that involved Islamic scholars in every episode presenting different topics. Sixty recipes were presented altogether, and the programme aired at 5am on RTM1 starting on Sept 1, 2008, for the benefit of those preparing for Sahur, those getting ready for work, and homemakers who started their day early. Re-runs of the show were aired on the 46 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JULY+AUG 2008

same day at 12.30pm. Selera Ramadhan MM Vitaoils, produced by MM Vitaoils Sdn Bhd with the cooperation of Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), was officially launched by Deputy Minister in the Minister’s Department Senator Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim on Aug 21. Present at the launch were MPOC Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Dr Yusuf Basiron, MM Vitaoils Managing Director Mazlan Muhammad and Celebrity Chef Norzailina Nordin. A recipe book, Selera MM Vitaoils, was also launched at the same time. MM Vitaoils Chairman Datuk Haron Siraj said: “The Selera MM Vitaoils recipe book is published specially for health-conscious cooking enthusiasts and recipe collectors to enable them to own a collection of traditional,

Left to right: MM Vitaoils Managing Director Mazlan Muhammad, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department YB Senator Dato’ Dr. Mashitah Ibrahim, Deputy Director General of Broadcast Department Malaysia Dato’ Adilah Shek Omar, and MM Vitaoils Chairman Datuk Haron Siraj.

local and international recipes using MM Vitaoils’ quality palm oil-based products.” The recipes were specially created by Celebrity Chef Norzailina, and Selera MM Vitaoils is available, at RM12.90 per copy, at major bookstores nationwide as MPH Bookstores, as well as retail outlet TESCO. The TV programme and

recipe book were among the company’s continuous efforts to create awareness of the nutritional value and health benefits of palm oil-based oils and fats, as well as to disseminate knowledge of Islam in a manner different from the usual religious forums and discussions on the television.

fast track | ASIA

IHI Alliance formulates Global Halal Standards BY HARIZ KAMAL

THE INTERNATIONAL HALAL INTEGRITY (IHI) Alliance was formed following a resolution by the World Halal Forum (WHF) 2006. As a non-profit, non-governmental and non-national body, the IHI Alliance aims to provide a platform for its members to share information and work towards upholding the integrity of the Halal industry; to provide a communication channel for its members with relevant parties; and to strengthen the Halal industry to fulfil its highest potential. In order to strengthen the Halal industry, harmonising Halal standards has become the IHI Alliance’s foremost goal. These standards must be acceptable globally in order to facilitate trade so that both consumers and retailers are able to get the best quality in their products. To ensure that Halal standards are accepted worldwide, an allencompassing Halal standard and a harmonised Halal certification system are needed. To this end, IHI Alliance initiated the first of a series of industry and stakeholder engagement meetings to gather input for the Technical Working Groups that are developing modules for the International Halal Standard. The IHI Alliance held the industry roundtable on “The Halal Logistics Module of the Global Halal Standard” on Aug 27, 2008. The meeting of 37 key participants brought together logistics industry players, subject-matter experts, Shariah advisors and various certification bodies. LBB International, led by Managing Director Marco Tieman, anchored the roundtable on Halal logistics, and the first session provided an extensive overview of the framework for the development of the 48 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JULY+AUG 2008

Logistics experts in deep discussion for the Halal logistics module...

logistics module (of three parts): Halal warehousing, Halal transportation and Halal compliant terminals. The roundtable also raised important elements in developing standards, and resolved that if they are to be ethically aligned and well accepted globally, their development must be transparent and in line with international best practices. In Session Two, Tieman highlighted the need for an understanding of areas of concern and critical control points. Halal logistics must determine where cross-contamination can occur and what the critical control points are. The next session discussed a specific component of the Halal logistics module -warehousing and cold storage, with special focus on meat - -and highlighted some of the topics that needed to be discussed in the definition of cross-contamination (such as what Halal goods should be separated from, and how to separate these goods). The discussion also focussed on the importance of different classifications

The roundtable also raised important elements in developing standards, and resolved that if they are to be ethically aligned and well accepted globally, their development must be transparent and in line with international best practices. of Halal warehouses as well as the differences between refrigerated and chilled compared to ambient storage. Session Four dealt with tracking and tracing procedures that should be incorporated into the Halal standard, and to what extent the standard should govern industry-wide tracking and tracing. Questions were also raised about the standard’s reach into the supply chain, its depth and processes. The roundtable concluded that the development of the Halal logistics module would be overseen by a steering committee and be broken into three working groups, managed by a coordinator. (The working groups were Transportation Technical, Terminal Technical and Warehousing Technical.) The meeting concluded with the view that the standard

development approach should begin with a benchmarking exercise against existing standards, modules and guidelines. Participants added that the standard should also be practical and realistic. The technical working groups met from Sept 12-15, 2008, to draft the guidelines. The next step will be the international engagement process starting with a meeting at the Port of Rotterdam on Sept 22, 2008. Subsequent meetings are planned for Singapore in October 2008, and Abu Dhabi in November 2008. Thus far, the roundtable has proven to be a step in the right direction for the Halal industry. Besides the establishment of a new world standard, its initiatives will help in product development, providing consumer assurance, as well as reducing the number of multiple certifications.

fast track | ASIA

Century Logistics awarded “Halal” logistics certification

The first to secure MS1900:2005 Quality Management Systems (QMS) according to Islamic Perspectives CENTURY TOTAL LOGISTICS Sdn Bhd, a home-grown and leading provider of oil and gas logistics, supply chain management and total logistics services, is now the first logistics company to have secured the MS1900:2005 Quality Management Systems according to Islamic Perspectives for International Freight Forwarding, Warehouse Management and Transport Services from SIRIM. The certificate was presented to Century Logistics by Dato’ Mariani Mohamad, Managing Director of SIRIM QAS International Sdn Bhd at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Resort. Also present to officiate the event was the Secretary-General of the Minister of International Trade and Industry Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Mamat, and CEO of Halal Industry Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (HDC) Dato’ Jamil Bidin. With this accreditation, Century Logistics is now regarded as the first logistics company in the nation to be

certified as a Halal logistics provider for diversified services on an international level. Dr Mohamed Amin Kassim, the Deputy Managing Director of Century Logistics Holdings Berhad said, “We are proud to be recognised as the first company to be certified as a Halal logistics provider. This certification is further proof of our commitment to providing the highest quality, best practices and consistency in our diversified services on an international level. “The Halal market has expanded tremendously, especially within the Asian region, and we have been remodelling our logistics processes and operations to cater for this market. With this accreditation, we are confident we can meet our potential customers from the Halal industry and cater to their entire logistics needs. “We are convinced that this will also enhance our Malaysian capability of providing valueadded regional Halal-hub services,” added Dr. Amin

Through its international offices in Thailand, Dubai, India and China, plus accredited agents in 73 countries, Century Logistics is positioned to penetrate various Halal markets and strengthen the linkages among them. In providing Halal logistics services, Century Logistics shall make available specialised trucks, warehouses and containers, and would consider building a cold-room facility depending on the demand. MS 1900:2005 - QMS Requirements from Islamic Perspective is a standard that specifies the requirements for a Shariah Compliance Quality Management System. The aim of the standard MS 1900 is to ensure that organisations are managed in accordance with universally acceptable values, such as global best practices, integrity, timeliness and discipline, and that the Halal and non-Halal aspects of all processes necessary for the delivery of services and products are identified, communicated to every

Left to right: Dato’ Mariani Mohammad, Managing Director of SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd, Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Mamat, Secretary General of Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and Mr Steven Teow, Managing Director, Century Logistics Holdings Berhad

personnel in the organisation and effectively implemented. The MS 1900:2005 is based on the ISO 9001:2000 standard from the Islamic perspective. The stringent requirements of MS1900:2005 shall ensure that the processes and values meet all expectations of other relevant bodies, such as HDC and Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAK M). **Note: the term “Halal” has been used in this article to mean Shariah-compliant, but not Halal-certified by HDC or JAKIM.

Islamic Relief Malaysia launches the


Eyeing the Islamic Relief label on products for the Ramadhan Feed the Fasting 2008 package...

