TAIPING, May 28 — The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) will send a halal team to conduct audits at all abattoirs and at the Supreme Islamic Council of Halal Meat in Australia Inc (SICHMA) in Australia, which supplies meat to Malaysia.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Idris Ahmad said the team would be dispatched immediately after Sichma, as the halal certification body, confirmed the Thomas Foods International Lobethal abattoir in Australia had violated halal protocols in the slaughtering process.
“Before Sichma’s admission, we had taken action to cancel and stop the abattoir pending an investigation and today it is proven that Sichma, as the halal certification body, admitted that the plant had violated the terms of the halal certification,” he said at a press conference at the Hari Raya Asnaf Assistance Programme QSR-SPE at KFC Simpang near here today.
On May 13, the approval granted to Malaysia’s halal-certified company in Australia, Thomas Foods International Lobethal, was suspended immediately pending a thorough investigation.
Idris said since May 13, products from the plant were not allowed to be imported into Malaysia and products from the plant that were still on the market were handed over to the Veterinary Services Department.
He said his department would not compromise on matters involving halal status and any plant with dubious slaughter processes could be reported to Jakim for investigation.
“Before this, we have never received information through letters and attachés about abattoirs in Australia.
“Thankfully, Malaysians are very sensitive about it and if there is a report, we will act. As the Minister of Religion, I am firm in this matter,” he said.
“In Islam, God forgives us for eating food we know nothing about and those who cheat us will bear the consequences,” he said. — Bernama