Islam-friendly coconuts: has Malaysia’s halal drive gone too far?

  • Hoping to become a global halal hub, Malaysia has expanded the definition to cover transport, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, health care and even banking.
  • However, the growing demand for halal products brings its own challenges

It’s general knowledge that “Halal” is for food only, WHY are extremists and islamofascists are enforcing “all things halal”.

Coconuts do not automatically spring to mind when it comes to food fit for consumption by Muslims.

Islam’s halal rules for the most part concern pork and alcohol, which are forbidden, and state that animals used as food must be slaughtered according to specific methods.

However, Linaco, Malaysia’s largest coconut product company, has been halal certified since 2000.

According to executive director Joe Ling, halal certification was not a requirement but being declared halal has improved business: in 2016, the company recorded revenue of 200 million ringgit (US$48 million), four times as much as in 2009.

With the aim of becoming a global halal hub, Malaysia has tapped into the potential of extending the definition of halal to cover transport, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, health care and even banking.

“Halal is beyond food and beverages – halal is a lifestyle,” said Wan Latiff Wan Musa, the Foreign Trade Promotion Agency’s CEO. “Today, Muslim consumers in Malaysia are concerned about the reliability of the certification of their food. The same has happened globally – awareness of halal is rising, so demand for genuine halal-certified products is rising.”

At China’s Belt and Road Forum in April, Malaysia’s Minister of Economic Affairs Azmin Ali drew attention to the country’s burgeoning halal industry.

Malaysia has been focused on halal certification and development for decades. The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) was established in 1997 to help Muslims identify what and where they could eat. Jakim determines halal certification and its seal of approval is highly regarded internationally. Aside from Malaysian products, it recognises 78 halal certifications from 45 other countries.

The Halal Development Corporation was established in 2006 to support the growth of halal-related businesses globally. Since 1995, the Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia has promoted sharia-compliant banking practices.

Nevertheless, this growing demand for all things halal has produced its own unique challenges.


Last month, the question of whether bottled water or carbonated drinks could be labelled halal ignited a social media debate in the Middle East. As Sirajuddin Bin Suhaimee, the director of the halal hub division of Jakim, noted, some water-purification systems use charcoal made from pig bones in the filtering technology.

In Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, even if medicine is not halal it can be used to prevent death or illness. In Malaysia, though, the pharmaceutical industry has suggested it is possible to create genuine halal medications free of pork products and alcohol. However, not every medication can be produced this way.

The aviation industry is also racing to meet rising demand for halal products.

In recent years, so many Muslim travellers visited Japan from Malaysia that Tokyo’s Narita Airport built a separate kitchen to prepare food for Malaysia Airlines flights.

At Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), airlines strive to ensure all food and utensils meet halal standards. In-flight meals for 32 airlines flying out of KLIA are prepared in the halal-certified kitchen of Brahim’s SATS Food Services.

The massive operation employs more than 1,000 chefs and takes the crockery and utensils from incoming aircraft to undergo samak, or ritual cleansing. The entire process of cooking and cleaning complies with Jakim standards.


Indonesia is Malaysia’s neighbour and the world’s most populous Muslim nation – with 264 million citizens. And it has recently taken its own steps to embrace expanded halal certification.

President Joko Widodo last month moved to implement a law requiring all food, drinks, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics to be certified halal or carry a stamp making clear they are not. The regulation requires separate production and handling of halal and non-halal products, including separate equipment, transport and storage.

Last year, electronics giant Sharp released Indonesia’s first halal-certified refrigerator, designed to provide customers “with a sense of security and comfort”, according to the promotional materials. However, some observers suggested this was a bridge too far in the expanded definition of halal.

Also, according to some halal advocates, the Indonesian law places an undue burden on businesses – particularly smaller ones – which make consumer products.

“The state should support small and medium-sized enterprises in shouldering the cost of halal certification,” said Ikhsan Abdullah, executive director of Indonesia Halal Watch.

Malaysia may have set the pace in its efforts to become the region’s halal hub – but Indonesia is closing fast.

#RobertReview (Halal): 9 | 10
Islamofascists have gone All Things Halal. Halal is not a lifestyle.

Islam’s halal rules for the most part concern pork and alcohol, which are forbidden, and state that animals used as food must be slaughtered according to specific methods.

Malaysia’s JAKIM should limit Halal application to Food Only, not be a Morality Police like Iran’s Gashte Ershad.

I suggest Huawei quicky come up with a HALAL Huawei P30H, H for Halal – to increase sales to Muslims.



Islam-friendly coconuts: has Malaysia’s halal drive gone too far?

Published: 23rd June 2019.

Published: 23rd June 2019.






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