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Sun Oct 26 08:57:25 SAST 2014

Man detained in Malaysia after allowing Buddhists to use Muslim prayer room

Sapa-dpa | 13 August, 2013 11:36
A Muslim woman using a prayer room. File photo.
Image by: MANSI THAPLIYAL / REUTERS

Malaysian police have detained a beach resort owner for allegedly allowing a group of Buddhists to pray in the establishment's Muslim prayer room over the weekend, a police official said Tuesday.

A local court in Kota Tinggi town in Johor state, 290 kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur, on Tuesday approved the remand of the suspect for four days while he is investigated for defiling a place of worship, said an officer who asked not to be named. The offence carries a penalty of up to two years in jail.

The 45-year-old resort owner is a Singaporean national with permanent resident status in Malaysia.

Villagers chased the Singaporean Buddhist tourists out of the resort on Saturday after footage of their prayer session at the resort's Muslim prayer room was uploaded on to the video-sharing website YouTube.

The angry villagers took the group to a nearby police station. The members of the group were asked to leave and returned to Singapore.

Approximately 61% of Malaysia's 29 million people are Muslims. Another 20% are Buddhist, 9% Christian, and around 6% Hindu.

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