UUM ONLINE: The Halal industry has been on the rise and is fast emerging due to the high demand from the global community. Realising the potential and impact of the Halal industry on the economic growth, the government strived to position Malaysia to become the global Halal hub.
For this reason, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) has set-up an Asian Halal Laboratory (AHAL) to boost the university research agenda in the Halal industry management.
AHAL, established in December 2015, is one of the SCoE (School Centre of Excellent) under the School of Technology Management and Logistics (STML) and the centre focuses on the Halal operation, Halal supply chain management, Halal marketing and Halal lifestyle.
The patron of AHAL is Assoc. Prof. Dr. Shahimi Mohtar, the Dean of STML and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Siti Norezam is the Unit Advisor.
Dr. Risyawati Mohamed Ismail, a senior lecturer at STML is the Head of the Research Unit. The research unit is made up of a group of fellow researchers of seven multidisciplinary areas from UUM and three from international universities namely the National University of Singapore, Beifang University of Nationalities and Ningxia University, China
In addition to academic collaborative activities, AHAL is also involved in other activities with various stakeholders in the Halal industry, including the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC), several Halal parks and local Halal food producers. AHAL has also forged several partnerships with local universities such as the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).
Since its inception, AHAL has been actively involved in various activities including organising an Academic Halal discourse entitled Global Halal Markets: Challenges and Opportunities’ by Prof Hisao Tomizawa, a researcher in the Halal industry from the University of Shizuoka, Japan. He conducted various researches that focus on the lifestyle and culture in Malaysia.
AHAL has also welcomed a group of researchers from UiTM Arau last April. The team was led by Dr. Sarina Muhamad Nor. During the visit, the researchers from UiTM have expressed their interests in working more closely with AHAL and embark on some collaborative activities that will bring mutual benefits to both universities thus complementing the Halal research component in Malaysia.
A group of researchers, led by Dr. Risyawati Mohamed Ismail also attended the 13th International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) 2016, held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) on 30 March 2016 till 2 April 2016. More than 300 companies participated in the event and this provided the golden networking opportunities for participants.
Around March and April this year, some researchers have visited several Halal Parks in the north of Malaysia including Penang International Halal Hub (PIHH), Sungai Petani Halal Park, Kedah and Perlis Halal Park.
The results of the visit saw that the management of Sungai Petani Halal Park, Kedah and Penang International Halal Hub (PIHH) agreed to establish cooperation with AHAL.
Translated by Nur Ida Faradilla binti Aziz
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