Association requests lifting of ban on canned pork luncheon meat from China

Tiang (right) in dialogue with Kong and association members on the ban on imported canned food from China.

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SIBU, Feb 21: Sibu Chamber of Importers and Exporters Wholesalers Association wants the state government to lift the ban on importing canned pork luncheon meat from China.

The ban was enforced by the state on October 28, 2019 in order to curb the risk of spreading the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus. The federal government had enforced the ban a year earlier in 2018.

In a dialogue with a political secretary to the Chief Minister, Michael Tiang today, the association president, Kong Ket Dee reasoned that the African swine flu had died down and as such, no longer posed a threat to public health.

Kong also said that even before the ban came into effect, they had all the required certifications to import canned pork luncheon meat from China.

“According to China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, canned pork luncheon meat is handled at a temperature of 121 degrees Celsius which has superseded the minimum level of 61 degrees Celsius,” he said.

Kong said as importers, they had been taking the health of the public as top priority and would never compromise it for the sake of making profit.

“It is also our responsibility to ensure that the consumption of imported canned pork luncheon meat  is safe for the public,” he said.

Kong disclosed that he had met with the relevant authorities at the federal level on the matter, but until now there had been no response from them.

“Since Sarawak enjoys a lot of autonomy, the state should allow them to import canned pork luncheon meat directly from China instead of having to go through the federal side,” he added.

He said the members were worried that their stock from last October was fast depleting.

“As we are almost running out of stock now. We hope the ban can be lifted soon,” said Kong.

Tiang meanwhile assured the association that he would bring the matter up to the relevant authority at the state level on Monday (Feb 24).

“Hopefully they can have a dialogue with the minister concern as soon as possible to deliberate on the matter,” he said. —DayakDaily