McDonald's has apologised for public misunderstanding over its notice that only halal birthday cakes be allowed on its premises.
"As a company that serves all Malaysians, we have never intended to discriminate against anyone," it said in a Facebook posting last night.
The fast food chain added it has always maintained a "no outside food policy", but made exceptions for birthday cakes.
"However, in order to maintain our halal status, we have to ensure that all products consumed in our restaurants are halal certified as required by Jakim (Islamic Development Department)," it said.
McDonald’s then thanked those who have shared their views on the cake policy, and said it would continue to make further improvements.
The company had caused a stir when a photo of a notice saying only halal birthday cakes are allowed on its premises was spread on social media on Friday.
The comments section of McDonald's Facebook page showed many were still upset with the policy, and have not accepted the fast food chain's explanation.
Halal for homemade?
Some said McDonald's statement did not address various concerns, such as whether homemade cakes were allowed.
"I am a Hindu, I do not consume beef or pork. I like to bake my own cakes. But since I am home based, I do not have Jakim certified halal logos on my cake.
"In my case, will I be denied entry into your premises?" Facebook user Prabha Thambyraju asked.
Others such as Pamela Tee also commented on whether the policy would regulate cakes that came from bakeries without halal certification.
"(It) means we can't just simply buy a strawberry shortcake from a Muslim-owned bakery which might not have Jakim approval - because those (certifications) need money!
“And many halal places did not apply for a licence - thinking it's non-alcoholic (and therefore not an issue)," Tee said.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of Islamic affairs Jamil Khir Baharom had previously said a lack of halal certification does not mean a food item or outlet is haram (forbidden in Islam).