KUALA LUMPUR: There will soon be a legislation to determine what is halal and what is not.
The new law will ensure that all instructions as well as the functions of every agency involved in the halal industry are clear, according to Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Fuziah Salleh.
Currently, at least 12 ministries and 342 government agencies that oversee everything from research to marketing and technology are involved in halal certification. “We need to streamline their functions under the Malaysian Islamic Development Department,” she said.
The proposed National Halal Council Bill is expected to be tabled for debate by next year.
“This new law is important. It will help everyone focus on their specific roles and help the SMEs get their halal certification,” she told a press conference after launching the Global Halal Summit, here on Monday.
Fuziah said that with the act in place, it would put to rest any uncertainty over which authorities are allowed to issue halal certificates, as happened in 2008 and 2009.
That was when the function was performed by the Halal Industry Development Corporation Sdn Bhd, an agency under the International Trade and Industry Ministry.
Such certifications can be sought online or through state religious authorities.
Fuziah said that as of Feb 13, Jakim will recognise halal certification from 78 foreign agencies in 45 countries.