Malaysia: Chinese Year Of The Dog Images Removed To Avoid Offending Muslims

From the Express:
BUSINESSES marking the coming Chinese Year of the Dog in Malaysia have stopped displaying images of canines on their decorations and souvenirs over fears it will upset Muslims who live in the country and consider the animals unclean.

The country has a large Chinese population who are preparing to welcome in the new year.

But some shopping malls have decided not to have images of dogs, sparking an online backlash, CNN reported.

Malaysia has a growing Islamic population, with many Muslims observing the practise of ritually washing themselves if they come into contact with a dog.

One shopkeeper at the Sunway Pyramid near Kuala Lumpur said: “This is a multiracial country, when they do something like that it shows disrespect to the Chinese race here.

“If this is the case they should just make this only an Islamic country, but we have Buddhists, Hindus and other religions as well here.”

Another shopping mall in the popular Kuala Lumpur tourist area of Bukit Bintang did not depict dogs in its decorations ahead of the new year, focusing instead on the 10th anniversary theme of the centre, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.

Director of Marketing Kung Suan Ai said religious and cultural sensitivities were a determining factor in decorations.

She said: “One of the considerations we take in when we work on decoration concepts for Pavilion KL is to create something highly experiential and also to be socially accepting for all.”

But Chinese Malaysian Wong Wei-Shen, who has several dogs as pets, said businesses were being “ridiculous”.

He said: “It’s a shame because Malaysia is a multicultural country. To dismiss the fact that the Chinese have a dog as one of the zodiac animals is unfair.

“Every zodiac animal has its good attributes, and the dog represents a guide, a best friend, a comforter and loyal friend.”

Twelve animals, including a dog and a pig, another animal Muslims consider as unclean, make up the traditional Chinese zodiac….

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