KUALA LUMPUR, June 15:
Bloggers, activists and social media practitioners today participated in a Cadbury-eating event at Wisma Nusantara here in a bid to assure the public that the product is halal for consumption.
Organised by myKMU.net, the event was also a joint collaboration with SuaraTV and Ikatan Aktivis Siber Malaysia (Ikas).
Prior to the chocolate-eating demonstration, in a separate affair, there was a forum with the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and Ikas as well as bloggers and social media practitioners.
Called “Malaysia’s Halal Certificate and the Cadbury Controversy: A Perspective”, Ikas president Md Faisal Ahmad later told a press conference that they were confident of the explanation provided by Jakim with regards to the porcine (pig) DNA controversy.
Md Faisal said after listening to what Jakim had to say during a question-and- answer session at the forum, the NGO was confident that the department’s halal certification procedure was among the best in the world.
“There is no reason for Muslims in Malaysia to doubt Jakim’s halal certification because it goes through a very strict and detailed process at various levels.
“As Muslim consumers, we believe and are confident with Jakim.”
With regards to the Cadbury controversy, Md Faizal said in the NGO’s opinion, the tests and procedures done by Jakim are sufficient to ascertain that the product was halal for consumption.
According to him, it was impossible to say that Cadbury uses porcine DNA in their products when the Health Ministry’s test only detected the DNA in one batch.
“This isolated find was just in one case and there was no action taken by the ministry since the first test was done in February.”
The NGO also urged the Ministry to conduct an investigation into why the results were only made public in May.
“We want to know why the Ministry did not instruct that further tests be done in order to verify the discovery,” Md Faizal added.
Meanwhile, the Cadbury-eating event was held in a jovial mood as Cadbury chocolates were aplenty and those present showed that they had no qualms trusting Jakim’s halal certification.
Yesterday, it was reported that SuaraTV’s editor Zulkifli Mat Rawi had said the programme was aimed at defending the halal statement issued by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, Jakim and Cadbury Malaysia regarding the porcine DNA controversy.
“It is hoped that this effort will return the public’s trust and confidence, particularly the Malay and Muslim community, towards Jakim’s halal certification and, at the same time, end the confusion plaguing the public,” he said in a statement.
Prior to this, two Cadbury products were said to have contained porcine DNA, which caused an uproar among Muslim consumers in the country.
However, upon further clarification, the samples taken from the Cadbury factory proved that there was no porcine DNA.
Jamil Khir and Jakim then issued statements saying the products were halal for Muslim consumption.