Muis' Response to Article Alleging Questionable Halal Certification Practices by a Muis Officer25 April 2020
It has been brought to Muis’ attention that there is an online article being circulated which alleges questionable practices in the Singapore halal certification process. Muis would like to take this opportunity to clarify and debunk the allegations made in the article.
The article accuses Muis of “sloppy, opaque Halal certification accreditation procedures” and showing “favouritism towards particular certifying bodies in Australia, Europe, and the US”.
Muis manages the process of halal certification in Singapore based on the highest standards of governance, as expected of the Singapore Public Service. All processes are ISO 17065 certified throughout the application, evaluation, certification, subsequent audit stages. There are clear segregation of duties for every step in the halal certification process. Key decisions on halal certification are not made by one individual but by an independent panel in Muis.
The same rigour for awarding halal certification to local applicants also applies to Muis’ recognition of foreign Halal certification bodies (FCBs). While Muis recognises that FCBs operate in different social, religious and legal contexts from Singapore, Muis only recognises those who are able to demonstrate that they adhere to similar standards adopted by Muis, as well as the clearly stipulated terms and conditions for recognition. This includes organisational governance and competence as well as compatibility in religious standards and guidelines. FCBs must have an adequate halal management process as well as a competent Syariah advisory board responsible for religious advice in Halal Certification. At the moment, Muis recognises a total of 74 FCBs from all over the world who are able to meet Muis criteria. Over the past 10 years, Muis has also removed the recognition status of 10 FCBs who were found to not meet the terms and condition for recognition.
In summary, no one single individual, within or outside Muis, can influence the outcome of any application in any way. Muis places the utmost priority in ensuring the integrity of its Halal Quality Management System, to provide assurance to consumers.
The allegations made in the article are extremely serious. Muis is looking into the matter and considering taking action against the publishers of the article. In the meantime, Muis would remind the community not to circulate unverified claims, and to approach the proper authorities if in doubt.