STUPID back­ward!

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE - G. SURACH

PETALING JAYA: Tourism and Cul­ture Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz yes­ter­day crit­i­cised the Depart­ment of Is­lamic De­vel­op­ment Malaysia (Jakim) for its de­ci­sion to deny ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to pret­zel store fran­chise Aun­tie Anne’s over the use of the term “pret­zel dog” on its menu.

De­scrib­ing the de­ci­sion as “stupid and RE­PORT ON back­ward”, the Umno supreme coun­cil mem­ber said Jakim had no rea­son to make an is­sue of the term as “pret­zel dog” did not mean the food item con­tained dog meat.

“Hot dog (or pret­zel dog) has al­ways been known to be a west­ern food. It comes from the English lan­guage. (They) should not make us seem stupid and back­ward.

“A hot dog is a hot dog even in Malay. We

have been eat­ing it for so many years. I’m a Mus­lim and I’m least of­fended by it at all. It has never en­dan­gered my faith,” he told the­Sun when con­tacted yes­ter­day.

Mean­while, Pasir Mas MP and PAS Youth chief Nik Mo­hamad Ab­duh Nik Ab­dul Aziz said there should be no prob­lems with food op­er­a­tors us­ing the term “hot dog” to de­scribe sausage-based food prod­ucts.

He said the term “dog” in con­text should not be a prob­lem as it has been com­monly used to de­scribe a cooked sausage dish.

So­cial ac­tivist Datin Paduka Ma­rina Ma­hathir, in her Face­book page on Tues­day, had said: “Oh we poor, eas­ily con­fused Mus­lims who have never heard of hot dogs be­fore and who will have no choice but to buy one if one was on the menu.”

Their re­sponses came as thou­sands of ne­ti­zens crit­i­cised Jakim’s de­ci­sion af­ter Aun­tie Anne’s did not re­ceive ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion due to the pret­zel dog menu item.

Sev­eral so­cial me­dia users also ques­tioned the ha­lal sta­tus of food and drink items such as A&W’s “root­beer” and “coney dogs” and hot dogs fol­low­ing Jakim’s di­rec­tive.

It is learnt that Jakim had called on the Aun­tie An­nie’s fran­chise to change the name of its pret­zel dog to “pret­zel sausage” as the depart­ment could not ap­prove the word “dog”.

Even as Jakim’s de­ci­sion earned the de­ri­sion of many, Fed­er­a­tion of Malaysian Con­sumer As­so­ci­a­tions (Fomca) vi­cepres­i­dent Mohd Yu­sof Ab­dul Rah­man has come out with a state­ment call­ing on food pro­duc­ers and res­tau­rant op­er­a­tors to avoid words in­clud­ing “beer” and “dog”, as it would con­fuse Mus­lims.

He said Jakim should also be more cau­tious when is­su­ing ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to en­sure such is­sues do not arise once the com­pany is awarded the cer­tifi­cate.

Also toe­ing the same line is Malaysian Mus­lim Con­sumers As­so­ci­a­tion (PPIM) lead ac­tivist Nadzim Jo­han, who said Aun­tie Anne’s should be more mind­ful of the sen­si­tiv­i­ties of Mus­lims and that Jakim’s guide­lines are in line with Is­lamic teach­ings since the word “dog” is inappropriate.

The is­sue was first high­lighted af­ter Aun­tie Anne’s qual­ity as­sur­ance and ha­lal ex­ec­u­tive Farhatul Kami­lah Mo­hamed Sazali said the pret­zel fran­chise had sub­mit­ted sev­eral names for a food prod­uct and was await­ing a de­ci­sion from Jakim’s panel.

In her Face­book post­ing on Mon­day, she said the “pret­zel dog” name had to be changed fol­low­ing Jakim’s di­rec­tive.

She added that fol­low­ing Jakim’s de­ci­sion, Aun­tie Anne’s will change its en­tire menu board be­fore pro­ceed­ing with a new ap­pli­ca­tion for ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

... KL po­lice chief Com­mis­sioner Datuk Amar Singh Ishar Singh with the Rolls-Royce Phan­tom and Lam­borgh­ini Aven­ta­dor worth RM3.4 mil­lion seized from a busi­ness­man in Kuala Lumpur.

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