Saturday, December 31, 2016

Have your halal cake and eat it too

Yesterday I posted The RM1 Billion per year organization which was my take on FMT news about Cenbet: Halal certification should be for food only, not premises, a piece saying the Islamic Development Department’s (Jakim) halal certification should apply only to food served in F&B outlets and not food brought into the premises.

What wrong was done by Cenbet in saying that?

The issue arose because McDonald’s Malaysia confirmed that only certified halal cakes (generally birthday cakes) would be allowed into its chain of restaurants, as per its policy of complying with guidelines issued by Jakim for Macca's halal certification.

I had been a bit miffed with that re-iteration by Macca because it appeared that non-Muslim rights are being eroded even to an extent we can't celebrate kids' birthdays in Macca unless we order a cake that's certified halal, a symptom of JAKIM's intrusion into non Muslim lives.

Of course there is another side of the story, nay, in fact 3 sides to the story, wakakaka.

The 2nd side would be what my blog visitor Monsterball explained in another of my earlier posts Halal certification big business, where I had discussed a MM Online news saying Macca has a notice posted at one of its restaurants that said birthday cakes brought in must have an accompanying halal certification or logo. 

Wow, such an uptight odious procedure by Macca, just for a cake, usually made of flour, butter, eggs, sugar and flavouring! We are NOT talking about P Ramly burgers here.

Anyway, Monsterball had then said (in his own words):

As a person who runs a number of businesses, I have to sympathise with McDonalds. One of the important regulations to preserve a Halal certified business is they must take steps to prevent their Halal status from being nullified by non-Halal food or ingredients being brought into their premises.

That is not a problem with McDonalds normally, because they don't allow outside food being consumed in their restaurants.

However, McDonalds has a significant business hosting children's birthday parties, and they don't produce their own cakes, so birthday cakes are an important exception they allow to the "No Outside Food" rule.

Its simply an iteration of a many years standing rule - McDonalds was not making any new rules.

While that seems reasonable (thanks Monsterball), would Macca have posted such a VERBOTEN notice if it had not been warned? I wonder and can only speculate, which in this country is an evil habit not to be encouraged. Shame on me.

The 3rd side of the story is by a NGO calling itself Young Professionals (YP)  who sent a letter to MM Online saying (extracts only):

The Young Professionals are perturbed to read the public statement of MCA-linked non-governmental organisation Centre for a Better Tomorrow (Cenbet) dated 30 December 2016 criticising the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) for allegedly penalising halal-certified eateries allowing diners who bring in non-halal certified food into their premises (Cenbet: Jakim certification not for premises, The Malay Mail Online, December 30, 2016).


Such a statement is the height of the ridiculous and must be strongly condemned by all right-thinking Malaysians, both Muslim and non-Muslim alike. There can be no logical inference of any sort, and certainly by no stretch of the imagination, can the notion that prohibition of foodstuff based on the teachings of a given religion, particularly one that has been declared the religion of our federation (per Article 3(1) of our Constitution) amounts to religious segregation.

The statement also echoes a previous and similarly ludicrous, as well as contemptuous one made by the same NGO in June 2016, when the NGO laughably claimed that having a separate sharia compliant EPF contribution scheme would cause interfaith friction. YP condemned that previous statement by this NGO back then and we condemn this one in the same breadth.

The role of Jakim in our societal landscape is clear. It is a public institution catering to Muslims and their right to practice their faith in accordance with its own requirements. The institution is further authorised by His Royal Highness the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong per his oath of office to uphold the sanctity of Islam in Article 37(1) of and the Fourth Schedule to our Constitution.

It sounds on the surface as reasonable, but I beg to disagree with YP on its point of disagreement with Cenbet argument that prohibition of foodstuff based on the teachings of a given religion ... amounts to religious segregation.

I believe and agree with Cenbet that it will, that is, bring about religious and, just so because it's Malaysia where Muslims are generally Malays, racial segregation. 

That's because if I am holding a kid's birthday at a F&B outlet, it definitely won't be at Macca. Mind, this is NOT a boycott of Macca which I will still patronize for a burger and fries, but I won't go to the extent of sourcing a birthday cake complete with halal certification.

That's too much hassle, so in a way, in protecting Muslim dietary restrictions, non-Muslims are being disadvantaged.

