Everyone knows the hoary "Malaysia, Truly Asia" tourist slogan. It's meant to encourage planeloads of well-heeled infidels to come to Dar-al-Malaysia and spend their copious amounts of cash on vacations, retirement, etc. Expect the Campaign to get even more annoying in the next 10 months, as the country builds up for its 50th birthday next August.
Problem is, there are some very unpleasant things about living in the Melayu Islamic state. This retired married couple from the US, staying in a rented condo on the (supposed) tropical paradise island of Langkawi have recently learned that first-hand, to their everlasting chagrin.
Good luck getting that apology, let alone any compensation, Mr. Barnhart. Muslims don't apologise for their Sharia or for Islam, not ever, especially to infidels like yourself.
MR RANDAL Barnhart, 62, and his wife Carole, 61, left wintry Alaska four years ago to sail around a much warmer South-east Asia, and were considering idyllic Langkawi as a second home.
That was until two weeks ago when Islamic religious officers stormed their rented condominium after midnight.The officers, who were not accompanied by police, suspected the Christian couple of being Muslims committing khalwat, which is the crime of close proximity between two people who are not married to each other.
The incident could dent Malaysia's efforts to market itself as a model of tolerance among majority-Muslim countries.
The Barnharts, who have divided their time between South-east Asia and their home town for the past four years, were sound asleep when they were awoken by someone beating on their front door and yelling in Malay.
'I said 'Who are you?' and 'Go away'. They kept beating on the door and yelled 'Islamic police',' Mr Barnhart, a retired paramedic, told The Straits Times in a telephone interview.
He said he opened the door and came face to face with six Malay men dressed in the uniform of the local religious council. The men demanded to know how many people were in the apartment and said: 'You are a Muslim. We are coming in.
'Mr Barnhart told them he and his wife were both American citizens and Christians, but they demanded instead to see his 'woman'. He would not allow them into his home, but eventually allowed them to see his 'white wife dressed in a sarong, legs and shoulders bare', who was standing behind him.
'They showed no respect. They demanded to see our marriage certificate. This is unbelievable stupidity and I told them so,' Mr Barnhart said.The officers left only after Mr Barnhart showed them his and his wife's passports.
Mrs Barnhart was so traumatised by the incident, said her husband, that she flew back to the United States last week to be with her son in Chicago. 'I am outraged. I want a written apology and compensation,' said Mr Barnhart. He has made a police report and filed a complaint with the US embassy in Malaysia.
Tourism Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, who has been informed by the US embassy about the case, said he would meet Mr Barnhart soon after he got to the bottom of what happened.
The country's Islamic religious police have a reputation for being overzealous in conducting raids. Spot checks on hotels, nightspots and even private homes are relatively common as the religious officers try to catch Muslims engaged in immoral behaviour. Following complaints in recent years, the government has ordered that religious officers should be accompanied by policemen when conducting raids.But it is unclear why Mr Barnhart, who is not a Muslim, was targeted.
Ironically, Malaysia has been trying to attract foreigners to retire here under the 'Malaysia My Second Home' programme.'We were looking to buy a place here before this but that is now impossible,' said Mr Barnhart from the Langkawi Yacht Club where his vessel is berthed.
He said he would leave Langkawi for 'either Thailand or maybe Singapore' once repairs on his yacht were completed and his wife will join him after that.
Khalwat is a 'crime' under the monstrously backwards and primitive Sharia, an abomination of a legal system if there ever was one. It should disappear forever, as should Sharia and the stupid morons who work in the JAKIM (Malaysian Islamic Affairs Department) at taxpayer expense.