McDonald's outlets in Miri removed the 'only halal-certified' cake notices after public backlash

Malaysia McDonald’s Polisi Halal Kek Harijadi

On 29 December 2016, McDonald’s Malaysia released an official directive saying that only halal certified cakes will be allowed into its outlets.

The move was heavily criticised by a lot of people, with many even threatening to boycott McDonald’s.

Sarawak consumer group condemns McDonald’s halal cake policy

Calling the fast food chain’s policy absurd, Consumer Voice of Sarawak calls for consumers to make McDonald’s the ‘last place for birthday celebrations’.

PETALING JAYA: A consumer group in Sarawak has joined the chorus of voices speaking up against the latest policy by McDonald’s in allowing only certified halal cakes into its outlets, The Borneo Post reported today.

Consumer Voice of Sarawak (Covas) president Michael Tiong said that the fast-food chain should not even think about enforcing such a policy in the state as it was “nonsensical”.

He believed any such rule would cause greater segregation and destroy the multi-cultural and multi-religious environment that the people of Sarawak had been living in all this time.

“We believe that the current move by McDonald’s is pure nonsense. If the cakes were produced by Muslims but if they were not certified halal, is the cake then immediately or automatically non-halal?

“Then all homemade cakes, even those made by Muslims, immediately become non-halal just because it is without certification,” he was quoted as saying by the Sarawak-based daily.

He called on Sarawakians to “fight back” against McDonald’s and make its outlets the “last place to go for birthday celebrations”.

Tiong’s remarks were in response to a confirmation by McDonald’s last Thursday on the new regulation.

McDonald’s confirmed that only certified halal cakes are allowed inside its chain of restaurants.

In a statement to FMT, McDonald’s said the policy was in compliance with guidelines issued by the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) for halal certification.

“As a company that offers only halal-certified products, we implement a ‘no outside food policy’ to ensure that all products served and consumed at our restaurants are halal.

“In the case of ‘birthday parties’ at McDonald’s, we have made an exception to allow customers to bring in their own birthday cakes as part of their celebration, provided that the cakes are certified halal.”

It said the policy was important to the integrity of its halal certification and it would continue to comply with Jakim’s standards.

Last Friday, the Centre for a Better Tomorrow (Cenbet) also waded into the “halal cake” controversy, saying Jakim’s halal certification should apply only to food served in F&B outlets and not food brought into the premises.

In a statement released , Cenbet co-president Gan Ping Sieu said Jakim should not penalise halal-certified eateries that allow diners who bring in non-halal certified food into their premises.

“There is no such thing as halal or non-halal premises,” Gan said.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

After boycott threat, Sarawak CM’s aide claims McDonald’s removed halal cake notices

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — Just a day after warning that McDonald’s halal-only cake policy could lead to a boycott in Sarawak, the Sarawak chief minister’s aide has claimed that the fast food chain’s outlets there have been told to remove such notices.

Michael Tiang, a political secretary of Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, said that the McDonald’s outlets in Miri were, to his knowledge, the only ones in the state to have put up the notices informing customers that only halal-certified cakes were allowed into its premises.

“However, today (yesterday) they had received an instruction from their headquarters to take down the notice to complement the tolerant spirit in Sarawak,” he was quoted saying by local daily The Borneo Post in a report published today.

Tiang said that McDonald’s’ quick action was a wise and positive response to Sarawakians’ protests against its policy barring cakes that have not been certified as halal from its premises.

“It is always Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s stand that racial or religious extremism has no place in Sarawak as Sarawak practises a culture of tolerance, moderation and mutual understanding towards all races and religions,” he also said.

According to The Borneo Post, a McDonald’s outlet at Permaijaya, Miri told the paper that it had never displayed such a notice and two other outlets similarly said so.

The paper said that a McDonald’s outlet in Sibu, Sarawak had taken down the notice after displaying it briefly.

Yesterday, The Borneo Post reported that Tiang had urged McDonald’s Malaysia not to extend its halal birthday cake policy to its outlets in Sarawak, as such a policy is “totally incompatible with Sarawak’s multicultural and religious society”.

“If McDonald’s Malaysia were to implement the same policy at its fast food outlets in Sarawak, I believe that non-Muslim consumers might resort to boycotting the fast food chain,” he was quoted saying in a statement.

On Monday, The Borneo Post reported consumer group Consumer Voice of Sarawak (Covas) president Michael Tiong as proposing that customers make McDonald’s “the last place to go for birthday celebrations” if it extended its halal cake policy to Sarawak.

Tiong had pointed out that halal certification was merely for convenient identification of whether a product is halal, but is not a determination of whether it is halal, citing scenarios such as home-made cakes by Muslims.

