All the McDonald's outlets in Miri have removed the 'only halal-certified' cake notices, following a directive by the Sarawak state government that has deemed the move unwelcome in the state's harmonious society
Yesterday, 5 January, the McDonald's outlets in Miri received instruction from the headquarters, asking them to take down the only halal-certified cakes allowed in McDonald's' notice to "complement the tolerant spirit in Sarawak".
Michael Tiang, the political secretary to Sarawak's Chief Minister Adenan Satem, said this in a statement yesterday.
"As far as I know, Miri’s McDonald’s outlets were the only ones in Sarawak that followed in the footsteps of their Semenanjung counterpart to display the relevant notices at their premises," said Tiang.
Dubbing McDonald's Miri's decision to take down the 'halal cake' notice as a wise move, Tiang said that it serves as a positive response to the harsh criticism and opposition by Sarawakians towards the "unpopular" policy
He also went on to urge McDonald's to not extend its new policy of only allowing cakes that are certified halal by JAKIM to be brought into its outlets in Sarawak. According to him, it is not in line nor is it welcome in a harmonious society like Sarawak's.
"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 explained.
Just yesterday, Tiang stressed that consumers were entitled to reject "unreasonable requirements" and could also boycott these restaurants if it comes down to it.
"Sarawak cannot condone any religious or racial extremism which would only destroy the solidarity among Sarawak people," said Tiang in a statement.
Meanwhile, according to the Borneo Post's checks at a McDonald's outlet in Permaijaya in Miri, they apparently claimed that they had never put up the notice to begin with.
The same was said by two other McD's outlets they checked with.
However, an outlet in Sibu confirmed to Borneo Post that they had put up the notice briefly before taking it down.
McDonald's has a total of 13 outlets in Sarawak and three of it is in Miri.
In the midst of this new halal-only cake policy, McDonald's Singapore came forward to reveal that they have been practicing this much criticised policy for the past 25 years already
Singapore's Channel 8 News reported that all the McDonald's outlets in Singapore requires its customers to produce a halal certificate for the cakes they bring into the fast food restaurant.
According to Malaysiakini, a McDonald's spokesperson confirmed this matter and added that they have been practicing this since obtaining their halal certification from the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore in 1992.
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.
Just a day later, on 30 December 2016, McDonald's Malaysia released another official statement apologising for the "public misunderstanding" over the halal cake policy.
"As a company that serves all Malaysians, we have never intended to discriminate against anyone," read the statement on McDonald's Facebook page.
They also thanked people for their views on this new policy and stressed that they will continue to make further improvements to ensure that McDonald's remains a place that is "truly for all Malaysians".