PETALING JAYA - Running a business during Ramadan, including one that deals with food and beverages, is not prohibited in Islam, said the Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma).
The important thing is the adab (etiquette), said Presma president Noorul Hassan Saul Hameed.
"You don't eat in the open. You don't blatantly show off your food," he said, responding to media reports last week that Islamic affairs au-thorities had advised Muslim eating outlets not to sell food to Muslims before 3pm during Ramadan.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom reiterated yesterday that the move was to discourage people from skipping their fast, adding that the respective state religious councils have the power to enforce this prohibition.
Noorul Hassan said it was an "irrational" move.
"There are groups, during Ramadan, exempted from fasting," he said, citing travellers, sick people, pregnant and menstruating women and small children.
Noorul Hassan said it would be a "short-sighted solution" to prevent people from buying meals from Muslim shops as consumers could easily buy water and bread at the nearest 24-hour convenience store.
He questioned why the ban did not apply to other halal food operators, such as fast-food chains and food courts in supermarkets.