Citizens in Brunei have sparked a lively debate on the Brunei Islamic Religious Council-issued directive, which prevents Muslim-owned restaurants from serving in-dining customers.
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.