MALAYSIA’S RAMADHAN FEED THE FASTING 2008 PROGRAMME was launched on Aug 5, 2008, at Palm Garden Resort, Putrajaya, by Malaysia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri. Also present were Islamic

Relief Worldwide Fundraising Director Heshmat Khalifa, and Islamic Relief Malaysia Country Manager Zawahir Abdullah. The Programme is a seasonal initiative implemented by Islamic Relief Malaysia to reach out to disadvantaged communities in Malaysia. It is a concerted effort by Islamic Relief Malaysia and corporate partners to ease the burden of the poor and needy families, orphans, single mothers and the elderly who are observing the fasting ritual during the holy month of Ramadhan by providing them essential food items and gifts. Each pack was intended for an average family of five people and contained basic necessities such as rice, flour, sugar, oil, salt, sardines, condensed milk, dates and so on, with some regional variations. The cost of each

pack for Malaysian distribution was RM50. The food pack helped ease recipients’ financial burden for at least two to three weeks during Ramadhan. Because malnutrition is a prominent issue among poor communities in Malaysia, the project helped provide basic essential nutrition (as well and non-food necessities) to each beneficiary during the fasting month. The project was created in hopes of increasing the awareness of their plight, and to encourage efforts to enhance a community spirit of caring and sharing during Ramadhan. In 2007, more than 5,000 families from the Malaysian states of Johor, Perak, Selangor and Pahang benefited from this programme. This year, Islamic Relief Malaysia looked to cater to the needs of 10,000 beneficiaries

all over Malaysia particularly the poor, single mothers, orphans and those included in each state’s Welfare Department list. Islamic Relief operates in 25 countries, and similar programmes are being carried out where the organisation has a presence. More than 180,000 food packages were distributed to more than 900,000 beneficiaries globally last year alone, and the international programme continues to focus on countries facing food insecurity due to poverty, natural disasters or conflict. Malaysia’s Feed the Fasting 2008 campaign continued for the whole month of Ramadhan. For further information on how to donate and take part, kindly visit or call Islamic Relief Malaysia office at +603 8948 6334. THE HALAL JOURNAL | JULY+AUG 2008


fast track | ASIA


Datuk Ibrahim proud of his products...

DATUK IBRAHIM AHMAD BADAWI, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dewina Holdings Sdn Bhd, has never looked back since he founded the company on July 16, 1988. Aware that foreign markets play significant parts in company growth, Ibrahim has been busy acquiring more companies, as well as forming joint ventures with global giants. His biggest operation today is LSG Skychefs Brahims Sdn Bhd (LSGB Sky Chef ), which operates around the clock throughout the year. This latest phase began in 2003, when Dewina joined forces with LSG, the world’s largest airline in-flight food provider. The result was LSGB Sky Chef, a flight kitchen facility built at the cost of RM400 million. Serving 35 different airlines including MAS, AirAsia, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines and Emirates, Dewina also operates at the Penang International Airport with a total output of 38,000 to 40,000 meals a day. “We can stretch the production to 50,000 -- 55,000 meals 50 THE HALAL JOURNAL | JULY+AUG 2008

per day,” Ibrahim added. The company currently owns Tamadam Bonded Warehouse Bhd, a local logistics company. Ibrahim acquired the public company to tap into public funds to enhance Halal logistics: “We wanted to build a logistics provider with bonded warehouse and storage facilities, as well as to provide services specifically for Halal purposes. We would like to develop the concept of Halal transport,” he said. To strengthen its logistics business, Dewina has also formed a joint venture through Tamadam with Singapore-based CWT -- one of the largest logistics companies in Southeast Asia. CWT covers what Tamadam lacks, for instance connectivity to seaports. Ibrahim added that the strategic partnership with CWT completes the picture: “Now we have a bonded warehouse, space storage, as well as land and sea transport.” Ibrahim has also recently secured the master franchise for Carrefour Express (a

“As easy as 1,2,3...” Datuk Ibrahim explains...

chain of convenience stores) from Carrefour France. “I look at this as an opportunity to get more Bumiputera involved in retail businesses, although the subfranchise cannot be limited to Bumiputeras only,” he said. The first five Carrefour Express outlets have already opened in the Klang Valley area of Malaysia, and Ibrahim expects to open 40-50 outlets by the end of 2008. He added that he received many enquiries for the franchise just after Carrefour Express opened its second Malaysian outlet. These enquiries came mainly from building owners, and Ibrahim noted that their interest was sparked by the value Carrefour Express would add to their premises. On why he always chooses foreign companies to collaborate with, he said: “My thought is that, if I want to partner with any company for a specialised international business, it is always best to go with the best. “For example, LSG Sky Chefs is the best and biggest

in in-flight catering, and Carrefour is the second biggest supermarket in the world after Wal-Mart. My airport F&B operation is also conducted in partnership with top airport F&B operator Host Marriot. The bottom line is you must understand the business. Only then will they have confidence in you.” Dewina is also eyeing a number of local and international projects. One of its newest subsidiaries is Dewina Consult Sdn Bhd, which is involved in training and consulting services in biotechnology and food production. With more local and international projects coming in, Ibrahim seems optimistic that the Halal industry is something Muslims can engage with in order to access the global market. Dewina will therefore continue pursuing international links without forgetting its Malaysian roots. It will continue enhancing the country’s image in the eyes of the world while providing much needed services for the Ummah globally.

country in focus Words By BY HARIZ KAMAL




ermany is full of notable and outstanding individuals in various fields of the arts, sports and politics such as Günther Grass, Michael Schumacher, Steffi Graf, Boris Becker, Karl Marx, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mozart, the Grimm brothers (Jakob and Wilhelm), and Johann Strauss to name a few. It has a rich and diverse history, and even its name has gone through many changes. “Germany” refers to three different ideas. First, it is a regional designation that corresponds to a geographical area in Central Europe — this was so even when there was no central German state, as was the case for most of the country’s history. Secondly, it refers to the unified German state of 1871 to 1945. And thirdly, since Oct 3, 1990 it has referred to the new Germany formed by the reunification on this date of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) to the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). Germany shares its borders with nine countries: Denmark to the north; the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France to the west; Switzerland and Austria to the south and the Czech Republic and Poland to the east. This puts Germany at the heart of Europe. The country is also surrounded by lush green landscapes of upland plains, hilly regions and open lowlands that form a backdrop to the enchanting mediaeval villages, castles, palaces and abbeys that are the essential beauty of Germany. Besides its vibrant cities with amazing architecture, fabulous shopping and pulsating nightlife, Germany has also seen a vibrant economic boom since reunification.


Despite the 68.3 per cent of total devastation of imports, or USD 38.1 conflict and billion, came from the ideological other EU countries. split after the Accounting Second World for 22 per cent because of the strong War, reunification of the EU’s gross has made export orientation that has domestic product, Germany one of Germany is also been part of the German the most highly the engine driving tradition for centuries. industrialised Europe’s economy. and economically In 2007, the powerful German economy countries in the world. In terms of beat expert forecasts and grew overall economic performance, it by 2.6 per cent. Today, it is a much ranks third; and it holds second sought-after business destination place in the arena of world trade. and has EUR 439 billion in foreign The reunited German economy investments. Strong direct investment, is a dominant force in world markets healthy labour relations, and because of the strong export detailed government planning and orientation that has been part of motivation have helped the country’s the German tradition for centuries. long-term economic growth. German industry continues to produce some of the best machine tools, ermany is the home of automobiles, trucks, chemicals, and many globally recognised engineering products in the world. companies such as Germany has the fifth largest DaimlerChrysler, BMW, economy in the world and is one of the Siemens, Bayer and BASF, but it also largest importers of food, agricultural has strong small- and medium-sized and forestry products. Germany’s enterprises (SMEs). Tens of thousands total imports of food and agricultural of German SMEs employ almost 70 products amounted to USD 54.3 billion per cent of the country’s workforce in 2003, which rose 2.5 per cent to a in numerous fields including total of USD 55.7 billion in 2004. About engineering, renewable energy,

The reunited German economy is a dominant force in world markets


A mosque in Berlin

The German Bundestaag, river view

For your information...

