JAKARTA: A microwave oven stood out from a range of appliances in a household electrical appliance store, and a colorful display cabinet praised it as "the first certified Halal microwave oven in Indonesia."
Manufactured by Japanese electronics maker Sharp, The item was launched last year in the Muslim majority of Indonesia to provide peace of mind to consumers wishing for products that are considered acceptable under Islamic law.
In addition to several microwave ovens, four of Sharp's refrigerators and a freezer are also Halal-certified and carry the green certificate issued by the country's Muslim clergy.
"As an electronics manufacturer, Sharp Indonesia has a responsibility to inform consumers about the condition of their refrigerators as they are used to store food," said Sharp Electronics Indonesia's product strategy manager for refrigerators, Afka Adhitya, to CNA.
"We do not use animal parts that are haram (banned under Islamic law)," he added.
"Our consumers reacted very positively to our Halal refrigerator. Since we launched it last year, sales have increased. "
Mr. Adhitya added that the Halal certification is the company's attempt to comply with the government's law requiring that a certificate be issued by the government for every product called halal.
The law was passed after five years of discussion on October 17 for food and drink.
The Halal Certificates also aimed to add value to the business, but not every product needs to be Halal certified, said Mastuki, head of the Halal Registration and Certification Center of the Indonesian Halal Product Guarantee Agency.
"If the product contains no animal ingredients, no Halal certificate is required.
"But those who use, for example, medical devices, such as pacemakers, whose components may have been derived from animal bones, must be certified to ensure that the animal bones are Halal and not Haram," explained Mastuki.
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Other examples of products that require Halal certificates are shoes, bags and clothing.
Currently, Halal certification is only compulsory for food and beverages, including those manufactured by small and medium-sized businesses and street vendors.
Other non-food products must have the Halal certificate from 2021, but those who do not abide by the law will not be punished until 2024. The exact punishment is still being discussed.
CATCHING ISLAMIC ECONOMY
Halal certified products are widely distributed in Indonesia Percent of the 260 million people are Muslims.
Although it is a country with the largest Muslim population, the Islamic economy is still lagging behind neighboring Malaysia, according to the Thomson Reuters state Global Electricity Economy (GIE) report 2018/2019 ,
Malaysia took the top spot with a GIE indicator of 127, while Indonesia ranked tenth at 45, based on factors such as Halal Food, Islamic Finance, Halal Travel, Modal Fashion and Halal Media and Recreation, and Halal -Pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
While this is not the main reason, the new law aims to improve Indonesia's competitiveness in terms of an Islamic economy, Mastuki said.
"From a macroeconomic point of view, we hope the Halal Certificates will have an impact.
"Better halal production processes, improved public awareness of halal products, and increased competitiveness will have a significant economic impact."
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Until recently, the certificates were issued by the Indonesian Ulema Council, and entrepreneurs have to spend several million rupiahs to have their products certified.
With the new law, entrepreneurs and product owners have to pay to register their businesses, but the exact amount still needs to be set. The fees are likely to be set based on company size and product types.
Mastuki assured the street vendors that they would receive special treatment and was possibly exempted from paying the fee for obtaining the certificate.
This was a good news for Mr. Sarman, who has been selling homemade steamed buns on the streets of Jakarta for 23 years. halal bakpau mr sarman hopes that the government can help him get the halal certificate for free. (Photo: Kiki Siregar)
The 47-year-old has no Halal certificate, but painted "Halal" on the window of his car.
"Bakpau is usually associated with pork, but I make my bun with chicken. I'll do it myself so I know the process, "Mr. Sarman told CNA.
"I write that (the halal sign) myself and many have asked me about it. "
Mr. Sarman said he had heard of this and would be glad if the government could help him get the Halal certificate for free.
Mdm Hermawati Setyorinny, President of the Micro, Small, Medium Enterprise Association of Indonesia, welcomed the Government's new ordinance on Halal Certificates as long as the application process is simple, cost effective and unbureaucratic.
"So far this is our challenge. The government needs to work with organizations that can help them locally, "she said.
HALALPARK IN THE CITY
The rise of the Islamic lifestyle in Indonesia has prompted the Ministry of Indonesia State-owned enterprises are opening the first Halal Park of Jakarta on the international sports ground of the capital Gelora Bung Karno.
With shops offering Muslim fashion and halal food, the park takes into account the halal lifestyle of Indonesians and foreign visitors.
President Joko Widodo, project with $ 250 billion rupiah ($ 17.8 million) in April, said the halal industry should power the Indonesian economy.
The 21,000 m² park is due to be fully operational by 2020. Only 17 of the 40 stores are occupied so far.
"We want to improve micro enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises in Indonesia. We need to evaluate the tenants' food hygiene and their products before they can be included in our park, "said Mr. Christian, head of Halal Park, which has a name.
"There are strict regulations as to who our tenants can be. and we will help them get the Halal Certificates.
The park will appeal to both Muslim and non-Muslim consumers looking for Halal-certified products for quality and safety.
Lecturer Yuliana Pakpahan from Jakarta The non-Muslim American told CNA that she also uses Halal-certified makeup.
"I like the colors and the affordable price. The quality is good and the make-up is durable.
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While the majority of Muslims in Indonesia practice a moderate form of religion, the Islamic lifestyles increasingly popular, noted the Islamic scholar Rumadi Ahmad.
Chairman of Nahdlatul Ulamas Human Resources and Research Institute – Indonesia's largest Muslim organization – warned that problems could arise when people are too obsessed with becoming more Islamic.
"It must be clear that this step (new law on Halal certificates) is not a way to become an Islam state," said Ahmad, who is also Syariah and legal scholar at the Islamic Syarif Hidayatullah University in Jakarta.