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Online Mall For Muslims To Debut Worldwide

Cybank, a Malaysian online mall, is expected to attract about two billion customers worldwide to source for products and services targeted specifically at Muslims.

Horizon Tegas Sdn. Bhd. and the Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (MMCA) have jointly developed this online mall. It is accessible to both Muslim and non-Muslim merchants, as long as the products that they sell are Islamic in their orientation. For example, the food must carry the 'halal' (kosher) certification from established authorities.

"This is why we are working very closely with MMCA and the World Muslim Consumer Association to ensure that the online mall meet its primary goal of providing the Muslim world with a worry-free virtual shopping alternative," said the chairman of Horizon Tegas Sdn. Bhd., Datuk Mohamed Kamal Hussain.

"Serious efforts are being made to ensure that the mall conforms to the International Standards of Islam (ISI 2020) established by the internationally-recognized Research Institute of Standards in Islam (RISIS)," added Datuk Mohamed.

To date, there are 150 foreign and local companies that have expressed their interest to participate in the virtual 'halal' mall. Among them, 100 are currently actively using the service. The participants of the online mall will be charged based on the transactions.

According to Datuk Mohamed, the Web site will be linked to at least 2,000 other Web sites worldwide within a month after its launch targeted at early September.

Currently, the Web site, www.cybank.net, is in its final stage of preparation. The site will eventually include listings of all major mosques worldwide. It will also host the Muzakarah Room, an online forum where queries on Islam will be attended to by a panel of experts via e-mail.

"Ultimately, we want to make the Web site a one-stop information and trading center on Islam in order to enhance awareness of the religion," he said.