Brunei bars Ramadan meal service
- Published: 29/07/2013 at 09:26 AM
- Online news:
BANDAR SERI BAGAWAN - The government has announced a total ban on daytime restaurant table service during the remainder of Ramadan, even for non-Muslims.
The Brunei Times said in a weekend story that restaurants were allowed to open and to sell takeout orders.
However, it said, even "non-Muslims are no longer allowed to eat in any restaurant owned or part-owned by Muslims in the daytime this Ramadan."
The $B12 lunch buffet at Choices restaurant in The Brunei Hotel is off until Aug 9, according to a new religious edict.
It said non-Muslims should show respect to Muslims, and not eat in front of them during daylight. Ramadan ends in Brunei on Aug 8.
The Brunei Times, in a quick canvass of restaurants, found last Saturday that most owners were unaware of the new order. It quoted the owner of a Malaysian restaurant and the operator of Gloria Jean's Coffees Brunei as saying they had not received any order covering food service.
An obscure and seldom enforced law in Brunei provides for fines for any Muslim who eats in public during Ramadan.
The newspaper said the edict came after a meeting on July 20 by the Brunei Islamic Religious Council, known as the MUIB.
The delays in publicising the ruling were not explained. Ramadan began on July 9 in Brunei, and the ruling was not made public for a week after the July 20 meeting.
Restrictions on Muslim food service are rare, but similar restrictions on food service have been made in the past in parts of Malaysia.
During Ramadan, Muslims are supposed to refrain from food, drink, smoking and sex during daylight hours. However, even for Muslims, there are many exceptions, including for sick people, the young and aged, and for those travelling.
The Brunei Times said the order banning sale of food for consumption on the premises applied to all businesses owned by Muslims.
"Non-Muslim customers are permitted to order a take-away to be consumed elsewhere," the newspaper said, quoting the acting secretary of the MUIB, Abdul Aziz Haji Akop. "It includes all fast food outlets as long as the owners are Muslim.
"It is not nice for Muslims to come in to buy a takeaway but at the same time see non-Muslims eating on the premises," he said.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
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