KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia aims to achieve new progress in regionalising halal standards by making it an important agenda in ASEAN, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
He said there were discussions in the past regarding halal standardisation amongst members of MABIMS, a regional association cluster comprising Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
“We have achieved quite a bit, through collaboration with Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia through the MABIMS process, that has been led by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Jamil Khir Baharom.
“It is the question of how to take it forward and ensuring the success of halal standardisation,” he told reporters at the World Halal Conference media briefing here on Wednesday.
“To some extent, there has been a lot discussion on this, and halal is one of them, except there are a few loose ends to be tied up with our neighbours,” Mustapa said.
He said while Malaysia recognises the others’ halal logos, on the ground there are issues and problems.
“This is something that we need to work on in the next few months, before we declare ourselves as an ASEAN Economic Community,” Mustapa said.
It does not make sense to declare ourselves a community and yet continue to face challenges in promoting the halal agenda, he said, adding this needs to be worked on this year, when the country chairs ASEAN.