KUCHING, Nov 21 — Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii has strongly condemned the sacking of a restaurant employee in Kuala Lumpur for wearing a cross necklace.
He describes the move by Mon Chinese Beef Roti Restaurant as being ‘highly discriminatory, against the law, and a challenge to the freedom of religion in the country’.
According to Dr Yii, there is no legal basis on preventing non-Muslims from preparing halal food when all the strict requirements and standard operating procedures (SOPs) are being adhered to.
“The restaurant should have simply released a statement assuring the public that all guidelines on halal food preparations are being strictly followed.
“There’s no need to resort to sacking an honest worker who is simply exercising his right to express his faith,” said the parliamentarian in a statement.
He also expressed deep concern about the rising racial and religious intolerance in Malaysia, which he regarded as a threat to nation’s unity and harmony.
“What is unfortunate is that racial/religious intolerance is not only dividing our country, but in this case, it is causing an honest man to lose his job.
“This cannot be allowed to be a growing trend. We want to live in a harmonious society, where our diversity is respected and celebrated.
“Such a situation should not be allowed to fester and spread to Sabah and Sarawak where we have been living in harmony, and respecting each other and others’ belief even in a multi-religious setting,” he said.
Dr Yii thus called upon the government to take decisive action in addressing this issue and send a clear message that discrimination and divisive fear-mongering would never be tolerated.
In this respect, the MP called for the formulation of a comprehensive Anti-Discriminatory Act to standardise the understanding of discrimination and also, to effectively address such cases, particularly at the workplace.
Additionally, he urged the Unity Ministry and the Ministry of Education to intensify efforts to promote better education and awareness in combating the growing intolerance in Malaysia’s pluralistic society.
On Sunday, New Straits Times reported Mon Chinese Beef Roti Restaurant manager, who only wanted to be known as Sofia, confirming that the worker in question no longer worked there after being terminated.
She said the management, in apologising for ‘overlooking’ the issue of a staff member wearing a cross necklace, promised to be more attentive to the sensitivities of Muslims in the country.
Netizens however slammed the restaurant for sacking the employee, with some suggesting that the former worker sue the restaurant for religious discrimination and unfair dismissal.
X user Nina Nazri, in a post criticising the restaurant, said wearing a cross has no bearing on the halal status of the food served. — Borneo Post Online