Prime Minister Muhyiddin and his cabinet are urged to discuss whether the PN Government will endorse Jakim’s policy which forbids halal-certified businesses to display non-Islamic festival greetings on their products or cancelation of their halal certificate.
The nation was shocked with the statement issued by Jakim deputy director-general (Operations) Datuk Abdul Aziz Jusoh on Christmas Day that festival greetings were not allowed to be put on display in shops which have halal certifications from Jakim.
This new policy by Jakim is intervening into the operation of private businesses. The halal certification for food business is meant to ensure that the whole food production process and the supply chain fulfill the prescribed halal requirements. There is no reason for Jakim to arbitrarily intervene in the business operations, including forbidding the non-Islamic festival greetings on edible products as it has nothing to do with food processing.
Such interference is not only unfriendly to private businesses, but it is indeed out of the jurisdiction of Jakim. It also casts Jakim in a bad light, affecting its image and that of the PN government.
I believe no Islamic country in the world has implemented such divisive policies that forbid businesses selling halal products for non-Islamic festivals.
On top of that, will Jakim now come out with similar rulings, forbidding companies with halal certification, to put up decorations for non-Islamic festivals such as Chinese New Year or Deepavali as well? Will Jakim cancel their halal certification if they do?
Malaysia is a multi-racial and multi-religious country. If the PM and the King have already issued public Christmas greetings to Christians in the country, is Jakim now questioning them? The PM and the Cabinet must take a stand on Jakim. They must also seek legal opinion on whether Jakim has contravened the Federal Constitution.
MP for Seputeh