Minister suggests easier halal certification for Muslim firms

ismail-sabri-jakim

SERI KEMBANGAN: The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has been asked to be less stringent in issuing halal certification to companies owned by Muslims.

Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said it was a hindrance to many Bumiputera business owners to operate when the rules were so tough.

“Jakim should be less stringent in issuing halal certification to Muslim business owners with 100 per cent Muslim workers, as the people operating it would make sure the business was halal.

“They will operate their business on Islamic values and halal methods,” he said after officiating the Halal Fiesta Malaysia (Halfest), being held from Aug 31 to Sept 4 at the Mines Exhibition Centre here, today.

Ismail added that Malay and Bumiputera firms usually had limited investments, and the stringent requirements of upgrading buildings or adding on machines cost them money.

Due to these stringent requirements, he urged Jakim to be flexible in their requirements to encourage small enterprises, especially those owned by Malays or Bumiputera to participate in the multi-million ringgit halal industry.

“I understand the halal certification is important to Jakim, especially when it comes to food.

“But I hope they will look into my suggestion for Muslim entrepreneurs,” Ismail added.

He said the stringent certification could be one of the reasons why Bumiputera participation in the halal industry stood only at 32 per cent.

There are 5,726 registered halal certified companies in the country with sales of RM42 million.