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 will be dispatched immediately as SICHMA, as the halal certification body, had confirmed that 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, SICHMA, as the halal certification body, has admitted that the plant had violated the terms of halal certification," he said at a press conference at the Hari Raya asnaf assistance programme QSR-SPE at KFC Simpang near here on Saturday (May 28).
On May 13, the approval granted to a halal-certified company in Australia, namely Thomas Foods International Lobethal, was suspended immediately pending a thorough investigation.
Idris said that since May 13, products from the plant are not allowed to be imported into Malaysia, while products from the plant that were still on the market were handed over to the Department of Veterinary Services.
He said that his department would not compromise on matters involving halal status and any plant with a dubious slaughter process could be reported to JAKIM for investigation.
“Before this, we have never received information through letters or 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.