WHILE social media users praised the Malay rulers for making a clear stand on religious intolerance, many questioned Putrajaya’s silence on the issues which could divide the country.
The Malay rulers today released a statement supporting the Johor Sultan and Perlis Raja Muda’s stance on disallowing Muslim-only launderettes in their states and upholding respect, moderation and inclusiveness in a multicultural country.
Facebook users took this opportunity to slam the ruling government for their weak response on the contentious issue.
“The rulers have made their stand clear. What about the government?” asked Lee Tai Wah.
“What say you BN govt. Why the silence from Umno,” said Goh Nelson.
Joshua Wijaya and Kingsley Robson both said that the people are harmonious, instead it was the political parties which are dividing the country.
“Rakyat sentiasa harmony. Tapi parti politik Umno, Perkasa, PAS memisahkan rakyat untuk politik dan agama mereka,” said Joshua.
(The people are harmonious but the politics of Umno, Perkasa, PAS are dividing the people for political and religious gains.)
Robson commented, “The problem is not the rakyat. It’s the leaders and all its politicians.”
Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar of Johor had reprimanded a launderette owner in Muar last month for allowing only Muslim customers, saying that it was not a “Taliban state”.
In Perlis, state mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainab Abidin investigated a similar case in Kangar on the instruction of the Raja Muda of Perlis.
Prime Minister Najib Razak came out with a response after Sultan Ibrahim’s rebuke, praising the launderette owner for taking down the sign. He also said the government remained committed to championing moderation.
New Phiaw said the statement from the Malay rulers was a welcome change from the responses from other parties and was hopeful that it could bring change.
“A breath of fresh air. We see the light at the end of the tunnel,” New wrote.
Ann Stanley hoped that the rulers would start taking up other issues as well.
“It is high time the Rulers start addressing the major issues as well,” she said.
However, not everyone had praise for the rulers. Twitter user cina™ (@YouTiup) saw it as a return to feudalism.
“Dysfunctional, or as a friend puts it, ‘a return to feudal saviours as politics fail’,” he tweeted.