KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 — The National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) has reportedly urged the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) to also look into the handling of alcohol by Muslim cabin crew.

News portal Malaysia Gazette quoted the group saying that the issue has allegedly been a significant concern for decades but remains unaddressed.

“There may be a need for a new policy to be implemented to find ways to address how Muslim workers handle alcohol because it is part of their duties.


“Previously, an employee was reprimanded for refusing to serve drinks to customers,” Nufam was quoted saying.

The group made its remark following a remark by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs), Senator Zulkifli Hasan in the Parliament last week, saying that Jakim will consider a suggestion for convenience stores to use self-service machines to sell alcoholic beverages, so Muslim workers do not have to handle these items.

Responding to a question from Parti Amanah Negara’s Pulai MP Suhaizan Kayat, Zulkifli said Jakim welcomes public suggestions to address the issue of Muslims handling alcoholic beverages in the workplace.


Zulkifli also said that Jakim wishes to help Muslim workers intending to exit workplaces that sell alcohol, such as by providing these workers temporary financial assistance through zakat centres and state religious councils until they could be employed elsewhere.

Nufam said that while airlines are not obligated to serve alcoholic beverages during flights, it is a longstanding practice in international flights.

“Therefore, we believe that if Jakim wants to focus on overseeing these new regulations or simplifying policies and making new changes, let it be seen as fair to all Muslim workers, not just focused on specific industries,” it said.

Nufam also said that it is advocating for airlines to universally prohibit alcohol consumption, citing potential medical complications for passengers at risk due to excessive alcohol intake.

“This is because we have seen many cases of air rage and sexual harassment during flights involving intoxicated passengers,” Nufam added.

They added that change would be advantageous for Muslim workers in the country, particularly addressing the reservations and concerns that many workers have such as serving alcohol during the fasting month of Ramadan.