Just the other day, we were looking up on Ramly burgers in Singapore. And we found out that these Ramly burgers are actually not from Ramly but instead from Singaporean brands like Tasty, Sultan Burger and Armiya.
Why? Because many people and sites like HungryGoWhere are pointing out that RAMLY BURGERS ARE BANNED IN SINGAPORE!?!?!?!!
So why is it banned!? Is it another komplot to deprive the world of Malaysian food? Is it because Ramly would beat the competition?! We got in touch with someone from Ramly Food Processing Sdn Bhd to ask about this claim and what he told us was pretty surprising. It turns out that…
Ramly actually CHOOSE not to send their burgers there!?
“Actually we are not banned in Singapore. Maybe it’s just the wrong info. Actually our products already in Singapore for many years.” – said the Ramly rep.
He went on to say that their products like the prawn burgers, fish burgers and fish nuggets are there, with the exception of only the chicken and beef burgers.
“We never applied for the permit for these burgers only. So because people didn’t see these burgers in Singapore, they make the conclusion that it’s banned there.” – he added.
So we asked him why Ramly did not apply for approval for the beef and chicken burgers and he answered that Ramly is waiting for the right time to enter Singapore. Ramly is currently facing a capacity limitation and that most of its demand comes from the Malaysian market, so the folks at Ramly are trying hard to fulfill the demand.
“So that’s why, for Singapore market, we put on hold, temporarily.” – he shared.
He told us that his company doesn’t want to end up with a supply shortage problem becos if it does, it might get penalised. He also spoke about the company’s plans to enlarge its production capacity by building a new plant in Pulau Indah, which is expected to be ready by the end of 2019, and later spread its business globally.
“So once the factory is completed, then we can explore the new markets, especially Singapore, Middle East and also Europe.” – he told us.
But then, some of you may wonder… “Hey, CILISOS! If not banned, then why did people smuggle Ramly burgers into Singapore like they’re drugs?”. In 2004, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore found 26 cases of such Ramly patty smuggling. Even two years ago, there was a case of a Singaporean man who tried to import 105 packets of the beef patties (hidden under a spare tyre in his car boot) without a license.
“Anybody can buy our products, so anybody can bring to whichever country they want, whether Singapore, Indonesia or wherever. So this is out of our control.” – said the Ramly rep when asked about the smuggling.
And like he said earlier, people assume that the burgers are banned and that there’s no permit yet for these burgers to be sold in Singapore commercially. It’s like how you trying to work in another country without a work permit makes you an illegal migrant worker, but with a work permit, you’re considered legal. So if Ramly wants to sell their beef and chicken burgers in Singapore,
Ramly will have to minta izin from AVA
AVA (we repeat: Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority) is the Singaporean government body in charge of the safe and healthy care and use of plants and animals in Singapore. And it’s the one in charge of giving the green light to establishments that comply with AVA’s regulations. We have tried reaching out to AVA for comment and this is what they told us.
“The import of food, including meat and eggs, and their products, are regulated for animal health and food safety reasons.
Meat and eggs, and their products, can only be imported from accredited sources in approved countries that comply with Singapore’s food safety standards and requirements.” – AVA’s reply to our enquiry.
In Ramly’s case, the rules that would affect its chances are:
- Wholesome Meat and Fish Act;
- Sale of Food Act;
- Food Regulations;
- Veterinary Import Conditions for Beef and Beef Products and;
- Veterinary Import Conditions for Poultry and Poultry Products.
We tried asking the Ramly rep about where the ingredients for the beef and chicken burgers come from but he said that it’s confidential. He did tell us though that Ramly follows procedures approved by the regulations set by our local Veterinary Services Department, JAKIM and Ministry of Health. As to whether these procedures clash with AVA’s regulations, it’s unclear.
“I believe some of them have clashes but I still don’t know. So far, we have no problems with our existing products.” – he added.
From 14 September 2018 onwards, AVA’s list of countries approved to export meat and egg products claims that:
- Malaysia’s meat and table eggs must be derived from AVA-approved establishments;
- processed beef, processed mutton, Sarawakian pork, poultry, processed eggs and preserved eggs are approved and;
- only frog legs are not approved.
Aiyo, this Singapore so kan cheong wan
Yeah, it seems like our southern neighbour has quite a lot of strictness to it. Cannot take chewing gum lah. Cannot bring firecrackers lah. Customs very scary lah.
But we also know that Singapore has its positives like cleaner roads, more atas-looking buildings, better education system, stronger currency, and so on that would attract many people to live in Singapore.
Despite that, our fellow Malaysians living there can’t help but feel homesick from time to time, especially if they’re huge fans of the authentic Ramly burgers they used to eat back home. If you’re one of these Malaysians, just know that Johor is just a bridge drive away.