Chinese tourists expelled from Malaysia for ‘hot dance’ in front of mosque

Footage of pair cavorting in front of religious site triggered angry response in Muslim-majority country

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 June, 2018, 4:18pm
UPDATED : Friday, 29 June, 2018, 5:12pm

Two Chinese female tourists have been fined and thrown out of Malaysia after making a dance video in front of a mosque.

Footage of Wan Han, 37, and Zhang Na, 25, dancing outside the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque was widely shared on social media under the heading “hot dance” and triggered an angry reaction in the majority Muslim country.

The mosque’s chairman denounced their “inappropriate” behaviour and announced that visits would be suspended to protect the sanctity of Islam.

The site is one of the main landmarks in the city, which is the capital of Sabah state on the island of Borneo and is known as the “floating mosque” because it is surrounded by a man-made lagoon.

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Police fined the pair 25 ringgits (US$6.20) and they were escorted to the local airport where they boarded a flight back to China, Sohu’s news site reported on Friday.

“Recently, two female Chinese tourists filmed a ‘hot dance’ video on the wall of the floating mosque in Kota Kinabalu city,” read a statement released by the Chinese consulate general office in the city on Tuesday.

“The incident was widely circulated on social media and received a generally bad reaction in the local community.

“Sabah’s ministry of tourism, the immigration bureau and the city police department have been involved in the investigation, and the mosque has suspended visitors.”

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The consulate reminded Chinese tourists visiting Sabah that they “must abide by the laws and regulations of the country of their destination, respect local religious traditions and customs, follow guides’ arrangements and should by no means address religious taboos. They should safeguard the good image of Chinese tourists”.

Christina Liew, the tourism, culture and environment minister of Sabah, told PearVideo the pair had been given a “cautioning”.

PearVideo’s footage of the incident had attracted over 1,730,000 views in the space of two days.

Islam is the most widely practised religion in Malaysia with 19.5 million adherents – 61.3 per cent of the population – in 2013, according to Pew Research Centre.

In 2015 four Western tourists pleaded guilty to obscenity charges for taking nude photos on Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, an act some locals blamed for causing a deadly earthquake.