MUIS to review public submissions amid probe on alleged 'questionable' halal certification practices

MUIS to review public submissions amid probe on alleged 'questionable' halal certification practices

Exterior of MUIS building
Exterior of the MUIS building. (Photo: Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura)

SINGAPORE: The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) on Wednesday (Jun 17) said that it was reviewing submissions made by members of the public over allegations against one of its officers. 

MUIS first addressed the matter in a Facebook post on Apr 25, in which it referred to an article circulating online "alleging questionable practices in (the) Singapore halal certification process". 

"No one single individual, within or outside MUIS, can influence the outcome of any application in any way," said the council in April. 

"MUIS places the utmost priority in ensuring the integrity of its Halal Quality Management System, to provide assurance and confidence to consumers. MUIS takes a serious view of such misleading reporting. MUIS is looking into the matter and considering taking action against the publishers of the article." 

In a media release on Wednesday, MUIS said it had invited members of the public, "who have conclusive information and evidence on alleged questionable halal certification practices", to write in by Jun 15. 

The council said it would "carefully review" the submissions "as part of ongoing investigations and a fuller update will be provided once the investigation process is completed".

The investigation is led by Deputy Chief Executive of MUIS Dr Albakri Ahmad, and the team comprises officers who are not involved in the Halal Unit or its matters, said MUIS. 

In addition, an independent review panel chaired by Mr Abdul Hamid Abdullah, MUIS council member and retired audit director from the Auditor-General's Office, has also been established to review the process of the investigation and its findings. 

"MUIS would like to reiterate that the officer against whom the allegations were made is not part of the investigation panel. The officer is also currently not involved in handling matters related to recognition of Foreign Halal Certification Bodies while investigations are ongoing, so as to facilitate the investigations," the statutory board said. MUIS did not name the officer.

In its statement, it also urged members of the public "not to spread unsubstantiated information". 

"Speculation and allegations, made without full knowledge of the facts and findings, are unnecessary and counter-productive," it said. 

"MUIS notes that since our last statement, there have still been various social media posts by individuals speculating on the outcome of the investigations. This has led to further confusion by members of the community. We urge for patience to allow for the investigation process to be completed."

Source: CNA/hs(mi)

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