Malaysia: HDC’s Halal Executive Programme Sees 65 New Competent Halal Executives

After a rigorous six-month training programme organised by the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC), 65 students of the Food Science Faculty and Hospitality Faculty from six Polytechnics around the country, graduated with flying colours.

The Halal Executive Programme (HEP) involved fulltime three-month theory classes, three-month industry attachment assignments and an examination in collaboration with Institut Keusahawanan Negara (INSKEN) and the Polytechnic Division of the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). HEP also had the involvement of the Pahang MITI Office and SME Corp. The training programme, a pilot project by HDC, was conducted from 19 July 2010 and completed by 18 January 2011 at Politeknik Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah (POLISAS), Kuantan, Pahang.

The graduation convocation was held at the MATRADE Exhibition & Convention Centre (MECC) here today with elated parents and families present.

In uplifting its Halal Executive Programmes, the HDC had today also entered into three Memorandum of Understandings (MoU). The MoU signing ceremonies were witnessed by Minister of International Trade and Industry, Dato’ Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

The first MoU was signed with the MOHE to allow for the HEP training modules to be embedded into higher education institutions. This embedment would see the HEP offered to those keen in taking Halal as a value-add to their education and credentials. HDC Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Sri Jamil Bidin signed on behalf of HDC while Director General, Polytechnic Division, Mejar (K) Haji Md Noor Yusof signed on behalf of the MOHE.

There is now a strong market interest for graduates with Halal knowledge and expertise. A requirement pertaining to Halal Executives has been stated in the Malaysia Standard 1500:2009. Clause 3.1.1: Management Responsibility reads, “The management shall appoint Muslim Halal Executive Officers or establish a committee which consist of Muslim personnel who are responsible to ensure the effectiveness in implementation of internal Halal control systems.”

”In the Malaysia’s Halal Certification Manual Procedures, the requirement also mentions in clause: Article 13(1), “Food company categorized as Multinational / SME shall at least have an Islamic Affairs Officer/ Halal Executive (Islamic Studies) and knowledgeable in Food Technology area.”

Based on these requirements, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry through Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) introduced and implemented HEP.

A MoU with Institute of Halal Research & Management (IHRAM), Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia to develop Halal pharmaceuticals training modules, was also signed. This MoU is aimed at strengthening the knowledge and appreciation of Halal pharmaceuticals within the industry and other key stakeholders.  Again Dato’ Sri Jamil signed on behalf of the HDC while Professor Dato’ Dr Asin Haji Dollah, Deputy Vice Chancellor, USIM, signed on behalf of IHRAM, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia.

The third MoU was also signed to develop Halal laboratory guidelines and training modules including lab practical programmes with TPM Biotech Sdn Bhd. The MoU was signed with Dato Hj Mohd Azman Hj Shahidin, CEO of TPM Biotech Sdn Bhd.

With the introduction of Malaysia Standard MS 2424:2010 (P), another milestone is achieved in the Halal Standards development for the industry. In particular, Malaysia Standard, the first in the world, incorporates general guidelines for Halal pharmaceuticals. These guidelines help address the Halal integrity aspects in the manufacturing and servicing chain from processing to handling, packaging, labelling, distribution, storage and display of medicines and health supplements.

For 2011, the HDC aims to fulfil its goals for Halal integrity, Halal industry development and Halal brand promotion with the view to moving on to the next stage. The HDC’s masterplan is designed to create the most conducive environment for the industry to grow. The masterplan details several programmes and activities that will be carried out during this year, in supporting the Ministry of International Trade & Industry’s Key Result Area together with related agencies like MATRADE, MIDA, SMECorp, MPC, SME Bank, MIDF and INSKEN, as well as with industry players.