Johor to boost security features in imported halal products

KULAI: Johor is looking to enhance security features involving halal products, particularly the imported meat coming into the state.

This comes after a Malay daily reported that authorities busted a cartel that had been smuggling meat from Ukraine, Brazil, Argentina and China and then repackaging it with the halal logo.

State Islamic religious affairs committee chairman Tosrin Jarvanthi said that the government, through the Johor Religious Islamic Department (JAINJ), would hold a special meeting on Monday (Dec 7).

“I will be chairing this meeting, which would be attended by various agencies including the Customs Department, Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis) Department, Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs Ministry, and many others.

“We will also be calling all port operators to be with us during the meeting, ” he said when met after visiting the warehouse which imported such meat products at Senai here on Friday (Dec 4).

Tosrin added that the main agenda that would be discussed during the meeting was to see what steps could be taken to ensure such meat cartels would not be able to continue importing questionable meat into Malaysia via Johor.

“We are looking at this matter seriously, as the halal status is very sensitive to Muslims in this country.

“We do not want such groups to easily import such meat into the country, either through seaports or land ports, ” he said.

He also said that JAINJ was also in the midst of creating a halal directory app to make it much easier for Muslim and non-Muslim consumers to get correct information when buying any products in the market.

Tosrin stressed that halal products have a huge market, not only in this country but also globally, as it involves all consumers.

“We are developing the app, which will be launched in March next year, ” he said.

The raid at a warehouse in Senai, Johor on Tuesday (Dec 1) was spearheaded by officers from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry and other agencies, which also saw the seizure of some 1,500 tonnes of frozen meat worth RM30mil.

The cartel, which had been operating for a few years, allegedly used the warehouse as a location to make fake labels and stamps, which were then pasted on the packages of meat before being sold in the local market.

The cartel managed to keep its operations secret by disguising itself as a frozen meat supplier.

Maqis director-general Saiful Yazan Alwi said they were still investigating how the meat was smuggled into the country.

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