Recently, a frustrated Malaysian shared how he was interrogated by a restaurant staff despite already telling them multiple times that he was not a fasting Muslim
Last Wednesday, 14 April, Daniell Denis went to a famous fast food restaurant in Taman Sutera, Johor Bahru to have breakfast with a friend.
They were ordering from the restaurant's touchscreen menu when a staff walked up to him and said, "If you are Muslim, you cannot eat here."
Daniell answered that he was not and the staff left.
They continued to order, when the same staff approached him again and asked, "Are you sure that you are not Muslim? If you are Muslim, please just take away."
Daniell said he was initially fine with the questioning, as he knew it was the staff's job to stop Muslim diners from eating on their premises during Ramadan
However, he said, at that point, he started to get irritated with her tone.
"I replied, again, that I was not Muslim. But then she questioned 'What race are you?'. I told her that I'm Chinese and she went away," he wrote on Facebook, clarifying that his father is Chinese while his mother is Indian.
Finally paying for their orders and sitting down to wait for their food, Daniell said the staff came once again to his table to tell him, "If you are Muslim, can you please just take away?"
Not being able to stand the treatment he was receiving anymore, the customer silently whipped his IC out of his wallet to prove his ethnicity to her.
"But she immediately grabbed my IC and walked back to the kitchen. I had no idea who she was going to show it to. I quickly followed her and told her that it was wrong to simply take my IC like that, and she gave it back," he recounted.
When he thought he could finally eat in peace, what happened next made him call the manager
Daniell said he went back to sit down with his friend. However, since he was facing the counter, he saw several staff members looking in his direction and laughing at him.
"At this point I lost all patience. I didn't even want to eat anymore. I went to look for the staff and asked her to call out her manager," he said.
The customer related everything that happened to the manager, who apologised for the whole incident.
"I told her what happened very nicely, although I was burning with anger inside. And I told her that if I really was a Muslim, I wouldn't have been eating in the restaurant!"
However, most of all, Daniell said he was left disappointed and aggrieved that he was treated that way at such a famous fast food chain.
"I was treated like a criminal. I know I look like a Malay. But what else can I do but tell you? I'm Chinese," he said.
The Facebook user wrote that all he hoped was for the staff to learn to be more polite and to respect other human beings who walk into their store.
Netizens came to support Daniell and assured him that the restaurant staff overstepped her boundaries
"I don't think it's wrong that she wanted to confirm if you are Muslim or not. But the way she asked multiple times was definitely annoying," said a Facebook user.
"She should have asked only once and straight got your IC for verification, then back off and not make fun of you. It also isn't right to take another person's IC away from them. I'm sorry on behalf of Muslim people that you were disrespected and treated that way. So embarrassing."
Another user clarified, "Restaurants like these will get fined if indeed a Muslim is eating on their premises during puasa month. But I don't think they have such rights to interrogate in such a discriminating manner. They should be fired."
Meanwhile, many other netizens tagged their Chindian friends and together lamented how common this occurs to them during Ramadan.
A netizen said, "Take it easy bro. Relax. Chill. All of us Chindians go through this every year during puasa. Can't blame them. We do look like Malay and many of us speak Bahasa Melayu exactly like Malays too."
A restaurant in Petaling Jaya recently banned a customer from dining there ever again after he hurled racist remarks at a barista: