Medan, N Sumatra (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Consumers Institute Foundation (YLKI) has called on consumers to check first shoes before they decide to buy ones to ensure they do not use pig skin.

"We do not want the `kickers shoe case` which disappoints and disadvantages consumers to be repeated. This is a lesson that should be observed before buying a product," Abubakar Siddik, the chairman of YLKI for North Sumatra, said here on Sunday.

He said that there should be no such a case in the future where a product contained haram (not allowed by the Islamic law) substance for Muslims were circulated with a halal (allowed by the Islamic law) label.

"We appeal (to the authority) to stop the circulation of the product and confiscate it at the distributor level," Abubakar said.

The `kickers` shoe case should not necessarily happen if the shoe producer was open and fair to the public.

After all, the producer involved the name of an Islamic institution, namely the Indonesian Ulemas Counicl (MUI), he said.

"The company violates the law and the MUI can just file a protest at it. This should become the attention of companies so that the same case would not be repeated in the country in the future," he said.

Last week, the Jakarta police said investigators would question "Kickers" distributor over a suspicion that its product had used material from pig skin.

"We have planned to carry out an examination on Wednesday or Thursday next week," Jakarta Police Public Relations Head Snr Comr Rikwanto said on Friday.

He said that investigators from the Criminal Investigation Department of the Jakarta Police would ask for explanations from the company which supplied shoes under "Kickers" brand to the market.

The distributor supplied shoes to one of the shops at Sogo department store in Plaza Senayan, Jakarta.

But a consumer who had purchased a pair of shoes with Kickers brand found that the product used pig skin and reported the case to the police.

After questioning the distributor, the investigators will ask for explanations from experts from the Indonesian Consumers Institute Foundation (YLKI) and the Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI).

At present, police are confiscating two pairs of shoes, `Kickers` brand, which are suspected to have attached the "halal" (allowed by the Islamic law) label, but the shoes carried letters reading "Pig Skin Lining."

A consumer named Winarto has previously reported to police a shoe businessman (SW) who supplied shoes with pig raw materials.

Winarto reported that the petitionee had committed a crime by violating the law on consumers` protection.

If found guilty, the petitionee would be charged with article 8, point 1, letter H, in conjunction with article 62, point 1, law No. 8/ 1999 on consumers protection.

Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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