KUALA LUMPUR - The agreement to be signed between the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) and its Indonesian counterpart has been delayed, a Malaysian official told Salaam Gateway.
JAKIM now expects to sign a memorandum of understanding with Indonesia's religious affairs ministry’s Halal Products Assurance Agency (BPJPH) in October. State news agency Bernama reported on Jan 26 the agreement was to be signed in April.
“We look forward to the signing in this coming October, after the BPJPH establishes a halal certification body in Indonesia, of an MOU between Malaysia and Indonesia,” said Sirajuddin Suhaimee, director of the Secretariat of the Malaysia Halal Council, at the Malaysia Halal Expo over the weekend.
Confirming the six-month delay, Naim Abdul Aziz, senior assistant director of the Malaysia Halal Council told Salaam Gateway, “We are waiting for the Indonesian party to fully execute their implementation. That’s a solid reason for the delay.”
The director-general of BPJPH, Sukoso, told Salaam Gateway earlier this month that a draft regulation on Halal Product Gurantee was currently being reviewed by President Joko Widodo and that BPJPH was finalising a regulation covering halal certification procedures and costs for certification with the ministry of religious affairs.
The agreement is expected to allow JAKIM halal-certified goods from Malaysia to enter the Indonesian market without requiring local halal certification.
“This agreement will allow our products to enter Indonesia without the need for ‘double certification’, requiring only a JAKIM halal certificate,” said Sirajuddin.
(Reporting by Richard Whitehead; Editing by Emmy Abdul Alim firstname.lastname@example.org)
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