In the Halal Zones of Malaysia and Singapore

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Abstract

This chapter argues that halal (permissible or lawful) production, trade and standards have become essential to state-regulated Islam and to companies in contemporary Malaysia and Singapore, but also globally. I explore how halal in Malaysia and Singapore has evolved to become a major national focus of state, market, and society. For instance, it is now a mandatory requirement that companies set up what is called a Halal Committee in Malaysia and a Halal Team in Singapore consisting of Muslims to ensure the halalness of products. Hence, being Malay Muslim is seen by the state as a skill necessary to produce and handle halal in the two countries. However, as we shall see, these markets are inseparable from the broader landscapes of ethnic identity politics. The methodology of this study is based on participant observation and interviews undertaken with state bureaucracies and manufacturing companies in Malaysia and Singapore. Comparison is used as a powerful conceptual mechanism that fixes attention on the similarities and differences between the two countries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge handbook on Islam in Asia
EditorsChiara Formichi
Number of pages13
PublisherRoutledge
Publication date30 Sep 2021
Edition1
Pages168-180
Chapter12
ISBN (Print)9780367225285 (hbk), 9781032106649 (pbk)
ISBN (Electronic)9780429275364
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2021

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