No move to ban or make hot dogs haram, Islamic affairs minister clarifies

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom says Jakim will hold a discussion with food outlet Auntie Anne over the halal certification. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom says Jakim will hold a discussion with food outlet Auntie Anne over the halal certification. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — Religious authorities do not have a problem with the name "hotdog" and will not attempt to declare the sausage-based food as “haram,” Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said today.

Speaking during a press conference at the Parliament lobby today, the Islamic affairs minister said that the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) will hold a discussion with food outlet Auntie Anne over their halal certification.

Jakim recently urged a name change for Auntie Anne's "pretzel dog", leading to widespread criticism from the public and on social media.

"What matters for us is the ingredients, not the name. That is the priority. I too have had hotdogs. There is no question of us wanting to ban or making hotdogs haram," Jamil Khir explained.

“We do not intend to change the status of any food that is established and popular, like hotdogs,” he added.

However, he said that name changes sometimes do take place to give better meaning to food or places.

“Like we had Batang Berjuntai, which became Bestari Jaya, we have Pantai Cinta Berahi which became Pantai Cahaya Bulan.

“Name changes happen from time to time just to give it better meaning,” Jamil Khir said.

Earlier, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said that he hoped Jakim would be able to take public opinion into consideration when making decisions.

“I think Jakim has the ability and flexibility to take in public opinions,” he said.

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