Sunday February 3, 2013
Daud: Don’t blame it on the chef
By YU JI
KUCHING: The Islamic authorities in Sarawak have revoked six halal certificates from establishments that did not adhere strictly to rules and regulations.
Assistant Islamic Affairs Minister Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman said three halal certificates were withdrawn at the end of last year, and another three since the start of this year.
“We’ve taken back six halal certificates recently. At some (places), it was found that their food were mixed with pork or alcohol. I understand the Chinese love to drink wine, but that’s not halal. Sometimes, they (management) say, ‘Oh, it’s the chef,’ and that they (management) didn’t know. But we are strict. We cannot allow that.”
Daud said monitoring exercies and audits were on-going all the time, day and night.
“We never inform people when our people might visit. We just walk straight in. Sometimes, we just give them a warning, maybe due to cleanliness.”
The assistant minister was speaking at a press conference after the closing of a five-day course on halal meat and livestock production here yesterday.
Earlier, he told course participants to adhere to high standards.
“Malaysia is recognised worldwide as good halal food producers. It’s a growing industry. We have to do all we can to uphold the standard. We have to be responsible. This industry is one of the largest in the world right now,” Daud said.
Halal certifications are usually granted to abattoirs for a period of two years.
“There are some recipients who feel that once they get it, then it’s going to be another two years before they will be assessed again. Not true. We monitor and audit all the time. Day and night. It would not be right for them to take it for granted.”
For instance, Daud said the slaughtering of animals that are sold as halal must be carried out by Muslims.
“Even if a non-Muslim does it exactly the same way as a Muslim does, it’s still not allowed. This is not to be discriminatory — it’s just the rules.”
On a related matter, Daud called on more Muslim youths to take up the profession.
“Don’t regard it as a dirty or smelly job. You are playing an important part in Islam. The pay is good too. Demand is always growing,” he stressed.