Malaysia: Synchronised standards for halal certification in the works

 The Star Online

PUTRAJAYA: An international halal authority board will be set up as part of the agenda to boost the country’s halal ecosystem.

This Malaysian-led initiative will see halal authorities from around the world brought together to synchronise procedures involved in issuing halal certification for products and services.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said this was among the efforts that the Malaysian Halal Council has put in place as part of its agenda for 2018-2020.

“Four other matters will also be given focus, including strengthening and expanding the halal professional board internationally to create more experts in the field.

“The council has also agreed to the setting up of a halal international research academy, the first of its kind in the region,” he said after chairing the council meeting here yesterday.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said the next three years would also see moves to bring more technocrats into the halal industry and to encourage players to step up creativity and innovation in the business through the soon-to-be-set-up Halal Innovation and Technology Centre.

From this year, he added, Malaysia will have a seat on the board of directors of the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC), in line with the nation’s active role in developing halal standards and accreditation worldwide.

The SMIIC aims to harmonise standards, achieve uniformity in metrology (the science of measurement), laboratory testing and establishing accreditation schemes for the purpose of expediting the exchange of materials, manufactured goods and products in the Muslim world under the umbrella of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

The council meeting noted that for the first five months of this year, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) received 977 applications for halal certification and has approved 966 to date.

The council also endorsed a proposed blueprint for bumiputras to play a more significant role in the halal industry.