The Malacca International Trade Center (MITC) in Ayer Keroh has reportedly closed seven stalls selling non-halal products at the Tastefully Food and Beverage Expo being held there, according to several media reports.
This follows images of pork-based products being sold at the expo going viral and drawing the ire of social media users.
MITC chief executive Abdul Wahab Ibrahim told Sinar Online yesterday that the stalls would also be ritually cleansed (sertu) according to Malacca Islamic Religious Department (Jaim) guidelines at the close of the expo tonight.
“We at MITC would like to apologise, and admit that this was a technical error involving the arrangement of non-halal food stalls that were supposed to be in a separate space.
“The order was made following discussions with the Malacca mufti Abdul Halim Tawil and Hang Tuah Jaya City Council mayor Mahani Masban,” he was quoted as saying.
Wahad added that this is the first time the incident has occurred in the four years since the expo was first held, and promised to be more cautious of Islamic sensitivities in the future.
Non-halal products at the expo were previously restricted to stalls set up in the car park area, according to The Star.
Sinar Online also quoted Dicky Lee, a spokesperson of expo organisers Lanceford Exhibition (M) Sdn Bhd, as saying that the expo was targeted at non-Muslims.
Lee added that up to 60 of the 170 stalls at the expo were selling non-halal products.
The expo, which began on Oct 12, is scheduled to end tonight.