KUALA LUMPUR: The word “dog” was not the reason behind Auntie Anne's pretzel chain not receiving its halal certification, said the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim).
Jakim halal division director Dr Sirajuddin Suhaimee said his words were taken out of context and blown out of proportion by the media.
When contacted by The Star Online on Tuesday, however, he said that Jakim had recommended the name change for "pretzel dog" in order for Auntie Anne’s to receive a halal certification.
He had also said that a Jakim panel had decided not to use such a name.
On Thursday, when met outside the Parliament lobby, Dr Sirajuddin said that the pretzel chain’s application for halal certification had failed due to incomplete paperwork.
He claimed his previous remark on dogs being unclean and that the word “dog” should not be linked to the halal certification, adding that it was a general statement and not specific to Auntie Anne's case.
"We made a general statement based on the manual and procedure of halal certification application. It is based on that guideline," he said.
Dr Sirajuddin said the term "pretzel dog" was not included in the application for halal certification by the food chain.
"I have double checked the application, as of last night, there is no such 'pretzel dog' in the application.
“We are looking at the audit report based on the findings of the central kitchen. That’s the procedure, but somebody else raised the issue about the product name,” he said when explaining why the name was rejected.
He added that Jakim officials would meet later in the evening to discuss the issue.
The issue had gone viral on social media since last week after an executive from Auntie Anne's disclosed that the application for halal certification had failed due to concerns over the “pretzel dog” in their menu.
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