The City of Erfurt

Weimar - The literary centre of Germany

Another mosque in Berlin - Turkish architecture

Classic...A beetle in Berlin...

nanotechnology and biotechnology. Germany to deal Apart from this, the financial comprehensively services sector of the German economy with the social and is one of the most active and has grown political position of vigorously over the years. Thus, with the the Muslim parts dramatic growth of Islamic banking and of its population finance, more and more conventional (which has grown international banks (such as Citibank, to around 3.2 to HSBC and UBS) are converting some of 3.5 million today). Deutsche their services to comply with interestWith the Bank (one of Germany’s free Islamic financial models. As a increased further boost to the financial sector, largest), announced a joint population, more German banks are looking into the process of venture with Ithmaar Islamic finance and Islamic banking. integration has Bank of Bahrain in 2006. Recognising that the value been a priority of of Islamic banking internationally the German Federal ranges from USD200 billion to USD500 billion, Deutsche Republic. Numerous steps have been Bank (one of Germany’s largest), announced a joint taken to ensure that agreement can venture with Ithmaar Bank of Bahrain in 2006. be reached between German society Although Germany is known to be a highly developed and its Muslim population so that and advanced country in terms of industrialisation both sides will adhere to the principles and economic strength, it still faces the challenge of of social and religious freedom. overcoming economic and social divisions between what was once East and West Germany. In addition, conomically, however, the dissolution of the Eastern bloc coupled with Muslims have already been immigration from Africa and Asia has brought integrated into the German increased change to Germany’s social landscape. society. Naturally, the Even so, nearly half of the foreigners in Germany increased population has translated have been residing in the country for at least ten years. into a higher demand for Halal food. The Turks are the largest foreign community in Germany Looking for Halal food is no longer a and first arrived in the 1960s as Muslim “guest workers”. hassle for Muslims in Germany today, Consequently, unplanned and uncontrolled immigration especially if they live in major cities on the basis of political asylum, economic distress, as well such as Berlin, Munich, Cologne or as the arrival of immigrants’ family members has forced Stuttgart. This is of course due to the

Recognising that the value of Islamic banking internationally ranges from USD200 billion to USD500 billion,


Multicultural Kreuzberg

presence of large Turkish communities in these cities. Thus, with the increased demand for Halal products, non-Muslims have increased their knowledge of Islam, which in turn has indirectly aided the integration of Muslims into German society. In view of this huge market potential, various companies have delved into the Halal business and are hoping to get a slice of the Halal pie. For example, Mekkafood Halal Products (based in NettetalKaldenkirchen) started out in 1993. Since then production has grown steadily, and today, it serves approximately 8,000 restaurants and food markets in Europe with some 30 frozen Halal meat products. In recent years, therefore, Islamic banking and finance as well as the Halal industry have provided Germany with a platform to develop their economy beyond their already formidable presence in the industrial sector. hj References: • Facts about Germany: Societäts-Verlag, 1999 • Investments in Germany: www. • GAIN Report – Germany Agricultural Situation, Imports of Agricultural Products 2005 • BBC: Banks move into Islamic finance, 2006, • Growing Muslim Population in Europe Spurs Market for Halal Food Products, Ted Shoemaker, 2006 •



islamic finance

By Dr. Mohamad Akram Laldin, Executive Director of the International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Getting to know the


of Shariah Scholars...

he recent and rapid development of Islamic finance and banking is a proof that the industry is no longer alien to the world: In fact, Islamic finance is sought everywhere today. Such demands imply that Islamic banking and finance are here to stay and have a bright future. Its rapid advance is the result of the modern Islamic economics project that started in the 1970s, which involved many Shariah scholars and Muslim professionals from the finance and economics sector. As a result, Islamic banking and finance emerged to become an alternative to the conventional system, and developed further until Muslims had their own Takaful services, Islamic capital market and Islamic money market. It was assisted by a vast market, namely Muslims around the globe that have long sought such products. It is well known that acquiring, possessing and utilising Halal wealth is a significant part of Muslim belief. However, it must be remembered that the actual aim of the system is to achieve Falah (success) in the world and hereafter, as Muslims are to live according to Allah’s



commands and to seek His blessings in life. Because Islam is the way of life, Shariah scholars have struggled to create products, services and a system that is Shariah-compliant. This has given birth to the Islamic banking and finance industry. Such efforts were assisted by Shariah scholars throughout history who have discussed and elaborated on basic Muamalah concepts. Modern Shariah scholars have continued their efforts by exploring this subject further and examining both Islamic Muamalah and the modern economic system. A Shariah advisory service is common to all sectors, as it ensures the health and success of operations, and preserves the integrity of the Islamic finance industry. Likewise, Shariah advisory bodies are initiated to advise Islamic finance product and service providers on Shariah

compliance matters. These normally include a number of Shariah scholars who provide advice and guidance on Shari’e matters. Such bodies are highly important, as they set the factors that distinguish Islamic banks from conventional banks. In fact, Shariah advisory bodies are the actual distinctive factors between Islamic institutions and other institutions. Most of all, they display the credibility and legitimacy of the Islamic financial system, which in turn attracts public confidence and support. Therefore, it is very important that Shariah scholars play their role so that the Shariah Advisory Body can effectively shape the Islamic finance system.

Photo by Sanja Gjenero, Croatia


islamic finance



hariah scholars are the main thrust of all Shariah advisory bodies. A Shariah scholar is commonly referred to as a person with Shariah background or one who possesses good knowledge in Fiqh, Usul Fiqh, and particularly Fiqh Muamalat, which explains Islamic commercial law and contracts. However, the current trend and situation requires them also to have reasonable experience and significant knowledge about modern conventional banking and finance systems, so as to be able to lay down the distinctions between the two systems. As Islamic finance is exploring the global market, Shariah scholars need to equip themselves with a good command of English and Arabic in order to understand, read, discuss, present and share more ideas or materials on Shariah, finance and Islamic finance globally. Another important mater is the fact that a Shariah scholar has to be a person of good repute who upholds personal high ethical standards. In addition, the scholar must have a clean criminal record, and must also possess noble characteristics (such as trustworthiness, honesty, responsibility and accountability). This is because a Shariah advisor must be seen to practice what he or she preaches, and must be a good example to others. Most importantly, the scholar has to be honest with the knowledge possessed and must employ it with utmost professional integrity in order to assist the industry in solving its problems. Additionally, it is pertinent for Shariah scholars to develop their knowledge and skills by learning, reading and equipping themselves with adequate experience. This is important in order to demonstrate that Shariah is flexible and suitable for mankind, regardless of location and time. In a nutshell, Shariah scholars have to be more dynamic and prepared to face additional challenges that may come their way. On the other hand, Shariah scholars are also responsible to investors and the clients of Islamic financial institutions, as they are the principal stakeholders of these institutions. Scholars must perform their roles with due diligence, especially in ensuring that the products and services offered are in compliance with the highest Shariah standards and requirements. This is because other stakeholders usually have limited access to the details of the products and services on offer, or they may lack the experience and qualifications to evaluate those products and services. In this respect, Shariah scholars also act as enablers for customer advocacy.

It is well acknowledged that classical scholars have provided abundant literature to discuss commercial transactions. This body of literature must be referred to by scholars today. However, at present, challenges and circumstances require Shariah scholars to go beyond literature and embark on extensive research in order to discover means and ways to apply classical theories to modern financial instruments. In order to play their roles effectively, they need to be able to make Ijtihad and explore new possibilities. Modern Islamic financial practices require scholars to be alert to different needs and ever-changing circumstances, be they in the fields of law, taxation or regulatory requirements. They must be innovative in overcoming all the hurdles in coming up with competitive Islamic financial products. It is indeed a challenge for scholars to embark on such innovations, and it requires them to be equipped with the necessary knowledge and experience. In addition, apart from Shariah compliance Shariah scholars have to promote noble and Islamic agendas. They must drive more contributions from the industry and themselves for the benefit of the Ummah as a whole. There have to be positive initiatives on the part of Shariah scholars to do Islah, or reform, and to educate stakeholders, industry players and other Shariah scholars to make them aware that they are Khalifahs (vicegerents) and the provision of Islamic financial products and services is a form of Ibadah, as well as to seek Allah’s blessings in this world and the hereafter. If they succeed in such reforms, all related parties in

the development of Islamic finance will sense the need to work harder for the betterment and success of the industry.



he basic roles of the Shariah scholars are to provide advice on Shari’e matters, issue Fatwas and point to the Halal and Haram elements in banking and financial transactions. This was said to be the scholars’ role at the initial stage of modern Islamic finance. Hence, they were commonly associated with endorsement, which enticed financial institutions to seek them. But now their roles are more extensive than before, and include innovating new products for the market and exploring other financial contracts and instruments. Even today, there are still many aspects of finance that need to be explored, such as Islamic risk management tools and Shariah auditing. As the market and scholars become more mature, and as they advance to the phase of creation or laying new foundations, Shariah scholars must be involved in and contribute to bigger perspectives of finance, and not merely provide basic products. There are specific roles that need to be played by Shariah scholars in Shariah advisory bodies: FIRST, they must ensure that product development is conducted according to acceptable principles of the Shariah and follows acceptable Shariah standards – regardless of whether these standards are developed locally or internationally. The rapid growth and advancement of Islamic finance has resulted in the development of Shariah standards and frameworks

