Sheep to be sacrificed in Australia and meat shipped to S'pore for Hari Raya Haji ritual for second year

Volunteers collecting packets of korban meat for distribution on Aug 15, 2020.
Volunteers collecting packets of korban meat for distribution on Aug 15, 2020.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

SINGAPORE - The annual Hari Raya Haji ritual of korban will continue in a modified format for the second year running, with the sheep being sacrificed in Australia and their meat shipped to Singapore.

The ritual, which involves slaughtering livestock and distributing the meat to worshippers and the needy, usually takes place in mosques here.

The modified ritual continues for a second year due to the ongoing community transmission of Covid-19, said the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) in a statement on Friday (May 21).

The decision was made by the Singapore Mosque Korban Committee (JKMS).

"The continuing worldwide pandemic makes the process of importing livestock into Singapore ever more difficult, and organising the korban ritual remains challenging," said Muis.

"In 2020, the modified ritual was very well received by the Muslim community as a safe alternative and as a way to preserve korban in Singapore," it added.

Last year, over 100 homes received on Aug 15 korban meat from about 2,940 sheep sacrificed in Australia.

The meat was chilled and shipped here over a few days before being sent to cutting plants, packed and then distributed. The process will be repeated this year, but has been streamlined.

Mosques will be able to select from a panel of vendors approved by both Muis and the Singapore Food Agency. The JKMS had earlier conducted an exercise to evaluate the vendors.

Muis said that 42 mosques offered the modified ritual in 2020. Each offered up to 100 sheep, priced between $300 and $330 per sheep.

Hari Raya Haji, which commemorates Prophet Ibrahim's obedience to God through his willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail, falls on July 20 this year.