The 40-year-old owner of the controversial Muslim-only launderette in Muar has issued an apology for his discriminatory practice and agreed to serve all races
This change in his behaviour came after he was aptly castigated by the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, who had ordered the Muslim-only launderette to immediately stop its discriminatory practice or risk being shut down.
The Johor Sultan was reportedly visibly upset after hearing the news about the laundrette's discriminatory practice
"I cannot accept this nonsense. This is Johor, which belongs to Bangsa Johor and it belongs to all races and faiths. This is a progressive, modern and moderate state.
"This 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.
"I want the owner to apologise to me and the people of Johor. He has made Johoreans very angry and embarrassed because this is not the Johor we want.
"The owner has gone against the vision of a united, harmonious, moderate and tolerant Johor. If he still insists on carrying on the Muslim-only practice, he can leave Johor. I suggest he set up shop in Afghanistan. His thinking is sick and goes against everything that Johor stands for," The Star Online quoted the Johor Sultan.
Actions such as the launderette's owner, if not stopped, would lead to more narrow-minded actions in the name of Islam, the Johor Sultan said, adding that "the owner needs to have his brains cleaned up", reported The Star Online
The owner had changed the first sign of "Muslim-only" notice to "Muslim-friendly" after media picked up the news. However, the Johor Sultan saw through the ploy.
"Don't try to be clever. It's still the same," his Majesty said, adding that he wants to put a stop to such extremism as it has no place in Johor.
"I want to know where the owner of this launderette learn his Islam? Islam teaches the faithful to be tolerant and respect other people and faiths.
"I wonder where this launderette owner washes his clothes when he is overseas? Is he saying only the clothes of Muslims are clean and those of non-Muslims are unclean? That’s what he means, I believe," the Johor Sultan said.
The Sultan has now directed Johor Executive Council and all the councils to insist that any business owner who carries out such blatantly discriminatory practices should have their licences revoked. "Don’t mess around with your narrow-minded religious prejudices," his Majesty warned.
He said he could not keep quiet on the issue as if this was allowed to go unnoticed, “then next we will have taxis for only Muslims or non-Muslims", adding that he also did not want other races to carry out similar actions.
Johor Islamic religious affairs committee chairman Abdul Mutalip Abd Rahim, the religious council and the district council has been ordered to investigate the matter.
After being castigated by the Sultan, the launderette's owner said he was "only being a good Muslim"
The owner, who refused to give his name to the media, now hopes that the matter would be put to rest as he has stopped his Muslim-only practice.
"I will comply with Tuanku’s wishes to let non-Muslims use my laundrette. I would also like to say sorry to the Sultan and the people of Johor over this issue," FMT quoted the owner of the launderette as saying.