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‘Penguins, while cute, are halal to eat’, says former religious affairs minister Zulkifli Al-Bakri

However he insisted that some penguins of endangered species should be preserved.

KUALA LUMPUR – Former religious affairs minister Datuk Seri Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri has given his blessing for Muslims to consume penguins, adding that it was “cute” too.

He was answering a question posed by a netizen online who asked whether penguin meat was halal.

Cute and halal. However, there are some species such as the emperor penguin, which are endangered. Let’s altogether protect these animals,” he wrote on Twitter.

His tweet has since garnered 10.9K likes, more than 7k retweets, and sparked a lively discussion amongst Malaysians.

Some were unsure as to whether penguins were amphibians due to the fact that they spend much of their time in the water, while others believed that it was similar to a duck.

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Penguins don’t sleep underwater like crocodiles. They only go underwater to catch fishes for a little while,” one wrote.

'penguins, while cute, are halal to eat', says former religious affairs minister zulkifli al-bakri | weirdkaya
Photo via Twitter/ @drzul_albakri

Many were also curious how penguins can be slaughtered in a halal manner as its neck is barely visible.

'penguins, while cute, are halal to eat', says former religious affairs minister zulkifli al-bakri | weirdkaya
'penguins, while cute, are halal to eat', says former religious affairs minister zulkifli al-bakri | weirdkaya
Photo via Twitter/ @drzul_albakri

Others pointed out that while penguin consumption has been deemed to be halal, they should still be protected regardless of their species.

'penguins, while cute, are halal to eat', says former religious affairs minister zulkifli al-bakri | weirdkaya
Photo via Twitter/ @drzul_albakri

Some netizens also took the opportunity to share memes of penguins becoming frightened if they knew what “cute and halal” meant.

You can read the thread here.

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Cover image via Oceanwide Expedition & Astro Awani

Editor: Sarah Yeoh