Jakim continues to uphold halal integrity

Malaysia’s halal standard is the benchmark in the industry, with its halal certification holding global recognition.

Once businesses obtain the halal certification from the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM), they gain a significant advantage to venture into the global halal market.

Their halal-certified products instil consumer trust and confidence, enhancing their market appeal.

Jakim’s Halal Management Division director Mohamad Zamri Mohamed Shapik (main image), said the industry is prompted to obtain its halal certification due to the significant signal brought forth by increased consumer awareness.

“The development of halal certification in Malaysia is highly encouraging, with a high level of consumer awareness,” said Zamri.

“The public is sensitive to this issue. So, if there are any issues related to halal, one should not take them lightly because they can go viral whether the reports are correct or false.

“Therefore, when the wave of consumer awareness regarding halal is high, it indirectly impacts the industry, making the players more alert.

He added that the industry’s development is increasingly attractive and positive as they strive to fulfil halal requirements and manual standards to the best of their abilities.

“For example, in implementing the Halal Assurance System (HAS), there is a need for a halal executive, halal training, standard operating procedures (SOPs), and the establishment of a committee.

“The industry is becoming more aware and familiar with our manuals and standards.”

Zamri emphasised that the achievements in the development of halal certification in Malaysia embodied a long and enduring struggle.

Despite the positive progress, he noted that it had yet to reach a perfect stage, leaving room for further improvement.

“We are striving to enhance our level of achievement. We are in the digital era. In this era of IR 4.0, the customer-driven approach is solid, and customers want everything fast,” he said.

“They expect speed and efficiency. Given this situation, we are trying to improve our SOPs.”

Zamri said the usual processing time for regular cases was approximately three months. However, Jakim has identified specific types of applications where it can reduce the duration.

“If a customer needs to do repackaging, it wouldn’t take up to three months. However, the duration might take slightly longer for hotels with thousands of ingredients and hundreds of dishes.

“Jakim receives high demand from industries abroad seeking our certification. However, we can only certify those companies with a presence in Malaysia.

InsyaAllah, we will introduce a halal manual for companies and industries overseas in July. It means they can engage with Jakim to obtain halal certification for their products.”

Zamri stressed that many standards established by Jakim were accepted and recognised by The Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC) and implemented by other countries. Therefore, Malaysia must strengthen its position in this area.

He added that Jakim’s role went beyond mere development and required actions.

“We already have transportation, warehousing, and retailing initiatives regarding the logistics scheme. However, we have only implemented two – transportation and warehousing.

“There have been some challenges regarding retailing; plans are underway to address them and ensure its implementation soon.

“In Malaysia, we must ensure our implementation can become a benchmark for other countries. When we establish standards and manuals and successfully implement them, it will undoubtedly instil confidence domestically and internationally,” he added.

Zamri said Jakim was actively working on enhancing its law enforcement initiatives and forging stronger partnerships with agencies such as Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (MAQIS) and the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry to effectively address critical halal-related concerns, including issues like meat cartels.

“By successfully addressing these challenges, we will foster increased confidence and trust among the public,” he added. @Halal