Most importantly, the scholar has to be honest with the

knowledge possessed and must employ it with utmost professional integrity in order to assist the industry in solving its problems.



islamic finance In addition, Shariah scholars must also assess the economic implications of the product on the Ummah. This will require them to look at the Maqasid approach.

for product development. Key agencies involved in this development include international bodies such as the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB); or national bodies like the Shariah Advisory Council of central banks and other financial institutions. Thus, the task of Shariah scholars is to ensure that these standards are upheld and followed in order to preserve the high level of integrity of their decisions. SECONDLY, scholars must ensure that the decisions of the Shariah Boards are understood by practitioners for the purpose of implementation: They are responsible for the application of the decisions of the Shariah Board. THIRDLY, Shariah scholars must be competent enough to scrutinise documents related to products and transactions, as negligence and negative legal consequences will result from noncompliance. Therefore, Shariah scholars must have sufficient knowledge about the Shariah, as well as legal and operational aspects of the products and transactions they deal with. It is highly desirable that Shariah scholars should be involved in product development from the early stages, and participate actively up until the contract is concluded. These will definitely require them to have a good command of languages as they need to examine all the terms, conditions, clauses and secondary contracts that are set out in the contract, as well as all the supporting documents. Moreover, Shariah scholars must have a full knowledge of the purpose of the products and how they are operationalised. They must ensure that products have positive objectives and are not in merely means to forbidden ends. It is also a great concern if Islamic finance proceeds are not managed well or channelled to non-compliant activities. If this is allowed, then efforts to build a Shariah-compliant system will be fruitless, as a permissible matter that leads to a prohibited matter is also prohibited. Shariah scholars must be firm and strict, so as not to be involved in anything forbidden or doubtful or any activity that contains trickery (Hiyal). In addition, Shariah scholars must also assess the economic implications of the product on the Ummah. This will require them to look at the Maqasid approach. It must be remembered that Islamic financial products are supposed to provide facility to the people and not be a burden on them. In Islam, wealth is one of the essentials of human life. Therefore, Islamic finance has to be reviewed on a bigger scale, namely with a view to ensuring that it serves the Ummah effectively. For instance, retail products must not be neglected, although wholesale


products may derive more profits. The Islamic financial system, which is commonly perceived to be a moral and ethical system, must contribute effectively to overall wealth creation, growth, development, and greater shared prosperity.


nother aspect that needs to be considered by Shariah scholars is strengthening the governance of Islamic financial institutions, as well as the embedding of Islamic values into the financial institutions’ business operations and governance. This includes facilitating Shariah audits, ensuring Islamic and ethical management, protecting consumer rights and ensuring the accountability of financial institutions. It must be mentioned that for those jurisdictions where there is a Central Shariah Council at the central bank, scholars are not confined to advisory roles. The central body needs to coordinate the issuance of Fatwas and rulings, as well as products developed by in-house advisory bodies, and work closely with regulators, economists and financial experts to contribute to the smooth implementation of Shariah decisions under their respective jurisdictions.

They must also work towards the harmonisation of Fatwas and the global development of Islamic finance. As their opinions are seen to represent the opinions of other scholars in their jurisdiction, they need to be competent and accountable for their decisions. Thus, the abovementioned roles of Shariah scholars demonstrate the need for determination, alertness, commitment, seriousness and competency of Shariah scholars. They must not be mere rubber stamps but professionals that endorse a product only after full inspection and satisfaction that the product is Shariah-compliant. They must also be aware of the many other roles they must play to ensure that the Islamic financial system is developed as intended by the Almighty. This will surely require strict observation of the Maqasid of the Shariah. In conclusion, it is vital for Shariah scholars to play their roles effectively, to shape Shariah advisory bodies and to ensure the success of the industry so that Shariah application will be extended to other areas of Islam. It is vital to demonstrate that Shariah is workable not only in financial matters but in all areas of life. hj

Mohamad Nejatullah Siddiqi, Shariah, Economics and the Progress of Islamic Finance: The Role of Shariah Experts, paper presented at the Pre-Forum Workshop on Select Ethical and Methodological Issues in Shari`a-Compliant Finance, Seventh Harvard Forum on Islamic Finance, Cambridge, US, 21 April 2006 at p3; and for further discussion, see Ausaf Ahmed, The Evolution of Islamic Banking, Encyclopedia of Islamic Banking at p15 - 24 Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo, Shariah Supervision in Islamic Finance, at p1. Accessible at: http: // mdsidx/ downloads/delorenzo.pdf . Accessed on July 1, 2008. For further elaboration on the required characteristics of a Shariah advisor, see Amin Muhammad Ali Qattan, Hai’at Riqabah: Ikhtiyar A’adhauha wa Dhawabituha, AAOIFI 7th Shariah Conference, May 27-28, 2008, Bahrain at p4-6 Yusuf Talal De Lorenzo, op. cit. p1. Ali Muhyiddin Al Qurradaghi, Al Muqaddimah fil Mal wal Iqtisad wal Milkiyyah wal ‘Aqd, Dar Al Basha’ir Al Islamiyyah: Beirut, 2006, at p5 See Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Islamic banking and Finance Progress and prospects Collected Speeches: 2000 – 2005, Bank Negara Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, 2005, at p196. Ibid. at p205 READ THE SECOND PART IN THE NEXT EDITION, WHICH WILL DELVE INTO THE ROLES AND CHALLENGES OF SHARIAH ADVISORY BODIES AND THE DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO SHARIAH SUPERVISION IN THE FIELD OF ISLAMIC FINANCE.

Islamic finance update


SEP+OCT ‘08 SHARIAH SCHOLARS, ASSET MANAGERS, AND ATTORNEYS DISCUSS POSITIONING ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUCCESS IN ISLAMIC FINANCE Organised by Finance IQ, the second annual Islamic Finance World Summit will be held from 20-22 October 2008, in New York, USA. This global forum will discuss the latest trends and solutions needed to overcome entry barriers within Islamic finance. Shariah scholars and advisors will be on hand, as well as asset managers, attorneys, and highlevel executives, to examine the opportunities in the Islamic finance market today. Industry-leading organisations including Ansar Financial, Algebra Capital, UIB Capital, the American Bar Association and the International Islamic University Malaysia. They and other organisations at the summit will address regulatory hurdles like making distressed debt products compliant with Shariah, structuring special purpose vehicles to access Islamic financing and overcoming US taxation and regulatory hurdles. Summit speakers will share their insights on structuring and securitising Sukuks, identifying emerging opportunities in Islamic retail banking, and using Shariahcompliant hedge instruments. For additional information, visit, contact Roshan Polepali at +1 212-885-2724 or email to |SOURCE: MARKETWATCH. COM, 30 JULY 2008

AL KHALIJI HAS ARRANGER ROLE IN TWO MAJOR REGIONAL DEALS WORTH OVER USD6.6 BILLION Al Khaliji corporate banking continues to deliver on its regional strategy, with the latest example being its role in helping to arrange more than USD6.6 billion of financing

for two of the Middle East’s best known conglomerates. Al Khaliji has contributed USD170 million through its involvement in these highprofile deals, marking the bank’s growing significance as an arranger in major syndicated financing across the region. For Dubai World, Al Khaliji acted as a Senior Lead Arranger in a USD5.5 billion term loan facility, contributing USD100 million. Separately, Al Khaliji acted as a Mandated Lead Arranger financing USD70 million in a USD1.125 billion purchase of receivables due to Orascom Telecom Iraq Corp. Limited (a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E) and drawn on Zain Iraq, an affiliate of Mobile Telecommunications Company K.S.C, (Zain). The financing package was provided to support the USD1.2 billion sale of Iraqna, Orascom’s subsidiary in Iraq, to Zain Iraq. Rob McCall, Al Khaliji Managing Executive, Corporate Banking, said: “The combination of Al Khaliji’s capital base and experienced corporate banking team enables us to deliver quickly for our clients across the region. We’re pleased to have rapidly established a reliable reputation for working alongside local and international banks to ensure the successful completion of major syndicated financings for our clients.” |SOURCE: ZAWYA.COM, 31 JULY 2008

