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JAKIM has misled the public
Responsibility for Halal certification needs to be taken away
When the writer made allegations about impropriety over Halal certifications and practices, representatives of The Islamic Development Authority of Malaysia (JAKIM) have always been quick to rebuke and cast aspersions over the integrity of yours truly.
When the writer reported allegations about Halal protocols and hygienic standards at the Thomas Foods International (TFI) abattoir in Lobethal, South Australia, JAKIM in a press statement put out by director general Hakimah Mohd Yusof on the 13th April claimed that TFI complies with the requirements of Malaysian Halal slaughtering standards and regulations set by the Australian Authorities.
Hakimah further said that the Malaysian Halal Attaché at the Canberra High Commission had conducted a periodic audit at the plant on 2nd March and found everything complied with specified standards. Hakimah also said that JAKIM’s foreign certifying body at the TFI plant SICHMA had also assured JAKIM all halal standards and procedures were complied with.
Slaughtermen within the Thomas Foods International abattoir informed the writer that the practices described by Asia Sentinel on 5th April, were still continuing as late as 22nd April. According to these informants, no one from JAKIM or DAWE had visited the TFI Lobethal abattoir since the report was made.
On the 10th May concerned consumer groups organized a joint press conference. Nadzim Johan leading the Islamic Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) and Faizan Mohd Nor’s Pertubuhan Kemasyaratan Rakyat or Pekemas Malaysia chaired the meeting in Kuala Lumpur, so the whistleblower named as Abdullah, with his identity concealed, could tell his story to the public.
Hakimah’s latest statement made on the evening of 10th March said “that an investigation into this allegation is being conducted by the Halal Attaché Officer of JAKIM in Australia and also the Australian authorities, namely the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE). Discussions between JAKIM and the Counselor (Agriculture), Australian Embassy in Malaysia (Note: There is no Australian embassy, only a High Commission) were also held on 28 April 2022 to ensure that the results of the investigation can be submitted to the Government of Malaysia as soon as possible.”
Hakimah’s second statement clearly conflicts with the first statement. The Malaysian public have been misled on the issue of Halal Integrity. This not only casts doubt upon her own credibility as the director general of JAKIM, but also JAKIM’s ability to guarantee Malaysians absolute halal integrity.
Given this, it is necessary to consider taking the following action:
1. Remove the responsibility of JAKIM over Halal certification issues. This can be given to the Halal Development Corporation (HDC), which as a statutory body once oversaw Halal certification responsibilities in the country.
2. Seek out and prosecute to the fullest of the law those guilty within JAKIM of misconduct and corruption in regards to Halal integrity issues,
3. Suspend SICHMA as a recognized certifying authority in Australia until a full independent inquiry is completed, and
4. Boycott Australian meat products until Halal integrity is certain.
Anything less than the above is a grave failure by JAKIM to ensure Halal integrity for Malaysians.
What is most sad is that none of Malaysia’s Islamic scholars have shown any concern about this Halal integrity issue.