Do not consume imported meat if doubtful – Minister

Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri

KUALA NERUS – Muslims have the option not to eat imported meat especially if they have doubts about the halal status of the product, Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) said it has been mentioned in the hadith, “Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.”

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“As such to be certain, I visited the two frozen meat factories two days ago to ensure that the requirements on imported meat are according to the import regulations and standards,” he told reporters after the Inspirasiku programme at Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), here today.

He said this when asked to comment on the statement by Perak deputy mufti Datuk Zamri Hashim who reportedly urged Muslims to exercise their buying power by staying away from imported meat, especially beef, until the issue affecting the halal status of imported meat is resolved.

Zulkifli said this was Zamri’s view and recommendation on exercising caution if people have doubts and cannot establish whether the imported meat they are eating is halal.

However, he said the authorities related to this issue including the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) and the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) have already given clear explanation to alleviate the anxieties and doubts of the Muslim community.

The Deputy KPDNHEP minister, Datuk Rosol Wahid meanwhile has said that his ministry will conduct continuous monitoring and periodic raids on companies or distributors related to imported meat without notice.

He said the ministry has not ‘washed its hands’ over the issue and will continue monitoring to ensure all meat imported into Malaysia is halal.

Not guilty plea

A meat supplying company and two of its directors pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court, here today to charges of using the halal logo without certification by the authorities early this month.

Raihanah Cold Storage Sdn Bhd, represented by its owners and directors, Rahman Sheikh Abdullah, 44, and his wife, and Raihanah Kasim, 42, who were also charged in their capacity as owners and directors of another company, Raihanah Enterprise, pleaded not guilty to the charges before judge Mohamad Haldar Abdul Aziz.

On the first charge, Raihanah Cold Storage Sdn Bhd, which claimed to be offering services that are halal, was charged with using a halal logo that was not certified by the authorities on its Isuzu lorry.

On the second charge, Rahman and Raihanah, as owners of Raihanah Enterprise, were charged with committing a similar offence on a Mitsubishi lorry.

They were alleged to have committed the offence at Raihanah Cold Storage Sdn Bhd,Taman Perniagaan Setia, here, at about 1 pm, last Dec 1.

The charge against Raihanah Cold Storage was framed under Trade Description (Certification and Marking of Halal ) Order 2011 , which provides a fine of up to RM200,000 and for every second or subsequent offence, of up to RM500,000, if found guilty.

As for Rahman and Raihanah, who are charged in their capacity as directors of the company, they faced a maximum fine of RM100,000, or imprisonment for up to three years, or both, and for every second or subsequent offence, fine of up to RM250,000 or up to five years’ jail, or both, if found guilty.

The prosecution, conducted by deputy public prosecutor T. Ashvinii requested bail at RM50,000 with one surety each for the second charge on grounds that the issue on halal logo received wide media coverage and was also raised in Parliament.

Lawyers Lau Kok Guan and Noor Liana Hashim, however, appealed for a lower bail, saying that their clients’ company, which has 20 employees, was still in operation and the couple has four children, aged between 10 and 20.

The court then allowed the couple bail of RM40,000 with one surety each and set Jan 19 for mention.