Two Chinese women were fined and deported from Malaysia after a video showing the duo dancing in front of a mosque went viral on social media.
On the afternoon of June 23, Wan Han, 25, and Zhang Na, 37, were seen filming a “hot dance” video in front of the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque in Sabah. The video footage, recorded by a fellow tourist, caused outrage among Muslim netizens, CGTN reported.
In reaction to public sentiment, the Malaysian police, together with the tourism and immigration ministries, launched an investigation that led to the arrest of the two women, both dance teachers.
Chinese media reports claim that they wanted to show off on Douyin, a Chinese music video platform similar to YouTube.
The Kota Kinabalu City mosque, nicknamed “The Floating Mosque”, decided to close the holy ground to tourists on June 24 due to the incident.
On June 27, the two women were each fined 25 ringgits (US$6.2) and deported back to China after they apologized for misbehaving in public.
The tourists showed a lack of respect to Muslim worshippers, Free Malaysia Today reported, citing Assafal Alian, Sabah’s tourism, culture and environment assistant minister.
Jamal Sakaran, chairman of the mosque, denounced the conduct of the two women as “regrettable” as the mosque clearly lists rules to govern the behavior of visitors.
The Consulate General of China in Kota Kinabalu said in a statement that Chinese tourists visiting Sabah should abide by the laws and regulations of the country, respect local religious customs and traditions, and follow the instructions of tour guides.