As someone once said: “Now is not the time to be on the wrong side“. Well, in an effort to avoid that, the manager of Mon Chinese Beef Roti Restaurant in Bukit Bintang recently fired her worker for wearing a cross necklace. Unfortunately, the act might have backfired instead.
We’re all for dressing right for the job. But, firing someone over a necklace might be a bit too much. Netizens are now wondering if this manager was in the right for letting her alleged Chinese-Muslim employee go after he was seen wearing a necklace of a cross while at work.
On 18th November, footage of the Muslim-friendly, Mon Chinese Beef Roti Restaurant at Bukit Bintang went viral, but not for good reasons. The group of photos uploaded to TikTok highlighted a worker they had spotted who was wearing a songkok and a necklace of a cross. “(The model) wears a songkok to look halal and Islamic,” they claimed, while pointing out the cross hidden under his shirt.
The allegations apparently caused a stir, reportedly offending some customers, and making others question the integrity of the restaurant. Supposedly, some even suspected the eatery of lying to them about their workers being Muslim. Mon Chinese Beef Roti Restaurant manager, Sofia (27) came forward yesterday (19th November) to reassure Malaysians that the issue had already been taken care of.
According to Sofia, they had already let the staff member go. She also apologised for overlooking the issue. “I admit it was a mistake on the management’s part for not doing a thorough background check of our ex-employee. He (the ex-employee) had already been fired by management before I even knew about the viral issue, and (we) apologise for the mistake,” she told Berita Harian. Sofia then emphasized that the rest of their staff, four from China and one local, were all Chinese-Muslims.
However, not everyone was happy with the outcome. Twitter netizens especially were quick to question the decision. “Wearing a cross is an issue now?” one asked. Another said: “This isn’t right. Wearing a cross does not affect the halal status of the food.” Several also claimed the decision was “unfair” to the worker and questioned the connection between wearing a cross at a halal eatery.
“He wasn’t breaking any SOP related to the preparation of food which could make someone sick or poison them, (which would) warrant being let go,” one pointed out. “As a manager, maybe you should just advise him to cover (it up) like how we are told to cover up tattoos when we work. Please don’t persecute people.”
Netizens have mostly been siding with the employee, with several calling for a boycott on the restaurant. One even questioned them, saying: “Wearing a cross (also) makes you (people) complain… why is your faith so thin like thosai?” Others have since advised the employee to bring their case to the labour department, citing unfair dismissal.
For those not in the know, Mon Chinese Beef Roti Restaurant previously originated from China and was made famous thanks to their beef buns. However, as Sofia told Berita Harian, the restaurant is currently still working towards earning their halal certificate but has allegedly been conforming to it.
It must be a tumultuous time for the ex-employee of Mon Chinese Beef Roti Restaurant. Like many others, we sincerely hope his manager reconsiders his case. Otherwise, we wish him luck in finding a new job, soon.