LAST_UPDATETue, 19 Jun 2018 12am

After Muslim-Only Launderette, Another Shop In Johor Welcomes 'Malays Only'?

A shop selling Japanese healthcare and home products in Taman Larkin Perdana, Johor Bahru, is raising people’s hackles with its ‘Malays only’ policy.

The shop’s policy came to light when a 48-year-old man complained that a staff of the shop denied him entry to the premises last month, China Press reports.

The man, who was unhappy with the discrimination, told the staff that he would lodge a complaint with the Johor Menteri Besar but the staff reportedly replied, “Malays have a Malay shop, Chinese have a Chinese shop.”

When the daily’s reporters visited the shop, they found notices in Malay and Chinese pasted outside the door.

The Malay notice read, “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 inconveniences caused.”

The Chinese notice below it 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 daily was informed that the company has penetrated the Chinese market 25 years ago and has now matured, and are looking into expanding their market base to include more Malays and Indians since a year and a half ago.

The shop manager said that the company does not practice “racial discrimination” because they have other outlets in Johor and other states that are specifically for Chinese.

In order to explore a new market, the manager said they opened branches in Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur and Johor, used only Bahasa Melayu as the medium and opened to Malay and Indian customers only.

She said that the Chinese already know about the company’s products and are welcomed to branches that are specifically opened for them, and added that the company had previously prioritised the Chinese customers because their products were not halal certified when it was first introduced.

While admitting that she is worried about opening a Muslims-only shop located in a Malay majority neighbourhood, she said it was just the company’s marketing strategy and was not meant to alienate Chinese customers.

Last September, the Sultan of Johor had ordered the owner of self-service laundrette to apologise or face closure for offering services to Muslims only, and said that the owner can leave Johor if the owner still wanted to continue with the policy.