What happened when a product packaging gone wrong or is it not? Nevertheless, here’s the case.
A Muslim consumers group today demanded authorities punish a mineral water bottler for using the image of a Hindu god on its labels, claiming its placement near a ‘halal’ logo was insensitive.
Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) claimed that it was wrong for bottlers Chuan Sin Sdn Bhd to use the image of Lord Murugan, a Hindu deity, on its labels as it was offensive to the country’s Muslim community.
“How can Chuan Sin place the picture of another god next to the halal logo? This is a very sensitive issue to the Muslims of the country.”
We want the police to investigate this matter and take the appropriate action, may it be the Sedition Act or any relevant act. Even if it is used to promote tourism in Malaysia. The problem is there is a halal logo there and in Malaysia, Islam is the religion of the constitution.
If they wanted to put anything there to promote Malaysia, they have to follow what is written by the constitution. We want action, we are not asking to give them a warning, because we see as an immeasurable accident.
Meanwhile, Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director- said that it is wrong to include an image of a deity from a non-Islamic religion on a product certified as halal. This contravened with article 6.3 of the packaging and labelling section of the Halal Malaysia certification procedures.
The article states that the halal logo cannot be used on products promoting non-Islamic religions’ festivals or symbols. Non-compliance can see the firm having its halal certification suspended Jakim director-general Othman Mustapha (left) said.
In response to the situation, the manufacturer made an immediate public statement:
A mineral water company said today it will remove all bottles with labels featuring Hindu deity Lord Murugan near its ‘halal’ logo, but urged for understanding that the slip-up was not meant to offend Muslims.
Chuan Sin Sdn Bhd, the firm that bottles the Cactus Natural Mineral Water, explained in a statement here that the photograph was actually of Batu Caves and was selected as part of the company’s promotion of tourism hotspots in Malaysia in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014.
This year, Cactus has been proud to support Visit Malaysia Year 2014 by featuring a new series of well-known attractions in Malaysia on its bottle pack label,” Chong said.
we would like to stress that it was never our intention to be disrespectful, cause unease or to offend anyone.
There’s no two ways about the matter so long as it’s blown in the public sphere, it became the talk of the town.
Datuk S. Vell Paari, the strategic director for the Malaysian Indian Congress opinioned,
I find the objection to be utter nonsense. And for the “something good” which emerged from this is that Hindus have been alerted about the issue.
Being a Hindu myself, I am outraged over the placement of the image of Lord Muruga on the bottles which will end up in the rubbish bin after the contents are consumed.
I would be similarly upset to find the images of other iconic places of worship in rubbish bins.
However, I do understand that the company embarked on the campaign with the good intention of promoting Malaysia’s tourism spots.
Perhaps the Muslim consumer group should also file a police report against the Tourism Ministry for citing Batu Caves as among the locations to visit or perhaps even exclude non-Muslims from tourism paraphernalia.
As for the argument that putting the image of Lord Muruga next to the halal logo might “confuse” Muslims, it clearly shows how “confused” this consumer group is about the faith of Muslims.
I strongly believe that the time has come for the government to repeal the Sedition Act and replace it with a Stupidity Act to rescue our beloved nation from being ruined by ignorant imbeciles.
An opinion from an ordinary citizen, Simitha T Singam:
At that agonising moment, I felt my intelligence being profoundly insulted, so much so that I felt my brain numb itself and form a shell around it to protect it from further agony. Is this what they call a brain stroke? It surely must be!
When I read this quote by PPIM’s Sheik Abdul Kareem, “If they sell it without using the halal logo, it won’t be a problem but when you have both, it will definitely cause confusion among the Muslim community,” I stared at the screen the same way I stared at my Add Maths test paper, which worried my teacher so much that she politely told me to not hurt myself and drop the subject.
After coaxing my brain to work again, I realised that I did actually understand it accurately: PPIM found Lord Muruga’s picture beside the halal logo confusing and insulting.
That aside, I really must ask the PPIM and Pewaris members: are you seriously that unsure of your faith that you could abandon the religion you were subscribed to all your life by merely looking at a tiny picture on an insignificant bottle of water?
If you are, then you need to go back to your primary level religious school. Something must have gone terribly wrong there, or were you just asleep at the back of the class while your teacher was speaking? Otherwise, if a mere picture can convert you, then you definitely aren’t a devout Muslim.
It’s sad to say but I have to agree with Mr. Vell Paari; we desperately need a Stupidity Act, for it is stupidity that’s contaminating Malaysia.
The Government’s feedback on the matter,
Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the manufacturer has no intention to insult Islam as the picture was merely to promote tourism.
“There are many things that can be considered sensitive as our country is multi-religious. We have to respect the feelings of all races,” he added.
He said the issue is not big as the water bottles can be removed from the shelves or the “halal” logo can also be re-adjusted.
On Muslim Consumers’ Association Malaysia (PPIM) lodging a police report for the mineral water company to be investigated under sedition, Nazri said, that this is a democratic country and they are free to do anything.
He however urged Malaysians to accept the company’s apology and move on instead of blowing it out of proportion.
“The company has done nothing wrong, and if it has removed from the shelves, then it’s a closed issue,” he added.
As a closure, learning from these “lessons” can be beneficial to avoid some of the pitfalls. So what do you think?