Malaysia: New mechanisms to strengthen management of halal meat imports — PM

PUTRAJAYA (Nov 23) Bernama: Three new mechanisms will be implemented to ensure the integrity of the management system for the import of halal meat products into the country, said Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The prime minister said these mechanisms will be implemented by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) and several related agencies in response to the imported meat cartel episode in December last year, which served as an eye-opener to many quarters regarding the importance of having a sound management system for the halal product supply chain in Malaysia.

One new requirement is for animal-based products stored at warehouses to possess the Malaysian Halal Certificate (SPHM) under the scheme for warehousing logistics category, he said when launching the 2021 National Halal Conference virtually here on Tuesday (Nov 23).

“Imported animal-based products need to use the services of an SPHM-certified transport chain under the scheme for transport logistics category,” he added.

There will also be a mandatory procedure on repackaging compelling companies to obtain Malaysian halal certification under the food product scheme, he said.

The media reported in December last year that a syndicate had smuggled frozen meat into the country before repackaging it with the halal logo to sell the products in Malaysia.

To strengthen Malaysian halal certification, Ismail Sabri said JAKIM is developing a RM3.4 million Halal Integrated Information System to serve as a database for halal products.

The database will comprise six systems, namely the MYeHALAL (domestic), MYeHALAL (international), the e-Cert Print System, Malaysia International Halal Authority Board (MyIHAB), Module on Application of Foreign Slaughterhouses and Module on Malaysian Halal Product Ingredients Management (MyHALAL Ingredients).

He said that under MyIHAB, JAKIM can regulate 84 foreign halal certification bodies from 46 countries recognised by JAKIM.

“Insya-Allah, through this planning, it is expected that beginning from 2023, Keluarga Malaysia (the Malaysian Family) can use this system to check the status of halal products from foreign countries,” he said.

Ismail Sabri, who also launched the Malaysian Halal Certification Procedure Manual (Domestic) 2020 and Malaysian Halal Management System 2020, said JAKIM is also developing the Malaysian Halal Certification Procedure Manual (International) and International Halal Executive Module.

These two manuals under development are aimed at empowering the Malaysian halal certificate at the international level through the Malaysia Halal Certification Internationalisation Programme, which will enable foreign industry players to apply for the Malaysian halal certificate directly from JAKIM, he said.

At the same time, the government will also prioritise efforts to empower bumiputera entrepreneurs in the halal industry through guidance programmes involving several related ministries.

He said JAKIM’s efforts to enhance Malaysian halal certification had gained recognition from the Department of Standards Malaysia through the award of the ISO/IEC 17065 accreditation on Oct 10, 2020, making JAKIM the first halal certification body in the country to be accorded recognition on the global stage.

“This accreditation has given an impact not only to various products which have been certified but also contributed to better management in the implementation of halal certification,” he said.

Quoting reports from the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department that the halal market is projected to contribute 8.1% of gross domestic product (GDP) by generating exports of RM56 billion by 2025, he urged the relevant agencies, ministries and industry players to improve the marketability of local halal products at the international level.

In 2020 alone, the halal industry contributed RM9.7 billion to the country’s GDP, he said.

The prime minister is optimistic that the halal industry has potential to boost the country’s economy as the Muslim population in the world will increase from 1.8 billion currently to 2.2 billion in 2030.

Based on these figures, demand for halal products and services can hit US$680 billion annually, he added.