SINGAPORE - The least expensive sheep to be purchased for the Islamic ritual sacrifice of korban in October is still the costliest on record, a religious official said last Friday.
About 2,000 sheep of at least a year old will be imported from Australia each costing $499 this year - 9 per cent over last year's price.
Mr Mohamad Helmy Mohd Isa, the director of mosques for the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) said the increase is due to inflation as well as logistical and freight costs rising over the years.
A total of 3,500 livestock will be available this year, 40 per cent more than the 2,500 brought in for the ritual last year.
Among them will be 1,500 lambs of less than a year old imported from Ireland, for the first time. They are pricier than the Australian sheep partly because of additional costs, such as freight, but still less expensive than the Canadian lambs imported last year.
Last year, 500 lambs from Canada were brought in as an alternative to Australian supplies but they had a hefty price tag of $757 each. This year, the Irish lambs will be sold at $575 each. Korban will also be allowed at several more places this year, 24 mosques, up from 21 last year.
Registration at the mosques opens on Wednesday and will end on Oct 1. Order forms are available at the places of worship or online at www.meskorban.sg.