Muar launderette imposes Muslims-only rule

PETALING JAYA • A self-service launderette in Muar, Johor, is limiting its clientele to Muslim customers.

The matter came to light when a photo, believed to have been taken at the launderette, showing an "Only For Muslims" sign went viral on social media. The sign also asked customers to remove their shoes before entering the premises.

The 40-year-old operator, who was interviewed by a Chinese daily on Saturday, said he was just carrying out his duty as a Muslim.

He said he welcomed Chinese and Indian Muslims to his launderette and that non-Muslims could visit other nearby laundry facilities.

He declined to comment on whether he had imposed the rules as he was worried that there might be "unclean" elements such as dog fur on the clothes non-Muslims brought to his launderette.

The operator also did not allow the reporter from the Chinese daily to take his photo.

The move came amid an increasingly conservative public stance taken by Malaysian Muslims in recent times, including the recent banning of a beer festival in Kuala Lumpur that had been held for five consecutive years, and an uproar in 2014 when a Muslim man organised a pat-a-dog day for his fellow Muslims.

Meanwhile, a Malay daily reported Johor mufti Mohd Tahrir Samsudin as saying that the Muar launderette's move was commendable as cleanliness is a priority for Muslims.

"This should not be turned into an issue as it only encourages negative perception from non-Muslims towards Muslims.

"I think it is a good move as Muslims will no longer be doubtful when using the self-service launderette," Harian Metro quoted him as saying.

The launderette's move has drawn mixed reactions from netizens, with some praising the move and others questioning its motive for segregating customers based on their religious backgrounds.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2017, with the headline 'Muar launderette imposes Muslims-only rule'. Print Edition | Subscribe