“We believe that the current move by McDonald is pure nonsense. If the cakes were produced by Muslims but if they were not certified halal, the cake is, therefore, immediately or automatically non-halal?” he had then questioned.

Last week, McDonald’s Malaysia confirmed that it has enforced a policy barring customers from bringing cakes without halal certification into its premises, explaining that this was to fulfill the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia’s (Jakim) requirements for halal certification.

Source: Malay Mail Online

McDonald’s Malaysia Clarification on the Birthday Cake Notice

We sincerely apologise for all the misunderstanding our notice regarding Halal birthday cakes has caused.

As a company that serves all Malaysians, we have never intended to discriminate against anyone. At McD, we have always practiced a “No outside food allowed” policy, but have made exceptions for birthday cakes as they are important for celebrating special occasions.

However, in order to maintain our Halal status, we have to ensure that all products consumed in our restaurants are Halal certified as required by JAKIM.

We sincerely thank all Malaysians who have given their thoughts and opinions. More importantly, we appreciate that you care enough to share your views with us, and we will continue to improve to make McDonald’s a place that is truly for all Malaysians

Team McDonald’s Malaysia

Penjelasan Mengenai Notis Kek Hari Jadi

Kepada pelanggan yang dihormati,

Kami memohon maaf di atas segala salah faham yang timbul berikutan notis kek harijadi Halal sebelum ini.

Sebagai syarikat yang memberi perkhidmatan kepada semua lapisan rakyat Malaysia, kami tidak berniat untuk mewujudkan diskriminasi terhadap sesiapapun. Di McDonald’s, kami mengamalkan polisi “Tiada makanan luar dibenarkan”; walau bagaimanapun kami membuat pengecualian untuk kek harijadi memandangkan ia penting dalam meraikan sesuatu yang istimewa.

Namun begitu, bagi mengekalkan status Halal, kami harus memastikan semua produk yang dinikmati di restoran kami adalah Halal, mengikut piawaian JAKIM.

Kami mengucapkan jutaan terima kasih kepada seluruh rakyat Malaysia yang telah memberi buah fikiran dan pendapat berhubung perkara ini. Apa yang penting, kami amat menghargai keprihatinan semua pihak yang berkongsi pandangan dengan kami, dan kami akan terus membuat penambahbaikan untuk menjadikan McDonald’s sebagai restoran pilihan untuk semua rakyat Malaysia.

Dengan Ikhlas,
McDonald’s Malaysia

Anderson Oxalis Tam: Your statement makes the situation even worse, you will be losing some of your non muslim customers.

2ndly, include birthday cake in your birthday party package. And NO OUTSIDE FOOD/DRINK is allowed.

3rd, truly malaysians? Dont sell beef products as there are a lot of buddhists and hindu friends who do not consume beef. If you cant do so, dont mention truly malaysian in your statement

Lavan Iswaran: Hi McD, plan on doing anything about your beef burgers? Hindus and Buddist don’t eat beef . Just saying. Or is this the usual double standard practice?

Feroz Yus Edorus: McD here is my thought… thats totally unnecessary step to take… ur restaurant never using plate to serve food like kfc did… so as I see there shouldn’t have any issue if the non-muslims bring the cake even it is non halal… Instead if ur restaurant using plate which will keep re-use by customer then this issue should be rise up… Halal is important to us as a muslim but pls dont juz simply judge and condemn w/out thinking the non-muslims feel. Thats not what Islam thaught us… Islam thaught us to respect other religions. This small issue juz make islam as a racial religion in non muslim eyes… so Sad…

Rajvir Pritam: Your last sentence…" we will continue to improve to make McDs a place that is truly for all Malaysians." Excuse me!! Indians, Sikhs and some Chinese DO NOT eat beef. But did we fuss over it? Did we ask you to stop selling beef burgers?? Jakim is seperating Malaysians. McDs … you dont have to be like Jakim.

Mohd Haffiez Mohmad Nazri: To be honest, I am disappointed with McD and JAKIM.

I was taught by my religion non-Muslims who pay tax to Muslim leaders are to be allowed to live and practise their faiths without persecution.

A wine-laced cake or any lard-based cake will never end up into your utensils let alone kitchenware.

Halal status is dictated by God in the holy Quran some 1400+ years ago and not by JAKIM.

First excuse given by you was quality and safety - totally out of sense and unacceptable excuse.

Now comes the ‘truth’ - all about halal issue, well more of certification issue. Which also doesn’t make sense since the air I breathe is the same air inhaled by pork eating and wine drinking people.

Utensils tainted by pork is never an issue as forbidden is to eat and if in direct contact, there is a way to cleanse. Indirect contact is never an issue, else we are forbidden from shaking hands with pork eating people.

Please both of you, #JAKIM and #McDonalds grow up!