On 6th November, local newspaper Utusan Melayu reported that Malaysia is considering imposing new laws to make supermarkets nationwide supply different sets of trolleys for consumers.
Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin proposed using trolleys of different colours, such as red for non-halal products.
He had cited “multiple complaints” received about shoppers insisting on paying for non-halal products at regular checkout counters, adding that all supermarket operators have a responsibility to provide segregated check-out counters.
Hamzah also said that the proposal was being discussed by the ministry to ensure that Muslims did not have to “worry” about their supermarket good being mixed with non-halal items. However, the proposal for the new laws was still at the discussion stage and required comprehensive study due to the expected high costs that supermarket operators will have to bear.
In a separate report by MMO, independent Muslim preacher Wan Ji Wan Hussin has stepped forward to call the proposal to mandate separate supermarket trolleys unnecessary. He pointed out that such items are already stocked in segregated sections and that the non-halal food items in supermarkets are not in direct contact with the trolleys as they are packaged.
He told MMO, “The reason why the issue of segregation does not have to arise from this angle is because the segregation to buy alcohol and pork already exists. Muslims will not buy pork in supermarkets. Because if one goes to the supermarket, the pork is not placed in the trolley, it is placed in packaging.”
“If the (packaged) pork is put into the trolley and after that Muslims use (the trolley), the trolley doesn’t have to be washed as the pork is in packaging,” he added.
What do you guys think, though? Should there be a clear segregation of supermarket trolleys and counters for non-halal and halal food?