The disturbing information about systemic and institutional corruption within the halal meat trade by a cartel comprising international exporters with the alleged connivance of 4 authorities companies is a provocative reminder of how entrenched such a tradition is in Malaysia (“MACC probing ‘halal’ meat smuggling cartel case”).
What’s actually stunning is the corruption not solely subverted routine bureaucratic procedures but additionally the Islamic core injunction of halal meals, notably with reference to the prescribed ritual slaughter of meat for consumption by Muslims in keeping with the basic tenets of the religion – and it was enabled by authorities officers who presumably are themselves Muslims in addition.
Regardless of a projected enhance within the Muslim inhabitants to 30% of world inhabitants by 2050, which is likely one of the components driving the profitable growth of the trade, information of this unholy cartel is certainly a setback and doesn’t augur effectively for the trade in Malaysia.
Aside from the reactive must fortify the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Fee (MACC) with extra assets, and to get the Agriculture and Meals Trade Ministry to extend its governance of the issuance of approval permits for meat importers, provided that corruption appears to be a lifestyle in Malaysia now, there’s a urgent and proactive want get forward of the curve to forestall one thing like this from occurring once more.
One proactive measure that ought to be applied instantly is for the issuing authorities – on this case, the Agriculture and Meals Trade Ministry because the issuer of APs and the Division of Islamic Growth (Jakim) because the halal certifier – to go the blockchain route.
Blockchain know-how is a disruptive know-how that is part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution that’s anticipated to vary the best way we work and reside. Often known as distributed ledger know-how (DLT), it could actually additionally disrupt cartel’s crafty methods to realize its fraudulent goal.
Via good contracts, DLT may digitally prescribe processes and necessities in keeping with a halal customary, confirm halal compliance, and implement the efficiency of halal provide chains.
A wise contract is a pc protocol supposed to digitally facilitate, confirm or implement the negotiation or efficiency of a contract. Good contracts enable the efficiency of credible transactions with out third events.
As a result of blockchain is a decentralised system that exists between permitted events, there’s no must pay intermediaries (middlemen) and it saves time and battle. Though DLT has its issues, it’s undeniably sooner, cheaper and safer than conventional programs, which is why banks and governments are turning to it.
When somebody requests a transaction, the request is broadcasted to a peer-to-peer (P2P) community comprising computer systems – also called nodes – that validate the transaction and the consumer’s standing utilizing recognized algorithms. As soon as verified, the transaction is mixed with different related earlier transactions to create a brand new block of information for the ledger, which is then added to the prevailing blockchain in a manner that’s everlasting and unalterable. The transaction is now full whereas ready for one more transaction.
As an encrypted ledger database, blockchain is sort of unattainable to hack, making its information – or blocks – completely verifiable. As a decentralised system with no single proprietor, any retroactive modifications to a report have to be verified by the vast majority of doubtlessly 1000’s of nodes, or members, in a sequence. Put merely, it’s a know-how that’s safe by design.
Via blockchain know-how, a halal community timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a report that can’t be modified with out redoing the proof-of-work. The transactions should not saved centrally however distributed on many servers all through the world as cryptographic proof.
Blockchain know-how removes the necessity for a trusted third get together to make sure an unbiased evaluation of the integrity of a product or its community, because the longest chain serves as proof of the sequence of occasions witnessed.
This know-how may implement end-to-end halal assurance primarily based on particular halal market necessities, supported by automated good contracts. A halal blockchain may present full transparency of all halal provide chain transactions which have ever been executed.
The blockchain has full details about the addresses and their provide chain path proper from the supply to the purpose of client buy, giving the much-needed assurance to Muslims that the “halal-ness” of the meals on their desk may be traced again via all of the areas of the halal provide chains that started with the unique farm or livestock farm, together with the id of the farmers or livestock breeders.
Blockchains inject belief right into a halal provide chain and worth chain of a model proprietor who could be higher in a position to assure halal integrity. They may be built-in into vast sustainability and company duty programs to increase the model market past Muslim customers.
Some of the vital real-world purposes of blockchain know-how is knowledge provenance – the documentation of the place a bit of information comes from and the processes and methodology by which it was produced. It creates a single, safe chain-of-custody timeline, designed to be tamper-proof. The system can be utilized to offer prospects with a “story” about every product, masking supplies, areas, processes, substances and suppliers, and allows companies to substantiate claims about their merchandise utilizing real-time knowledge. With such a system, provenance monitoring of the place each bit of information comes from and whether or not it’s nonetheless updated turns into a breeze.
It’s excessive time the Agriculture and Meals Trade Ministry adopts this technique within the issuance of APs for importers to convey halal meat into the nation and twine in different authorities companies, such because the Royal Malaysian Customs Division, the port police, the Home Commerce & Client Affairs Ministry and Jakim, to be a part of the community on this system of provenance primarily based on blockchain know-how.
Observe: The author is director of Media & Communications at Emir Analysis, an unbiased think-tank targeted on strategic coverage suggestions.