JB's 'Malays only' shop draws attention

A shop that sells Japanese healthcare and home products in Larkin Perdana, Johor Baru, has raised eyebrows with its "Bahasa Malaysia only" notice.
A shop that sells Japanese healthcare and home products in Larkin Perdana, Johor Baru, has raised eyebrows with its "Bahasa Malaysia only" notice. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

JOHOR BARU • A shop that sells Japanese healthcare and home products in Larkin Perdana, Johor Baru, has raised eyebrows with its "Malays only" notice, following a controversy in Johor last month over a Muslim-only launderette.

The outlet visited by the China Press newspaper displayed a notice that only Bahasa Malaysia would be used to conduct all promotion sessions. The notice, in Malay and Chinese, asked ethnic Chinese interested in its products to visit its other outlets that cater to the Chinese community.

The outlet's manager told the daily that the company, which was not named by the report, was trying to expand its customer base to include more Malays and Indians, hence the promotion in Bahasa Malaysia only. The firm has other outlets in Perak, Kuala Lumpur and Johor that also use only the Malay language to deal with clients, and this was only a marketing strategy, she said.

The Johor Sultan last month ordered a Muslim-only launderette to remove its signboard, deeming the action by the shop owner in Muar, Johor as "extremist". The shop complied.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2017, with the headline 'JB's 'Malays only' shop draws attention'. Print Edition | Subscribe