MIRI: The Ministry of Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Cooperative Affairs in Sarawak has launched a series of raids on hardware shops and supermarkets to check on the halal status of paint brushes.
The ministry’s enforcement chief for Miri, Joe Azmi Kamil yesterday said his enforcement teams had been deployed to carry out inspections while brushes made from non-halal animal products were seized.
“We have started the operation throughout Miri city.
“Five officers are leading the teams to carry out the operations,” he said, adding that several dozens brushes had been seized on the first day.
Azmi said the raids were carried out following complaints from the public that some of these brushes were made from non-halal animal parts.
In the meantime, several state politicians have called for dialogues to sort out this matter.
Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said there was a need for the ministry to be less aggressive.
“I have received complaints from hardware shop operators who were caught off guard by the sudden appearance of the enforcement officers.
“These officers went to the shops unannounced and seized the paint brushes in large quantities.
“That is too aggressive. The ministry should initiate a proper dialogue first with all the hardware shop operators to discuss about this since these shops usually import such brushes from China.
“Give the hardware shop operators a chance to explain their side of the story and give them the time to sort out the brushes and do the neccessary before raiding their shops.
“Most of these hardware shop operators are not even aware that their imported brushes were made from non-halal materials,” he said.
Sarawak United Peoples Party ( SUPP) secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting also called for a more friendly approach in enforcement in place of raids.
He said the ministry should have called for a meeting with all hardware shop owners to get their co-operation.
Carrying out raids and seizing items would only create misunderstandings between the shop operators and the ministry’s officers, he said.
Ting said he would talk to the ministry to get their feedback.