Malaysia sultans stress unity amid Muslim-only launderette controversies

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Malaysia sultans have stressed the importance of unity and  racial harmony in Malaysia, in the light of recent incidents that have threatened to divide the country.

Two recent incidents involved Muslim-only launderettes in Muar, Johor Baru and Perlis that only allowed Muslims to make use of its facilities, a move that the rulers strongly condemned.

A statement released on Tuesday (Oct 10) on behalf of the Malaysian sultans and signed by the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, said that citizens need to understand and respect the principles that are embodied in the country’s Constitution and condemned the divisive actions of individuals who threatened the unity of the country.

“Recently, the extreme actions of a few individuals have raised concerns that the harmony among various religions and races may be affected.

“The rulers believe that issues of unity have deeper implications, especially if they are associated with and done in the name of Islam. The image of Islam as a religion that promotes tolerance, humility and inclusiveness among its followers must not be tainted by the extreme actions of some.”

However, despite the stern warnings from rulers, some religious leaders have come out in support of the Muslim-only launderettes.

Johor’s Mufti Mohd Tahrir Samsudin reportedly said he welcomes the launderette’s move as some Muslims have doubts about cleanliness at such facilities.

The statement also said that the racial and religious unity was an important part of ensuring stability in Malaysia.

It added that this unity could only continue if Malaysia continued to uphold the guidelines laid out by the Rukun Negara (National Principles) and to continue observing the societal values stated in the Malaysian Constitution.

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