Clarifications on product recalls and KR1M’s stand in promoting 1 Malaysia products in compliance with the Ministry of Health’s guidelines — Datuk Ameer Ali
DEC 4 — There are a number of attempts made by certain quarters to discredit the reputation of goods sold in “Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia “ shops” or KR1M. Despite various attempts made to discredit the reputation KR1M, it does not affect the government’s noble efforts to continue helping to ease the burden on the people and increase KR1M network throughout the country. This effort is to meet the demands of the people who want KR1M outlets in the areas near their homes.
The Ministry of Health Malaysia has issued an official press statement on December 2, 2011 in respect of seven (7) products 1 Malaysia following the meeting with YB Tony Pua and YB Nurul Izzah in Putrajaya on 1st December 2011.
Here are some of the information contained in a press release in respect of: -
Issue 1: Milk growth Tony Pua has admitted that he was mistaken about where he was interpreting the weight of each spoon (scoop) is 30g. Based on the verification carried out by the Ministry of Health, 1 tablespoon of the milk powder is actually equivalent to 7.5g. This means that 4 tablespoons of milk is equivalent to 30.0g. So taking a maximum of four times a day is equivalent to 120g of the milk. The meeting agreed that the products are included under Rule 395 which stated as food that is not standardized elsewhere.
Issue 2: Ice Cream Manufacturers do not specify the name of the actual terms of the product on the label, which should be “ice confection”.
Issue 3: Fruit Jam Fruit content in the mixed fruit jam complies in terms of the percentage content of the fruits, but the label does not state the fruits used in the jam as the ingredients.
Issue 4: Evaporated Milk Products are actually evaporated creamer, but labelled as evaporated milk in Bahasa Malaysia. However, the name of the product is correct in English.
Issue 5: Sweetened Condensed Creamer Comply with the fat content but not with per cent non-sugar solids.
Issue 6: Canned Sardine 3 out of 5 samples of 155g canned sardine is less than 55 per cent fish content standards provided under the Food Regulations 1985.
Issue 7: Canned Chicken Curry The label does not state the presence of potato in the product.
The conclusion of the seven issues above, it is clear that: Four (4) of seven (7) food products raised were related to aspects of labelling, while three (3) other food products were related to aspects of the product composition.
Labelling and composition of the product are two issues that can happen to any of the products at all, especially for new products entering the market. It is something that must be corrected and improved, and not classified as “unsafe” or even harmful if consumed.
On December 3, 2011, the Honourable Minister of Health Malaysia has informed that the results of monitoring by the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) has found that 13 products 1 Malaysia does not comply with the Food Regulations 1985, and actions have been taken by the MOH. The products involved are fresh milk, condensed milk, sweetened condensed creamer, oyster sauce, fruit jam, canned chicken curry, mango cordial, compounds ghee, peanuts, creamy peanut butter, Crunchy peanut butter, crispy peanut butter , and fish tinned sardines in tomato sauce (155 grams). Most of the non-compliance is in terms of product composition and labelling, and not from the aspect of food safety.
The establishment of “Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia” is hoped to provide greater business opportunities for operators and local producers of Small and Medium Industries (SMIs) in uplifting and upgrading the local products and to be better known by the community. The operator of KR1M has a recognized experience and achievements in the wholesale and retail industry for 54 years. Business is challenging and risky, thus, many locals are not brave enough to take up the challenge in this field. The existence of KR1M is seen as a lighted tunnel in business opportunities for the locals to move forward. To ensure that the objectives are achieved, a 1 Malaysia label is created carrying generic products and supplied by the manufacturers of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from various races. KR1M has built a platform of supply chain products within the domestic market even at a slow pace, so that people can enjoy low-priced products with standard quality of goods.
Malay proverbs saying “Adat Periuk Berkerak, Adat Lesung Berdedak”. Every business requires patience and diligence, and there are no sweet victory without sweat. As the SME entrepreneurs move forward to learn about the traits of business-hood, they are never silent from making mistakes. This is not an exception to 1 Malaysia product providers whose products have been disputed due to non-compliance with the food act. Such products have been identified and the suppliers have been advised to correct the error and they are given the chance to re-enter the market again after being reviewed by the MOH in terms of compliancy.
Product Recalls happens anywhere in the world and it is caused by many things. Established organizations with ISO certification and certificates of international standards, such as TOYOTA, HONDA, MATTEL (toys), Mc Donald’s, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, Nestle, P&G, Nokia, Hershey’s, Bausch & Lomb, Del Monte, Volkswagen AG, Unilever, Kraft, and IKEA had to do product recalls from the market due to more crucial and critical reasons such as dangerous content, contamination, improper installation of parts, usage of unsafe content and many more. These huge companies did product recalls for the interests of consumers’ safety, protecting the good brand of the company, and most importantly is to withstand the good ethics of being an honest merchant.
In this regard, KR1M took immediate initiative to inform all suppliers of 1 Malaysia products that ALL products have been/will be sent to laboratories for detailed examination and this will be done periodically. To do this is not cheap and easy. For ALL the 250 1 Malaysia products that will be submitted for laboratory examination, the costs incurred shall reach RM300,000. These will not be funded by the Government, or by the NGOs, nor by the management of KR1M - but it will be entirely borne by the manufacturers and suppliers of 1 Malaysia products themselves whom are majority of the rakyat themselves.
As a Born Malaysian, still Malaysian company, KR1M’s effort does not end here. KR1M shall continue to walk side-by-side along the local SME entrepreneurs to guide them through difficulties and assist them to overcome any difficulties to succeed. Let us not be like some politicians that values their self-interest more than the rakyat and proving that the Malay proverb of “Gajah sama Gajah Berjuang, Pelanduk mati Ditengah-tengah” is valid. Instead, we must continue to support them to persevere and continue to rise in the domestic retail world to become an honest and resilient entrepreneur and able to compete with the foreign companies, so much so contribute to the robustness of the supply chain so that our country can achieve the status of a developed country in the year 2020.
KR1M will also support fully the direction announced by the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) that all complaints or information relating to food safety and quality issues must be channeled directly to the MOH to enable MOH to get accurate information and to take action quickly. Posting a complaint directly in the mass media will only provide an opportunity for traders to withdraw the product from the market which will cause interference with the MOH investigations.
Latest updates of KR1M is available via KR1M Website : www.kedairakyat1malaysia.com.my KR1M Facebook
: www.facebook.com/kedairakyat1malaysia KR1M Twitter
* Datuk Ameer Ali is managing director of Mydin Mohamed Holdings Berhad, a local chain of supermarkets and hypermarkets. He also represents the small-and-medium industries and enterprises that manufacture and supply the goods to the Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.