Friday, January 06, 2017

The removal of the halal cake notice from McDonalds outlet in Miri does not mean Sarawak is not affected by the discriminative policy

Media statement by DAP ADUN for Kampung Tunku Lau Weng San on 6th January 2017 in Petaling Jaya:

Political Secretary to Sarawak State Chief Minister, Michael Tiang, is too quick to conclude that McDonalds’ discriminative policy of disallowing non-halal birthday cake is lifted throughout all its outlets in Malaysia.

As McDonalds’ has pointed out in a statement dated 31st December 2016, the fastfood outlet has no intention to withdraw the ruling and one must aware that such ruling shall work throughout all its outlets in Malaysia. The removal of such notice from an outlet in Miri does not mean such ruling if lifted and is not inexistence anymore.

One must also be aware that such notice is not displayed in all McDonalds outlets. However, with the press statement issued by McDonalds dated 31st December 2016, it is crystal clear that such ruling is applicable all over Malaysia, regardless of whether the notice is displayed in its outlets or not.

Michael Tiang’s statement issued one day before the said notice was taken down from McDonalds’ outlet in Miri should never be regarded as a “ruling” or “directive” from the state government, as Michael Tiang is merely a political secretary in Sarawak Chief Minister’s office. 

In plain words, he is just a staff and he only represents himself. He does not even represent the Chief Minister unless he is instructed by the Chief Minister to issue such statement, let alone the state government. His statement can never be misunderstood as “directive or ruling from the state government”.

In fact, the halal certificate issued to McDonalds by JAKIM is applicable nationwide throughout all McDonalds outlets in Malaysia. Their three outlets in Miri and others in Sarawak, must abide by the same standards as laid down by JAKIM. “One Country Two Systems” does not work on halal certification in Malaysia.

In addition to that, one must not forget that for states like Penang, Malacca, Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territories, the head of the religion of Islam is the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong. Therefore, Michael Tiang must be aware that under such constitutional arrangement, the State Government of Sarawak may not enjoy full power on the religion of Islam, as in the case of other states with Rulers in the Peninsular.

At the same time, McDonalds must explain its action of removing such notice in its outlet in Miri as such action has caused certain confusions amongst consumers. Does it mean that McDonalds is exempting its outlets in Miri or Sarawak from such ban? If so, would it not affect its halal certification? 

Lau Weng San
ADUN Kampung Tunku

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