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SFA, MUIS looking into concerns that alleged Malaysian 'meat cartel syndicate' has affected Singapore

SFA, MUIS looking into concerns that alleged Malaysian 'meat cartel syndicate' has affected Singapore

Malaysian media has reported about a cartel bringing in frozen meat from China, Ukraine, Brazil and Argentina, and repackaging the meat using the halal logo at a warehouse in Senai, Johor. (File photo: Bernama)

SINGAPORE: Authorities in Singapore are looking into allegations to determine if non-halal frozen meat items that have been relabelled as halal-certified for sale in Malaysia has affected the Singapore market.

There have been several reports in Malaysia regarding an alleged meat cartel syndicate based in Malaysia that smuggles, repacks and relabels non-halal frozen meat items as halal-certified for sale in Malaysia, said the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) in a joint statement on Tuesday (Dec 29). 

“MUIS notes that the Malaysian authorities have issued statements that they are investigating the matter, and urging the public not to speculate on the outcome of the investigation or spread rumours,” the joint statement said.

“MUIS also notes that there have been messages circulating on social media expressing concern that this frozen meat from Malaysia could have also been imported into Singapore, or that the alleged improprieties in the importation and packaging of halal meat could have also been taking place in Singapore.

“MUIS and the SFA are currently looking into the allegations raised to determine if the alleged improprieties affect the Singapore market.”

MUIS is writing to the relevant authorities in Malaysia to request for more information. SFA and MUIS reminded the public to verify information from credible sources and not to spread rumours.

POLICE REPORTS MADE IN MALAYSIA

On Tuesday, a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Malaysia made police reports on the meat cartel scandal, reported Bernama. 

On Tuesday (Dec 29), a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Malaysia made police reports on the meat cartel scandal. (Photo: Bernama)

Malaysia Muslim Halal Meat Importers Association president Dr Mohd Noor Ali Akbar said his association and the other NGOs urged the Malaysian government to act fast in response to public concern over the issue.

"The importation of meat needs to be reviewed and stringently checked as the public should know clearly about it. This issue needs full clarification as it involves public interest,” he said.

"We, as importers of meat, agree that a Royal Commission of Inquiry be set up to investigate whether the existing standard operating procedure is already sufficient or needs to be enhanced," he told Bernama after lodging a report at the Dang Wangi police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysian media outlets have reported about a cartel bringing in frozen meat from China, Ukraine, Brazil and Argentina, and repackaging the meat using the halal logo at a warehouse in Senai, Johor.

A frozen meat importer allegedly involved in the meat cartel scandal in Johor will be charged in court on Wednesday for using fake halal logos on its vehicles, Bernama reported.

"SOUND PROCESS" IN PLACE: MUIS, SFA

MUIS and SFA said only meat and meat products from SFA accredited overseas establishments can be imported into Singapore.

Imported meat and meat products are also subjected to SFA's food safety surveillance programme to ensure that they meet import requirements and regulatory standards.

“In addition, meat which is imported for the Muslim market and MUIS’ certificate holders must meet halal requirements,” MUIS and SFA said.

“MUIS has a sound process to ensure imported meat that is certified by foreign certifying bodies meets our specified requirements. MUIS assures the public that the halal-certified meat products which are legally imported into Singapore may be consumed with confidence.”

Consumers are advised by MUIS and SFA to "exercise caution" when purchasing meat products overseas.

Source: CNA/bernama/kg

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