Penang Gerakan has lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over allegations of graft and abuse of power over the chicken distribution monopoly issue here.
The report was lodged against the Penang government and the Penang Island City Council (MBPP).
“We are asking the MACC to investigate this chicken scandal issue.
“We don’t want the people to be affected should there be any elements of graft and abuse of power over the chicken distribution issue.
“We have repeatedly asked for explanation from the state government but only once a state executive council member attempted to explain,” he said today.
On April 8, Penang Gerakan and the Gabungan Peniaga-Peniaga Ayam Pulau Pinang handed over a protest memorandum to Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow over the chicken distribution issue and the use of chiller, which they claimed burdened poultry sellers on the island.
Besides the handing over of the memorandum, more than 30 poultry sellers had also staged a peaceful gathering in Komtar to voice their objection against the ban on poultry slaughtering in MBPP premises effective next month.
Prior to this, MBPP had explained that there it was not forcing poultry sellers on the island to source for supply from the distribution centre in Batu Lanchang as initially claimed.
According to H’ng, they have raised 10 points for their complaints in the supporting documents to the MACC to facilitate a transparent probe.
“We can’t reveal in detail the points but suffice say, we want the graftbuster to probe the awarding of the tenders to the appointed contractors.
“One of the tenders was given to a company with zero involvement in their poultry industry. By right, the tender should be awarded to those in the know-how of the poultry industry,” he added.
He said there were also issues with the construction of the poultry distribution centre in the Batu Lanchang market.
“All we are asking is for the MACC to probe the matter thoroughly, especially since the project was awarded through Request For Proposal (RFP).
“Many other ‘strange’ things which we need the MACC to look into,” he said.
In January this year, the New Straits Times reported that some 200 chicken sellers on the island were unhappy over a soon-to-be-implemented move by the MBPP to appoint a single company to supply chicken to all traders.
They claimed the move would result in the company, believed to be foreign based, monopolising the industry and controlling prices.
It was learnt that the company would set up its base in Batu Lanchang here.
The chicken sellers said they were told that they each needed to get a chiller, worth about RM12,000, to store the chickens from the said supplier.
Poultry sellers on Penang island are crying foul over a compulsory requirement to install chillers at their stalls in wet markets and to sell only frozen dressed chicken.
The Gabungan Peniaga-peniaga Ayam Pulau Pinang chairman Azizur Rahman said the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) has issued the poultry sellers in all wet markets on the island notices to purchase chillers for their stalls.
“The whole point of wet markets was to sell fresh food items such as freshly slaughtered chicken and not sell frozen chicken like supermarkets,” he said in a press conference here today.
“They are also forcing us to only take frozen dressed chicken supply from one supplier, a foreign company, at the poultry distribution centre in Batu Lanchang,” he claimed.
He said this is obviously a monopoly of the poultry sector which will affect all of the other smaller poultry suppliers in the state.
“Regardless of what certification they have, we do not want to take dressed chicken from them, we prefer to slaughter the chicken ourselves so that we know for sure it is halal,” he said.
He said by doing away chicken slaughtering activities by poultry sellers, a lot of people will lose their jobs.
“We have workers helping us to slaughter and clean the chicken so if we are only selling frozen dressed chicken, all these workers will lose their jobs,” he said.
He said most poultry sellers had invested in RM50,000 to RM60,000 worth of machines for slaughtering and cleaning chicken.
“What are we going to do with these machines? Who will bear the losses? The state government is preying on us small traders just to benefit their cronies,” he claimed.
He said the poultry sellers were already suffering a drop in business due to the Covid-19 pandemic and now the city council had unnecessarily given them more problems that will affect their business.
He said there are about 200 poultry sellers on the island and none of them agreed to the city council’s decision to force all of them to switch to selling frozen dressed chicken.
“We take our chicken supplies from different suppliers, there are about 50 small chicken suppliers, but by forcing us to take supplies only from that foreign company at the poultry distribution centre, these small suppliers will soon close down and more people will lose their source of income,” he said.
He said there was also no guarantee on the prices of the frozen dressed chicken so it could lead to an increase in chicken prices.
He said the city council should be looking at setting up slaughtering centres in different areas such as in Balik Pulau, Batu Maung and Air Itam for the poultry sellers to slaughter chicken there.
“We can slaughter the chicken there ourselves so that we do not have to worry about the halal status of the chicken,” he said.
Source : NST
Source : Malay Mail
Source : NST