Exclusive Interview with Mr. Hairol Ariffein Sahari

  1. Please write about yourself and your journey with Halal Industry.

I am blessed to have started my career which now spans two (2) decades in Government-led industry development initiatives.

My foray into the Halal industry was purely by fate and I was blessed to be able to lend my expertise and knowledge in serving HDC, as at the time this organization had only been established for about 5 years.

I am passionate about the Halal industry as I see its vast potential and that is why I continue to champion it, till this very day. The Halal industry is one of the fastest growing markets today, as ¼ of the world’s population are Muslims and Halal as a way of life, is suitable for all.

  1. Let us know about your platform Halal Development Corporation Berhad (HDC).

HDC is an agency under the purview of Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI) established to serve as the custodian of Malaysia’s Halal economy and to spearhead the development of Malaysia’s integrated and comprehensive Halal ecosystem and infrastructure.

We act as the central coordinator to facilitate the growth and promote participation of industry players in the development of Malaysia’s Halal ecosystem, with our corporate vision and mission is to make Halal the first choice in business ventures by providing solutions for businesses to excel in the Halal market spaces.

HDC has a plethora of service for the Halal industry ranging from training, consultancy, advisory, access to a digitally integrated market platform and assistance on setting up and investing into Halal parks.

  1. Please share your views about role of Shariah financial institution in driving Industrial and Halal Ecosystem.

Financial institutions with a sound Shariah governance framework can complement the Halal industry and ecosystem as it strengthens confidence and gives assurance to businesses and people from the integrity, compliance and management point of view.

A company with a business involved in the Halal industry, does not require its financials to be Shariah compliant. Nevertheless, by financial institutions providing Shahriah-compliant services offering, it helps to eliminate the element of ri’ba, as it is a form of socially responsible financing or investing. It is an assurance that the governance structures, policies and processes in the way that the business is conducted are compliant with the fundamentals of Islamic principles.

To this effect, the financial institutions need to embark on more inclusive Shariah compliant products by integrating with Islamic concepts such as waqf or zakat.

  1. What are your views does Halal Logo on product Matters for consumers?

It is very beneficial for the Halal logo to be placed onto products. The Halal logo can be seen as an affirmation for Muslim consumers that the product is Shariah compliant and that they can be confident that it is either safe to be consumed, applied and so on.

At the same time, it can also be seen as a form of accreditation or certification similar to that of GMP or HACCP and whereby the product meets the set of standards, criteria and quality in which it is eligible to receive the Halal recognition logo.

  1. What is the potential of Halal Industry to improve Nation’s Economic Growth?

As mentioned, the Halal industry is one of the fastest growing markets today. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and I quote the GIEI Report of 2022, 1.9 billion Muslims spent the equivalent of US$2 trillion in 2021on the following sectors: F&B, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fashion, travel and media & recreation, all of which are impacted by Islamic faith-inspired ethical consumption needs. Countries are jumping onto the Halal band wagon, which is an opportunity not to be missed, as they would be accessing a vast market of 1.9 billion Muslims and growing.

To this end, the potential of the global Halal industry and economy is limitless in boosting a country’s growth. Halal is not just about the religion Islam, it is a way of life, encompassing the Halalan Tayibban aspects i.e. of what is permissible, pure, clean and wholesome that can be applied to all things that we do or undertake in life.

  1. Please share your Intentions about Halal Research Council?

HDC is always open to link Malaysia’s Halal industry and economy with that of other countries. HDC is always open to explore avenues in which Halal Research Council and other organizations or countries can potentially work together in connecting each other’s strengths and uniqueness in Halal to create a diaspora of conducive and sustainable network of Halal ecosystems globally.