Malaysia, which is recognised for spearheading global halal standards, has scored another first as it has been invited to join the board of directors of the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC).
SMIIC is an affiliated institution of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which assumes an important role in harmonising standards among OIC countries especially those related to halal standards.
Director-General, Department of Standards Malaysia, Datuk Fadilah Baharin said Malaysia's involvement in the board was viewed as very important in assisting OIC countries in the harmonisation process.
"Malaysia has been invited to be part of the board which will formulate the direction for OIC countries in terms of standards especially halal standards.
"With Malaysia's involvement, we will have a louder voice and unanimous support from other OIC member countries especially in pioneering the standards harmonisation process," she told Bernama here on Tuesday.
Among OIC countries, only 13 countries are represented on the SMIIC board including Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The selection of board members is based on a consensus among them.
Malaysia now enjoys observer status only after being a member of SMIIC for two years.
"Our agenda is to provide exposure and training using our expertise. We can assimilate halal standards in OIC countries and via SMIIC, Malaysia can contribute towards enhancing the capability of these countries.
"We (Department of Standards) and the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) will collaborate to realise this objective. We hope to sit in the SMIIC board by year-end," said Fadilah.
Meanwhile, JAKIM Halal Hub Division Director Dr Sirajuddin Suhaimee said Malaysia has been known, for years, for being at the forefront of several halal initiatives.
"Only we have 13 halal-related standards and they are used as a guide by the industry and halal certifying organisations in Malaysia like the state Islamic Religious Council and international bodies," he added.
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