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JAKIM Says Halal-Certified Bakeries Can Write 'Merry Christmas' On Cakes

JAKIM's clarification comes in response to a notice from a bakery instructing its employees not to decorate cakes with "Merry Christmas or X'Mas".

Cover image via FMT

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The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) has issued a statement refuting claims that halal-certified bakeries are barred from writing "Merry Christmas" on cakes

JAKIM's clarification comes in response to a notice from Berry's Cake House, instructing its employees not to decorate cakes with "Merry Christmas or X'Mas", citing compliance with halal certification requirements.

The controversy, which gained traction on social media, stemmed from an internal circular dated 14 December 2023, titled 'Not Allowed To Write The Word of Merry Christmas or X'Mas On Cakes', prompting JAKIM to reiterate their stance on the matter.

In a statement on social media, the federal government agency said it had addressed the issue on 25 December 2020, and 1 November this year.

In the statement, JAKIM said premises holding a Malaysia Halal Certification (SPHM) faced no restrictions in writing any form of celebratory greetings on cakes or similar items

"Once again, we would like to inform you that there is no obstacle for Malaysian Halal Verification Certificate (SPHM) holders to write any form of celebratory greetings on cakes and other similar items," it said in a statement on 16 December.

In a statement on 1 November, it said: "JAKIM stresses that festive greetings are allowed on products if they were not made to be displayed in the premises that have the halal certification or on products marked with the halal logo. There are no provisions that address any festivities, let alone Islamic festivities, under the Malaysian Halal Certification Procedure Manual (Domestic) 2020."

Meanwhile, Malaysiakini quoted Minister in the Prime Ministerโ€™s Department (Religious Affairs) Mohd Na'im Mokhtar as saying that there is no ban on writing festival greetings on cakes sold by halal certificate holders for customers.

"I have instructed the halal department to issue an immediate statement which explains the matter clearly, especially to halal certificate holders. I have also asked them to produce a video on the issue to ensure everyone understands," Na'im added.

Following JAKIM's clarification, FMT reported that they were able to successfully purchase a cake with the greeting 'Merry Christmas' written on it

FMT also reported that Berry's Cake House in Subang Jaya has removed its notice.

When asked about the supposed ban, the shop assistant told FMT that she was shocked when she read the company memo, as the bakery had been decorating its cakes with Christmas greetings for years.

"...and this year suddenly we're not allowed. But never mind, they have removed it," she added.

The internal memo from Berry's Cake House to its to employees was widely shared on social media.

Image via FMT

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