Halal Park can be major producer of quality halal products: Taib

By Vijaya Menon and Raynore Mering

The Tanjung Manis Halal Park is poised to set the benchmark for the
production of halal food products due to its emphasis on standards in
terms of quality and safety.

Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud believes that the park
will attract investments of up to RM20 billion and he envisioned it
becoming a major producer of high quality halal products for the export
market besides meeting the country’s food security strategies.

“The most beautiful thing about this (park) is that we have the
credibility to export because all of our products would be able to
satisfy the ISO 22000 (a standard developed for food safety) and that
is very important nowadays,” he said at a press conference here.

He had earlier witnessed the signing of legal documents between the
Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC), Tanjung Manis
Food and Industrial Park Sdn Bhd, Halal Industry Development
Corporation (HDC), and Sea Party Group for the licence to enter and
occupy land at the park.

The chief minister was particularly excited about the application of
bio-technology, such as chlorella by Sea Party, which has the
technology to produce the micro algae.

Sea Party chief executive officer Dr Ray Lin told the press
conference that the micro algae would not cause the damage that
convent-ional traditional agriculture had on the environment.

One of the significant benefits of chlorella, he said was the
reduction in the use of antibiotics, which were a health hazard if
consumed in large amount.

“A lot of products from mainland China, when shipped out to Europe
and other developed countries, are rejected because of the overuse of

“We are not going to do that. We are using chlorella to improve the
environment, not only for prawn farming but also all seafood, even
chicken and feed mill. It would improve the immune system of the
animal, so you do not need antibiotics,” said Dr Lin.

He added that in aquaculture, a section of a river would usually be
blocked off to farm fish and after a while, there would be a build up
of toxic material so the farm would eventually be abandoned.

“Now, we are using another process to bypass this kind of problem,”
he said, adding that Sea Party had 30 years of experience in this field.

Asked what environmental impact the development of the Halal Park
would have, he replied: “The whole thing is designed to minimise any
environ-mental impact. Not using antibiotics is one of them.”

Dr Lin explained further that wastewater from farms using chlorella was not hazardous and could in fact immediately reusable.

The water with chlorella, he said, could be used for horticulture as it sped up the growth of plants.

Sea Party is investing in six sectors in the Halal Park – chlorella,
biotech prawn farming, eel farming, marine fish, biotech chicken and
egg, feed milling, and downstream processing industries.

It is also opening a research & development centre, with the collabo-ration of the National Taiwan Ocean University.

The investment in the first phase of these projects, which are
expected to be operational within the next three to five years, amount
to about RM2 billion.

The biggest investment is in biotech prawn farming at RM900 million,
followed by biotech chicken and egg (RM480 million) and downstream
processing (RM150 million).

On Sea Party’s future investment, Dr Lin said: “If phase one is
successful, we hope there will be other phases to come and this is
going to make Sarawak the number one in the world.”

The signatories yesterday were HDC chairman Tan Sri Syed Jalaludin
Syed Salim, STIDC acting deputy general manager Hashim Bojet, Tanjung
Manis Food and Industrial Park director Mohd Azwar Mahmud and the
managing directors of six Sea Party subsidiaries.

Also present at the func-tion yesterday were Deputy Chief Minister
Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan and Second Planning and Resource
Management Minister Dato Sri Awang Tengah Ali Hassan.

Tengah, who is also STIDC chairman, said before the signing ceremony
that investors stand to gain from the cheap and abundant energy that
would be produced in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy, where
the Halal Park is situated.

He also said the government was committed to producing the manpower needed by the industries.

At the same time, he pointed out that “the government would leave no
stones unturned to guarantee political stability and racial harmony” as
they were the cornerstone of the state’s progress.