Malaysia: ‘Not true non-Muslims can’t obtain ‘halal’ cert’

KUCHING: Assumptions that non-Muslim business operators are unable to obtain ‘halal’ certification easily are unfounded, said Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman.

This was proven by the issuance of the certificates by the State Islamic Council to 17 non-Muslim business operators yesterday.

Of that figure, five were for new applications while the others were for renewal.

“We have never made it difficult to apply for the ‘halal’ certification, as long as the applicants comply with all the set strict regulations which are to ensure the cleanliness and hygiene of the premises and toilets, and use of clean and certified ‘halal’ ingredients only,” said Daud at a ‘halal’ certificate presentation ceremony yesterday.

He added that the benefits of having the certification are that patrons, whether Muslims or non-Muslims, will not hesitate to patronise the shops because one of the requirements is hygiene.

When commenting about delays in obtaining the certification, Daud said the application process takes less than three months, and the ‘Halal’ Unit is there to help applicants get the certification.

Meanwhile, he also urged Muslim business operators to obtain the ‘halal’ certification because just being Muslim does not mean that they are automatically ‘halal’.

Asked on the number of applications for the certification, Daud said 25 per cent were Muslims.

The new recipients were Beef Talk Restro Cafe, Sugarbun Merdeka Mall, Shukie Cafe, SCR Brands (Bintulu) and Telang Usan Hotel.

Those issued renewals were Leaves Food Industries Sdn Bhd, Ngee Fatt Food Supply, Ah Hoo Noodle Supplies Sdn Bhd, Ferrington Foods Industry Sdn Bhd, Tong Hing Food Supply (M) Sdn Bhd, Sin Lee Yak Enterprise, Thian Yen Enterprise, Agrodelite Food Sdn Bhd, Aroma Cafe, Zaizan Enterprise, Yeung Lok Coldstorage Sdn Bhd and Borneo Farm Sdn Bhd.

Also present were State Islamic Council chairman Datuk Putit Matzen and State Religious Department director Abang Shamshudin Abang Seruji.