Malaysia plans new logo for products made by Muslims

Kuala Lumpur : A Malaysian government official has said that the government is considering a new halal logo as proposed by two economic organisations to identify products made by Muslims.

Othman Mustapha, Director-General of Department of Islamic Development Malaysia, warned that the new logo could be unlawful unless they are certified by existing regulatory authorities, Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday citing local authorities.

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Mustapha also said that clarification would be sought from the Malaysia Institute of International Islamic Cooperation and the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (RISDA) on their intentions to issue the new logo.

An earlier report had quoted RISDA’s Chairman Zahidi Zainul Abidin as saying that the new logo would distinguish products produced by Muslims against those by non-Muslims and help Muslim entrepreneurs make forays into the halal markets locally and abroad.

Halal refers mostly to food products, but is also applicable to cosmetics and other consumer goods also since these may contain animal-derived products. Halal logos are also seen in food premises and slaughter houses in Malaysia.

According to the United States Halal Associations, over 1.6 billion or about 25 per cent of the world population are Muslims, and the global halal market is estimated to be worth more than $632 billion a year.

Malaysia also launched its first carrier compliant with Islamic laws in December 2015, Rayani Air, but its operations were suspended in April 2016.