The annoying thing is JAKIM has pushed the halal thing to the point of ridiculousness, absurdity and nausea, as evidenced by the hotdog-hot sausage nonsense which even Muslim ministers scoffed at - that has been how ridiculous JAKIM was and I bet still is, thus YP defence of JAKIM is untenable in some regards, especially in the Macca birthday cake nonsense.

If non-halal certified birthday cakes is brought into Macca, will that contaminate the food stuff prepared by Macca? No non-Muslim taking a non-halal certified birthday cake into Macca is threatening Muslims and their right to practice their faith in accordance with its own requirements.

YP argument has been over-the-top, falling ashamedly on fantasized alleged threats to the faith of Muslims.

But OTOH, JAKIM's imposition of its halal rule with regards to Macca is threatening, wait, has already threatened non-Muslim rights to enjoy a kiddy birthday with a birthday cake (but not halal certified) in that outlet.

Non-Muslims are not like the Alvivi Duo who slyly advocated to Muslims to partake of bah-kut-teh. But JAKIM has been relentless in its "agenda" as seen in the hot sausage ridiculousness and other nonsense. And we taxpayers are funding such a oppressive and ridiculous department to the equally ridiculous tune of RM1 Billion per annum.

I just long for the days when my late dad and his Malay and Indian mates (my 'Uncles') had tea together without any JAKIM in existence then.

To end my frustration at the incremental erosion of non-Muslim rights, I draw your attention to the YP letter to MM Online, in its last paragraph in which YP wrote (note my highlighted parts):

Per our previous statement concerning Cenbet, YP reiterates its condemnation of the organisation as one that has a corrosive effect on intercommunal relations in Malaysia. YP further demands that Cenbet immediately withdraw the offending statement against Jakim, and issue an immediate apology thereto. YP also reiterates that Cenbet should be investigated by the relevant authorities for furthering racial and religious tension caused by its previous press statement regarding the EPF sharia contribution scheme in June 2016 coupled with this latest statement denouncing Jakim issued by the same organisation.

Investigated for making a point that Jakim halal certification should apply only to food served in F&B outlets and not food brought into the premises?

Can you see the obvious DNA of YP?

did JAWI protect or persecute her?

where was YP then?


  1. Still going round the bush with a setup of zombie tribe!

    Monsterball, despite his pasts has been mallowed to play political-correctness.

    With that billion dollar 'business' of halal certification, the OBVIOUS fact is money milking.

    In actual fact, that halal certification is another rent-seeking process that feeds the selected elite of the zombie tribe.

    Any business entity, neutral in religority, trying to operate in bolihland would be subjected to this black-mailing & hijacking.

    Annie's pretzels dogs, chocs like Toblerone and Daim A&W, & now Macca! Perhaps, Starbucks too

    In the open, big food businesses pay BIG to get a label for food processing that has non kasher content in the 1st place.

    Nothing wrong in getting that cert, after all it's just a certification to pacify some 'induced' fear. The problem lies with the quantum of amount paying & many rediculous additional rules & requirements. It has been turned into a cash-cow machine for a supposely religious setup with billion dollar taxpayers (mostly Non-Muslims) money.

    In the dark, all these certification enforcement personnel has an OPEN chance for extra incomes for a iron-nasi-periuk career, again paying for by the taxpayers.

    Perhaps, if someone care to look deeper, this could turn out to be BIGGER than the Sabah Watergate!

    That NGO calling itself Young Professionals (YP) is just the extension of an outfit trying hard to justify the art of rent-seeking.

    Young professionals?

    Orang tak ada otak yang dibilih menjadi professional dengan quota dan markah buta. Sebab tu, fikiran mereka one-dimensional. Tulisan pun cut-&-paste.

    Upholding of religious purity? My foot! Making hay while the sun shines, that's.

    Form over substance - totally AGAINST the 'puritant' teaching of the Quran!

  2. As pointed out by Mariam Mokhtar in her article in FMT, what about home-baked birthday cakes for kiddies' party? Without halal-certification, are these banned?

    1. that's the ridiculousness that Mariam and I have pointed out - I don't there is any answer to JAKIM's thoughtless need to dominate and control

  3. i am now at pullman bangsar, just had the countdown, i suppose everything here is halal except the beer n the almost naked dancer wakaka.

