11/09/2019, 09.33
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Wedding dresses in the Catholic cemetery: Storm of critcism on Malaysian dress maker

The video of a promotional photo shoot goes viral on the internet.  The images depict Islamic women posing next to Christian tombs.  The parish priest: "We forgive them".  The people involved risk a one-year prison sentence, a fine or both.



Kluang (AsiaNews / Agencies) - He was looking for an "out of the ordinary"  marketing ploy: the owner of a traditional Malaysian wedding dress shop - of Islamic inspiration - commissioned a photo shoot in a Catholic cemetery, sparking heated controversy on social media.  The episode dates back to last November 3rd.  In recent days, the video that depicts several women posing next to the tombs in the cemetery of the parish of Saint Louis in Kluang, in the State of Johor (Peninsular Malaysia) has become viral on the internet.  Users reacted with disdain, judging the film as offensive and in bad taste.

Following the clamor caused by the images, the parish priest of the church, Fr.  Peter Ng Lai Huat, declares that there are plans to improve security in the cemetery.  "The church - he said - knew that strangers had entered that day and had taken photos and recorded videos.  I talked to them and advised them not to publish anything online. "  Fr Peter adds that the women left immediately and apologized.  "We forgive them," adds the pastor.

The store's owner, 26-year-old Nur Amirah Mohd Amiruddin, posted a five-minute apology video online and said she was willing to take full responsibility for what happened.  "Please - her words - don't blame the models, the photographers and the make-up artist.  They knew nothing and I admit that what I did is wrong.  I hope the photos and videos can be deleted, even though I know it's impossible. "

Meanwhile, the head of Johor's Criminal Investigation Department, Md Yusof Ahmad, announced that he had questioned some of the people involved in the incident, including Nur Amirah Mohd Amiruddin.  "So far nobody has been arrested. Although the shop owner has presented a public apology on the matter, the police will continue to investigate the case" - he said two days ago.  According to Ahmad, during the interrogation Nur Amirah Mohd Amiruddin said he only wanted to do something "out of the ordinary".  "However, entering the cemetery of other religious communities has become a sensitive issue," the official added.

The official explains that those who took part in the photo shoot risk a one-year prison sentence, a fine or both.  The interrogations also concerned the individual who recorded the video, investigated for sharing offensive and threatening content under the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA), a law in force since 1998. Those guilty of this crime can receive a maximum penalty  of 50,000 Malaysian ringgits (10,975 euros), a prison sentence of no more than one year or both.

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