KUALA LUMPUR: Less than 1% or a mere 50 of the 5,500 halal-registered companies in Malaysia are owned by Malaysian Indians and their involvement needs to be increased.
“There are over 5,000 Indian restaurants and 9,000 Indian Muslim restaurants in the country,” the Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI) president Tan Sri K. Kenneth Eswaran said in a statement.
“MAICCI finds it appalling that Malaysian Indian SMEs have not been able to plug into the halal industry development plans,” he said, citing the sizeable Malaysian Indian involvement in various other industries.
The body aims to help rectify this by hosting the Halal Industry Training Series on Saturday at the Seri Pacific Hotel.
The programme, which is jointly organised with the SEED Secretariat under the Prime Minister’s Department, is expected to enable at least 50 to 100 Indian entrepreneurs to obtain the halal certification this year, thereby doubling or even tripling halal-certified Indian-owned business.
Citing Jakim’s halal certification as renowned in both foreign and domestic markets, Eswaran said the programme also aimed to dispel the notion that the halal certification was only for food outlets.
He added that the halal industry was a unique selling point in Malaysia, as clearly defined by many government initiatives.
“This sector is one of the resilient few, which has consistently grown double digits over the years and even in a hard-pressed year like 2015, grew 10.7% to a RM37bil industry.
“The target for this year is RM50bil and we are well-poised to achieve this,” he said.