The chief political secretary to Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem has clarified that the CM did not made any statement relating to fast food chain McDonald's policy on halal cakes.
"The statement made by one of the political secretary from SUPP relating to McDonald's policy on halal-certified cakes was made in his personal capacity.
"The CM did not make any statement relating to the issue," said Abdullah Saidol in a statement today.
He said further that McDonald's is a business entity with their own policies and businesss decisions, which the state government neither had an interest in or wanted to interfere with, barring infractions of laws of business guidelines.
"I just don't understand how an issue of halal or non-halal of some cake can cause religious and racial extremism. McDonald's in Singapore has similar policies. Are we going to see extremism in Singapore?" he asked.
Abdullah added that the state government's policy is that Sarawakians must remain united in diversity and shun prejudice.
"I believe the majority of Sarawakians are matured enough not to be disturbed by this trivial issue. Racial and religious bigots are the last thing we need in Sarawak," he said.
He said that peace and harmony must prevail in the plural Sarawak society over political agendas, whereas sensitivities must be observed.
"Any person who fails to subscribe to this sentiment and act like a chauvinist must be despised," he stressed.
While Abdullah did not name names, it was believed that he was referring to the statement made by Adenan's political aide Micheal Ting.
Yesterday Ting reportedly told the Borneo Post that McDonald's decision to take down its halal-cake notice policy was a "wise move" and a positive response to the strong objections from Sarawakians.
He added that McDonald's should not extend its policy of disallowing cakes without halal certification into its premises in the state.
“It is always Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem’s stand that racial or religious extremism has no place in Sarawak as Sarawak practices a culture of tolerance, moderation and mutual understanding towards all races and religions,” Ting was quoted as saying.
McDonald's has received brickbats by some over the newly-unveiled policy, though others saw no harm in it.
It was revealed that the policy was part of the requirements for the halal certification of its business premises, something which the chain had implemented since the 1990s in Singapore. -Mkini