KUCHING: Sarawak can import frozen pork if local supply cannot meet domestic demand, said Assistant Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture (Food Industries) Datuk David Teng.Responding to a request made by Association of Importers and Exporters of Frozen Food Sarawak chairman Lim Ah Ted, Teng said even though there are legal provisions disallowing the import of frozen pork into Sarawak, it was not a total ban.
“Unlike in Peninsular Malaysia where the government allows the import of pork from China, Thailand and some European countries, to meet the high demand there and to ensure enough supply during Chinese New Year, here in Sarawak, we have enough supply to meet local demand so there is no need to import the product,” Teng explained.
Teng reiterated that if pork supply became insufficient and price went up drastically as a result, importing would certainly become unavoidable.
If that happened, the government would act because it must address the interest of consumers when suppliers failed to meet their expectations.
“For now, the state is not importing frozen pork because there is enough supply to meet local demand, and besides, the price is stable,” he added.
Nonetheless, Teng said the association could still apply for the import permit if it thinks that it has good reason to do so.
Lim was quoted as saying that importing pork from countries like China, United States, Thailand, Brazil and Vietnam should be allowed because it would mean giving consumers a wider choice.
Besides, he said imported pork from these countries was cheaper and would certainly be welcomed by consumers.