DECEMBER 23 — The damning expose of the home halal meat trade revolving round systemic and institutional corruption by a cartel comprising overseas exporters with the alleged
connivance of 4 authorities businesses is a provocative reminder how entrenched such a tradition is in Malaysia.
What’s really stunning is the corruption not solely entails routine or your typical bureaucratic procedures however the Islamic core injunction of halal meals, significantly on the subject of the prescribed ritual slaughter of meat for consumption by Muslims in keeping with the elemental tenets of the religion, and besides violated presumably by authorities officers who’re themselves Muslims.
A double transgression by which the corruptions, and the trickery leading to Muslims being unaware they have been consuming non-halal meat are each strongly prohibited by Islam. What’s extra, the cartel had been energetic for forty years.
Because the Nineteen Seventies, Malaysia has efficiently reworked its halal trade into some of the established and trusted halal certifications globally.
Alongside the best way, the nation has additionally managed to develop a complete halal meals and beverage trade and provide chain, whereas aggressively taking steps to broaden to different sectors, equivalent to journey, cosmetics and financing.
The export worth of Malaysian halal merchandise virtually tripled in seven years, from RM15.2 billion in 2010 to RM43.3 billion in 2017, contributing about 7.5 per cent of its gross home product in 2017.
Sadly, whereas halal exports have been an enormous a part of the nationwide economic system, the nation has solely taken a small fraction of the worldwide halal market which is now price an estimated US$2.3 (RM9.3 trillion) trillion a yr (excluding Islamic finance) — one of many quickest rising markets by which the world development is estimated to succeed in at an annual fee of 20 per cent each year.
In 2018, Malaysia accounted for less than a measly 1 per cent of the worldwide halal demand — proving there are substantial alternatives and room for enchancment to develop a clear and trusted halal hub.
Regardless of the projected enhance within the Muslim inhabitants to 30 per cent of the world inhabitants by 2050, which is among the driving components for the enlargement of the trade, the expose on this unholy cartel is certainly a setback to the booming halal trade in Malaysia that doesn’t augur effectively for the trade right here.
Other than the reactive have to fortify the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Fee (MACC) with extra sources, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Meals Trade (Mafi) to extend its governance on the issuance of approval allow (AP) for meat importers into Malaysia, given corruption is now a lifestyle in Malaysia, there’s a urgent and proactive have to be forward of the curve so as to stop such incident from recurring once more.
One proactive measure that needs to be applied instantly is for the issuing authorities — on this case Mafi (for issuing the AP) and the Division of Islamic Improvement (Jakim) for halal certification — to go the blockchain route.
Blockchain know-how is a disruptive know-how and a part of the fourth industrial revolution, which is anticipated to alter the best way we work and stay. Often known as distributed ledger know-how (DLT), it’ll disrupt too all of the devious and crafty methods of the cartel to attain their fraudulent goal.
Via sensible contracts, DLT may digitally prescribe processes and necessities in keeping with a halal customary, confirm halal compliance and implement the efficiency of halal provide chains.
A sensible contract is a pc protocol supposed to digitally facilitate, confirm or implement the negotiation or efficiency of a contract. Sensible contracts permit the efficiency of credible transactions with out third events.
As a result of blockchain is a decentralised system that exists between all permitted events, there’s no have to pay intermediaries (middlemen) and it saves you time and battle. Though DLT has its issues, it’s undeniably sooner, cheaper and safer than conventional programs, which is why banks and governments are turning to them.
When somebody requests a transaction, the request is broadcasted to a peer-to-peer (P2P) community consisting of computer systems, also referred to as nodes, which validate the transaction and the consumer’s standing utilizing identified algorithms.
As soon as verified, the transaction is mixed with different related earlier transactions to create a brand new block of information for the ledger, which is then added to the present blockchain, in a method that’s everlasting and unalterable. The transaction is now full, whereas ready for an additional transaction.
As an encrypted ledger database, blockchain is sort of unimaginable to hack, making its information or blocks completely verifiable. As a decentralised system with no single proprietor, any retroactive adjustments to a document should be verified by nearly all of doubtlessly hundreds of “nodes” or members in a series. Put merely, it’s a know-how that’s safe by design.
Via blockchain know-how, a halal community timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a document that can not be modified with out redoing the proof-of-work. It isn’t saved centrally however distributed on many servers all through the world as cryptographic proof.
Blockchain removes the necessity for a trusted third get together to make sure an impartial evaluation of the integrity of a product or its community, because the longest chain serves as proof of the sequence of occasions witnessed.
This know-how may implement end-to-end halal assurance and alignment primarily based on particular halal market necessities, supported by automated sensible contracts in its course of execution and management. A halal blockchain may present full transparency of all halal provide chain transactions which have ever been executed.
The blockchain has full details about the addresses and their provide chain path proper from supply to the purpose of shopper buy, giving the much-needed assurance for Muslims that the “halal-ness” of the meals on their desk might be traced again by means of all of the places of the halal provide chains that started with the unique halal farm or livestock farm, together with the identification of the farmers or livestock breeders.
Blockchains inject belief right into a halal provide chain and worth chain of a model proprietor who can be higher capable of assure halal integrity. They may be built-in into huge sustainability and company accountability programs to increase the model market past Muslim shoppers.
One of the vital vital real-world purposes of blockchain is knowledge provenance — the documentation of the place a chunk of information comes from and the processes and methodology by which it was produced. It creates a single, safe chain of custody timeline, designed to be tamper-proof.
The system can be utilized to supply clients with a ‘story’ about every product, overlaying supplies, places, processes, elements and suppliers, and permits companies to substantiate claims about their merchandise utilizing real-time knowledge.
With such a system, provenance monitoring of the place each bit of information comes from and whether or not it’s nonetheless up-to-date turns into a breeze.
It’s excessive time Mafi adopts this technique within the issuance of its AP for exporters to usher in imported halal meat into the nation and cord in different authorities businesses such because the Royal Malaysian Customs Division, the port police, the Ministry of Home Commerce and Client Affairs, and Jakim to be a part of the community on this system of provenance primarily based on blockchain know-how.
* Jamari Mohtar is director of media and communications at think-tank Emir Analysis.
** That is the non-public opinion of the author(s) or organisation(s) and doesn’t essentially symbolize the views of Malay Mail.