Sunday, September 25, 2016

An anti-worker anti-Malaysian proposal by RISDA for new 'Halal' logo for products produced by Muslims only?

A new 'HALAL LOGO' to ...denote products produced by Muslims...' is certainly against the Malaysian spirit, noting that Malaysia is a multi-ethnic multi-religious nation..

The Malaysia Institute of International Islamic Cooperation (Ikiam) with the cooperation of the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) will launch a halal logo specifically for Muslim products early next year.

For workers, would that mean that all non-Muslim workers will be discriminated against, or fired as companies seek to to get there new 'Halal Logo' to demonstrate that their products are produced by Muslim workers only? 

Would these also lead to maybe banks also employing only Muslim employees later on to show customers that their Islamic financial 'products' are truly products managed at all levels by Muslims only??

The existing 'Halal' logo that assures Muslim patrons that the said food or product is suitable for consumption by Muslims is reasonable - likewise representation that a food product is made with no meat or fish, which is safe for consumption by vegetarians. Likewise a logo or representations that a particular food or product is suitable for Hindus or Buddhists or ...

MARKETING STRATEGY - The current 'Halal' certification is a good marketing strategy targeting the niche Muslim market not just in Malaysia but globally. It started with food products but now also includes other products including financial/banking products and services.

But, to move for a 'Halal' certificate that states that the products are made by Muslim workers only is really not may be yet another 'marketing strategy' but it certainly is not for multi-religious Malaysia?

Further, one of the proposer of this idea is RISDA (Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority) is certainly not an authority just for Muslim Rubber Smallholders - but for all Rubber Industry Smallholders in Malaysia irrespective of religion or ethnicity, or am I wrong? Do we need another Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority for non-Muslim rubber smallholders... 

A perusal of the object of RISDA makes it clear that its target group is 'small farmers' - 'smallholders' is for ALL Malaysians and serve all Malaysian 'small farmers' and/or 'rubber smallholders'..., and as such this new proposal goes against the very object and principles of RISDA, and is certainly discriminatory...

RISDA Is Committed To Manage Assistance Replanting Programmes Efficiently And Effectively To Meet The Needs Of Small Farmers.

RISDA is proud to share the information with contributing something meaningful to the organization and provides information relating to the responsibility to bring progress and prosperity especially to smallholders as our main target group ...- ZAHIDI ZAINUL ABIDIN, RISDA Chairman

Maybe, the government need to tell us how many rubber smallholders are there in Malaysia today - how many of them are Muslims and how many of them are non-Muslims? 

To what extent has RISDA managed to reach and assist these rubber smallholders - 50%..70%...100%. Is RISDA only assisting Muslim rubber smallholders...and not 'non-Muslim smallholders'? 

Is RISDA biased against certain rubber smallholders...The Malaysian government has invested much resources into RISDA, and it will be shocking to now be told that RISDA was not assisting all 'rubber smallholders' - but only small holders of just one religion?

It may be IKIM who may be making such a proposal - but RISDA certainly cannot be seen to be part of such an initiative...and certainly the government should clearly oppose such a proposal...that will discriminate against not just workers but also businesses...

Whilst the Federal Constitution provides for preferential treatment for Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak in certain matters, there is no justification for preferential treatment in Malaysia on the basis of religion ...on the basis that one is a Muslim..

(1) All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.

(2) Except as expressly authorised by this Constitution, there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent, place of birth or gender in any law or in the appointment to any office or employment under a public authority or in the administration of any law relating to the acquisition, holding or disposition of property or the establishing or carrying on of any trade, business, profession, vocation or employment. - Art. 8 Federal Constitution
Since, this matter has come up with regard to RISDA - it may good also to know how many non-Muslim employees are there in RISDA? There are rubber smallholders who sometime are not really fluent in Bahasa Malaysia, and do all RISDA offices have staff with the required communication skills to be able to communicate with the 'rubber smallholders'? 

We also may wonder what will happen if 'non-Muslim' enterprises/businesses retaliate by employing just non-Muslim workers in businesses that produce products NOT for the consumption of Muslims? 

How many Muslim workers are working in factories that produce alcohols, in clubs that serve alcohol, in establishment involved in the gambling industry,..will lose their job? 

Really, before making such 'unsuitable for Malaysia' proposals, RISDA and other government agencies need to  also consider wider implications..especially to Malaysian workers..and Malaysia.

PRIVATE businesses can come up with whatever Business or Marketing Strategies - but the government, government agencies and/or bodies, and government owned companies(and GLCs) have a greater consideration other than simply the market or profits. 

They have to consider the country and its citizens as well. Even when it comes to 'private businesses', it falls on the government to regulate where needed for the good of country and its people... 

The relevant Minister needs to immediately clarify matters...

RISDA seriously need to reconsider this proposal... 


Another halal logo to be launched, for Muslim-made products only

 Bernama     Published: 24/9/2016
The Malaysia Institute of International Islamic Cooperation (Ikiam) with the cooperation of the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) will launch a halal logo specifically for Muslim products early next year.
Risda chairperson Zahidi Zainul Abidin said the halal logo would be launched at a conference to be attended by representatives from Islamic organisations within and outside the country.

He said the proposed logo to be issued by Ikiam, which would denote products produced by Muslims, would go hand in hand with the halal logo issued by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim).

"The need for another halal logo is to distinguish products that were produced by Muslims against that of non-Muslims besides helping Risda smallholding entrepreneurs and Muslim entrepreneurs make forays into the halal markets locally and abroad," he said.

This will also help clear misgivings over the veracity of halal products as some companies are said to have flouted the halal rules upon getting halal certification from Jakim, he told reporters after opening the state-level Risda Entrepreneurial Seminar here today.

"So, with the proposed Ikiam halal logo (going alongside Jakim's halal logo), people will be more confident (of the veracity of halal products)," he said.

Meanwhile, Zahidi said the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is in the ratification process, holds great potentials for Bumiputera entrepreneurs, including Risda smallholders, to dominate the halal industry globally.

"At the regional level, for example, a Muslim company with 60 branches across China has recently asked Risda to supply halal products to them. So, halal business opportunity abounds," he said.

Zahidi lamented over too few Muslim entrepreneurs applying for halal certification for their products as they accounted for only 28 percent against 72 percent non-Malay entrepreneurs.

"Only 11 percent of Muslim companies were registered with the Halal Industry Development Corporation (under the International Trade and Industry Ministry) for the export market against 89 percent non-Muslim companies," he said.

On the 2017 Budget, he hopes Risda would receive the fund it had asked for as last year it received RM120 million less of the amount sought, much to the dismay of smallholders who had cut down rubber trees for replanting.

- Bernama

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