The Penang state government intends to make its mark on the map of the Islamic world through providing an all-encompassing halal solution – from Islamic manufacturing to Islamic financing, in all sectors like food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and even banking.
Today, Penang successfully launched her 3-day “2nd International Halal Exposition” at the Penang International Sports Arena (PISA). The ‘Halal Conference’ will take place the following day.
Spearheading the bold initiative of the ‘Halal Penang’ is Haji Abdul Malik Kassim, the State Minister for Religious Affairs and Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.
‘Halal Penang’, the State’s facilitation agency was awarded ‘Best Halal Facility Provider’ in a recent excellence award presentation held in conjunction with the International Islamic Tourism & Halal Week (IISTHAL) 2009 in Kuala Lumpur. Today, ‘Halal Penang’ is recipient to the prestigious ‘HALMAS’ status, an acclaimed and privileged status by the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC).
“This represents a huge leap for ‘Halal Penang’ in terms of domestic and international recognition,” proudly declared Haji Abdul Malik.
Although fairly a new kid on the block, established just 18 months ago, the ambitious ‘Halal Penang’ has been actively participating on a global scale; a move that has attracted many prospective investors from as far as India, Yemen, Wales, Iran, Pakistan, China and even Russia.
Located within the Bukit Minyak Industrial zone, in Seberang Perai, some 50 acres of land has been designated to host the Penang International Halal Park. Talks of collaboration with research institutes and universities in the region are underway in a bid to realize an International R & D Halal Centre here.
As Malaysia has long been associated with quality and trusted halal certification due to Islam being its official religion, it is only natural that Penang – the second largest city in the country engage in adopting all available resources to further enhance the country’s capacity in offering such services.
The International Penang Halal Hub caters to a largely untapped global halal market that is estimated to be a US$3 trillion industry. Halal certification is a quality control that validates a product’s compliance according to Islamic guidelines.
“Penang wants a share of it,” confessed Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, in conclusion that Penang has the infrastructure and amenities to facilitate a world standard halal hub; especially so with a government that adopts and implements the CAT principles – Competency, Accountability and Transparency.
Lim Guan Eng also revealed that to date, Penang has RM215 million in investments with regards to the ‘Halal Penang’ initiative and a total of 331 certified halal companies. These include ‘green’ businesses that manufacture bio-degradable and eco-packaging items.
“Special incentives and tax rebates are among the features of the halal hub,” assured Haji Abdul Malik, adding that non-muslims are also able to partake in such investments.