PUTRAJAYA – Malaysia has joined the Standard and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC)’s board of directors from this year, enabling it to play a bigger role in the halal sector globally, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said the decision was made by the Malaysia Halal Council, in line with the active role played by the government in developing global halal standards and accreditations.
“The SMIIC National Committee spearheaded by the Department of Standards Malaysia will be the coordinating agency for all programmes under the SMIIC for Malaysia,” he said in a statement, here, today.
Ahmad Zahid today chaired the Malaysia Halal Council 2/2017 meeting which was also attended by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
The deputy prime minister said the council also acknowledged the Bumiputera Empowerment Blueprint proposals for the halal industry.
He said the blueprint would be coordinated with the Bumiputera Wellbeing Tranformation (TKB) agenda and Bumiputera Economic Transformation Roadmap 2.0 (BETR 2.0) under the Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju), Prime Minister’s Department.
Ahmad Zahid said since its establishment in 2016, the Malaysia Halal Council had undertaken various initiatives including improving the process of issuing the Malaysia Halal Verification Certificate (SPHM) through the Halal Fast Force programme.
He said the Malaysia Islamic Development Department (Jakim) had been implementing the programme since Aug 1, 2016 and it was being extended to the respective states in stages to ensure uniformity and speed in the SPHM issuing process.
“In the first five months of this year, 977 SPHM applications were received with 966 or 98.8 per cent of the number approved by Jakim,” he said.
To further boost the halal ecosystem in this country, Ahmad Zahid said the government was initiating five important agendas for the period of 2018 to 2020.
These agendas include empowering the Halal Professional Board (HPB) at the international level to produce more professionals in the halal field, setting up the International Halal Authority Board (IHAB) which can harmonise all the world’s halal authorities in the area of halal certification, and establishment of the Halal International Research Academy (HIRA), the first in the region.
The other two agendas are the setting up of the Malaysia Institute Halal Academy (MIHA) to produce generations of technocrats in the halal industry, and establishment of the Halal Innovation and Technology Centre (HITeC) to further increase the levels of creativity and innovation in the halal industry.
According to Ahmad Zahid, seven working papers presented by Jakim, the International Trade and lndustry Ministry, and Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry were also discussed at today’s meeting.
These included the Malaysia Halal Council roadmap until 2020, the Bumiputera Empowerment Blueprint development initiatives in the halal Industry, boosting Malaysia’s involvement in standardisation and accreditation activities in the international halal sector, and the new framework for the Halal Industry Master Plan. – BERNAMA