The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, has ordered a launderette to immediately stop its discriminatory practice or risk being shut down by him, reported The Star.
“This is not a Taliban state and as the Head of Islam in Johor, I find this action to be totally unacceptable as this is extremist in nature,” he told the daily.
The local self-service launderette in Muar recently kicked up a storm among Malaysians, with it’s controversial “Muslims only” service policy stated on a large sign at the front of the shop. It drew comments on social media from members of the Johor royal family and state authorities.
Sultan Ibrahim added: “The owner has gone against the vision of a united, harmonious, moderate and tolerant Johor. If he still insists on carrying on the Muslim-only practice, he can leave Johor.”
“I suggest he set up shop in Afghanistan. His thinking is sick and goes against everything that Johor stands for.”
Sultan Ibrahim asked for an apology from the owner of the launderette for upsetting the city.
He has also ordered state Islamic religious affairs committee chairman Abdul Mutalip Abd Rahim, the religious council and the district council to conduct investigations.
To prevent other businesses from following the launderette’s example, Sultan Ibrahim stressed that any business owner who carries out such blatant discriminatory practices will have their licenses revoked.
Ms Teo Nie Ching, a Member of Parliament for Kulai, called for more anti-discrimination laws in Malaysia so that there would not be a need for royal intervention should a similar situation emerge.
While she believed that Johoreans were lucky to have the Sultan speak up for progressiveness and modernism, she questioned if other states in Malaysia would have reached a similar outcome.
On Wednesday, the laundrette owner apologised for his actions and said he would remove the sign.
“I was not aware about it at first. I was only informed about Tuanku’s comments after my friends alerted me and and forwarded me the news article,” he added.
The owner said that he took down the sign on Wednesday morning.