Halal board a major priority


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 03 Dec 2015

Light moment: (From left) Dr Wee, Jamil and Mustapa having a chat with Datuk Naim Mohamad, vice-president of Malay Businessman and Industrial Association, and Grace Chia, the adviser of SAME.

PUTRAJAYA: The setting up of a Halal Professional Board – a database for halal consultants to advise businesses – should be given priority, said Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

“Some SMEs (small-to-medium enterprises) have complained of unqualified or even bogus businessmen, who call themselves halal certification professionals.

“With such a board, SMEs will be able to check the credibility of the professionals they want to handle their halal certification processes,” said the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department yesterday.

Dr Wee added that halal businesses must also capitalise on the China market.

“The Muslim population in China is bigger than Malaysia’s. China has been the largest trading partner for our country for the last six years. Bilateral trade surpassed US$100bil (RM420bil) two years in a row,” said Dr Wee at the launch of the Halal Forum 2015 here.

This year, the annual value of the halal market could reach US$2.3tril (RM9.72tril) worldwide. Last year, Malaysia’s halal export is ­valued at RM37.7bil and RM19.5bil has been recorded in the second quarter of 2015.

In Malaysia, SMEs are keen to take part in the halal business.

“However, based on my meetings with the business communities, there are SMEs that need more guidance in the halal certification process. They also need advice on how to maintain the standards of their operation so they can continue to deserve the certification.

“Recent cases of businesses whose halal certification were withdrawn sometimes ­create unnecessary friction in our community.

“We must not ignore the sensitivities of any ethnic group as we grow our businesses together,” said Dr Wee.

He also said non-bumiputra participation in halal industries was growing fast. At present, about 70% are Chinese companies.

The Halal Forum 2015 is jointly organised by the Secretariat of the Advancement of Mala­ysian Entrepreneurs (SAME), the Halal Indus­try Development Corporation (HDC) and Jakim.

The event also included a ministerial panel consisting of Dr Wee, Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamad and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.

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