KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association is questioning the apparent lack of transparency and progress in the investigations into the “meat cartel” case that has caused concern among Muslim consumers.
It expressed its dissatisfaction with the apparent lack of commitment shown by the authorities and government agencies to prevent a recurrence of the case.
Its lead activist, Datuk Nadzim Johan, said the association had provided the necessary information to the agencies involved to facilitate their investigations into the case even before news reports on the syndicate came out.
It was reported that the cartel bribed government officials to approve the import of non-certified meat before repackaging them as halal beef for sale in Malaysia.
“On Nov 25, the association had a meeting with representatives from several agencies, including the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (Maqis) and police, on the issue.
“The meeting was held to discuss ways in which all parties can cooperate to resolve the problem of the meat cartel.
“During the meeting, we also passed to them all the information on the matter that the association had gathered based on our three-month-long probe.”
Nadzim said there was room for improvement concerning the investigation.
“Like all Muslim consumers, we are concerned that action
isn’t being taken against those responsible. Taking immediate action will send a strong signal to other syndicates involved in other crimes and ultimately protect our consumers.”
He said to prevent similar issues from causing concern among Muslim consumers, the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) should have adequate resources and manpower.
“We understand that there are government departments that are operating without enough staff.
“If this is the case, Jakim should be provided with the necessary resources to employ more people to enable the department to have greater involvement in determining and issuing halal certification. The same applies to other agencies and departments involved.
“Having said that, we want to stress that not all enforcement agencies are involved in corrupt practices and there are still people who carry out their work with integrity and honesty.”
He said this case highlighted the need for greater cooperation between government agencies and non-governmental organisations to protect consumers.
Article by: New Straits Times
MEAT CARTEL SCANDAL: PROBE’S LACK OF PROGERSS QUESTIONED