KUALA LUMPUR: The number of staff overseeing halal certification-related matters should be increased to enable them to cope with certification duties in Malaysia and abroad.
Fiqh Fatwa, Food and Contemporary Consumerism expert Associate Professor Datuk Dr Mohd Izhar Ariff Mohd Kashim said this would not only empower the halal-certification process but also allow for better monitoring and enforcement.
“The matter (of having more staff for the halal-certification process) was raised previously by certain quarters. Following the recent issue, I believe it is time for this so that we can empower the country’s halal certification,” he said yesterday.
Izhar was responding to one of six suggestions proposed by Umno Youth on Friday, following reports of a meat-smuggling cartel using fake halal certification in the country. The suggestions include increasing the number of staff overseeing halal certification at the Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) and the State Islamic Religious Department (Jain).
On the non-certified halal meat issue, Izhar said Jakim and Jain would not consent to questionable meat products entering the country.
“All imported (halal) meat brought into the country must obtain halal certification from abroad, before being certified halal for the local market.”
Malaysia’s halal certification is issued by Jakim, the sole body authorised to issue halal certification.
Izhar urged the government to address the issue urgently to clear the doubts among Muslims.
Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia lead activist Datuk Nadzim Johan said it was time for the country to rely on its livestock.
“Maybe we should boost our domestic beef production, rather than relying on imported ones.”
On Monday, NST reported that a meat cartel has been bribing senior government officials from four agencies to bring non-certified meat into Malaysia and passing it off as halal-certified products.
Article by: New Straits Times
‘INCREASE MANPOWER TO HANDLE HALAL CERT MATTERS’