ALIGARH MUSLIM UNIVERSITY TO RUN ISLAMIC INSURANCE COURSE Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), which has decided to introduce a course in Islamic banking from the next academic session, will also offer separate courses in Islamic insurance and finance, a university official said. “The varsity intends to start these courses to cater to the ever-increasing demand

for trained personnel in Islamic insurance and finance sectors,” AMU spokesperson Rahat Abrar told IANS. The Islamic insurance course will be a diploma course, while Islamic finance will be a two-year master’s programme, he added. The two courses have been recommended by a threemember committee appointed by AMU Vice Chancellor P.K. Abdul Azis to work out the feasibility of offering courses on Islamic banking, including the possibility of establishing a new department dedicated to the subject, the official said. In preparing the syllabi of courses in Islamic banking, finance and insurance, the committee consulted experts from Harvard University’s Islamic Forum, the University of Durham in Britain, the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia and several other institutions, the official added. |SOURCE: FRESHNEWS.IN, 31 JULY 2008

BANKING SECTOR: CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT The consolidated balance sheet of Islamic and commercial banks in Yemen increased up to YR1.3 trillion during first half of this year compared to YR1.1 trillion in the same period last year, a new report of the Central Bank of Yemen (CBY) said. According to the report, the total sum of the foreign assets of the banks also rose during the same period to YR177 billion against YR273 billion for the same period last year. The report also revealed a decrease of the banks’ reserves at nine per cent. However, the CBY said that the monetary reserves of foreign currency increased to USD8.2 billion during the first half of 2008 compared to USD7.5 billion in same period of 2007. The CBY’s balance sheet rose to YR1.7 trillion at June of this year compared to YR1.5 trillion in

June of 2007, the report said. |SOURCE: YOBSERVER. COM, 2 AUGUST 2008

SHAMIL BANK HONOURS ADVANCED ISLAMIC FINANCE DIPLOMA GRADUATES Shamil Bank, a leading Bahrainbased Islamic commercial and investment bank and a subsidiary of Ithmaar Bank, honoured seven of its employees who have successfully completed the Advanced Islamic Finance Diploma administered by the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF). Shamil Bank Deputy Chief Executive, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, congratulated the recent graduates: “Shamil Bank is very proud of its Bahraini employees. The management has always believed that training and development is an essential component of stimulating our employees’ growth, which will ensure long-term fulfilling careers in the banking industry.” The following Shamil Bank employees received the Advanced Islamic Finance Diploma from the BIBF: Eman Abdulwadood Al Awadhi, Banking Operation Department; Ghadeer Mohammed Al Ammadi, Banking Operation Department; Faisal Mohammed Fankheer, Retail Banking Department; and Farhan N. Khawaja, Investment Banking Department. During the same award ceremony, Ismail AbdulSamad Al Awadhi from the Shariah Supervisory Unit was awarded for successfully completing the Certified Shariah Advisor & Auditor programme administered by the (AAIOFI); and Rashid Fikri Abu Odeh, Financial Institution Department, for completing the Treasury Capital Market Diploma administered by the BIBF. |SOURCE: AMEINFO.COM, 2 AUGUST 2008



Islamic finance update


STANCHART, RBS EYE MALAYSIAN ISLAMIC SUBSIDIARIES Standard Chartered Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) plan to set up Islamic banking subsidiaries in Malaysia, local media reported on Monday. Standard Chartered has obtained the Malaysian central bank’s nod to set up the subsidiary, the bank’s Islamic banking head Azrulnizam Abd Aziz was quoted by Business Times as saying. The lender will set up its Islamic arm before year end. RBS plans to ask for a licence to set up an Islamic banking subsidiary, the bank’s country head Harry Naysmith was quoted as saying in a report published in the Malaysian Reserve. Mostly Muslim Malaysia has

18 AUGUST 2008

QATAR TO ATTEND ISLAMIC BANKING CONFERENCE Delegates from Qatar will be among the 1,000 leaders and experts representing 45 countries from the banking industry who will attend the 15th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC), to be held in Bahrain from November 23 to 25. Those attending will shape new growth strategies in the increasingly global market for Islamic finance. Notwithstanding the gloomy backdrop of the sub-prime crisis afflicting conventional financial institutions, experts are predicting this year to be another record-breaking one for the Islamic banking and finance industry. Platinum Strategic Partners to the event are Samba Financial, Unicorn Investment Bank, Kuwait Finance House Bahrain, Allianz Global Investors and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. The conference also enjoys the support of the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Bahrain Economic Development Board. A record-breaking number of partners, sponsors, and exhibitors from Islamic and non-Islamic financial institutions, legal firms, IT companies and major global ratings agencies have already confirmed their participation in the conference.


NBAD MOVES INTO EGYPT WITH USD4 MILLION BROKERAGE DEAL Abu Dhabi Financial Services said it has snapped up 70 per cent of Egypt-based Al Salam Brokerage. The deal is thought to have cost the UAE-based company, which is owned by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, around USD4 million. A notice posted on the ADX website said that the move by ADFS would be the first step towards “the fulfilment of a wider scope of development”, including the modernisation of the Egyptian company’s IT infrastructure and the enhancement of its human resources. It will also help with plans for increased regional and international expansion. In May, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank’s Egyptian arm and Amlak Finance signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Arab Orient Insurance Company; a member of the Al Futtaim group of companies, to launch a new joint venture insurance company in Egypt called Arab Orient Takaful Insurance. |SOURCE: CPIFINANCIAL. NET, 19 AUGUST 2008


TRADITION LAUNCHES ISLAMIC AND CAPITAL MARKETS DESK IN DUBAI Tradition has launched an Islamic and Capital Markets desk in Dubai and London. The desk is a joint venture between Tradition’s London and Asia arms, and is licensed by the DFSA. It will offer broker services for trading of Sukuk, inter-bank money market

NET, 11 AUGUST 2008


This year’s conference will feature a host of new and value-added highlights, including the launch of the fifth edition of the WIBC McKinsey Competitiveness Report, the world’s only original research into the performance and key trends of Islamic banking worldwide.


UK, 5 AUGUST 2008


12 full-fledged Islamic banks, according to central bank data. As at last year, it had Shariahcompliant assets worth RM157 billion (USD46.91 billion), accounting for 12.8 per cent of the total banking system. The Southeast Asian country aims to be a global hub for Islamic finance — a USD1 trillion industry that is growing rapidly, thanks to a flood of petrodollars from the Middle East. (USD1=RM3.347)



transactions by Murabaha; credit default swaps (CDS) and global currency products such as foreign exchange and forward swaps. Tradition’s Islamic and Capital Markets team will report to Will Hornby, Head of Credit in London. Ali Merchant will lead the Dubai team. Merchant has 28 years’ experience in the market, 16 as treasurer of two Middle Eastern banks. Joining Merchant will be Muhammad Talha. A senior banker with 29 years’ experience in four banks, Talha worked as Head of International Banking at Qatar International Bank for 10 years. David Barker will lead the London team. He joins Tradition from Tullett Prebon and will handle trading of Sukuk, CDS and convertible bonds. Tradition has been brokering Sukuk out of its offices in London and Hong Kong, and is now expanding into Dubai as part of its global expansion strategy.


PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS WINS TAKAFUL AWARD PricewaterhouseCoopers won the Best Takaful Advisory Firm category at the recent 2008 International Takaful Awards, which celebrated the Islamic insurance sector. Mohammad Faiz Azmi, global Islamic finance leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: “This award is a wonderful recognition of our efforts to support the Takaful industry, both locally and globally.” Held at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London, the event was endorsed by a range of organisations including UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the Chartered Insurance Institute and the International Underwriting Association of London. The Takaful market is a sector which is set to increase as many Western products are incompatible with Islam’s Shariah law, with growth rates of 20 per cent a year experienced so far. A report by Standard & Poor’s Rating Service claims the industry has further opportunity for rapid growth, and predicts it will become a significant player in the risk transfer market, according to Insurance Daily. Earlier this month, UKTI Chief Executive Officer Andrew Cahn said the UK is committed to embracing Islamic finance, and noted the industry’s resilience through turbulent market conditions.

gain perspective

market intelligence research & analysis project development training & workshops

The Halal Market Specialists KasehDia Sdn Bhd, 31-2 Plaza Crystalville, Jalan 22a/70a Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur Tel +603 6203 1025 • Fax +603 6203 4072 • •

WORLD ISLAMIC SERVICES FORUM 2008 2 5 & 2 6 N O V E M B E R 2 0 0 8 • K U C H I N G , S A R A W A K , M A L AY S I A

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






SEP+OCT 2008


A time of fasting and feasting for Muslims, the blessed month of Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic (Lunar) calendar and changes date by approximately 11 days every Gregorian year. It is a month that most Muslims look forward to every year.



he holy month of Ramadhan is a month of fasting and feasting that can be explained in both the physical and spiritual context. In the physical context, Ramadhan is


when fasting is obligatory to all Muslims,

whereby the daily fasts begin at dawn and ends at sunset. The simple concept of fasting is basically having a really early breakfast, skip lunch and have dinner at sunset.

