A MCA former deputy minister has urged the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) not to penalise halal-certified eateries that allow diners to bring in non-halal food into its premises.
Gan Ping Sieu, who is Center for a Better Tomorrow (Cenbet) co-president in a statement today pointed out Jakim’s halal certification should only apply to food sold at the outlets, and not to the business premises.
“There is no such thing as halal or non-halal premises,” said Gan in response to McDonald’s Malaysia’s policy requiring birthday cakes for parties at its outlets to be certified halal.
The fast food chain yesterday said the condition is to comply with its halal certification requirements from Jakim.
Any decision to ban outside food, Gan said, should strictly be made on commercial considerations.
“In this respect, Jakim should not overstep its boundary by accrediting ‘premises’ instead of ‘food’,” he said.
“It (Jakim) should also not subject food operators to white terror. Doing so would be an abuse of power,” he said.
Gan said Jakim risks opening the floodgates for more religious segregation along halal and non-halal lines.
“Cenbet holds dear to the principle of respecting each other’s religious beliefs as a way to stem the tide of bigotry and religious fundamentalism.
“There is no question about respecting Muslims’ dietary requirements. But we should not allow radical elements to hijack any religion for political ends,” he cautioned.
In June, Jakim issued a statement assuring that McDonald’s Malaysia is certified halal after a hoax message claiming otherwise went viral.
Source : @ Malaysiakini