Take action against ‘deviant’ laundrette owner, urges ex-minister

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PETALING JAYA: Former Umno leader Zainuddin Maidin has asked the government to take stern action against the controversial Muslims-only policy of a launderette in Johor.

He said such behaviour is considered deviant socially and abnormal to practise in a multiracial society like Malaysia.

“It is provocative and creates ill feeling among the non-Muslims unnecessarily.”

He expressed fear of more similar businesses sprouting up if no stern action is taken against the owner.

“If they (government) allow this matter to slide quietly, others might follow. It might endanger our future,” he told FMT.

Social media has been abuzz with a photo of a self-service launderette in Muar, Johor, with a signboard informing that its service is only for Muslim customers due to hygienic reasons.

The shop owner has defended the controversial policy, saying he was “only carrying out my duty as a Muslim”, he told a Chinese daily on Saturday.

Zainuddin said such a practice will divide Malaysians further.

The former information minister said the business owner had smeared the name of Islam in Malaysia as all races have been living in harmony previously.

“We cannot allow this to happen. We are not Arabs.”

He further said Malaysia was paying the price of communal politics, causing people to be more narrow-minded.

“I grew up in a kampung. My neighbours were Indians and Chinese. We lived like a community, sharing things.”

However, he said the practice of the launderette in Muar will become the norm if the owner is allowed to continue his business by segregating the public.