Fasting Feasting‌

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cover story celebration the following month.

More importantly is the ability to

The celebration of Eid ul Fitr is

refrain yourself from food and drinks from dawn to dusk, when

more meaningful when Muslims

the physical side of feasting will

complete their Ramadhan not only

take place: breaking fast or Iftar.

feasting on the selection of food but also feasting on the spiritual

As an important pillar of Islam, fasting in the month of Ramadhan

benefits of Ramadhan. The holy

not only gives spiritual benefits

month is very much blessed where

but also health benefits. Normally

fasting is a gift for Muslims to

fasting is associated with weight

improve themselves physically,

loss due to restraining from

socially and especially spiritually.

food and drinks. However, the

The benefits are as stated in the

medical benefits from fasting are resting of the digestive tract and lowering lipids. In terms of physiological benefits, fasting lowers blood sugar, cholesterol and the systolic blood pressure.


he human body is also given the opportunity to get rid of toxins through

fasting. This helps the body in its internal cleaning. The internal

Thus, the month of Ramadhan is a time of selfregulation and self-training in self-control. The gist of fasting is to train your self-control.

Surah Al-Baqarah verse 183: “Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that you might remain conscious of God (taqwa)” Remaining in the conscious of God, it will purify the heart, insya-Allah and attain purity. The month Ramadhan is also the month where the Quran was revealed. On the eve of Ramadhan, the Prophet (peace be upon

cleaning includes restoring

control himself especially during

him) gave a sermon and said:

homeostasis, strengthening the

the holy month of Ramadhan.

“O people! A great and blessed

immune system and cleansing

Ramadhan also provides unique

month is coming upon you, a month

the respiratory, digestive and

business opportunities, as more

containing a night better than a

urinary systems, which will also

and more families choose to

thousand months. Allah has made

eliminate uric acid deposits.

purchase specialty dishes rather

fasting in its days an obligation

than prepare them at home.

and observing prayer in its nights

is a time of self-regulation and

For example in Malaysia the

a voluntary act. Anyone who seeks

self-training in self-control. The

Ramadhan Bazaars are famous

nearness to Allah in theis month

gist of fasting is to train your

and scattered everywhere, and

through any virtuous act will be

self-control. Ramadan fasting

these are places where one

like one who carried out a religious

is a month when a Muslim

may find all walks of society

obligation at another time, and

should try to: see not what

regardless of race and religion.

Thus, the month of Ramadhan

of resisting from eating and


anyone who performs an obligatory

and cookies that people look

and the reward for patience is

drinking but also restraining the

forward to come Ramadhan. The

Paradise.” [Sahîh Ibn Khuzaymah]

hands, feet, eyes, ears, mouth

anticipation of these food lovers

Muslims need to seize the

and all members of the body from

has created demand for these

opportunities presented to them

sin and that is the challenge as

seasonal foods which translates

in this holy month, not just to

well as the essence of the holy

to big seasonal income for many.

feast on the food but also to

aspect of fasting. In other words,

Apart from that, the Ramadhan

feast on the chance to be rich

one is fasting yet one is having a

seasonal business is big business

with blessings from Allah and

feast – a feast of spiritual gains.

because shoppers also shop in

attain the success and salvation

preparation for the Eid ul Fitr

that this month promises us.

displeases God, speak no evil, hear no evil, do no evil and look to God with fear and hope. Self-control not only in terms

One would also need to 62 THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING | SEP+OC T 2008

act of worship in this month

very Ramadhan provides

will be like one who performed

a wide range of seasonal

seventy such acts at another

food, assortments

time. It is the month of patience,






The Halal Journal gets the lowdown on the city of love and all there is to do there if you are pressed for time. Words By JASPAL SINGH

VISIT THE EIFFEL TOWER If you visit Paris, the item on the top of your to-do list is a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Completed on 31st March 1889 by Gustave Eiffel & Cie, the Tower is France’s most famous landmark. The steel structure stands at 324m and consists of over 18,000 pieces held together by over 2,500,000 rivets. It weighs 10,300 tonnes, has over 1,655 steps and is 119 years old this year. But those are not the reasons why you should visit the Eiffel Tower and take in a view of Paris from above. No, the only reason you should visit the Tower is simply because it is undeniably the coolest thing to do in the city. The Eiffel Tower opens daily from 9.30am-11.45pm. Admission to the top of the tower is priced at 11.00 Euros. If you are up for it, do opt to take the stairs, which will cost you just under 4.00 Euros. It is one heck of a climb, but the view is certainly to die for... C’est magnifique! SEE THE MONA LISA Like the Eiffel Tower, no visit to Paris is complete without a visit 64 THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING | SEP+OC T 2008

to the Louvre. The world-famous museum houses over 35,000 works displayed over 60,000 square metres of exhibition space, most of which are dedicated to permanent collections. Of course, with time constraints, viewing that many pieces of art is quite impossible, so you should plan your visit and get to the important stuff first. What you should do is head straight to the first floor of the building to see the Louvre’s most celebrated treasure: the Mona Lisa. After that is over and done with, do visit the other exhibits like Michelangelo’s Dying Slave, the Venus De Milo and Gericault’s Raft of Medusa. The Louvre opens from 9am to 5pm and admission is priced at 8.50 Euros. RIDE THE SPACE MOUNTAIN Even though it is an American export, the “happiest place on earth” has nevertheless found a spot in the heart of France. Disneyland Resort Paris is located 32km east of Paris. Forget about taking a cab to get there: The fastest and easiest way is by the RERA train from


the centre of town. The train ride takes approximately 40 minutes to reach the Marne-la-Vallée/Cheesy station, which is only a few steps away from the gates of Disneyland Paris. A day pass to Euro Disney costs 43.00 Euros for an adult and is more than enough to cover all the important rides in the theme park. Just like the US version, albeit smaller, Euro Disney is divided into five separate sections with over 45 attractions. If you are pressed for time, just make a beeline for Discovery land and queue at the Space Mountain: Mission 2 ride. Other rides that are of interest include Frontier Land’s Big Thunder Mountain and Adventure Land’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril. If you do not have the

Travel Note



WHERE TO EAT IN PARIS Paris is famous for its fine French cuisine; it’s also not too shabby when it comes to offering tasty Halal fare. Here are some choice restaurants in the city of love... Halal Restaurants in Paris: Beurger King Muslim 13 allée de Gagny 93390 Clichy-Sous-Bois, D93 It is hardly one of the big fastfood chains even though it borrows its name from one, but Beurger King Muslim (BKM), based in a suburb of Paris, offers delectable American grub such as burgers, fries and shakes. Malaysian Restaurant 15 rue Cail 75010 Paris Tel: 0146077243 If you are craving for Malaysian fare, this cosy restaurant offers the best option. The restaurant is accessible via the Metro: La Chapelle / Gare du Nord. Restaurant Noura 27/29, avenue Marceau 75116 Paris Tel: 01 47 23 02 20 This restaurant offers tasty Lebanese cuisine just within the city limits. La Rose De Kashmir 66, avenue des Champs-Elysées 75008 Paris Tel: 01 42 89 59 28 This is your best option for enjoying Indian fare if you are craving something spicy in the centre of town. It is conveniently located on the Champs-Elysées too.


stomach for the rough rides, then head for the kiddie rides as a better but less exciting option.

than LV items available locally. You also get a tax rebate at the airport before you fly back home.

