Establish a professional Halal audit agency, avoid doubt on Halal status

SHAH ALAM, 6 June: The Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Consumerism Bureau has urged the government to immediately establish a professional Halal audit agency that works to identify non-Halal products on an on-going basis.

Its Chairman, Yahya Shari, said that academics, professionals, manufacturers, consumer bodies, businessmen and individuals who are skilled in the area can be appointed for the agency.

He said that this approach should be taken so that consumers will not doubt the Halal status, and remain confident in the credibility of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM).

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The move was proposed following the Halal issue which was been debated again due to the discovery of pig DNA by the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) in famous Cadbury chocolate products.

JAKIM, in its investigation, later confirmed that the product did not contain pig DNA and was Halal for Muslims to consume.

“Therefore, this move should be taken because currently, consumers are still doubtful of products from the company. Consumers are also doubtful of JAKIM’s capability,” he said when contacted by Selangor Kini today.

Yahya said that the audit agency can perform sampling tests periodically so that all food manufacturing companies comply with the Halal certificate.

“An example is the Cadbury company. We know that the MOH took chocolate samples in February and found pig DNA. However, recently JAKIM confirmed that there was no pig DNA after tests were conducted.

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“This raises doubts. Is it guaranteed that this will not happen again in the future? That is why we want this agency to act at all times,” he said.

He said that the monitoring task by the agency can be done, from the material process to packaging.

“Let companies follow the same method when the Halal certificate application is done,” he said.

Currently, JAKIM had an audit team that conducts investigations at factories to look into the management, storage of raw materials and food production, but only performs the checks before the Halal certification is issued.

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