PETALING JAYA: There are no restrictions on halal certificate holders writing celebratory festive greetings on cakes for customers to take home, says Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar (pic).
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) said he has asked the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) to clarify the issue immediately.
"No barring of writing festival greetings on cakes sold by halal certificate holders for customers.
"I have instructed the halal department under Jakim to issue an immediate statement which explains the matter clearly, especially to halal certificate holders. This will be done as soon as possible.
"I have also asked them to produce a video on the issue to ensure everyone understands," he said.
This followed an internal memo from a cake house purportedly telling staff not to write Merry Christmas or X'Mas on their cakes, even on request from customers.
Instead, employees were told they could provide a "Season's Greetings" cake topper.
In the circular dated Dec 14, 2023 and signed by the bakery's operations manager, the justification for the decision was to comply and meet the halal certification requirements by Jakim.
The bakery's owner has yet to respond to queries about the purported circular.
On Nov 1, Jakim addressed a similar issue due to another article about using the "Merry Christmas" greeting on cakes.
"Jakim stresses that festive greetings are allowed on products if they were not made with the purpose of being displayed in the premise that has the halal certification or on products marked with the halal logo.
"This is because there are no provisions about the celebration of any festivals including Islamic celebrations stated in the Malaysian Halal Certification Procedure Manual (Domestic) 2020," the department said at the time.