How a smart alec puts Berry’s Cake House in a quandary with his bigotry halal interpretation

AFTER sparking a massive furore which threatens a nationwide boycott among its loyal customers, Berry’s Cake House Sdn Bhd has apologised over its misinterpretation of JAKIM (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia) halal certification over piping the Merry Christmas greeting on its cakes.

The apology once and for all over-ruled the viralled internal memo dated Dec 14 by the bakery’s operations manager Daniel Teoh who instructed outlet staff not to entertain any customer request for Christmas greetings on cakes. Instead, customers will have an option of a “Seasons Greetings” cake topper.

“The incident occurred due to our misinterpretation of our halal certification requirements. Following the clarification from the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs), there are no restrictions on halal certificate holders writing celebratory festive greetings on cakes for customers to take home,” clarified Berry’s in a notice to customers.

“We deeply regret any inconvenience caused to all our valued customers. We are most happy to take orders with celebratory festive greetings.”

Infuriated netizens including Muhammad Nasri Bin Azhar took to Facebook (FB) to express fascination as to how operations manager Teoh could have misunderstood JAKIM’s halal ruling while also questioned JAKIM’s ruling.

“How could Daniel Teoh be Berry’s operations manager when JAKIM says something yet he understands something else?” the netizen penned on his FB page. “What JAKIM meant is that the cake sold by halal premises can accept customer reservations to pipe “Merry Christmas” but cake bearing such greeting cannot be displayed at the store.”

Added Muhammad Nasri: “At the same time, I also feel weird about JAKIM. When did God decree the law that the halal status of a cake can become non-halal with display of the “Merry Christmas” greeting? Could it be either that Berry’s attempts to outsmart JAKIM’s ruling or JAKIM tries to outsmart God’s ruling?”

Now that the matter has been clarified, it seems that netizens are training their guns at Teoh and his employer with netizen Pete Joe Rock urging “non-Muslims to look for other bakeries if you need pastries or cakes. Boycott these racist and fanatic outlets.”

Whatever the case is, Berry’s owner is well aware that the storm Teoh has cooked up with his internal memo is a costly one for the sales value of manufactured bread, cakes and other bakery products in Malaysia was worth approximately RM12.48 bil in 2022 or a slight increase compared to the previous year, according to data provider Statista. – Dec 18, 2023

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