It's not even been two months since Johor Sultan castigated a launderette owner for his discriminatory practice of running "Muslims only" business, and now there's another business in Johor that is prohibiting non-Malays or non-Muslims from its premises
According to a report in China Press, a shop selling Japanese healthcare and home products in Larkin Perdana, Johor Baru, has put up notices at its entrance saying that only Malaysians who are ethnic Malays are allowed to enter.
The notices, which were in both Malay and Chinese, also said that it only uses Bahasa Malaysia to conduct its "promotional activities".
"Please be informed that we will only use Bahasa Melayu for all promotional activities. Only Malaysians who are MALAY are allowed in. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused," the notice in Malay said, reported China Press.
The shop manager, who claimed they do not practice "racial discrimination", said it was just the company's marketing strategy
According to the manager, apart from the outlet in Johor the company has also set up outlets in Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur that use Malay only because the company was trying to expand its market base to include more Malays and Indians.
The company has one outlet in Klang, Selangor, that uses Chinese as the medium, the manager told China Press, adding that having different premises for different races is only a marketing strategy.
Additionally, the manager has defended the decision saying that the reason non-Malaysians as well as ethnic Chinese and Indians were not allowed to participate was because they would not be able to understand the product demonstrations.
"As we are dealing with health products, it requires the consumer to fully understand the instruction given to them when we conduct product briefings. It is dangerous to the consumers if the products are not used properly."
Customers who were not Muslims were stopped from entering
According to a report in NST Online, on Wednesday, 8 November, a 48-year-old man wasn't allowed into the shop's premises in Larkin Perdana.
The manager showed disappointment with how her staff treated the customer, she said that "even if a customer is not allowed to join the briefings, our staff will normally give a phone number for the customer to get information about our other products or refer them to our headquarters for other promotions."
And a Malaysian Chinese who works at a hairdressing salon next to the store in Johor was quoted by Channel NewsAsia saying that whenever he has tried to purchase a ticket to one of the seminars he was stopped by the management.
"They wouldn’t allow me in and told me to go to KL instead. Why would I go so far just to see what they have," the Malaysian Chinese, who is in his 50s, said, adding, "The government says One Malaysia and all that, but these companies still discriminate."
The Japanese healthcare company identified as Kyosei Marketing conducts four sessions a day and those who wish to attend the seminars are required to pay RM1, reported Channel NewsAsia
There were around 50 Malay customers who were seated inside waiting for the demonstration to start, reported Channel NewsAsia whose reporter visited the store on Friday afternoon, 10 November.
The report added that two workers were standing outside the store to collect payment for tickets and at the same time were ensuring that neither non-Malays nor non-Malaysians entered the premises.
"We've had some Chinese locals trying to purchase a ticket, but we can’t let them in. We gave them info on some of our other outlets they can go to instead," the manager was quoted as saying by Channel NewsAsia.
Meanwhile, Johor Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Cooperatives Ministry Director Khairul Anwar Bachok said that the Ministry will check whether the shop is abiding by all requirements
"We can take action if premises are involved in false advertising such as if it claims to sell halal products when it does not. But in this case, we will do the necessary checks first," he was quoted as saying by NST Online.
What do you think of the store's "Malays only" policy? Do you think it's discriminatory? Share your thoughts by commenting below.