Data from the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) showed that more than 60 percent of halal product manufacturers were multinational companies owned by non-Muslims.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Dr Mujahid Yusof said this was because non-Muslim producers realise the importance of halal certification for their products to be marketed both domestically and internationally.
“On the other hand, many bumiputera entrepreneurs have yet to apply for halal certification from us… why they have not perplexes me,” he said in his speech at the 2019 Jakim Halfest held at the Mines International Exhibition Convention Centre (MIECC) in Seri Kembangan today.
Mujahid said with Jakim halal certification, a product is not only instantly recognised as using halal ingredients but also was hygienic regardless if it was Muslim or non-Muslim produced.
As such, he urged bumiputera and Muslim producers who have yet to apply for the Jakim halal certification to immediately do so.
“With halal certification, bumiputera companies will be able to compete with multinationals, not only domestically, but in the foreign markets as well, giving their products more access and consumer confidence,” he said.
Speaking to reporters later, Mujahid said Islam never taught its followers to choose products according to race, but stressed on the importance of them being halal and hygienic.
“We have to focus on two important basics - Confidence in Halal Malaysia and Buy Malaysian Products First... we use halal as our benchmark.
“As a Muslim, when I travel abroad, I look for halal food. I will ask if the food is halal or not, regardless of whom I am buying it from,” he said.
Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who launched the event, Jakim director-general Mohamad Nordin Ibrahim, Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) chairman Syed Hussein Al Habshee and National Halal Council Secretariat director Sirajuddin Suhaimee.