Chinese New Year means one thing: ang pow and lots of really yummy snacks. Whether it be pineapple tarts or Chinese love letters (yes, the ones that crumble even before you touch them), you’re sure to gain a few extra kilos after the festive season. But by far and wide one of the most popular CNY snacks that are favoured by many is bakkwa, or dried barbecued meat slices.
Usually made out of a variety of meats, the popular CNY treat can usually be seen sold in vacuum sealed packets, or openly grilled right before your eyes for that delicious caramalised crisp and juicy salty-sweet flavour. But hor, as you know, the meat of choice for making bakkwa is pork.
And in case you forgot about the African swine fever epidemic that happened just last year, the director of the Sarawak Department of Veterinary Services, Dr Adrian Susin Ambud, is here to remind you.
In a report by See Hua Daily, the director would like to remind everyone travelling in and out of Sarawak that the ban on all pork products over the fear of African swine fever is still in effect. Which means, you are not allowed to bring any pork products in and out of Sarawak.
Yes, that includes bakkwa. If you are found bringing in or out any bakkwa from Sarawak, you will be fined up to RM 25,000.
He adds that officers from the Veterinary department will be working with customs officials at Sarawak’s airport to ensure that no pork products, whether it be bakkwa or the popular Chinese waxed sausages lap cheung, are being smuggled in or out of the state. He also discourages bringing in any pork products from West Malaysia too, which will also incur the same fine if you are found carrying any on your person.
At the moment, he says that Sarawak has ample pork to cater to its own citizens, so there is no need to import any pork from other sources into the state, which may possibly be contaminated with the African swine fever virus.
Now that you’ve read this, don’t say we didn’t warn you! Otherwise, all that ang pow money is going to go to paying a hefty fine!
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