    1. Baloney.. millions of people are starving and dying, and here we are worried about what is kosher and halal. Wakakaka..

      Have a glorious and successful Year 2017 KT.

  4. Ya lor, eat also not enough some more want to worry about the sinners will not get enough huduh punishment. Lagi "he-boleh-great" really worry others not enough to eat meh? I think more worry can't get your 5% house purchase discount ler.

  5. Poor McDonalds....everybody wants to boycott Macs.

    Last year 2016 it was the target of a substantial Muslim social-media boycott in Malaysia for allegedly supporting Israel.
    Now there is a Non-Muslim social-media backlash against it.

    Between the two, you could soon see empty McDonalds all over the country.....may be good for everybody's health.

    Having had some past interaction with McDonalds at a business level, I can say they are actually a rather responsible company....

    In Malaysia McDonalds pay above-industry-average wages, treat their employees with respect, take food safety and hygiene very seriously - from ingredients to cooking to kitchen hygiene to restaurant cleanliness. Their frozen food and meat deliveries come with temperature trackers - common in developed countries but rarely practiced elsewhere in Malaysia - and consignments which have been exposed to above acceptable temperatures somewhere along the way get rejected. They have a substantial Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program which supports many deserving local charities.

    As a responsible corporation, in Malaysia, McDonalds are way up above most other companies.

    Disclosure - I have NO current dealings with McDonalds...hahaha.

    As for the alleged Israeli links...they are true and not true.

    In the US, McDonalds runs a large employee CSR programme, where employees donate their own time and money to support charities of the employee's choice. The McDonalds corporation matches the employee donations with Corporate funds and give employees paid time off to carry out CSR activities. It runs into many Millions of Dollars every year.

    Beneficiary charities include shelters for the homeless, treatment for poor drug addicts, aid for disadvantaged children...all deserving of help.

    Now, USA is very Pro-Israel country, and some of the Macdonald employee donations have been directed to Israeli charities...not the Israeli state, to be clear. So McDonalds as a company gives the same matching funds...that's how it went.

    Another matter to be aware - as a US-incorporated company, Mac is barred by American law from participating in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
    A US company may pull out from Israel for business reasons, but it is illegal for a US corporation to participate in the BDS movement.

    That is a law the US Congress pro-Israel Republicans wrote, Obama opposed but declined to Veto - too hot potato even for Obama.

    Organisations and foreign Companies which participate in the BDS movement are barred from doing business with the US government or receive any US government funds.
    A number of British universities , for example, which support the BDS movement found themselves barred from research projects which receive US government funding.
    The US government, through its various agencies, is one of the world's largest single funder of public-research funding - so getting cut out of that is no small matter.
    Foreign companies would have to consider the impact on their US market if they participate in BDS - many large international corporations have the USA as one of their largest export markets.

    1. Extract and synthesis from news sources:

      McDonald has about 120 restaurants in Singapore and about 260 in Malaysia, but is rumoured to want to sell the 20-year franchise rights for its Singapore and Malaysia outlets to Saudi Arabia's Reza group, in a transaction estimated at up to $400 million.

      Reza Food Services, which owns and operates McDonald's restaurants in the western and southern region of Saudi Arabia, has tapped Malaysian bank CIMB to finance the deal. But sources declined to be identified as the deal has not been publicly announced.

      Will Singapore McDonald continue to sell bacon & eggs burgers? wakakaka

    2. In fact that sale of the franchise rights of the McDonalds business to the Reza group was officially executed on December 1, 2016.

      Note that this is a franchising deal, not a divestment. All McDonalds outlets in Malaysia and Singapore retain the brand.
      There is not much detail on the deals, but if in line with other worldwide franchise contracts, McDonalds retains tight control over the menu and restaurant operational processes and standards.

      All Singapore McDonalds outlets are Halal, and , if you look closely, the "Bacon" in the Singapore breakfast menu consists of chicken meat cooked bacon-style.

      My personal opinion is chicken "bacon" doesn't taste as good as the Real Stuff, which is made from pork.....hahahaha...

    3. I had Macca breakfast meal in Sing which had bacon and eggs, but I admit 'twas some years ago. Still, I don't see the need for chicken bacon to replace piggy bacon when Macca's customers in Sing are mainly non-Muslims.

      Thank God wakakaka it's still bacon & eggs in Oz, all day long.