Proposal meant to facilitate halal product certification for hawkers in Nangka


Dr Annuar, flanked by Zakir Hussain (seated, left) and Sayed Azmee, gestures thumbs-up sign during a group photo with the course participants. — Photo by Peter Boon

SIBU (Jan 30): A proposal has been forwarded to Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) to set up a cottage industry centre here meant to help the hawkers in Nangka state constituency get their products halal-certified.

In this regard, Deputy Minister for Education, Innovation and Talent Development I Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee said a small piece of land here had been identified as being ‘ideal’ for the proposed hub.

“I have been told that none of the roadside hawkers currently operating in villages across the Nangka constituency has a halal certificate.

“It is pivotal for these hawkers to have their products halal-certified should they wish to grow their business.

“So, I have proposed for the SEDC to set up a cottage industry centre here, for that purpose (of facilitating halal certification for the hawkers).

“It is also proposed that the production activities could be run at the back section of the centre, while the front section would be for sales and promotional activities.

“That is what I want to do for Nangka.

“Bear in mind that any food produced at home, cannot be halal-certified. The Ordinance requires a proper premises before a halal certificate can be issued by Jakim (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia).

“Without halal certification, the hawkers in Nangka would not be able to grow their business on a larger commercial scale – in other words, marketing their products to supermarkets or other major food outlets.

“They could only continue to sell their items along the roadside.

“Thus, I hope that SEDC would seriously look into the proposal,” Dr Annuar, who is Nangka assemblyman, told reporters when met after officiating at the ‘Knowledge Community Empowerment Programme: Lifelong Learning Network Empowers Community Talents N55 Nangka’, in Sarikei Community College Sibu branch yesterday.

On a related matter, he called upon relevant non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as the Bumiputera Chamber of Commerce and the Petty Traders Associations, to update their databases including membership information as a way to help the community of hawkers.

Moreover, he also highlighted the importance for hawkers to be empowered with new knowledge and skills to grow their businesses.

On that note, he commended the Sarikei Community College Sibu branch for assisting Nangka State Constituency Service Centre in running the short courses meant to empower local hawkers.

It is stated that the short courses comprised four modules: Basic Entrepreneurship, Financial Management, Digital Marketing and Business Canvas.

Each module runs for five hours, with every participant being charged a fee of RM1 per hour.

Dr Annuar recalled that last year, 611 participants from Nangka had signed up for these short courses.

“This year, the target is to have 1,000 participants joining 26 courses, comprising 44 modules.

“There are currently about 1,000 hawkers (in Nangka) who have yet to attend these courses,” he added.

Dr Annuar also pointed out that any hawkers in Nangka requesting his assistance to operate business, would be required to attend courses run by Sarikei Community College Sibu branch first.

Adding on, he also highlighted the importance of trade licensing for any roadside hawker.

Zakir Hussain Ibrahim who is the director of Sarikei Community College and its Sibu branch, as well as Sayed Azmee Wan Junaidi who is a political secretary to the Premier of Sarawak, were also present at the event.