“We understand that an old image of a tampered packaging of FairPrice fresh pork carrying a halal certification mark has again resurfaced on Facebook recently,” Seah Kian Peng, CEO of supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice, said in a statement released on Monday, January 27, and cited by Today newspaper.
“We are mindful of the serious religious implications of this matter and regard this as a willful act of mischief, and had lodged a report with the Singapore Police then.”
Peng said the original packaging of Pasar Fresh Pork does not carry the halal sticker from the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS).
According to MUIS, halal certificates are issued to ensure that the Muslim law is complied with “in the production, processing, marketing or display of that product, the provision of that service or the carrying out of that activity”.
Describing the image a “mischievous hoax”, he said it has been circulated since 2007.
Seah said NTUC FairPrice had lodged a police report about the image when it was first circulated in 2007 via email.
He urged members of the public against circulating it in order to avoid unnecessary confusion or offence that may result from it.
“We would like to once again alert the public on the falsity of this image and in doing so, assure the public that the original packaging of Pasar Fresh Pork does not carry the halal sticker from the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS),” Seah said in the statement.
Muslims in Singapore are estimated between 450,000 to 500,000, making around 14 to 15 percent of the population.
Islam considers pigs unclean because they are omnivorous, not discerning between meat or vegetation in their natural dietary habits unlike cows and sheep for instance, which eat only plants.
Muslims do not eat pork and consider pigs and their meat filthy and unhealthy to eat.
The concept of halal, — meaning permissible in Arabic — has traditionally been applied to food.
Muslims should only eat meat from livestock slaughtered by a sharp knife from their necks, and the name of Allah, the Arabic word for God, must be mentioned.
Now other goods and services can also be certified as halal, including cosmetics, clothing, pharmaceuticals and financial services.