Sabah’s picturesque Kota Kinabalu City Mosque has now been closed to foreign visitors as of yesterday.
The move came after a short video clip of two women, both believed to be foreign, emerged, showing them performing a K-pop dance routine on one of the mosque’s walls, while a third individual recorded them.
Officials had opened the mosque to tour groups, hoping that it would spread a positive message about Islam to visiting tourists. Tour guides, and a visitor center were opened to support the initiative. Nearly 1,000 tourists had visited the mosque since the agreement to open its doors was hatched.
Datuk Jamal Run Sakaran, the mosque’s chairman, has said that it was incredibly disappointing, as many signs were visible throughout the grounds, reminding tourists to observe the rules of the compound.
Jamal has said that mosque officials will now meet with tour agents to discuss how to move forward, adding that the grounds will be engaging more volunteers to ensure the public complies with proper mosque decorum when it is re-opened.
Sabah’s Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry has said that Sabah is a multi-racial and multi-religious state, and that the incident is being treated lightly. Once the individuals have identified, they will take strong action against them, as well as their tour group operator.
Paywall: You’re outta here, Coconuts stories are free for all
We have removed our paywall on all Coconuts stories. This does not mean the end of COCO+ Membership at all, but the value proposition is changing.
Rather than being a transactional subscription – whereby you pay for access to content – it is now a true membership program – whereby Coconuts stories are free for everyone but super-fans can monetarily support our independent journalism, and get added member benefits.
If you'd like to support Coconuts, you can become a COCO+ Member for as little as US$5 per year. Thank you!