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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — Once a haven from natural disasters, Malaysia is becoming a magnet for unusual and devastating weather phenomena like tornadoes due to the rise in vice activities, the Selangor chapter of Malay rights group Perkasa suggested today.
The group added that such natural disasters have previously given the country a wide berth, only happening in the South China Sea and neighbouring nations like the Philippines and Vietnam.
“What is making these tornadoes so interested in dropping in on our country when it has stayed away and not shown any interest all this while.
“Is it because widespread vices like gambling centres, prostitution, alcohol fest and festival to touch dogs have become an attraction,” said a recent post in Malay on its Facebook page.
The statement follows criticisms by conservative Malay Muslims against a controversial animal awareness campaign aimed at dispelling misconceptions on the cultural taboo for Muslims to touch dogs, which landed the Muslim organiser in hot water.
Earlier this month, the annual Oktoberfest beer festival held at a shopping mall car park in neighbouring Selangor, a much-hyped event targeting non-Muslims, drew flak from Perkasa and several other conservative Muslim groups.
It is unknown if the statement was made in jest. The vocal group championing Malay rights and its leaders have previously hit out at a number of events aimed at non-Muslims, but have insisted would also involve Muslims and therefore should not be allowed.
Malaysia, which lies outside the Pacific Ring of Fire, has largely been sheltered from earthquakes and volcano eruptions and their aftermath, the exception being the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that claimed the lives of a total of 68 people in Penang, Kedah, Perak and Selangor.
However, changing weather patterns have caused several unusual phenomena to appear in several states this year.
On October 14, a tornado hit a village in Pendang, Kedah, flattening several buildings and left some 50 people homeless though no one died from the storm.
The country’s eastern-most state, Sabah, has had close brushes with typhoons sweeping through the Pacific Ocean this year. A waterspout appeared off the coast of the state capital, Kota Kinabalu on October 9 but dissipated shortly after.
The floods during the monsoon seasons and heavy thunderstorms in urban centres, including the heavily-populated national capital, often causes more damage nationwide.