Brunei reviewing Halal procedures: Minister

Hakim Hayat

Brunei remains open to reviewing existing law and procedures in the importation of Halal meat into the country, including on ways the accreditation of slaughtering overseas can be made, without jeopardising the Halalness and integrity of meat to be consumed in the Sultanate, Minister of Religious Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman said at the ongoing 17th Legislative Council (LegCo) session yesterday.

The minister was responding to a query by LegCo member Yang Berhormat Naim bin Haji Kamis on the Ministry of Religious Affairs’ (MoRA) guarantee on the Halalness of imported meat as slaughtering overseas now involves witnesses comprising officers from Brunei embassies who are given online courses and have no experience in slaughtering.

The minister said that the procedure was decided as a special circumstance because Brunei could not send slaughtering inspectors due to the COVID-19 situation both here and abroad leading to a supply cut-off.

“In this special circumstance, officers from Brunei embassies represent slaughtering inspections but the question is: are they willing to do it?

“In the Islamic Syarak eligibility, it can be done by any Muslim including women,” he said.

Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Naim bin Haji Kamis. PHOTO: INFOFOTO

The minister shared that some of them are willing to do it, even without experience and the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) will also seek assistance from Muslim society agencies in the respective countries.

He shared that the slaughtering houses have agencies or Halal inspectors who can help Brunei embassy officers.

The minister said the ministry is open to review special circumstance procedures in the future.

“By law, the inspection should be done by two individuals to ensure the processes stipulated in the law are carried out. The inspection has to also be carried out by representatives from MUIB, State Mufti’s Office, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism and Royal Customs and Excise Department to provide accreditation,” he said.

“We are open to reviewing the existing law and hopefully select the right way that guarantees the Halalness and integrity of imported meat to be consumed here,” he added.