Malaysia: Jakim appeals to all parties not to speculate on ‘meat cartel’ issue

Any speculation could potentially compromise the credibility of the investigations into the allegations, said its deputy director-general (operations) Datuk Abdul Aziz Jusoh.

“Referring to the news articles on the issue of smuggled meat that were published by a local newspaper, once more Jakim would like to stress that the case is still being investigated by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry.

“Therefore all parties are advised to refrain from giving comments, remarks and opinions (or make any) speculation that can compromise the credibility of this case,” he said.

Aziz said any speculation on the issue could have a detrimental effect on the country’s halal certification process, the meat industry as a whole, as well as importers and industry players who abide by the rules and obtain the necessary halal certification through proper channels.

“Such an issue can cause restlessness among the people, affecting importers and the country’s meat industry players with valid halal certification.

“Any unsubstantiated views and opinions may affect Malaysia’s halal certification industry at domestic and international levels,” he stressed.

Aziz said the importation of meat and meat products were only allowed from abattoirs and processing plants that have been approved by the Veterinary Services Department (DVS) and Jakim.

“Meat and meat products that that are imported in to the country must have certification from halal certification bodies in the country of origin that are recognised by Jakim.

“Importers must also provide health certification from the veterinary authorities of the country of origin and obtain an import approval permit from the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (Maqis) before the meat and meat products are allowed in to the country’s domestic market.”

Aziz said any information regarding the issue of meat smuggling and abuse of power and authority should be reported to the relevant authorities immediately so that action could be taken against those responsible.

The New Straits Times recently reported that a meat cartel has been bribing senior government officers from four agencies to bring non-certified meat into Malaysia and passing it as halal-certified.

It is believed that the cartel imports meat from non-halal certified slaughterhouses in countries such as Brazil, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Spain, and Mexico.

It is understood that the cartel has been in operation for more than 40 years.