@Halal April 2019 - Page 10

10 @Halal | april-may. 2019 Cover story Along the route to halal Malaysia Malaysia’s halal trade continues on with JAKIM’s efforts to make certification and trading more efficient and empowering, writes Maria Azman T he Department of Islamic Development, or better known as JAKIM, has been constantly improving the growth of the local halal sector to secure Malaysia as the leader of the global halal trade. New and improved measures are always being deviced and developed to ensure the ideal model of halal certification is produced, and to further the halal industry of Malaysia. Initially, the halal sector was managed by one unit under JAKIM, called the Halal Hub Section. However, in the effort to ensure better focus in establishing the halal industry in Malaysia as a whole, the Halal Hub was separated into two divisions. The two divisions are Halal Management Department under the direction of Ustaz Bukhari Md Akhir, which focuses on the JAKIM’s halal certification operation. The other is the Malaysia Halal Council (MHC) secretariat, whose responsibility is to tackle the keystone and to cater foreign relations covering both bilateral and multilateral trade. Besides that, MHC also lends a hand in coming up with new approaches to tackle halal issues alongside Halal Management Department as a way to avoid working in a silo. YBhg. Dato’ Dr Sirajuddin Suhaimee has been elected as the director for MHC. Malaysia Halal Council (MHC) and Halal Professional Board The whole halal certification process in Malaysia has had the unfortunate precedent of being described as ‘difficult’, ‘expensive’ and ‘slow’ by applicants. Although it might seem that way a long time ago, MHC has been improving and made the process a lot more efficient nowadays. MHC has come out with several initia- tives administrated by JAKIM to tackle the above issue, such as the initiation of Halal Professional Board (HPB) in order to assist the applicants. Under the wing of HPB, two modules have been developed; Halal Execu- tive and Internal Halal Audit. The objectives behind the establishment of the modules, other than as a helping tool for halal certification applicants, include empowering the personnel in the industry and to maintain the integrity of the halal status itself. ‘Halal Built-In’ to assure Halalan Toyyiban YBhg. Dato’ Dr Sirajuddin Suhaimee, director of MHM. Through these modules, MHC has initiated the concept of Halal Built-In. Halal Built-In brings forward the idea of halal programme in the industry whereas the conformity of products’ halal status are being validated by the authority while the assurance practice are done by the companies itself. The assurance activities by the industry are performed internally via the establish-