Saturday, February 20, 2016

2575) MALAYMAIL ONLINE - 16/2/16 - SARAWAK CONSUMER GROUP TO MEET JAKIM, JAIS OVER ‘PORK-FREE’ SIGNS


PPIM’s Datuk Nadzim Johan has indicated interest to appear at the public dialogue in Sarawak on the use of the ‘Serve No Pork’ signs at food outlets. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng
PPIM’s Datuk Nadzim Johan has indicated interest to appear at the public dialogue in Sarawak on the use of the ‘Serve No Pork’ signs at food outlets. 


Islamic authorities are expected to join a public dialogue in Sarawak on the use of the “Serve No Pork” signs at food outlets, said a Sarawak consumer group.

The Consumer Voice Association of Sarawak (Covas) said the Department of Islamic Affairs Sarawak (Jais) and the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) will be part of the dialogue session, with Malaysian Muslim Consumer Association (PPIM)’s chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan indicating interest to appear at the talk.

“Despite our fellow Malays being a minority in Sarawak, Covas will try to make it a point in order to look into the best interests of all races,” Covas president Michael Tiong was quoted saying by local daily The Borneo Post.

Tiong said the public dialogue will help enhance unity and harmony in Sarawak, but was not reported as providing the date of the discussion.

Tiong told The Borneo Post that his association had yet to receive any complaints from consumers in Sarawak regarding the use of the “pork-free” sign at food outlets.

“We have not spoken to Jais to find a better word to replace the ‘Serve No Pork’ sign because there has yet to be any official directives stating that the compulsory word must be either halal or non-halal or just no pork,” he also said.

Last weekend, Malay daily Berita Harian quoted ministry enforcement director Mohd Roslan Mahayudin as saying that action can be taken against restaurants using the “no pork” sign for attempting to deceive Muslims into dining in their premises.

He reportedly told the newspaper that the sign does not mean a restaurant is classified “halal” or permissible under Islam, and thus action can be taken under Sections 28 and 29 of the Trade Descriptions Act 2011 for attempting to confuse Muslims through Quranic verses and objects.

Section 28 in the Act deals with terms and expressions used in relation to goods or services, while Section 29 touches on informative marking and certification orders.

Under Section 28, a company can be fined not more than RM5 million for first offence, while an offender that is not a corporate body can be fined not more than RM1 million or jailed not more than three years.

Under Section 29, a company can be fined not more than RM200,000 for first offence, while an offender that is not a corporate body can be fined not more than RM100,000 or jailed not more than three years.



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