The number of Halal certifications and products is growing rapidly in Malaysia. The Southeast Asian country uses the power of consumers.
“We use the consumer power,” said Sirajuddin Suhaimee, Jakim’s Halal Hub director, at a press conference in Putrajaya. Halal certification is voluntary for companies to take advantage of labeling. So Jakim has achieved through marketing that consumers would buy only Halal products. As a result, the number of halal-certified products in Malaysia is increasing every year.
Currently, the agency has approved 78 certifiers from 45 countries that meet the requirements. They can use the Jakim standard, which is one of the strictest Halal standards in the world. Companies that have certificates from these certifiers have a good chance of exporting their goods to Malaysia and other countries.
Halal certification is controlled by the state in Malaysia. “If there is certification fraud, we can withdraw the certificate very quickly,” said the director of the Jakim. That’s something other certification bodies and private certifiers could not do that easily.
Sirajuddin Suhaimee does not believe that eventually there will be a one global halal standard. SMIIC, the standards institute of Islamic countries, is currently trying this. It works with the SMIIC Halal standard for a uniform standard. However, these standards would not be accepted in every country, especially in those states that have their own standards, he said.
Video: Press conference with Sirajuddin Suhaimee
Malaysia wants to prepare Halal food for athletes and visitors in a central kitchen at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In addition, Halal food is to be served in Muslim-friendly restaurants. “It is not possible to certify a restaurant in Japan,” the Jakim Director said. Most would serve alcohol, such as the rice wine Sake. Muslims could easily meet with their friends in these restaurants as the food is halal-certified.
Asked why water is halal-certified, Sirajuddin Suhaimee said that the certfication is awarded to the production process and not to the natural product. For example, some water filter systems use products that are not halal.
- Handbook on the Malaysian Halal certification process
- List of Halal Certification Bodies recognized by Jakim
- Halal and Haram E numbers
Participation in the trip was supported by Matrade.