KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 (Bernama) -- The enforcement of the Trade Descriptions Act 2011 has managed to curb the issuance of fake halal certificates to zero, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said the Act which replaced the Trade Descriptions Act 1972 restricted authority in the issuance of halal certificates to the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) and the State Islamic Religious Department.
"Previously through the Trade Descriptions Act 1972, anyone could issue the certificate. Any private organisation and company could also issue certificates when they registered halal-related companies," he said in response to an additional question from Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (PAS-Rantau Panjang).
He also said the government had no intention of setting up a special entity to take over the duties of JAKIM and the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) in overseeing the issuance of halal certificates.
Both agencies he said, were already managing well, with JAKIM handling the issuance of halal certificates and HDC focusing on management, monitoring and coordination of industry players.
Jamil Khir said the two agencies also served as a joint secretariat in the Malaysian Halal Council together with the Department of Standards Malaysia (DSM).
He said DSM was established to coordinate the agencies involved either at the federal or state level to ensure that Malaysia continued to lead in global halal and become a world reference centre.
At the same time, the development of the national halal industry can be synchronised to become more strategic, effective and comprehensive through development of a number of important components to produce a holistic halal ecosystem, he said.
He was responding to a question from Datuk Norah Abd Rahman (BN-Tanjong Manis) who wanted to know whether JAKIM and HDC could be consolidated so that matters related to halal certificate application would be controlled by just one entity to avoid confusing foreign investors.