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KUALA LUMPUR: Seventy-one foreign products have been accorded Malaysian "halal" certification by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) in various categories including food and cosmetics, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said these products also carried the halal certification from recognised issuing authorities abroad.
"Jakim began issuing the halal certification in November 2009 and recognises 57 Islamic authorities abroad which also issue the certification, including in China, India and Australia.
"Manufacturers of foreign products can obtain the Jakim halal certification in one of two ways -- directly from Jakim or through the recognised issuing bodies in their own countries," he said.
Jamil Khir was replying to a question from Datuk Baharum Mohamed (BN-Sikijang) who had wanted to know the extent of international acceptance of the Malaysian halal certification.
Jamil Khir said it was a matter of pride that Malaysia had become a source of reference in setting halal standards for countries such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Brazil.
Replying to a supplementary question, from Nasharudin Mat Isa (PAS-Bachok), he said the monitoring of halal products did not only cover their ingredients.
"Of course, we make sure that the raw material is halal. Nevertheless, we also determine whether the product meets consumer health standards such as having adequate vitamins and other nutrients.
"We also consider in terms of expression. For example, a Ramadan buffet at a hotel will be halal even if the word 'halal' is not used with the expression," he said.- Bernama