Minister clarifies the Halal matter on Christmas Cakes
Merry Christmas is the last holiday to most in a calendar year and it is always referred as the holiday season. However, this holiday season had been facing many challenges in Malaysia is it is not considered as a “halal” festival.
It was reported in Malaysia Now that a bakery risks losing its halal certification for writing “Merry Christmas” on the cake which is supposed to a customer. The man who was ordering the festive cake was advised to change the word into “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”.
According to the bakery, they are currently going through an audit process and requested for the customer’s cooperation, they too had apologies for this inconvenienced caused.
Upon clarification with an officer from Department of Islamic Development (Jakim), it is necessary for the bakery to do so as it is part of the regulation to obtain the halal certification. Furthermore, labelling and advertising of products and services should not involve the use of any religious or spiritual passage, symbol or nouns.
“Merry Christmas” had been a sensitive topic among the Muslim preachers as they claim that Muslims are prohibited from using the expression as it is a veneration of Christ. Given these conditions, the bakery had no choice but the strictly adhere to the regulations given in order to obtain the halal certification.
Clarification from Minister of Religious Affairs
Given that this matter had went viral and many had condemned about this, Minister of Religious Affairs, Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad had brought this to Twitter clarifying that halal-certificated bakeries are allowed to produce items which are meant for non-Islamic religious celebration as long as they are not up for display.
In the Twitter thread, he explained that the halal certification procedure manual 2020 did not restrict food catered towards non-Islamic religious celebrations and that the manual only applies to shops with a JAKIM Halal certificate.
In short, “if shop B with JAKIM halal certificate makes a cake with a festive greeting on the cake for the purpose of display (display) in the premises, it is not allowed but if Shop B provides a cake ordered with a festive greeting on the cake, it is ALLOWED” – Minister Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad
He had wished all Christians in Malaysia be blessed with peace, health, joy and wealth in the years to come.
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