SHOP AT THE WORLD’S LARGEST LOUIS VUITTON STORE The Louis Vuitton house located on the Champs-Elysées boasts over 1,800 square metres of retail space, easily making it the world’s largest luxury boutique store. Visitors to the store can windowshop for a range of men’s and women’s collections of leather goods, ready-to-wear apparel, shoes, jewellery and writing instruments. There is also a mini-line of leather items, watches, eyewear and an exclusive bookshop that boasts titles published by Louis Vuitton like the City Guide or Carnet de Voyage, and a selection of works devoted to art, travel and lifestyle. Incidentally, if you are looking to buy, you can be assured that the items in the store are relatively cheaper

CATCH A SHOW AT THE MOULIN ROUGE For 117 years, the most legendary cabaret in the world has opened its doors to countless spectators. The Moulin Rouge (not the Ewan McGregor/Nicole Kidman flick of the same name) boasts an impressive line-up of 60 performers and over 1,000 costumes made of feathers and sequins. Admission to the famous French Cancan show is expensive at 140 Euros per person (inclusive of dinner). A cheaper alternative is to opt for the bar show, priced at 97 Euros and inclusive of one drink. Take our word for it though: Just like exploring Paris and taking in its sights, watching a show at the Moulin Rouge it is certainly worth every Euro. hj Au revoir!






Restaurant + Foodservice



One of the best features of Malaysia is the abundance of choice when it comes to food. We just love to eat...and Malaysia is a meltingpot of exciting cuisine from many different countries. Pho Hoa is the first Halal Vietnamese restaurant that has touched our hearts and palates – offering healthy and tasty dishes without guilt and empty calories. Located at The Curve, Mutiara Damansara, Pho Hoa is just a few steps away from the hustle and bustle to enhance your culinary adventure with family or friends. Binh Nguyen, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Aureflam Corporation, established the first Pho Hoa restaurant in San José, California, USA in 1984. He rapidly found success by satisfying the needs of other Vietnamese living in America. The restaurant network to date consists of 40 outlets in the US and Canada. Pho Hoa Malaysia is the first of these outlets to practice strict Halal guidelines. Recommended dishes are aplenty — and they are all exciting and delicious. For starters, we ordered the Cha Tom, or home-style, deep fried sugar cane prawn. The aroma of lemongrass and prawn was intoxicating and the taste, exceptionally simple yet savoury. The Vietnamese Lemon Grass Chicken is also a must, and for a healthier choice, try the Goi Cuon — a crispy summer roll consisting of shrimp, chicken, salad and rice vermicelli. If you are thinking of skipping the appetisers, we suggest the Bun Tom Ga Nuong – a bowl loaded (generously) with nutrients and protein, veggies galore, prawns and grilled chicken. A few drops of traditional Vietnamese sauce (also Halal) will take you even further. The Vietnamese are well-known for their pork noodle soups — all the more reason to take advantage of Pho Hoa’s Halal menu. We ordered the Adventurer’s Choice soup menu of Pho Tai, Chin Nac, Nam, Gan, Sach (steak, brisket, flank, tendon, and tripe Pho), a truly eclectic mix of veggies, rice vermicelli and glorious beef Overall, we spent just under RM40 excluding drinks and dessert for two people. Do try the Banh Dua Ca Ra Men (coconut flam with caramel). The ambience is friendly and warm, and the staff efficient. You have a choice of eating outdoors facing a lovely garden courtyard with water features, or in the airconditioned restaurant itself, which is surrounded by a mural depicting the life history of Binh Nguyen and his family.


SIMPLYISLAM.COM is arguably one of the best Islamic e-commerce websites today and carries a whole range of Islamic products – from clothing to electronics, Islamic prayer mats to children’s toys – for sale. Payments by credit card, bank transfer or PayPal are accepted, and there is no need to register for membership to make a purchase. This UK-based website is a great example how Muslims can start utilising each others’ resources, services and tools. 66 THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING | SEP+OC T 2008




Author: Aamir A. Rehman Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (November 19, 2007) ISBN-10: 0071494138 ISBN-13: 978-0071494137

Dubai has been called the fastest growing city on earth – a hub for the Gulf region that is experiencing unprecedented development in energy, financial services, consumer goods, hospitality, retail, real estate, technology, shipping, and countless other industries. According to multinational consultant Aamir A. Rehman, no truly global firm can afford to ignore the booming Gulf region. The key, however, is to approach the region with savvy strategies for managing risks and drawbacks while crafting business models designed for this unique market. Dubai & Co. is an in-depth guide that will help deepen your understanding of a region that is critically important to global business. It will also change your perceptions about the Gulf States and the broader Middle East, create corporate strategies that fit your firm and the region, expand your international business and help you access the Gulf capital more effectively. This essential book will show you how to successfully navigate the region’s most attractive markets: the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman. You will learn the key historical, demographic, political, economic, and regulatory characteristics of each country in order to adapt your business to each unique environment. This book also includes stories of major companies that paved the way for your success. Whether you are already doing business in the Middle East or just thinking about expanding your company into new markets, Dubai & Co. is the perfect guide to one of the most exciting growth opportunities in the world.


BROTHER ALI Born Jason Newman, Brother Ali grew up in

Minneapolis in the United States and became involved in the city’s hip hop scene, joining forces with the renowned Rhymesayers Entertainment label. Rhymesayers’ inhouse producer, Anthony Davis, produced the funk and soul-influenced beats on Ali’s hard-hitting releases, including his latest album, The Undisputed Truth. While most rappers draw upon autobiographical details in their songs, Ali’s remarkable back story more than plays a part in his music – an albino who is legally blind, his past songs have included Win Some Lose Some, in which he discussed being bullied as a kid, and Forest Whitiker, which celebrated his distinctiveness. Being a devout Muslim, Ali touches on his faith in several tracks. He does not shy away from tricky political issues, excoriating US policy on the track Uncle Sam Goddamn and referencing the seminal rap group Public Enemy on the anti-war, anti-Bush rant Letter from the Government. Some people may dislike Ali’s raps, which are liberally peppered with expletives – even he has admitted that this is something he struggles with. But perhaps it is important to remember that, “sometimes speaking the truth is not all pretty”.


Author: Henry Nicholls Publisher: Pan Books; Reprint edition (4 May 2007) ISBN-10: 0330450115 ISBN-13: 978-0330450119

Lonesome George is not just any giant tortoise, but possibly the last of his kind. He was discovered in 1971 on one of the Galapagos Islands, Pinta, where tortoises had been thought to be extinct. This book tells his remarkable story. Henry Nicholls’ account of George and the plight of giant tortoises in the Galapagos is rich in detail, recording not only George’s capture, but also efforts to find him a mate and the difficulties of obtaining sperm samples from a reluctant tortoise. This is also a light-hearted and compelling tale that makes for a fascinating introduction to the many issues that surround the science of conservation. How, for example, did tortoises even get to the Galapagos Islands in the first place? And how can scientists solve the puzzle of assessing the potential risks of releasing crossbred offspring into the wild? Lonesome George is much more than just a story about a tortoise – readers will gladly follow Nicholls’ diversions to discussions about different species or how specimens are catalogued in the Natural History Museum. He manages to weave a number of major biological concepts – from Darwin to DNA analysis to cloning – into the tale without making it feel like a textbook. One of the book’s most important messages, however, is that George is a conservation icon, an ambassador whose higher purpose is to make us more mindful of what we are doing to the world. THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING | SEP+OC T 2008


on display


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


Harnn & Thann Natural Soap is different from commercial soaps available in the market and other natural soaps because they boast rice bran oil as their main ingredient. Harnn Natural Soap’s patented formulation utilises natural, antioxidant-rich rice bran oil to create extra mild soaps. It also has unique combinations of natural Vitamin-E for optimum maintenance of healthy skin by reducing the effects of free radicals and providing moisturising, skin softening, and sun protection. The Harnn Natural Soap range includes Mangosteen Soap, Black Rice Soap, Lemongrass Soap and more.


Brahim’s brings you a range of ready-to-use Premium Asian Simmer Sauces featuring favourite dishes that capture the exotic flavours of Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Now you can create delicious, wholesome Asian meals in just minutes. Simply pour and simmer with your favourite meat, seafood and vegetables, garnish and serve. Brahim’s Simmer Sauces contains no MSG, artificial colouring or artificial preservatives. A special blend of high-quality natural herbs, spices and other ingredients gives the most authentic and tasty meal you have ever tasted. With its complete easy cooking steps and precise portioning, Brahim’s will help you deliver consistent cooking results every time.


Hurix’s Gamat & Madu Plus Cough Syrup is traditionally used to relieve coughing and sore throats, reduce phlegm, relieve hoarseness due to sore throats, body heatiness, fever and cold. Conveniently available at many leading local pharmacies, this cough syrup is made of natural ingredients such as sea cucumbers (gamat) and honey (madu).


