Bringing non-halal food into a halal establishment

Bringing non-halal food into a halal establishment

The recent issue of some quarters not too happy with fast-food chain McDonald for prohibiting non-halal food to be brought into their premises has raised a number of questions on the concept of what is thought to be a storm in a tea cup.

It is generally accepted that people who frequent such outlets will not bring outside food — for it beats the entire purpose of eating in McDonald’s; unless maybe with a number of exception like milk products or baby food for infants or toddlers that came along in a family outing.

It is generally accepted that McDonald’s food prepared in its outlets are certified halal by Department of Islamic Development Malaysia or Jakim. And that would include, its premises.

One extreme view would say that the right to dine or otherwise in a halal certified premise is the absolute call by an individual. If one thinks that McDonald was being too “extreme” in putting up their restaurant regulations, then by all means do not visit McDonald’s any more.

All business organisations have their own strategies and on top of all is netting the biggest market share where possible to maximise profitability.

From a Sarawak perspective though, all those looking at either a religious or political view at the issue would settle it as a non-issue. Watching Muslims tucking in their favourite dish in a Kopitiam next to a stall selling food for non-Muslims is a common sight in Sarawak, and Sabah for that matter. Enjoying a Christmas meal in a church compound and inviting people of all religious beliefs is a common occurrence.

It is therefore every right if an individual is to protest the original plan by MacDonald to ban non-halal food into its premises as it is very un-Sarawak move in the first place. There is no place for such a move as it would only form a socio-religious divide among the local who have enjoyed unity among the diversified society here with people of different ethnic origins with their differing religious beliefs.

The news that MacDonald has subsequently withdrawn the earlier signage is therefore a welcome move after all.

And the issue should not be further politicised to avoid any untoward consequences if misconstrued and misdirected by parties who are out to seed disunity among us here.
9 January 2017