Have you got your halal certificate yet?

Hotel operators which have yet to obtain halal certificates from the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) have been urged to get their certifications to ensure that the food and drinks they served during Ramadan are halal.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Jakim director-general Othman Mustapha said the department had simplified the certification process and it can now be obtained within a day.

“We have sent out letters to them and about 80 per cent of hotels in the Federal Territories have obtained their certifications.”

“There are also special officers to process the certifications should an urgent approval is needed,” he told reporters after opening the Federal Territories Nasyid Festival 2011 at the Islamic Centre complex, here today.

He said hotel operators who failed to display the halal certificate can be fined under the Trade Descriptions Act 1972.

“We will carry out operations from time to time. We will also act based on complaints from the public,” he said. — (Bernama)


Jakim: Yes, can I help you?

Hotel: Is this where I apply for the halal certificate for my hotel?

Jakim: It depends.

Hotel: Depends?

Jakim: Yes, are you a local-owned hotel or foreign-owned hotel?

Hotel: Foreign-owned.

Jakim: This counter, counter number one, is for local-owned hotels. The next counter, counter number two, is for foreign-owned hotels. 

Hotel: Okay, thank you.

Jakim: Yes, can I help you?

Hotel: Hey, hold on! You’re the same officer from counter number one.

Jakim: Yes, we have only one officer on duty today.

Hotel: But you have ten counters.

Jakim: Yes, counter number one is for local-owned hotels, counter number two for foreign-owned hotels, then we have counters number three to ten for other applications like restaurants, supermarkets, and so on.

Hotel: But why did you ask me to move to counter number two? Why can’t you just serve me from counter number one if you are handling all applications?

Jakim: Procedure.

Hotel: Never mind. I want to apply for a halal certificate for my hotel.

Jakim: Foreign-owned?

Hotel: Yes, I already told you. Foreign-owned. Why ask again?

Jakim: You told the officer at counter number one. This is counter number two.

Hotel: But you are the same officer at counter number one. Oh, never mind.

Jakim: Have you filled in the form?

Hotel: Yes I have. Here it is.

Jakim: But this is Borang A. You must fill in Borang B.

Hotel: What’s the difference?

Jakim: Borang A is for hotels registered under the Registrar of Businesses. Yours is registered under the Registrar of Companies. So must fill in Borang B.

Hotel: Where do I get Borang B?

Jakim: At counter number ten.

Hotel: But there is no officer at counter number ten.

Jakim: I am also the officer for counter number ten.

Hotel: Yes, I know, you already told me there is only one officer on duty today. So why can’t you just give me the form here?

Jakim: Cannot. You must go to counter number ten. Procedure.

Hotel: Okay, okay, I will go to counter number ten. See you over there.

Jakim: Yes, can I help you?

Hotel: You know what I want. I want Borang B.

Jakim: For foreign-owned hotel registered under the Registrar of Companies?

Hotel: Yes, yes, yes.

Jakim: No need to get angry. I am just doing my duty.

Hotel: Okay, okay, I know, procedure.

Jakim: Your hotel sells halal food?

Hotel: Yes, we sell only halal meat, fish, vegetables…all halal

Jakim: Fish and vegetables definitely halal. No need for halal certificate. Only need halal certificate for meat. You buy your meat from halal butcher?

Hotel: Yes, from halal butcher.

Jakim: You have the halal certificate from the butcher?

Hotel: No, I don’t. But there is a halal sign on the packing.

Jakim: How do you know it is really halal? It could be a fake halal sign. There are many fakes nowadays.

Hotel: I don’t know whether it is genuine or a forgery? I go by the halal sign on the packing. The packing says the meat is halal so I assume it is halal.

Jakim: Cannot. We must be sure. You must ask them to show you the halal certificate from Jakim. They can’t simply put a halal sign on the packing unless they first have a Jakim halal certificate.

Hotel: But my suppliers are overseas. How would they get a Jakim halal certificate?

Jakim: Jakim will visit the overseas factory and check first. Then we will issue them the halal certificate.

Hotel: So when can you visit these overseas factories then?

Jakim: The factories must first invite us.

Hotel: Then you will go there?

Jakim: No, we will then schedule a visit. But they must send us the flight tickets and book the hotels for our officers at their own cost.

Hotel: The factories have to pay for one of your officers to visit them so that you can certify that their factory is halal?

Jakim: No, not one officer. Ten officers. 

Hotel: You need to send ten officers overseas just to certify that the factory is manufacturing halal meat?

Jakim: Yes, if not we cannot confirm that their meat is halal.

Hotel: Okay, never mind, we will stop selling imported meat and just serve local meat. Would that be okay?

Jakim: Yes, that is okay as long as you can show the halal certificate from the supplier.

Hotel: Okay, we also sell beer. Does the certificate cover this as well?

Jakim: No, beer is haram. We cannot issue a halal certificate for that.

Hotel: But we can sell beer?

Jakim: Yes.

Hotel: But we can’t sell meat unless we can prove it is halal?

Jakim: No.

Hotel: Can we accept credit cards?

Jakim: Yes.

Hotel: But credit cards involve interest. Is that not haram?

Jakim: Interest is haram.

Hotel: So the meat must be halal but you can pay by credit card even though interest is haram?

Jakim: That is correct.

Hotel: And we can employ Malay staff who are Muslims?

Jakim: Yes, you can. In fact, if you have no Malay staff you cannot get a hotel licence under the rules of the New Economic Policy.

Hotel: But our hotel has a bar, disco, karaoke lounge, massage centre and everything that is haram to Muslims. We can, or must, employ Muslims?

Jakim: Yes.

Hotel: But their salaries would come from haram sources.

Jakim: No problem. Even government staff get paid from revenue from banks, finance companies, money-lending, liquor, bars, night clubs, massage parlours, gambling, lotteries, casinos, cigarettes, and so on.

Hotel: That is allowed?

Jakim: Yes, allowed.

Hotel: But aren’t all those businesses haram?

Jakim: Yes, they are haram.

Hotel: So banks, finance companies, money-lending, liquor, bars, night clubs, massage parlours, gambling, lotteries, casinos, cigarettes, and so on are allowed but meat that is not halal is not allowed?

Jakim: That is correct. The meat must be halal. And Jakim will not issue a halal certificate unless you can prove it is halal. So you must sponsor ten officers to go overseas for two weeks to visit the factory first before we can issue the halal certificate.

Hotel: Two weeks? Why so long?

Jakim: We need one whole day to visit the factory and the other 13 days for rest after the long journey.

Hotel: I think never mind. We will stop selling imported meat, just sell local meat, and we will continue to sell beer and run our bar, disco, karaoke lounge and massage centre where most of our revenue comes from anyway. 

Jakim: No problem. Then you can get a Jakim halal certificate.