Not only pig bristle paint brushes, but all porcine-based products should have "logo babi" (pig logo) to avoid confusion among Muslim consumers, Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) said today.
Its president Nadzim Johan claimed that the association had been receiving complaints from Muslim consumers who had accidentally purchased such products.
As such, he urged the government to request the manufacturers to label the products accordingly.
Apart from pig bristle paint brushes, Nadzim added that food products, footwear, kitchen utensils and certain clothing available in the market also contained porcine elements.
"Everything. They should have (pig) logo. We would also be scared if we wear jaket babi (pig-skinned jacket).
"If there is a logo, when they (shops) cheat (consumers), (the government) can take action. If not, then cannot," he told a press conference today in Kuala Lumpur.
All consumers are entitled to know the ingredients contained in products before making a purchase.
"Imported products should have a stamp for verification. If the importer has this stamp, it makes things easier, we can take action when there is deception," he said.
PPIM had received nearly 50 complaints last year alone, and it was time to provide a comprehensive solution, Nazim said when asked why the association only responded to the issue now.
"Many Muslim consumers are not smart. If I say they are stupid, it will agitate people, but they are not that smart.
"They consume everything (blindly). So I suggest we should have 'logo babi', otherwise they would eat this as well," he pointed to a paint brush, to the laughter of his members.
Citing paint brushes as examples, TS Wong, who is in charge of Chinese affairs of PPIM, pointed out that pig bristle paint brushes were actually old products and that there were now many nylon-made paint brushes in the market.
The consumers, he added, should confirm with the shop before making any purchase.
"In order to avoid all these confusion, we request the authorities, especially KDNKK (Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry), to have the respective logos on brushes," he said.
KDNKK had raided a few shops and seized pig bristle paint brushes that displayed the fake halal logo.
However, DAP Socialist Youth (Dapsy) and Gerakan criticised the actions, and the hardware guilds have requested members to put "non-halal" words on pig bristle paint brushes for the time being.
According to Sinar Harian, the KPDNKK had confiscated 72 paint brushes and water color brushes in their raid in Malacca.
The raid was conducted in Malacca Baru, Batu Berendam, the report quoted KPDNKK enforcement team chief Hamzah Mahadi as saying.
"We have found brushes that are allegedly made from pig bristles in one of the premises, and we confiscated 72 brushes worth RM108. They are products from China," he said.
The brushes have been sent to a lab for further verification. Once it is confirmed as pig bristle brushes, the shop owner could be fined not more than RM100,000, or jailed not more than 3 years, or both.- Mkini