HUMAN rights activist and lawyer Siti Kasim has asked a pertinent question that is not only mind boggling but could make Malaysia being ridiculed further for bringing religion to an outrageous level: “So, what’s next (after service lifts)? Roads that carry non-halal stuff and Grab cars that carry passengers with non-halal things? Where does it stop?”
Her curiosity came about after a friend snapped a photo of “Non-Halal Lift” signage on a service lift of the four-star Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur hotel in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown (Petaling Street) vicinity.
“The segregation of halal and non-halal relates to the movement of goods and perishable items and is part of halal-certification requirements for the hotel’s back of house operations such as service lifts,” Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur later replied in a comment on Siti Kasim’s Instagram post.
“The management has also assured her that they have reworded the sign for ‘clearer understanding’,” added the hotel’s management.
According to The Star, the ruling by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) says hotels have to adhere to high levels of hygiene and food quality – in addition to pork-free and alcohol-free conditions – to maintain their halal certification.
While it can be understood as to why Malaysia has become the pioneer of halal gloves, halal soju (Korean alcoholic beverage) and non-alcoholic malt beverage, to name a few products, applying the same concept to lifts is tantamount to implying that the country may soon introduce ‘halal’ public transportation in the likes of buses, LRT/MRT or taxis.
Well, FocusM is at a loss for words to describe how this uniquely Malaysian situation is becoming more and more common with the halal benchmark becoming increasingly stringent and being applied at will across a myriad of products and services.
We leave our viewers with some food for thought courtesy of Siti Kasim’s Instagram followers. – Oct 6, 2022