KUALA LUMPUR, May 21: A small-time food manufacturer in a Felda settlement has complained about discrimination by the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) over the issuance of the 'Halal' certificate.
Mohd Rufie Waris (pic) of Felda Suharto in Kuala Kubu, Selangor, said Jakim, which has the authority to issue the Halal logo, had failed to approve his application despite repeated attempts, on the pretext that his products had not gone through the "industrial" method.
The excuse was given to Rufie by Jakim's Halal Hub Division chief assistant director Abdul Hamid Mohamed Salleh during a meeting in March.
"He informed me that I did not follow procedures. Since my products are not done in a factory, Jakim would not issue the Halal logo," Rufie explained.
He said he was not alone in his predicament, as many others who carry out small manufacturing businesses had also been denied the Halal certificate, but dared not protest.
"Where else should I go? Who will defend the plight of poor bumiputeras like us?" he asked.
Rufie, who has been in business for the last two decades, said as a result, his products were now not allowed to be sold at R&R stops along the North-South highway.
Rufie said many single mothers, who undertook the processing of raw materials for his products, now faced the prospect of losing their jobs due to the losses he incurred.
"I cannot sell my products and as a result many of the single mothers have lost their income. All because there is no halal logo," said Rufie who came personally to Harakahdaily's office today to highlight his plight.
He said he used to do house to house visits to collect the processed foods to be distributed to retail shops and R&R stops between Rawang and Bukit Merah (northbound) and Sungai Buluh-Pagoh (southbound).
However, since January, highway officials from PLUS have barred his product from being sold there due to the absence of the Halal logo.
He said he had been informed that those who sold products without the logo would be fined RM10,000 for each product.