Minister: Smaller budget no impediment to halal industry development

Datuk Seri Azmin Ali speaks to reporters at the Parliament lobby November 21,2018. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Datuk Seri Azmin Ali speaks to reporters at the Parliament lobby November 21,2018. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 ― A smaller allocation in Budget 2019 for the national halal industry development due to financial constraints will not jeopardise government efforts to promote the sector, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said initiatives to promote the halal industry will be enhanced with the cooperation of the states which place emphasis on the industry, such as Selangor and Penang.

“With the cooperation of the states which have embarked on the initiatives on a large scale, we will see how we can move the value chain and build a more integrated ecosystem not only in terms of products but also in terms of the sources to develop the products to truly meet the halal specifications.

“This is because the halal market is huge, not only in Islamic countries. Even non-Islamic nations have accepted halal products as important goods for trading,” he said during Question Time in the House.

Mohamed Azmin was replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina  Merican (BN-Kepala Batas) who wanted to know the commitment of the government in promoting the national halal industry when the allocation was reduced from RM1 billion previously to RM100 million in Budget 2019.

Replying to Reezal Merican’s original question, on the government commitment to implement all the resolutions of the Congress on the Future of Bumiputeras and the Nation 2018, Mohamed Azmin said the September 1 congress adopted 63 resolutions encompassing four areas of focus.

He said some of the resolutions have been taken into account in drawing up the direction, strategies and initiatives of the Mid-Term Review of the 11th Malaysia Plan.

The implementation of the resolutions will be aligned with the implementation plan of the 11th plan mid-term review by identifying the ministries or agencies to spearhead the strategies and initiatives with certain milestones to ensure the implementation of every resolution.

“The government is committed to ensuring that the Bumiputera agenda remains as the national agenda. In this regard, the second thrust of the 11th plan mid-term review gives special emphasis to the strategy of strengthening the Bumiputera Economic Community, including strengthening the effectiveness of institutions and programmes; empowering education and human capital; enhancing effective control and sustainability in corporate equity ownership; enhancing wealth ownership and shaping a resilient and sustainable Bumiputera Economic Community,” he said.

Replying to a supplementary question from Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus (PH-Hulu Langat) on the government measures to abolish the ‘ali baba’ practice, Mohamed Azmin said he is confident that this old culture will no longer find a place among Bumiputera contractors.

“Bumiputera contractors of today are prepared to compete based on their merits, skills and expertise. I see that we have a bright future because Malays and Bumiputeras are ready to compete in the open market and deliver their best to boost national productivity,” he said. ― Bernama

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