Ts. Dr. Farhan first woman appointed as technical panel member of fatwa by Muslim Professional Japan Association (MPJA)
GAMBANG, 27 May 2021 - The Halal Assurance and Halal Certification Management System has been recognised globally and has become a benchmark for other countries worldwide.
The development, evaluation and revision towards halal compliance and standard, fatwa, laws and regulations of the Malaysia Halal Certification are vital in helping Muslims in Malaysia and the world.
With wide expertise and experience in food technology and biotechnology, the Faculty of Chemical and Process Engineering Technology (FTKKP), Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) lecturer, Ts. Dr. Farhan Mohd Said has been appointed as a technical panel member of fatwa council by the Muslim Professional Japan Association (MPJA), Japan and certified by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM), Malaysia.
She is also the first female technical panel member of fatwa to be appointed by the MPJA.
MPJA is one of the pioneers of halal information resources in Japan, established to aid in and spread knowledge and information about the Islamic way of life to Japanese society.
MPJA also carries out halal auditing and certification that comply with international quality and standards in Japan.
According to MPJA Managing Director Akmal Abu Hassan, the appointment of Ts. Dr. Farhan is right in her area of technical expertise in halal certification, which is seen to start opening the eyes of entrepreneurs and industry players in Japan.
In addition, Ts. Dr. also successfully became a halal auditor recognised by the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) in 2019.
In 2018, Ts. Dr. Farhan, together with a few MPJA auditors, conducted a Halal Audit monitoring visit in the land of the rising sun at two food processing facilities which are an enzyme drink processing plant, Dainichi Seiyaku Co. Ltd. in Gifu, a capital city in Central Japan and an abattoir (slaughterhouse), Zenkai Meat Corporation located in Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto, Kyushu Island.
According to Ts. Dr. Farhan, the programme ran smoothly, involving discussions and information exchange about the concept of halal among MPJA auditors, companies and Fatwa representatives.
“Measures towards improvement were also discussed. We also proposed several methods that could be improved so that the production process can run more efficiently and perfectly according to Islamic standards.
“The main objective of the visit was to oversee the halal auditing process carried out by the MPJA in Japan,” she said, who acquired her Doctorate in Bioprocess from Massey University, New Zealand.
Besides that, she said the visit aimed to exchange knowledge and information about the auditing process. However, besides the members of fatwa giving advice and guidance in terms of proper auditing, they gained exposure and experience about the situation and implementation of the halal auditing system and acceptance of the concept of halal in Japan, which is not a Muslim country.
“Throughout my tenure as a member of the fatwa panel, awareness to get halal certification for Japanese industry is high.
“The involved industries are not only focused towards food products but also cosmetic products, intermediate products, OEMs and abattoirs.
“This results in nearly monthly meetings to be carried out with the fatwa panel,” she said.
She, a JAKIM Halal trainer (TPH), is also invited to attend the online fatwa panel meeting held twice a month for certain months, either through Skype or Zoom amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among industries in Japan that applied for halal certification via MPJA are Ajishokuken Co. Ltd., Croda Japan Co. Ltd., Enex Co. Ltd., Nankai Chemical Co. Ltd., AminoUp Co. Ltd. and Nishiawa Beef Ltd.
MPJA is chaired by Akmal Abu Hassan who is a Malaysian citizen who lives in Japan. He hopes that the cooperation between MPJA and UMP can open the world’s eyes to the potential of the halal industry not only in Japan but in the entire world.
By: Ts. Dr. Azizul Helmi Sofian, Faculty of Chemical and Process Engineering Technology (FTKKP) and Safriza Baharuddin, UMP Press
Translation by: Dr. Rozaimi Abu Samah, Engineering College/Faculty of Chemical and Process Engineering Technology