Updated: 08/25/2014 19:17

More choosing to do Korban in cheaper countries



Photo: Internet

Photo: Internet

More Muslim Singaporeans are taking up the option of performing the annual korban ritual overseas. 

938LIVE's Fann Sim finds out why the trend is growing. 

Prices of sheep and lamb for the Islamic ritual sacrifice on Hari Raya Haji have gone up over the years. 

It used to cost $260 per sheep 10 years ago. 

But now, it will cost $499 for someone to perform the ritual in Singapore. 

This has led an increasing number of Muslims to look for value-for-money options elsewhere in Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Cambodia, Vietnam and even China. 

Businesses 938LIVE spoke to say the number of customers who engage their service to "outsource" the korban has gone up two to three times from 10 years ago. 

Perhaps this is the reason why fewer animals are brought in for the sacrifice in Singapore. 

This year some 3,500 animals are expected to be sacrificed at 24 mosques islandwide. 

That's about a third lower compared to ten years ago. 

24-year-old Zahra Mustan, who's performed the ritual in India, says the process is simpler overseas. 

"I feel in Singapore it's much of a hassle because you have to seek permission and there are rules and regulation. Whereas in India, you just get it from the farmer itself and he'll come over and get it done for you."

And it's a lot cheaper, with a sheep costing as little as $200, 40 per cent less than what it would cost in Singapore this year. 

But price isn't the only reason. 

Ruby Al-Rashid who runs Ruby Rashid Travel and Tours says people do it overseas to get a "fuller" experience. 

"Before the ceremony, we will choose our own animals -- smaller one or big one. Early in the morning, this goat will be transferred to the kampong for slaughter, so we can also join them for slaughter. We will do gathering, prayer and we cook all together. The event is very fantastic because we try to do this in a Malacca kampong."

She charges $160 for a two day one night trip to Malacca. 

And even after including the cost of the sheep, it's still $15 cheaper than doing it in Singapore. 

She brought about 100 Muslim Singaporeans to Indonesia last year, and is planning to take 150 to Malacca this time. 

Apart from enjoying a short getaway and lower prices, there's one more benefit. 

Noor Faizah Mustaffa from Jalaluddin Travel and Services says some of her customers even participate in the distribution of the sacrificial meat to the needy themselves. 

"If you do it in Singapore, you get your share of your sacrificial meat and you don't actually know how where the rest of your meat goes to. When you go there you see and you experience how needy the locals are and you interact with the locals there as well."

Business owners like Ms Ruby are expecting demand for trips to perform korban overseas to continue increasing. 

And they're planning to include other destinations to add variety.

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