KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 22, 2010): There are no separate canteens provided for Muslim and non-Muslim students in schools.
Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi said all public schools have only one canteen that caters to all students.
"The ministry has issued a circular whereby only halal food can be served and sold in the school canteens. This applies to primary and secondary schools," he said in reply to Senator Dr S. Ramakrishnan today.
Ramakrishnan had wanted the ministry to state the number of schools in Malaysia with separate canteen because there are some schools that have a separate canteen for Muslim and non-Muslim students which may go against the spirit of 1Malaysia as a canteen can successfully foster the 1Malaysia spirit.
Mohd Puad, however, said that headmasters of Chinese and Tamil schools that employ Muslim staff or students must ensure that halal food is prepared separately for them.
He added that the ministry together with the health ministry had also published a book on guidelines to be followed by school canteen operators in 2008.
"The book has been distributed to every school around the nation and contains detailed guidelines, rules on food preparation, cleanliness and canteen management. It also includes all the circulars issued by the ministry on the matter," said Mohd Puad.