11 November 2017
Now healthcare shop in JB rebuked for Malay-only policy
Political figures from Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional want incidences of racial segregation curbed by adding anti-discrimination rule in business licence.
PETALING JAYA: Politicians from both sides of the divide have denounced a move by a shop owner in Johor Bahru for setting up a Malay-only customer policy for his business which sells Japanese healthcare products.
The operator of the outlet in Larkin Perdana Park had reportedly claimed that the reason for the policy was that the attendants there were able to speak only in Malay.
The controversy of the policy comes in the wake of two laundry operators in Johor and Perlis that had imposed a Muslim-only policy before they were rebuked by the royalty in both states over the past two months.
Pakatan Harapan (PH) chief secretary Saifuddin Abdullah said enforcing measures to segregate people based on language and ethnicity would only serve to widen the gap between the various races.
“Recently there have been many concerns about tolerance among the races due to the issues that have cropped up in the country,” he said.
“It is better that the thinking, as shown in the policy imposed by the Japanese store in Johor Bahru, be curbed before things become more serious,” he added.
DAP’s Zaid Ibrahim criticised the rule, saying that the local authorities should take action against the operator.
“This is ridiculous. How can this be? I hope the local authorities do something about this,” the former law minister told FMT.
He said there should be a law to disallow people who want to run businesses from enforcing such prejudice-based policies.
“If you want to run a business, you need a licence. Set the rule there. Don’t allow discrimination,’ Zaid said, adding that “this kind of a thing” needs to be curbed before it spreads.
Meanwhile, MCA spokesman Ti Lian Ker said the deteriorating state of harmony among Malaysians of different races was worrying.
“Somehow along the way we are slowly losing our ability to live together as Malaysians, and co-exist in harmony, unity and stability,” he said.
“Race, culture, and religion are being exploited. This trend is dangerous and tearing the nation apart,” he said.
JOHOR BARU: A shop in Larkin Perdana, Johor Baru has sparked controversy after it posted notices at its entrance saying that only Malaysian nationals who are ethnic Malays are allowed to enter, according to a report by China Press.
The Malaysian Chinese-language newspaper reported that the shop, which sells Japanese healthcare and home products, also said in its notices that it only uses Bahasa Malaysia to conduct its “promotional activities”.
The name of the shop was not disclosed in the report.
According to China Press, notices in both Malay and Chinese were pasted outside the shop with the Malay notice saying: “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.”
Meanwhile, the Chinese notice read: “Chinese customers are encouraged to get the location for outlets that cater to the Chinese from the store manager and visit the location.”
The manager of the outlet told China Press that the company, which has a strong Chinese customer base, is trying to expand its market base to include more Malays and Indians.
Hence, it has set up outlets in Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur and Johor that only use Bahasa Malaysia to communicate.
The shop manager was quoted by China Press as saying that the company does not practice “racial discrimination” because they have other outlets in Johor and other states that are specifically for Chinese.
While admitting that she is worried about opening such a shop located in Larkin, a Malay majority neighbourhood, she reportedly said that it was just the company’s marketing strategy and was not meant to alienate Chinese customers.