Bandar Seri Begawan - The spreading of false information through social media has been condemned by many but it continues unabated. The latest victims are two local restaurants accused of unhygienic practices.
The management of and of the eateries, KTM based in Jerudong, approached the Borneo Bulletin recently and said what has been shared among the populace is highly baseless and stressed that their operations are up to required standards.
In an interview, it was emphasised that the text message which alleged that the restaurant was feeding stray dogs from plates used to serve customers as per a non-existent department in the text message named as 'Food Control Division' under the Ministry of Religious Affairs did not contain any truth and the restaurant has proof in the form of CCTV footage to debunk the rumour.
Spread to the public over a week ago, the text message, it was further added, has affected the restaurant's business and the restaurant's head chef said a number of their customers called the establishment to assuage their worries.
It was also highlighted that the restaurant is currently in the midst of obtaining its Halal Certification expected to be granted to them next year and will continue to adhere to the strict requirements set forth by the governing body to ensure that the certificate is secured.
Following the emergence of the text message, relevant personnel from the government in charge of ensuring the safety of food have made a number of visits to the restaurant with the latest surprise inspection conducted last week over a three-day period and the restaurant's continuous operations after the visits, pointed the head chef, is testament to their commitment to cleanliness.
The rumours, meanwhile, have elicited a response from the Halal Food Control Division under the Ministry of Religious Affairs whereby on November 8, 2012 on their Facebook page, the division has categorised the text message as being "false information".
"The admin was recently surprised with a statement that involved the Ministry of Religious Affairs with regards to two restaurants that was spread through WhatsApp by individuals/ those who are irresponsible, which has blemished the ministry and division's name," they said in one of their Facebook posts.
"The admin would like to stress that the said WhatsApp statement is not true," based on several premises including the ministry that does not have a Food Control Division apart from the one that oversees Halal food, that the division only focuses on raw meat that is used for cooking and those that are stored and the reports stemming from inspections conducted by the division are kept confidential and not shared with the general public.
"The public is advised to discontinue spreading any information whose source is unknown. It would be best for the said information to be forwarded to relevant authorities", and it was assured that the division will "continue to monitor" and conduct needed investigations alongside other relevant government agencies.
Members of the public who have been made aware of the situation, meanwhile, have responded to the post published by the division with many voicing their discontentment over the actions of those who have been spreading the false news.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin