KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor has asked the relevant government agencies and departments to play their role in monitoring the situation in Sabah to ensure that all imported halal meat is indeed halal for consumption.
He said all parties should remain vigilant although inspections done so far showed that Sabah did not face any issue of cartels importing uncertified meat and passing it off as halal in the state.
Agencies and departments such as the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, the Health Department and the Sabah Islamic Religious Affairs Department were expected to conduct regular inspections on meat importing activities in the state, he said.
“We do not want this issue to happen in Sabah because it involves the question of halal status of meat imports into Sabah for our people,” he said in an interview with Bernama and RTM at his office at the Sabah state administrative centre here today.
The issue of uncertified imported meat began to get public attention after the media recently reported that a cartel had smuggled frozen meat into the country before repackaging the meat and putting the halal logo on its products for sale throughout Malaysia.
On Tuesday, Deputy Chief Minister and state Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the state has strict rules on imports and does not allow raw meat to be brought into Sabah from peninsular Malaysia.
Jeffrey said Sabah only imported meat directly from Australia and New Zealand and a special facility in Aurangabad, India that produced frozen buffalo meat Allana to meet the demand for high-quality meat in the state.