Boost ef­forts to cre­ate halal ecosys­tem

New Straits Times - - News -

PU­TRA­JAYA: Malaysia should step out of its com­fort zone to be com­pet­i­tive in the halal in­dus­try as oth­ers are catch­ing up, said Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi.

He said al­though Halal Malaysia had made its mark glob­ally, it needed to boost ef­forts to cre­ate a halal ecosys­tem at home and abroad.

He said Saudi Ara­bia, Ja­pan, China and Cam­bo­dia were among coun­tries that had sought Malaysia’s ex­per­tise to build their halal ecosys­tem.

“Halal Malaysia has made its pres­ence felt in­ter­na­tion­ally, but this must not lull us into com­pla­cency as coun­tries like Brunei, In­done­sia and Thai­land are close to sur­pass­ing us,” Zahid said af­ter chair­ing the first Halal Malaysia Coun­cil meet­ing here yes­ter­day.

He said Malaysia would make the best of its strong ties with Saudi Ara­bia fol­low­ing the visit of King Sal­man Ab­du­laziz Al-Saud to de­velop halal prod­ucts.

“It no longer fo­cuses only on the oil and petroleum sec­tor. The new eco­nomic strat­egy will be about de­vel­op­ing halal prod­ucts and goods.”

He said the coun­cil de­lib­er­ated on the need to form a per­ma­nent sec­re­tariat to en­sure the coun­try’s na­tional halal pol­icy would be de­vel­oped, co­or­di­nated and mon­i­tored in a holis­tic man­ner.

“The Is­lamic De­vel­op­ment Depart­ment (Jakim) will be the per­ma­nent sec­re­tariat for the coun­cil and Jakim’s halal hub divi­sion will be strength­ened along with other agen­cies via the Na­tional Blue Ocean Strat­egy.”

Zahid said the coun­cil had de­lib­er­ated on other halal-re­lated ini­tia­tives, in­clud­ing the de­vel­op­ment of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, stan­dards, ac­cred­i­ta­tion, lab­o­ra­tory test­ing ser­vices, re­search and de­vel­op­ment and de­vel­op­ing the halal in­dus­try.

He said while Halal Malaysia pro­vided con­sul­ta­tion ser­vices to for­eign coun­tries, it would open an op­por­tu­nity for Malaysia to share and re­in­force its prac­tices of mod­er­a­tion in Is­lam to oth­ers.

PIC BY FARIZ ISWADI IS­MAIL

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi at the Halal Malaysia Coun­cil meet­ing in Pu­tra­jaya yes­ter­day.

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