SINGAPORE: Johor's Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar on Wednesday (Sep 27) threatened to shut down a launderette in the Malaysian state if it did not stop its discriminatory policy.
A photo of the Muar launderette began making its rounds on social media over the weekend showing a sign outside its premises which read "Only for Muslims", along with instructions for customers to remove their shoes before entering.
"Johor is not a Taliban state and as the head of Islam in Johor, I find this action to be totally unacceptable, as this is extremist in nature," report quoted the sultan as saying.
“I want to put a stop to such extremism. Extremism has no place in my state. We take pride in being Bangsa Johor (Johoreans) and I want to know where the owner of this launderette learnt his Islam? Islam teaches the faithful to be tolerant and respect other people and faiths.”
Sultan Ibrahim has reportedly now ordered religious officials in the state to investigate the matter - and demanded an apology from the owner.
“I want the owner to apologise to me and the people of Johor," he told The Star at the Istana Bukit Serene. "He has made Johoreans very angry and embarrassed because this is not the Johor we want."
The owner’s actions Sultan Ibrahim said “went against the vision of a united, harmonious, moderate, tolerant Johor”, adding that he can leave Johor if “he still insists on carrying on the Muslims-only practice”.
According to the reporter , the owner replaced the “Muslims-only” sign with a “Muslim-friendly” one, a move which did not find favour with the sultan.
“Don’t try to be clever. It’s still the same. The owner needs to have his brains cleaned up,” said Sultan Ibrahim.
The reporter report also quoted the sultan as saying that he will direct the state’s executive council to revoke the licenses of businesses that carry out blatant discriminatory practices.
“Don’t mess around with your narrow-minded religious prejudices,” he said.
On Monday, the sultan’s son, Tunku Idris Sultan Ibrahim, said he was "appalled" by the launderette's "extreme" actions.