Jakim: No plan to ban ‘ pret­zel dog’

> De­part­ment more con­cerned with in­gre­di­ents of prod­ucts seek­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion


KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian De­part­ment of Is­lamic De­vel­op­ment (Jakim) has no plans to ban “pret­zel dog” from pop­u­lar food chain Aun­tie Anne’s.

Min­is­ter in the Prime Min­is­ter’s De­part­ment Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Ba­harom said Jakim does not in­tend to de­clare as haram any es­tab­lished food prod­ucts “un­suit­ably” la­belled with words such as “dog”.

Jamil, who is min­is­ter in charge of Is­lamic mat­ters, said Jakim is more con­cerned with the in­gre­di­ents used to make the prod­uct, be­fore a ha­lal cer­tifi­cate could be is­sued.

“We are not go­ing to de­clare as haram, food prod­ucts that are al­ready pop­u­lar.

“There is no is­sue of Jakim with­draw­ing the ha­lal cer­tifi­cate of the res­tau­rant as they are still ap­ply­ing to Jakim,” he said.

“We do not go to a res­tau­rant without ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and tell them to shut their busi­ness,” he told a press con­fer­ence at the Par­lia­ment lobby here.

Jamil said the mat­ter was turned into a hot is­sue by a fake state­ment made vi­ral on so­cial me­dia that tried to put Jakim at fault.

“It is un­true as Jakim had never de­clared (the prod­uct) as haram,” he said.

“The ob­tain­ing of a ha­lal cer­tifi­cate is vol­un­tary and any­one can ap­ply but it is sub­ject to rules and con­di­tions.”

Jamil said Jakim will be hold­ing a dis­cus­sion on the sta­tus of Aun­tie Anne’s ap­pli­ca­tion for ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Jakim’s ha­lal divi­sion di­rec­tor Dr Si­ra­jud­din Suhaimee said Aun­tie Anne’s ap­pli­ca­tion had failed due to in­com­plete pa­per­work. “It was a gen­eral state­ment made based on the pro­ce­dures in the ap­pli­ca­tion,” he said yes­ter­day.

Un­der Jakim’s 2014 Ha­lal Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Cir­cu­lar No. 2, prod­ucts must not be de­scribed with words syn­ony­mous with non-ha­lal prod­ucts or “con­fus­ing” terms such as “ham, bak kut teh, ba­con, beer, rum, hot­dog, char siew” and the like, and must not be a lo­cal and im­ported fin­ished prod­uct that are re-la­belled without un­der­go­ing any pro­cesses in Malaysia.

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

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

She said the ini­tial ap­pli­ca­tion was for all 45 out­lets in the coun­try, and fol­low­ing Jakim’s de­ci­sion, Aun­tie Anne’s would change all its outlet menu boards be­fore pro­ceed­ing with a new ap­pli­ca­tion for ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Our front page re­port yes­ter­day.

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