Crazy for chocolates? Hershey’s Mallow Blast are chocolate-covered marshmallows with grape, strawberry or orange-flavoured filling. This bite-sized product is Halal-certified and can be VERY addictive. Imagine marshmallows dipped in Hershey’s milk chocolate -- try them now!


Tong Garden Cashew Nuts uses the best cashew nuts that are either well roasted and lightly salted or honey-roasted. They come in airtight aluminium packs to ensure freshness for up to a year, as well as smaller packs you can conveniently take with you everywhere you go.


King’s Potong Ice Cream is exactly like the original Potong Ice Cream and is made the same way, with the same ingredients. King’s Potong Ice Cream is available in traditional Red Bean, Bubur Chacha, Durian, Yam and Cempedak flavours. Bearing the Halal certification, Muslim consumers can undoubtedly enjoy them too.


Endorsed by

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“Capitalising on Islamic Finance Growth” � 17 - 20 November 2008 � Grand Ballroom, Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Main Highlights / Activities

Forum Highlights

� 5th Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum

� Growth and Opportunities In Islamic Finance � Global Islamic Financial Market: Unlocking The Opportunities � Real Estate and Project Finance in Islamic Finance: Demands and

(KLIFF 2008) � 3rd KLIFF International Shariah Forum � 5th KLIFF Islamic Finance Awards Presentation � Special Focus Workshops

Strategic Partner

Gold Sponsors

Future Trends

� The Interplay Between Islamic Finance and Halal Industry � Global Sukuk Market: The Road Ahead � Islamic Funds and Investments: Growth, Potentials and Challenges � Shariah Session: Shariah Rulings, Research and Responsibilities Organised by

In Collaboration With

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All smiles at the launching of the Selera MM Vitaoils recipe book… From left: MM Vitaoils Managing Director Mazlan Muhammad (back), Celebrity Chef Norzalina Nordin, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Dato’ Dr. Mashitah Ibrahim and Deputy Director of Broadcast Department Malaysia Dato’ Adilah Shek Omar

Permodalan Nasional Berhad Chairman YABhg Tun Dato’ Seri Ahmad Sarji launched CCM’s coffee table book with three beats on the gong

IHI Alliance CEO Darhim Dali Hashim concluding his presentation at the 3rd Islamic Banking, Accounting and Finance Conference 2008

Mr. Knut Jørstad, Chairman of TraceTracker Innovation ASA addressing the delegates at the WHF CEO Roundtable I recently at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre

Marco Tieman of LBB Logistic making a serious point at the WHF CEO Roundtable meeting

Appreciated…CIMB Islamic CEO Badlisyah receiving a plaque from HDC CEO Jamil Bidin at the World Halal Forum Sponsor Appreciation Luncheon

Chin Min Ming from FoodReg at the WHF CEO Roundtable I

Making the best out of the networking opportunity at the Shariah-compliant Islamic Finance Summit Mauritius 2008

Kasehdia Head of Research and Strategy, Irfan Sungkar along with Nordin Abdullah, Kasehdia Executive Director at the KasehDia Foodservice Report Launch press conference Powerful attendance at the 3rd Islamic Banking, Accounting and Finance Conference 2008 at the Legend Hotel

Busy traffic at the Brunei IHPE 2008


Attentive…distinguished guests at the International Seminar on Awqaf 2008 in Johor

parting words Aimed at ensuring Halal integrity throughout the whole supply chain, OIC backed International Halal Integrity (IHI) Alliance plays a leading role in assisting Muslim and non-Muslim countries in Halal institutional development and other important areas. The not-for-profit organisation is tasked to develop, implement and maintain global Halal guidelines and conformity assessment system for the sake and peace of mind of the global Ummah. The Halal Journal recently caught up with its CEO Darhim Dali Hashim for the latest development.

IMPLEMENTING THE OIC HALAL MANDATE WHAT IS IHI ALLIANCE’S PROGRESS SINCE THE WORLD HALAL FORUM (WHF) 2008 RESOLUTION? IHI Alliance further enforced its mandate under the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) by being directly recognised for its efforts in developing an international Halal standard in Resolution 7-35E at the OIC Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Uganda recently. We also engaged directly with representatives of individual countries to further explain IHI Alliance’s role and how we can collaborate for the better good of the Ummah which includes Brunei, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey, Palestine, and even non-Muslim nations that are keen such as Taiwan, Cambodia and the Philippines. We’ve identified the 10 key modules that will compose the standard, and have devised a strategy to develop them. This plan was presented to a Board of Trustees meeting chaired by Sheikh Saleh Kamel, and was approved. Now comes the hard work of implementation...

WHAT IS THE PROGRESS WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE GLOBAL HALAL STANDARD? As mentioned in WHF, we will tackle each module individually to ensure that the relevant expertise from the technical, industry, regulatory and Shariah perspectives are incorporated. We are starting the ball rolling with the Halal logistics module because logistics is the “glue” that binds all the other modules. Halal logistics covers the end-to-end cycle. Of all the modules, logistics is the one that we had to virtually start from scratch because there was no benchmark for a logistics standard. Plus, logistics is universal. No matter what sector in the supply chain you are in, logistics will always have some role to play.

HOW DO YOU SELECT PARTICIPANTS OF THESE MEETINGS? It was crucial to involve those who were going to be responsible for implementing the guidelines, 72 THE HALAL JOURNAL | SEP/OC T 2008

and those from the industry who had a genuine commitment to achieving Halal integrity. The response far exceeded our expectations — we were expecting 25 people and over 40 turned up at the initial roundtable! There were representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, International Trade, Department of Standards, certification bodies, logistics service providers, port operators, freight and cargo operators, major manufacturers such as Nestlé, and international hypermarket chains. Prof Dato’ Dr Sano Khoutoub Moustapha, one of the Shariah advisors to IHI Alliance, was on hand to impart his knowledge from years of experience in the Islamic finance industry. Prof Sano set the tone for the discussion by stipulating key underlying principles that everyone adhered to.


DO YOU THINK THERE IS A NEED FOR INCREASED SPENDING ON HALAL EDUCATION WITHIN THE OIC? WHAT WILL IHI ALLIANCE DO TO PROMOTE OR ENCOURAGE THIS? For a lot of OIC member countries, it is more about awareness than education. Even the term “Halal industry” is alien to some as they understand the word “Halal” in its literal sense. Awareness is needed for those OIC countries that are net importers of food to take a more concerted stance on ensuring the Halal integrity of imported products. Some OIC members that are more secular need a “Halal 101” education programme. At the same time, IHI Alliance is also planning a major awareness and promotion campaign in nonMuslim countries to promote Halal as a universal quality standard. The long-term growth prospect is in the cross-over market of non-Muslims who actively choose Halal products.

IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST THREATS OR CHALLENGES IHI ALLIANCE HAS IN FACING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE GLOBAL HALAL STANDARD? The biggest challenge is ego! Everyone readily professes that a single Halal standard is desired. But when it comes to actually trying to formulate the

standard, the fighting starts! No doubt currently Halal standards are fragmented, but in actual fact, we agree on 75 to 80 per cent. The problem is that we spend all our time debating the 20 to 25 per cent that we don’t agree on. These types of discussions are stalled if people come to the room with preconceived ideas and an unwavering determination to stick to those opinions no matter what ensues from the discussion. People are reluctant to back down on a position to which they have taken a hard stance, and this is why the same issues recur and are never resolved. For any discussion of this kind to be fruitful, we must leave our egos and sovereignty concerns at the door, keep an open mind and accept the fact that what we had previously believed could be wrong. The findings from the collective effort and intelligence of experts in the

field of Shariah, science and the relevant industry sectors ought to trump an individual’s opinion.

WHICH COUNTRIES COULD ASSIST IHI ALLIANCE IN ITS PROJECTS AND PROGRAMMES? All countries are needed for the IHI Alliance to work properly. The IHI Alliance is an open and non-exclusive platform that can act as the bridge between the OIC and the non-Muslim world. A lot of knowledge and experience in Halal certification as well as R&D has been thriving in non-Muslim countries. These are typically the food-exporting nations. We need to tap into this resource and get them involved at the onset. There is also a lot of technical knowledge with non-Muslims that we can leverage on. Hence the spirit of the Alliance, which encompasses stakeholders from all backgrounds and nationalities, and we welcome all to join! hj