Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Halal Malaysia

Is this halal?
This is an emotional issue to some Muslims in Malaysia. Malaysia a renown Muslim country in the world and a  pioneer in promoting the halal awareness. However, it  is still grappling with the interpretation of halal and the mechanisms of the implementation of halal certification. We tend  not to  do anything about the many so called institutions providing halal certifications. It seems that we tend to close one eye to this important issue.

 We are supposed to be the main promoter  of things  halal  but  but we are still vague and  ambiguous in our actions. The halal policies are haphazard and lacking in directions. It is really a pity considering that we are the an  economic  powerhouse amongst the Muslim countries.The halal issue has been politicized too much. Umno the backbone of the political system in Malaysia is too overly sensitive of the non Muslims sensitivities. We are   still arguing among ourselves as how to manage and promote the halal issue in the country. We provide no leadership to other Muslim countries.By all accounts, Muslims tourists and locals alike would not have problem  in finding foods and  dishes that are truly halal but the apathy attitude  of the Jakim officials and the lack of halal awareness among much of the statistical Muslims contribute to the lack of seriousness with regard  to the issue of halal in Malaysia.

It is not uncommon to see restaurants and food stalls in Malaysia displaying different logos of halal at their premises. By showing the halal signs they are tempting and inviting  Muslims to visit their premises and enjoy their dishes or products. In other words, they are saying that the products they offer are halal. I see lots of Chinese restaurants, bakeries, nasi ayam stalls claiming what they offer as halal .Are they truly halal?  If you asked the non Muslim owners  definitely they will say its halal. They seem to know better than the Muslims of what is halal and haram. You see many food stalls at  KLCC claiming to be halal. Have the Jakim officers verified these places as halal?

Mr Porky
This insensitivity of non-Muslims to the Muslim religious needs happens as the direct result of the lackadaisical attitude of the Jakim officials and the Muslims themselves. The inapt attitude of these Jakim officials contribute to the reckless attitude of the non Muslim traders with regard to the issue of halal. To them the halal concept is a non issue. It involves only the slaughtering of animals. They claim they buy and  use  products which are halal. But we always not sure of the status. The sad thing is that Muslims just  patronize these so called " halal" premises without any reservation. This is compounded  by the lack of enforcement and monitoring by the Jakin officials. Malaysian authorities are also too soft in implementing and monitoring the halal issues. They are just afraid of the perceived  non-Muslims backlash.

We Muslims must be conscious of the dietary requirements. The non halal food that we feed our children will inadvertently be   part of the flesh and blood of our children. Do we want our children to consume food that is haram and do nothing about it. Do we want to continue with the status quo or change for the better.I believe we  need to formulate a stronger response to the halal issue in systematic and scientific manner. We need to confront the issue head on in a clear manner and  we must act now.

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