KUALA LUMPUR – The issue of meat smuggling which is hotly debated now is outside the jurisdiction and responsibilities of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), said its Research Division senior director Datuk Dr Sirajuddin Suhaimee.
He said the role of Jakim is to check whether a slaughterhouse abroad complies with Islamic law from the aspect of the slaughtering process until the meat is packaged and put in a box free of contamination.
“The meat import permit is issued by the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (Maqis). When the product reaches the national gates, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department will look at it in terms of taxes.
‘’After the meat product is in the warehouse in the country, it is subject to The Trade Descriptions Act 2011 under the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP), “said Sirajuddin.
He said this in a special segment of ‘Ask Jakim’ titled Halal Certificate SOP: Where’s the Mistake? which was posted online on Jakim’s Facebook today.
Sirajuddin said Jakim was aware that many people questioned the department when it did not issue any statement on the issue of smuggling of imported meat after it was revealed by the media recently.
Among the allegations leveled at Jakim was why it remained silent and did not reveal the list of names of companies or brands involved.
Answering the question, he said, the authorities who were conducting the investigation would reveal the matter once the investigation into the case is completed.
Sirajuddin said, Jakim did not issue any statement on the issue of meat smuggling because the investigation on the matter is still being conducted by KPDNHEP.
“Let the investigation be conducted in the best way without interruption. Provide the relevant agency with room to investigate. Feedback from Jakim will create a bad atmosphere. The investigation will be affected if Jakim issues a statement,” he said.
Since this issue arose, many have questioned Jakim on this matter because they considered Jakim to be fully responsible for the process of bringing in meat from abroad.
Asked whether the meat smuggling activity had been taking place for 40 years, he said the matter could not be confirmed or denied because it was an allegation from the industry and not an agency or enforcement body.
The issue of smuggled meat became hot when the media reported on cartel activities smuggling frozen meat from China, Ukraine, Brazil and Argentina before repackaging the meat using the halal logo at a warehouse in Senai, Johor.