Use confiscated goods for charity: Pehin Dato Goh

National 2 minutes, 3 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

NON-halal produce confiscated at the borders, such as illegal quantities of legal produce being brought in, should be stored in a warehouse freezer and later sold to non-Muslims because destroying food is wasteful, a State Legislative Council (LegCo) member suggested yesterday.

"God created food for us to eat. If the food is not suitable for us, we must give it to others for their benefit," said Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato Paduka Goh King Chin during yesterday's afternoon session of the sixth LegCo sitting.

Pehin Dato Goh also suggested that confiscated alcohol be sold to foreign embassies. "These foreign embassies already have special quotas to import alcohol," he said, adding that by selling non-halal produce and alcoholic beverages, the money collected could be donated to non-Muslim charities.

Pehin Dato Goh, a prominent businessman, also questioned what enforcement officials do with confiscated non-halal goods. "Is there a record or letter of acknowledgement with details of goods stated, (where there is) one copy for the offender and one copy for their own record?" he asked.

The LegCo member further questioned the authorities whether an appropriately higher-ranking officer is present when goods are destroyed. "Are goods destroyed according to the records?" he added.

In response, Second Minister of Finance Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim explained, "The action taken on confiscated uncustomed goods follows a procedure which follows certain rules and guidelines to destroy these goods."

He further explained, "Confiscated rice deemed still safe for consumption is handed over to related agencies to be distributed to those in need," he said, adding that non-halal goods, on the other hand, were destroyed.

Petrol, Pehin Dato Hj Abd Rahman explained, is destroyed with the assistance of Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) since it is "unknown" whether the confiscated fuel would be "good or not".

"If the fuel is not good, it can damage vehicles if sold to the public," he said.

Alcoholic beverages, said the Second Minister of Finance, are dumped at landfills.

He also explained that confiscated vehicles were either handed over to government agencies that needed them or were auctioned off to the public.

The Second Minister of Finance concluded that matters raised by Pehin Dato Goh could be considered, although there would also a need "to consider other aspects involved".

The Brunei Times