Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Is "Halal labelling " being used as a monopolistic tool?

A question lingering in the coffee shops is, "is 'Halal' being used as a monopolistic tool," by some sectors in the country?

Yes, this talk is very much coffee shop today, it is coffee shop today and people are beginning to have serious doubts.

 I did not realise this when I wrote the article on Jonker street some time back, it could  very well go along these lines the takeover of Jonker street I mean.

Now let us get to some facts, for the many of you who have heard and consumed  "Golden Churn" Butter, which has been around in Malaysia for a very long while, you might have noticed that this butter is labelled "Hallal."  In fact this  was the only butter available in Malaysia at one time until the Cold Storage came out with the "SCS" butter  in the late fifties or early sixties. SCS actually stands for  for Singapore Cold Storage, now it is just SCS and later followed by butter varieties from every part of the  butter world

The packaging of this butter - "Golden Churn" carries a halal sign from Australia, and yet it is said that our authorities have discovered that this butter contains "pig DNA."  What a load of rubbish.

Butter comes from cows milk, anything else introduced to it will contaminate the butter, and this butter comes from Australia and has been sold alongside other products like IXL jam for ages. Golden Churn for those of you who can still remember came in two packings originally,  one in   a blue tin and the other  in Golden tin in those days.

We are so used to seeing the Halal Certification sign on food products that we tend to forget that it is even there, but on closer scrutiny one will notice that the sign is issued by varying authorities.

Of course the the Halal certification for Golden Churn must have been issued in Australia, by the Australian Halal authorities, who must of course  be Muslims.

Are our authorities saying that these people are not doing a good job?

There is talk about a certain business- a "Coffee Shop Buisness" that is being targeted, and this explains why this talk is so rampant in coffee shops.

Hainanese Coffee shops have long been the .favourite of Malay Muslims, as is "Mee Hailam" it is pork free and these shops go to great lengths to ensure that there is no pork served on their premises.

This particular coffee shop that is being targeted is Hainanaese, I am told, and it is an old and famous "Coffee Shop" famous for its coffee, situated in a Railway station and has created a brand name that has become popular all over the country. Ant the coffee is referred to as the XXXXXX railway station coffee.

For a long time people frequented this shop because of the quality of its coffee, the coffee beans were roasted with "Golden Churn Butter," and because of its popularity and its strategic location in a rather inconspicuous   town on the Malaysian landscape, this coffee shop was the ideal brand to promote another major "Kopitiam Franchise" (Kopitiam means Coffee shop in Chinese) business.

Due to it being located at a rather strategic railway station,  the ordinary citizen  who commutes the length of the peninsular is bound to see if  not visit it and why else go to a coffee shop if not for coffee? A fantastic coffee, known to so many in a coffee-shop located in a very inconspicuous town  what an ideal brand, a brand whose time has arrived and  now ready for the picking with the growing demand for the typical Hainanese Kopitiams which now create their own brand identity and franchise these shops all over the country, there is much to be made, it will give other Kopi Tiams a run for their money, and there are people who want to do just that, but the owner is adamant that he'll keep it and why not he has built it, it is his own why should anyone else benefit at his expense?

Yet  there are people who want to take it over and it looks like they'll go to any extent to get it, but  the owner refuses to budge he wants to keep his business.

Now the talk in the coffee-shops is that the case of the Golden Churn butter not being "Halal" has a link with this takeover bid.

The news of course cannot be verified although it came out from the horses mouth, the horse refuses to be identified for obvious reasons, but this goes to show what I talked about, in my article on Jonker Street.

If you remember clearly there was a time when the Halal issue came into play  with KFC, the people who were interested in the take over, could not steam roll the then owners and then the question of Halal became an issue.

Similarly thousand of Malays have frequented this coffee shop, and getting it certified non Halal is the best bet to get it closed down through lack of business. I am told that although that is the case here, the business which was affected seems to be picking up again, many Malays know the ploy and refuse to be part of the game.

The question is,.are these sinister moves by  certain quarters, done  to put others out of business by using the 'Halal Certification,?"

Another product that has been certified non Halal is HP Sauce, I took a close look at the bottle and the only reason I can identify why it is so,  is the presence of Spirit  Vinegar.  For goodness sake it is still vinegar, and for that matter if that is not Halal for that reason  then it should apply to tapai the fermented tapiocca that is popular with the Malay Muslim community, is this "HALAL?"  The liquid that seeps out of tapai is nothing but Tapiocca Wine with a high level of alcohol.

From what has been happening it seems quite evident that certain parties will go to any lengths to take over businesses and what better way when the Muslims make up more than 60 percent of the population and are the biggest consumers of the product.

Halal certainly seems to be used as an economic tool, why even plain drinking water needs certification too.


  1. In fact all the STEPS taken have money as the only criterion in their application. This Halal Logistics business: I just want to see how how it would go. In today's logistics; containers are washed and reused at every sector and if you want it halal, what are the chances you could connect with another halal product on the way back. The inbalance of trade today is haunting all the shipping lines as empty containers cost the same in hanlding cost; even empty! The halal logostics would double the cost of transportation if there is no return halal goods!As far as I can see, all these policies are planned and studied just to create opportunities to make money; we will have to wait to see how long it would last. Just like the SUKUK finance: tukar nama; it becomes halal!

  2. It begs the question, will a product arriving in a container not labelled halal be accepted as halal although the product itself has been certified halal?

  3. It's really informative blog post. I love it..Thanks for sharing it dear.

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  4. Are u a muslim? If not then dont judge other religion by your tiny little understanding on this halal matters.