Pasir Gudang MP slams anti-Rohingya banner at Johor surau

The banner outside the Kampung Plentong Baru surau in Masai, Johor. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim has criticised a banner expressing anti-Rohingya sentiments hung outside a surau in Masai, Johor in the wake of the government’s announcement that only Malaysians will be allowed to attend congregational and Friday prayers once restrictions are loosened.

According to the village chief, he said, the banner was not installed by the surau committee.

He added that the village chief had been advised to take it down.

“A Muslim’s responsibility to fellow human beings is to protect those who are persecuted, like the Rohingya who have been mistreated by the Myanmar government,” he told FMT.

The banner in front of the Kampung Plentong Baru surau read: “We are not welcoming Rohingya to Kampung Plentong Baru. We do not need you here.”

The government had said that the restriction on foreigners was due to the recent spikes in Covid-19 cases within the community as well as to give priority to Malaysians because of limits on numbers and mosque space.

This sparked criticism from Islamic Renaissance Front founder and director Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa, who said the ban bordered on xenophobia.

He also urged the government to consider stricter health screening at mosques instead of barring foreigners from praying there.

The banner is seen as the latest in a spate of hate speech against the Rohingya following false allegations that a community activist had demanded citizenship.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Malaysia estimates there are some 101,000 Rohingya refugees in the country. They are not recognised as citizens by the Myanmar government.

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