In response to Namewee, a local entertainer who asked if organ donors should be indicated as Muslims or non-Muslims, the Ministry of Health has said that organ donors are not segregated by religion or other social criteria.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah explained that donors' organs are distributed based on clinical criteria, such as waiting times, and suitability between donors and recipients.

"Organ allocations are not based on race, religion, background, social standing and others," he said in a statement.

"This means that there is a possibility that organ donated by non-Muslims will be given to Muslims and vice-versa. The same goes for blood donations and transfusions," he added.

Islamic council clarified matter in 1970

Two edicts from the Muzakarah National Fatwa Committee Council in Islamic Affairs that were published in 1970 were attached with his statement. One stated that heart and eye donations were "harus" (encouraged), while the other stated that there was no need to differentiate between Muslim and non-Muslim blood.

"Many religious experts, including the mufti, had clarified this matter and explained that it is not an 'issue' if a Muslim receives organs and blood from a non-Muslim and vice versa," Dr Noor Hisham clarified.

This was in response to a video by controversial entertainer Wee Meng Chee or popularly known as Namewee, in which he questioned if his donor card should state that he was not Muslim.

Namewee said in the video that he wanted to avoid situations where he could be posthumously prosecuted in the event his "non-halal" organs are given to Muslims, mocking a local enforcement against pig-bristle brushes.

Increased awareness but still short of organs

The enforcement involved raids of hardware shops nationwide by the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (DTCC) Ministry, who consequently confiscated thousands of pig-bristle paintbrushes, for improper labelling.

The crackdown has since ended, with the DTCC ministry advising retailers to use proper labels instead.

Dr Noor Hisham also said that the MOH were appreciative of many Malaysians who have registered as organ donors or donated blood and invited more citizens to become registered organ donors at

He also added that Malaysian's awareness on the importance of organ donation has recently increased, with more than 350,000 people pledging themselves as organ donors. However, the country is still facing a shortage of organs.

For long-time organ donors, they are encouraged to apply for a new card to replace their old ones via or Twitter @dermaorgan. MIMS

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