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by Lim Guan Eng
(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday
): DAP condemns the failure of the Agriculture & Agro-Based Industries Ministry and its irresponsible Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for endangering public health by allowing pork tainted with beta-agonist to be sold in markets. Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek had said recently blamed lapses in the in enforcement by Muhyiddin’s Ministry as the primary cause for such tainted pork to be sold.
Such criticisms coming from another Minister of loopholes in enforcement, shows the criminal negligence and irresponsible failure of both the Agriculture Ministry and Muhyiddn to fulfil their duties and uphold the law. Chua had said that only the Agriculture Ministry can stop pigs fed with such banned substances from being slaughtered and sold to the public. Clearly Muhyidin must stop such “rubbish” enforcement of the law whether through neglect in carrying out their duties, abuse of power or corruption that allowed pigs using such drugs to be slaughtered and tainted pork to be sold.
Pigs given beta-agonist grow faster and can be slaughtered 20 days earlier than the usual 26 weeks and produce 4 kg more of leaner meat, making it more marketable. However, consumers who eat such tainted pork face health risks such as headaches, dizziness, palpitations and breathing difficulties, which is possibly fatal for those suffering from asthma and heart disease.
Even though Dr Chua tried to absolve the Agriculture Ministry from responsibility by saying that the most effective way to stop pig farmers from using beta-agonist is not by enforcement but by boycotting pork using beta agonist, Dr Chua is wrong. By putting the onus on the victim instead of the wrongdoer, Dr Chua is behaving like an irresponsible politician instead of caring doctor first.
How can Dr Chua throw the responsibility for catching those pig farmers using beta agonist or pork sellers selling tainted pork back to the consumers to boycott such pork when it is the Agriculture Ministry that should be taking action? If that is so, then the Agriculture Ministry might as well close down and Muhyiddin be sacked for being the most incompetent and useless Agriculture Minister.
Malaysians still recall Muhyiddin recently threatening Professor Dr Lim Teck Ghee for his academic research that the bumi corporate equity has exceeded the New Economic Policy’s 30% target with 45% based on market value. Muhyiddin could not show any contrary academic facts to rebut Dr Lim’s research except for making personal attacks such as “rubbish” and threats against Dr Lim for allegedly inciting the public.
Muhyiddin using threats against facts is a classic tactic to confront the truth and distract public attention from an obvious fact of Dr Lim’s reasearch. Now the public knows that with up to 60% of pigs slaughtered in the Rawang abbatoir tested positive for the banned substances, the one who is doing rubbish work is Muhyiddin’s Ministry.
Muhyiddin is a public danger to the health of consumers buying pork. By failing to act, such indifference may show that he is irresponsible or worse that does not care about the pork-buying public. The one person who bears the greatest blame in this fiasco that is threatening not only the entire pig farming and pork industry as well as the health of consumers is clearly Muhyiddin. If anyone should punished together with wrongdoers, it is him and his Ministry for condoning and allowing such unhealthy, immoral, unethical and illegal practices.
* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP