Johor Sultan orders probe into anti-Rohingya banner outside surau

Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar says the banner has led to a lot of negative reactions towards the mosque and surau in the area. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has asked the state’s religious authorities to carry out a thorough probe into an anti-Rohingya banner hung outside a surau in Masai.

“I have also ordered the Johor Islamic Religious Council (MAINJ) and the village headman’s office to report their findings directly to me,” he said in a Facebook post.

The banner, he added, had led to a lot of negative reactions towards the mosque and surau in the area.

Sultan Ibrahim went on to urge everyone to stop spreading rumours and speculating on the matter as it would only cast a negative light on the people.

He also advised against posting statements on social media without checking as it could be slanderous.

On Tuesday, it was reported that the offensive banner had been placed in front of the Kampung Plentong Baru surau.

It read: “We are not welcoming Rohingya to Kampung Plentong Baru. We do not need you here.”

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

News of the banner came in the wake of the government’s announcement that only Malaysians will be allowed to attend congregational and Friday prayers once restrictions are loosened.

The government had said that the restriction on foreigners was due to the recent spike in Covid-19 cases within the community as well as to give priority to Malaysians because of limits on the number of people allowed to pray in the limited space and due to social distancing rules.

According to the village chief, the banner, which was also criticised by Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim, was not put up by the surau committee. It has since been taken down.

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