KUALA LUMPUR: A top hotel here placed a “non-halal” sign on one of its lifts because it had to adhere to requirements set by the local authorities.
The hotel came under fire after lawyer and social activist Siti Kassim posted a picture of the “non-halal lift” on social media and questioned the rationale behind it.
A hotel spokesman explained that they had to have “halal” and “non-halal” lifts for the movement of goods and perishable items.
“It is part of the halal certification requirements.
“We have since reworded our signage for clearer understanding,” said the spokesperson.
Siti, meanwhile, said hotels should be brave enough to question the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) over the implementation of such rules.
“Why the separate lifts? Is it to avoid cross-contamination? I think this cannot be a reason. There can be cross-contamination with cash, in public transport, and even through donated blood.
“Business premises have to abide by a lot of rules to get halal certification, but they should also be brave and ask questions. Fight legally,” she said.
“Sometimes, I blame people for just accepting these rules. Why are we keeping quiet?”
As of press time, Jakim has not responded to The Star over the issue.
Many Star Online readers were also irked by the situation, with one reader even highlighting that raw material in lifts do not touch the floor or the walls of the lift. They are properly packaged.
This is not the first time that “non-halal lift” issues have arisen.
In 2013, a similar incident took place at a hotel in Petaling Jaya.
A signboard beside three lifts stated: “This elevator is only for transporting halal goods. For non-halal goods, please use the staircase.”
The hotel, not wanting to evict its long-time Chinese restaurant tenant, was also obeying Jakim’s rules on the transport of non-halal food as part of its licensing requirements.