Over the past week you might’ve noticed this picture circulating around the internet.
A local hotel placed a “non-halal” sign on one of its lifts because it allegedly had to adhere to requirements set by the local authorities.
The news of this picked up 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.
While that may have been the intention of the hotel, many thought it referred to other non-halal activities and it caused a frenzy of retweets and outraged replies.
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?”
Meanwhile this morning, BFM News tweeted JAKIM’s reply to the incident:
The Islamic Development Department says there is no requirement for hotels to display ‘non-halal lift’ signs.
However, Jakim adds that premises can establish any mechanisms they deem appropriate, that comply with procedures set under Malaysia’s Halal Certification. https://t.co/jACniMB7aB pic.twitter.com/Ax0oZPQmZa
— BFM News (@NewsBFM) October 7, 2022
According to FMT, there is no clause in the Malaysian Halal Certification Procedure Manual (Domestic) 2020 and the Malaysian Halal Management System 2020 which stipulates that hotels or premises must display the “non-halal lift” sign.
“JAKIM would like to refer to a media report regarding a hotel in Kuala Lumpur that put a ‘non-halal lift’ sign on one of its elevators to move non-halal perishable goods.
“In the report, it was also stated that the instruction regarding the placing of the sign was a regulation stipulated by JAKIM,” it said in a statement today.