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Wednesday December 23, 2009

Jakim: Use another name for bak kut teh halal

THE use of the term bak kut teh halal will not only confuse Muslims but it is also against fiqah (Islamic way of life and practices), reported Utusan Malaysia.

The daily quoted Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) deputy director-general Lokman Abdul Rahman as saying that bak kut teh could not be deemed halal because it still carried an “illegal name” under Islamic law.

He stressed that the dish would not be issued any halal certificate based on procedures set by Jakim.

“There may be people who will apply for the certificate but Jakim will not certify the food as halal because it is very clear that it does not comply with Islamic law.

“We are worried that the Muslim community will misunderstand that the food is halal if we issue the certificate,” he said.

Lokman said the name bak kut teh referred to soup and pork used to prepare the dish.

“My recommendation is for the relevant parties to use another name for bak kut teh halal,” he said.

He was commenting on bak kut teh halal introduced at the Fabulous Food 1Malaysia — Malaysia Restaurant Food Festival ceremony at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur recently.

Bak kut teh halal ingredients include chicken, seafood and vegetables, in place of pork, which is normally used for the dish.

Marriot Hotel executive chef Zaffar Abdul Samad said the dish was 100% halal in terms of its recipe and ingredients.

Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia secretary-general Datuk Dr Maamor Osman also disagreed with the introduction of bak kut teh halal.

“I am worried that misusing the term will slowly reduce the disinclination of Muslims towards pork. I hope Jakim can take strict measures to ensure that the food does not get halal certification,” he said.

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  • Other News & Views is compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with a > sign, it denotes a separate news item.
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