Malaysia Chronicle


THIS Christmas, Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s wish is for the Covid-19 vaccines to work effectively and bring life back to normal.

“We have been dealing with this pandemic for almost a year.

“High hopes are placed on vaccines that may be able to restore some normalcy to life,” Dr Mahathir said in a statement today.

The two-time prime minister said Covid-19 has significantly changed the way festivals are celebrated and that this year’s Christmas would not be any different.

He urged everyone to have confidence the pandemic, which has been a challenge to many, would eventually come to an end.

“This time the celebration is in an imperfect state, unlike previous years.

“Malaysians have had to experience these unavoidable restrictions and constraints resulting from Covid-19 in several other festivals.

“While waiting for this to be achieved, we need to strengthen our spirit so that feelings of stress and sadness do not envelope us. We need to have confidence that behind every darkness there is definitely a light that will illuminate life,” he said.

The nonagenarian hoped that those celebrating Christmas will find joy and peace with their families and loved ones.

“Hasmah and I would like to take this opportunity to wish a Merry Christmas to all Christians.

“May our humanity stand out and bring a brighter light of joy in this celebration,” he said.

Putrajaya recently announced it has secured a deal with Pfizer to purchase 12.8 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine.

Another agreement was also signed with AstraZeneca for the procurement of 6.4 million doses of its vaccine. THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

Festive wishes are allowed on a product if it is produced not to be displayed on the premise that has been certified halal. — Reuters
Festive wishes are allowed on a product if it is produced not to be displayed on the premise that has been certified halal. — Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 24 — Halal-certified bakeries are not prohibited from taking orders meant for non-Islamic religious celebration provided that the products are not displayed in the premises, minister Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad clarified today.

Responding to a report over a shop that allegedly refused a customer’s order to have a cake decorated with the wish “Merry Christmas”, the minister in charge of religious affairs said such a message is allowed contrary to the report — provided that it is not for display.

“Any festive wishes is allowed on a product if it is produced not to be displayed on the premise that has been certified halal or on a product with the halal logo,” Zulkifli wrote on his Twitter account.

“There are no specific prohibitions for other religious celebrations other than Islam in the Manual Procedure for Halal Certification (Domestic) 2020.”

“To put it simply if shop B with a Jakim halal certificate bakes a cake with a religious celebration wish for display then it is not allowed, but if shop B had prepared the cake that was ordered by A that has a religious celebration wish it is permitted,” he added.

MalaysiaNow reported that a customer was shocked when he received a cake with “Happy Holidays” when he had requested that it be decorated with the wish “Merry Christmas.”

The report said the store had refused so since in the process of getting a halal certificate, and then quoted an anonymous officer with the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) claiming that the halal logo issued by the Halal Management System cannot be used to promote other religions.

Jakim, the federal Islamic affairs department, is the sole authority for all matters related to halal certification.

Zulkifli said Jakim representatives have contacted the MalaysiaNow journalist to explain.

He expressed hope that his explanation would end the controversy. In his concluding tweet, he wished Christians peace and good health.

“I hope my explanation can diffuse any misunderstanding,” he wrote.

“I hope followers of the Christian faith in Malaysia are blessed with peace, good health, happiness and prosperity in the years to come,” he said.MALAYMAIL

THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT / MALAY MAIL

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