PETALING JAYA: Restaurant owners favour speedier options to get halal certification as the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) is very rigid.
Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owner Association president Datuk R. Ramalingam Pillai said with Jakim's halal logo as the sole certificate from next year, he said: "We welcome the move, but there's only one problem, the process of getting the logo is too rigid."
Explaining the new ruling could cause problems for some eateries when it comes into effect in less than four months, he said: "The duration for the certification process takes a lot of time. At times, it can be six months.
"It's not that I don't agree on the need to obtain the halal logo, I do as halal means clean. My recommendation for Jakim is to make the procedures simpler for future restaurant owners to apply for the logo directly rather than from elsewhere. Make it easier for us, restaurant owners."
Federation of Malaysian Indian Muslim Association president (Permim) Dr Syed Ibrahim Mohd Ismail also agreed with the move of accepting only Jakim's halal logo next year.
"It's true some places produce the halal certificates but it's good Jakim will be the official source. With only one source, the criteria can be standardised."
He said he would not worry whether the industry would be affected. "There are restaurants under Permim which are also under the Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma). They are Jakim-approved. So, business-wise, I don't think there would be any problem."
Presma deputy president Sihabutheen Kirudu Mohamad said the move would not affect restaurant owners, especially those under them since they were Muslims.
"There are over 2,500 Presma members. Our members do not normally apply for Jakim's halal logos as they are Muslims,but of course, they ensure their supplies are halal-certified."
He also agreed the procedures to get Jakim's halal logo were not easy to comply with.
Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob recently announced only Jakim's halal logo would be valid from next year.
It came in the wake of discoveries of food traders displaying fake halal logos.