A PAS Member of Parliament (MP) had asked the government if it had plans to conduct an awareness campaign to educate Muslims on the differences between halal-certified eateries and those that advertise themselves as “pork-free”.
The Dungun MP, Hassan Mohd Ramli said this was necessary to avoid confusion caused over the matter.
“I also call on the government to step up enforcement against business owners who are confusing Muslims (with such tactics).” he said during the debate on the amendments to the Trade Descriptions Act 2011 in Dewan Rakyat yesterday (28 October).
He also stressed that being “halal” meant more than just being “pork free” or serving no pork.
He added that he notice that such outlets have become a trend in Malaysia.
“They are two different issues.” he said, adding there was a need for this matter to be explained properly.
Back then in 2016, the director-general of the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim), Othman Mustapha said that the use of such signage used by outlets that have yet to obtain the halal certificate risked confusing Muslims.
The then domestic trade, co-operatives and consumerism minister Hamzah Zainudin responded by saying the ministry would select a specific definition to avoid any confusion.
He had said this after the ministry’s enforcement chief had said that action could be taken against restaurants under the Trade Descriptions Act 2011 for attempting to confuse Muslim by displaying such signs.
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