PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malay Rulers are concerned that the unity and harmony in Malaysia are eroding as the nation faces an onslaught of racially controversial issues.
"In recent weeks, the actions of certain individuals have gone beyond all acceptable standards of decency, putting at risk the harmony that currently exists within our multi-religious and multi-ethnic society," said Keeper of the Ruler's Seal Tan Sri Datuk Seri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad in a statement on Tuesday (Oct 10).
"The Rulers are of the opinion that the damaging implications of such actions are more severe when they are erroneously associated with or committed in the name of Islam.
"As a religion that encourages its followers to be respectful, moderate, and inclusive, the reputation of Islam must not ever be tainted by the divisive actions of certain groups or individuals which may lead to rifts among the rakyat," the statement added.
He said the Malay Rulers appreciated the strong stance of Sultan of Johor and the Raja Muda of Perlis in condemning the Muslims-only laundrette as it demonstrated their commitment to ensuring Muslims behave with respect, moderation and inclusiveness.
He said Malaysians must continue to follow the core principles embedded in the Federal Constitution and Rukun Negara (National Principles) which was drafted on the bedrock that the diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds in Malaysia must be respected.
"(The Rukun Negara) must continue to serve as a compass to all parties, be they leaders, government officials and citizens of our country," he said.
"Unity among Malaysia's multi-ethnic and multi-religious people is key to ensuring the country's ongoing stability," he added.
Last month, the owner of a "Muslim-only" launderette in Johor apologised after he was ordered to remove the signboard limiting its services to those of the faith.
The Johor Ruler had ordered the launderette to immediately stop its discriminatory practice or risk being shut down.
Another launderette in Malaysia serving only Muslims had also been found operating in Perlis.
Perlis Mufti Mohd Asri Zainal Abidin, one of the vocal critics against the "Muslim-only" launderette in Johor, came down hard on the shop, making it clear that the state would not agree to any approach which segregated the people.