ISMA Chief Says Menu Rahmah Initiative Should Not Apply To Non-Halal Food Options

She said that non-halal food does not conform to the characteristics of Islam itself and therefore, should not fall under the 'Rahmah' initiative.

Cover image via Shazamawati Zam Hashari (Facebook) & New Straits Times

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A leader from religious organisation Wanita Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA) says that the Menu Rahmah initiative should not include non-halal food options

In February, New Straits Times reported Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub saying that the ministry is looking to include non-halal food options to the Menu Rahmah initiative.

However, according to a tweet by @TVPertiwi_MY, ISMA chief Shazamawati Zam Hashari said, "non-halal food should not be listed under the Menu Rahmah initiative that is implemented by the government."

She went on to add that the word 'Rahmah' comes from the verses of the Quran, and non-halal food does not conform to the characteristics of Islam itself.

The non-governmental organisation (NGO) received backlash after Shazamawati's words ignited a dispute in the comments section of the tweet

Many users clarified that the word 'Rahmah' is a word on its own, and does not originate from the religion.

Instead, "Rahmah is an Arabic word [that] means mercy, grace, and compassion," wrote a user.

Image via Twitter

Several others highlighted the fact that the word 'Rahmah' was a basic teaching, taught to them at their schools when they were younger. 

"Rahmah implies that God loves each one of his creation, including the non-muslims," commented the user.

Image via Twitter

Locals also found her statement plain selfish, insisting that this initiative was never meant to be for only Muslim men and women.

"When you want to order, you'll look at the restaurant and their menu first. This initiative is not for just Muslim men and women. This kind of mentality is frustrating," read the comment.

Image via Twitter
Image via Twitter

The Menu Rahmah initiative is aimed to relieve the burden placed on low-income households due the current rise in cost of living

Launched by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living, the programme was first introduced at local supermarket chain Mydin, and has slowly branched out to over 15,000 premises nationwide.

Salahuddin said that he hopes for the menu to be a zero-budget initiative, not reliant on government subsidies. 

Recently, a PAS MP received backlash for her take on the Menu Rahmah initiative, claiming it has potential to cause diseases:

Check out the local food establishments that are currently offering the affordable menu:

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