SINGAPORE – The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) are looking into allegations raised over a cartel’s packaging and sale of halal-certified meat in Malaysia to determine if the Singapore market is affected by the purported misconduct.
Recent media reports in Malaysia have alleged that the cartel smuggles, repacks and re-labels non-halal frozen meat items as halal-certified, the two organisations noted in a joint statement on Tuesday (Dec 29).
Muis and SFA said that only meat and meat products from SFA-accredited overseas establishments can be imported into Singapore, and these imported goods are also subjected to the agency’s food safety surveillance programme to ensure that they meet import requirements and regulatory standards.
Meat which is imported for the Muslim market and Muis’ certificate holders also need to meet halal requirements.
“Muis assures the public that the halal-certified meat products which are legally imported into Singapore may be consumed with confidence,” it said, adding that consumers are advised to exercise caution when purchasing meat products overseas.
Noting that messages have circulated on social media expressing concern that the frozen meat products could have been imported into Singapore, and that the alleged improprieties in importing and packaging halal meat could also be taking place in the Republic, Muis and SFA said that they are looking into the matter.
Muis said it is seeking more information from the relevant authority in Malaysia, and urged people against spreading rumours and to verify that their information is from credible sources.
In Malaysia, several non-governmental organisations, including the Malaysia Muslim Halal Meat Importers Association, have made police reports about the scandal.
Malaysian paper New Straits Times reported earlier this month that the meat cartel had been operating for the past 40 years, importing meat from non-certified halal sources.
Some 1,500 tonnes of frozen meat worth RM30 million (S$9.8 million), fake labels and rubber stamps were seized during a raid at a warehouse in Senai, Johor.
The cartel is currently being investigated by Malaysia’s Special Investigation Unit.
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