Owner of Muslim-only laundrette apologises after rebuke from Johor Sultan

dobi-layan-diri-Elit-Laundry-di-Muar-en-1GEORGE TOWN: The owner of a laundrette in Muar, Johor, who has been in the spotlight for restricting his clientele to Muslims only, has apologised and agreed to serve all races.

This followed a reprimand from Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar who had told the owner to open his laundry in Afghanistan if he wanted to continue with his “Muslims only” business policy.

“I will comply with Tuanku’s wishes to let non-Muslims use my laundrette. I would also like to say sorry to the Sultan and the people of Johor over this issue,” the Elit Laundry owner told FMT in a phone call today.

Sultan Ibrahim had voiced his displeasure over the matter, saying the laundrette’s policy was an embarrassment.

“I cannot accept this nonsense. This is Johor, which belongs to Bangsa Johor and it belongs to all races and faiths. This is a progressive, modern and moderate state.

“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,” the Johor ruler was quoted as saying by The Star today.

A picture showing a sign outside the laundrette with the words “Only For Muslims”, had gone viral on social media. The sign was reported to have been changed to “Muslim Friendly”, after an intense debate among netizens online.

The owner, who had run the laundrette for a year and is in his 40s, hoped that the matter would now be put to rest.

In the interview with The Star, the sultan had also warned other businesses practising discriminatory practices that their licences might be revoked as he intended to impose the ruling through the state executive council.

“Don’t mess around with your narrow-minded religious prejudices,” Sultan Ibrahim was quoted as saying.

The sultan has also ordered state religious authorities to investigate the shop.

“I want to put a stop to such extremism. Extremism has no place in my state. We take pride in being Bangsa Johor and I want to know where the owner of this launderette learnt his Islam?

“Islam teaches the faithful to be tolerant and respect other people and faiths,” Sultan Ibrahim said.