KUALA NERUS, Dec 30– 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.”
“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.
Deputy Minister (KPDNHEP) Datuk Rosol Wahid in a programme yesterday said, the country’s three largest frozen meat suppliers, namely the Allana Group, Amroon and Al-Aali are among those that are guaranteed halal and Muslims in the country should not worry about purchasing meat from the three companies.
In a related development, Zulkifli said it was still too early for him to decide on a major overhaul for Jakim.
“It is too early for us to say anything now, I prefer making improvements and increasing quality…we will look into this more thoroughly from various aspects. As I have said, we will cooperate with several parties and update the SOP (standard operating procedures) implemented by Jakim and others, involved in the import of meat,” he said.
He said this in response to a proposal from Malay Consultative Council (MPM) advisory board member Tun Hanif Omar, who had called for a major reshuffling of Jakim and to appoint those who are more competent, capable and with integrity to lead the department.