In a startling revelation, a cartel in Malaysia has been facilitating the sale of fake Halal meat, imported from China and other countries to Muslims, for the past 40 years.
As per reports, it is believed that the cartel often bribed government officers in slaughterhouses overseas, to certify low-quality, non-Halal meat as ‘Halal’. Such products made in China, Brazil, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Spain and Ukraine were smuggled to Malaysia. This is despite the fact that Malaysian companies are only permitted to import meat from the US, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, India, South Africa, Pakistan, Japan, and New Zealand.
Then, the non-Halal meat would be smuggled via the country’s ports without inspection and adulterated with Halal certified beef and repackaged with a fake Halal logo by the cartel. And this has been the case for the past 40 years. Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association has said that the cartel influenced the lawmakers and convinced officials that ‘it was cheaper to import the meat products than produce them locally’. Around 1,500 tonnes of frozen meat ($9.8 million) were seized in Senai in Johor along with fake labels and rubber stamps, which led to the probe.
Aftermath of the Halal meat scandal
Following the controversy, Malaysia is now planning to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the matter and mitigate the fears of the Muslims living in the country. While no members of the cartel have been named, one accused has been arrested.
Once the scandal unearthed, Singapore informed that they have launched a probe in the case. As such, traders and hawkers association in Kuala Lumpur has directed its 6000 members to temporarily stop the sale of beef. Democratic Action Party MP Steven Sim stated, “The issue of meat cartels is not just a problem for Muslims. Now, the quality and nutrition of all our food is a question mark. If non-halal meat can enter (Malaysia) due to corruption, is it possible that diseased or contaminated meat can also get through?”
Islam is the most professed religion in Islam, constituting over 60% of the total population. Non-halal meat is prohibited as per Islamic practice.
What is Halal meat?
Halal process for meat can only be performed by a Muslim man. Thus, non-Muslims are automatically denied employment at a Halal firm. There are certain other conditions that must be fulfilled that makes it quite clear that it is intrinsically an Islamic practice.
The Department of Halal Certification of the European Union makes it even more clear that employment opportunities at a Halal firm will be exclusively available to Muslims. It says, “Slaughtering must be done by a sane adult Muslim. Animals slaughtered by a Non-Muslim will not be Halal.” It states further, “The name of Allah must be invoked (mentioned) at the time of slaughtering by saying: Bismillah Allahu Akbar. (In the Name of Allah; Allah is the Greatest.) If at the time of slaughtering the name of anyone else other than Allah is invoked (i.e. animal sacrificed for him/her), then the meat becomes Haram “unlawful.”