Halal roadshow updates Belait District on application processes

By Hjh Saemah Zulkefli

Acting Assistant Director at Hal Ehwal Syariah Awg Hj Kassim
bin Hj Mohamad explaining the rules of Halal certification

Female restaurant vendors from the Belait District listening
to the briefing. Photos: Hjh Saemah Zulkefli

More than 300 individuals comprising restaurant vendors in the Belait
District attended the Halal Registration Information Roadshow at the
municipal hall.

It is part of a series of roadshows in all districts aimed at providing
clearer information and understanding on the application processes for
the Halal certificate for restaurants, including hotel
restaurants, based on the rules stated by the Halal Certificate Order
and Halal Label 2005 as the guideline for Halal certification.

The Head Officer of Halal Food Control from the Department of Syariah
Affairs, Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abd Rahman bin Abdullah, stressed
that the Halal Certificate Order and Halal Label
2005 have been enforced since August 1, with the process now in its
third stage, which is for restaurants and stall vendors.

According to Chapter 4 (1) of the Halal Certificate Order and Halal
Label 2005, anyone can send in their application, irrespective of
religious background, as long as they fulfil the stated categories
stipulated in the order.

The briefing on the Halal Certificate application and its guidelines
was presented by Acting Assistant Director of the Syariah Affairs
Department, Awang Haji Kassim bin Haji Mohamad, whilst the
briefing from the Agriculture Department was presented by Agriculture
Chemist, Dayang Hajah Siti Raihani binti Haji Abdul Hanid and an
Agriculture Officer, Pengiran Hajah Masliati binti PSJ
Pengiran Haji Abdul Momin.

The briefing was to provide a better understanding and explanation
regarding the aspects of Halal and Haram according to the rules as well
as the job description of a Halal food supervisor and those
who wish to apply for the post.

The restaurant vendors were told that every establishment must have at
least two Muslim Halal food supervisors, who have been approved by
Islamic Religious Council of Brunei, whenever they wish
to obtain a Halal permit, which is stated under Section 4 (1) of the
Halal Permit and Label 2005 Act.

Awg Hj Kassim bin Hj Mohamad also explained that those applying to
become supervisors for Halal food must be Muslims of the Syafiee school
of thought or any of the three other schools of
thought – Hanafi, Maliki or Hambali – that have been approved by this
country on the condition that one understands the laws under the
Syafiee sect.

Their supervision only entails businesses that they have applied for,
unless there is specific permission from Islamic Religious Council of
Brunei to carry out their job elsewhere. Aside from other
responsibilities, Halal food supervisors are also responsible for
areas, vehicles and utensils that are connected with the preparation,
storage and transportation of Halal products, as stipulated in the
Brunei Darussalam Standardisation 24:2007.

Supervisors need to know and understand laws regarding Halal food and
drinks, slaughter, storage, display, preparation, cleanliness and other
aspects. In the briefing, it was mentioned that owners or
managers should immediately replace supervisors that are not carrying
out their responsibility and the Halal Food Control Section should also
be notified in writing immediately and no later than
seven days.

The Acting Assistant Director further explained that owners or managers
must also ensure that their staff wear appropriate attire according to
Islam, and that files and documents relating to Halal
matter should be updated and kept at their business premises.

“Owners and managers should also have some control mechanism to ward
off animals from encroaching onto their business premises and they
should make sure that these places are away from farms,
garbage disposal area and waste disposal plant,” he said.