Saturday, February 13, 2021

‘Merry Christmas’ can invalidate halal certificate, says Jakim

The 'Merry Christmas' greeting has been the subject of contention before but this is the first time it has emerged that the greeting could affect a product's official halal status.

Other News

17 lagi kematian baru direkodkan, 3,505 pesakit pulih

Kes aktif dengan kebolehjangkitan pula berjumlah 51,579.

New cases stay below 4,000, another 17 deaths reported

258 in the ICU with 119 in need of respiratory assistance.

Isu J&T disebabkan tekanan bebanan kerja, kata kementerian

Isu pembayaran komisen pekerja turut menjadi punca kepada kejadian yang tular itu.

Exco Kedah pertahankan pembangunan tanah sawah padi 

Perancangan pembangunan tempatan ditetapkan bagi memenuhi keperluan semasa rakyat terutamanya di Kota Setar. 

Japan turns to cuddly toys to boost Lunar New Year sales without Chinese tourists

Japan is feeling the loss of Chinese tourists who normally come to stock up on expensive gifts for Chinese New Year.

The government’s halal authority today said the use of “Merry Christmas” on products would invalidate their halal certification, in a statement that is likely to reignite a debate on policies seen as regressive to Malaysia’s multicultural identity.

A spokesman for the Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) confirmed to MalaysiaNow the existence of such a condition before a company is awarded halal certification, following an incident reported by a member of the public.

MalaysiaNow earlier reported about a bakery which could not fulfil a customer’s request for “Merry Christmas” to be written on a cake he had ordered for delivery to a friend.

Instead, the cake was delivered with the words “Happy Holidays”.

The bakery owner said it was because he had to abide by the rules set by Jakim as part of the application process for getting halal certification.

“The bakery was not wrong as it is part of the regulations,” an officer from Jakim’s communications unit told MalaysiaNow.

He cited a labelling rule stated in Jakim’s manual on the procedures leading towards halal certification.

“Labelling and advertising of products and services should not involve the use of any religious or spiritual passage, symbol or noun such as the names of Allah, sunnah, idols and the like,” according to the document sighted by MalaysiaNow.

The “Merry Christmas” greeting has been a subject of debate in Malaysia, with some Muslim preachers claiming Muslims are prohibited from using the expression as it is a veneration of Christ.

But this is the first time it has emerged that the greeting could also affect a product’s official halal status.

Earlier, the customer, who declined to be named, said it was the first time he had encountered such a problem.

“But the management apologised to me saying it is part of the conditions during the audit process,” he added.

Jakim is legally empowered as the sole authority to issue halal certification for food and goods as well as eateries nationwide.

In the past, critics had questioned several conditions imposed by the department on food manufacturers and franchises seeking halal certification, including prohibiting certain names from being used on the product.

Popular pretzel chain Auntie Anne’s and fast food franchise A&W were forced to rename their popular products due to a requirement by Jakim that words such as “dog” and “beer” are not used on their menu.

Auntie Anne’s renamed its “pretzel dog” as “pretzel sausage”, while A&W was forced to change the names of two popular dishes for which it is known worldwide: Coney Dog and Root Beer, which were renamed as Chicken (or Beef) Coney and RB.

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/malaysianow

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news and analyses.

Related Articles

Degree holder slogs through tough times for RM1,000 a month

The money is never enough, but as long as her family is healthy and safe, Jenny has no complaints.

Online shift brings kids closer to red-light territory and paedo-porn

The same messaging apps used to host homework and discussion groups are also used by those looking to access sexually explicit material.

Reunion dinners under MCO a tall order for restaurants

With dine-in customers limited to just two per table, restaurateurs are forced to come up with creative ways to continue delivering a crucial part of Chinese New Year celebrations.

5 held in France for death threats over teen’s video critical of Islam

Her case has revived debate in France on freedom of speech as well as protection for schoolchildren from online bullying.

No electricity or running water, but ‘Uncle Kapitan’ waits to celebrate new year anyway

Lim Tiap Beng lives alone in an old wooden house in a village in Negeri Sembilan but he is happy that he has good neighbours and a friend who looks out for him.