CUHK agrees to build Muslim canteen in 12 months

'Give us 12 months, we will meet your request,' says CUHK's Vice-Chancellor Joseph Sung

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 July, 2013, 11:05am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 July, 2013, 11:09am

Days after a Muslim student at Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) appealed to the university authorities to build a Muslim canteen which offers halal food, CUHK’s Vice-Chancellor Joseph Sung promised to deliver such an eatery to cater to the needs of its  Muslim community.

“Give us 12 months, we will meet your request,” wrote Sung on Facebook on Wednesday, responding to a letter posted by Wang Yunan, a Muslim student from Beijing.

Wang had discussed in his letter the frustrations of living on a campus without a canteen offering halal food - dishes prepared and cooked under Islamic dietary guidelines.

Wang also mentioned the fact that Hong Kong University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Hong Kong Polytechnic University all have Muslim canteens - or halal food sections. He said this encouraged him to press his alma mater to upgrade its facilities.

Wang was pleasantly surprised when Sung replied to his letter days later, promising to make some changes.

“We need to cautiously consider all factors when making such a decision, including location of the cafe, providers, the kinds of food offered, and the general demand from students,” Sung wrote in an email to Wang. Sung said CUHK will continue seeking the best scheme for the muslim canteen.

“To have a Muslim canteen is not the ultimate purpose of my proposal,” Wang said, “The goal is to have minorities and people from different cultures respected.”

Karen Cheng, a public relations manager at CUHK, said restaurants in the university were run by different providers. She said the university would follow standard tendering procedures when introducing a new service.