Owner of Pumbaa’s, Suresh G, said he’s operating a non-halal business in a Chinese kopitiam and does not intend to mislead anyone.
In light of the recent controversy surrounding Pumbaa’s pork nasi kandar, stall owner Suresh G told the New Straits Times that he had no intention to mislead anyone.
Suresh said his store is registered as a non-halal business and operates in a non-halal store. The rented stall is in a Chinese kopitiam so there’s no issue with selling non-halal food like pork.
Suresh shared that the words “non-halal” are clearly stated in each of the stall’s social media posts and on the stall’s signage. Even the business logo shows the image of the animal.
He had been operating Pumbaa’s for the past three weeks in the kopitiam in Damansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya before he caught wind of the Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma)’s views about the stall.
Presma found the video promoting “nasi kandar babi” to be misleading and was afraid it would mislead Muslims into dining at Pumbaa’s.
I’m just trying to make a living. I sell this food specifically in a Chinese shop, not in residential areas. So, my customers are typically non-Muslim. This menu has been my brand since the beginning of this stall. I haven’t thought about stopping. Besides, it’s a specialty here because the idea and branding are like that.Owner of Pumbaa’s, Suresh G
Presma president Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan said netizens should understand the origins of nasi kandar before commenting on the issue.
He insists that nasi kandar was originally introduced by mamaks (Indian Muslims) so nasi kandar is perceived as halal food.
Nasi Kandar Babi creates confusion among customers. It has made Nasi Kandar a questionable term, creating negative implications as it has always been perceived to be halal. Of course, we cannot ask the name of Nasi Kandar to be given exclusively to us (the Indian Muslim community). But mislabeling it is the crux of the argument.Presma president Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan
After Suresh gave his explanation, Jawahar said he had to accept it as Suresh clearly stated he wasn’t selling to Muslim customers.
Jawahar said he has no issues with nasi kandar babi as long as it’s not sold in mamak restaurants or any halal eateries.
Jawahar said he and Presma ultimately respect the rights of others to enjoy delicacies as they want since Malaysia is a multiracial and multicultural country.
Obviously, we have no right to say that a certain dish must be halal or served in a certain way.Presma president Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan
However, he blamed netizens for thinking the mamak was selling non-halal food like nasi kandar babi.
He said the word “mamak” should not be tainted and should be observed to mean a halal eatery.