Consumer group: No one should shirk responsibility over meat cartel issue

EVERYBODY should take interest on the meat cartel controversy and no Government agency can just simply wash their hands off the case.

“This is the problem in Malaysia. Every time something bad happens, our agencies will try to pass the buck on one another. Our tagline is ‘I’m not involved’.

“If we keep going like this, we will not be able to solve any problem,” the Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM) president Datuk Nadzim Johan told FocusM.

Recently, the nation went abuzz over the discovery of a notorious meat cartel which has been operating in the last four decades, in Johor.

Datuk Nadzim Johan

The cartel was alleged to have swapped beef with others types of non-halal meat such as kangaroo and horse, and selling them across the nation by bribing Government officials to keep mum about it.

The revelation created an uproar among Malaysians, especially the Muslims community, with several quarters calling for the formation of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to probe the matter.

Yesterday, Department of Islamic Development Malaysia’s (Jakim) research division senior director Datuk Sirajuddin Suhaimee said Jakim is not involved in the investigation as the matter is already under probe by several other government agencies.

However, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim lashed out at Jakim, alleging that the latter was simply trying wash its hands off the matter.

“This is the most despicable and shameful example of how the flesh and blood of the ummah can be violated.

“This is a halal issue, not an issue under the ministry of agriculture…the one that issue the halal certification is Jakim so there must be a collective responsibility,’’ the Port Dickson MP told Malay Mail Online.

Touching on Anwar’s argument, Nadzim said there is a need for the Government to re-look into the whole ecosystem on how Government agencies work with one another.

“No man is an island. This is our country and there must be a sense of collective responsibility in whatever we do,” he added.

On the request for a RCI, Nadzim responded in the positive, adding that the investigation should be comprehensive to include all monitoring agencies involved.

“Jakim may not be directly involved but they must accept the fact that their logo was abused. No one should skirt from their responsibility,” he stressed.

The Islamic department also came under fire recently for defending its regulations of not allowing any messages promoting other religions for eateries to get the halal certification.

The matter came about after a recent report where a customer was shocked when he received a cake with “Happy Holidays” message instead when he had requested that it be decorated with the wish “Merry Christmas.”

The outlet had refused to do so since it was in the process of getting a halal certificate, citing Jakim’s regulation.

The decision received backlash from many quarters, including popular blogger Mariam Mokhtar and Nadzim.

On Nov 8 last year, Asia Sentinel alleged that top officials at Jakim have been compromising the halal certification process, bringing the department certification to question.

The report also named the officers involved. However, Jakim had dismissed the claims. – Dec 29, 2020.



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