KUALA LUMPUR: The lack of halal certification in an eatery does not mean the food served there is haram, says Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom (pic).
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in his wrapping up speech on Budget 2017 said the public should not perceive that a place serves haram food just because it has no halal certification.
“The perception is that when a premise doesn’t have a halal certificate, it isn’t halal.
“But it does not mean that it is haram,” said the minister in charge of Islamic Affairs in Parliament on Wednesday.
He added that while halal certification could aid in reassuring consumers of the cleanliness and quality of the food, the application for a halal certification was voluntary.
“Also the world is changing. There are so many names for food out there. An item that has a Malay name may not be halal, while another which sounds English may be completely halal,” he said.
The Jerai MP pointed out that that the certification will also serve as a guide to those unfamiliar with local cuisine.
“Some people from rural areas, or who are old… when they hear words like Root Beer, may ask if it is ‘root’ or ‘beer’.
“These are situations where the halal certification plays a role to improve marketing, but again it is not compulsory,” he added.
He was responding to a question by Beruas MP Ngeh Khoo Ham who asked how to change the mindset of Muslims who refused to patronise eateries without halal certification.
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