PETALING JAYA: The action of a Kuala Lumpur hotel to assign a service lift to move non-halal perishable goods has ignited controversy among netizens.
The image of the lift with its "non-halal" sign appeared on human rights lawyer and activist Siti Kasim's social media post, drawing criticism from netizens.
Her followers expressed their disappointment over the hotel's move.
Responding to Siti Kasim's post, Sheraton Four Points Chinatown explained that this is the standard operation procedure set by the Islamic Development Department (Jakim).
"The segregation of halal and non-halal relates to the movement of goods and perishable items and is part of halal certification requirements for the hotel's back-of-house operations such as service lifts. We have recently reworded our sign for clearer understanding," the hotel posted on social media.
It said the "non-halal lift" is only used at the back of its premises and does not affect the comfort of paying guests.
In 2013, it was reported that Crystal Crown hotel in Petaling Jaya had reserved three of its service lifts for the transportation of halal goods in order to enable its Chinese restaurant, which serves pork, to continue operating.
The segregation of the lifts – which were said to be monitored by CCTV cameras – were done on Jakim's recommendation as one of the conditions for the renewal of its halal licence.
Just like Sheraton, Crystal Crown's sign placed beside its service lift also caused controversy.
According to Jakim, the halal certification also refers to adherence to high levels of hygiene and food quality in addition to pork-free and alcohol-free conditions.