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Mydin Boss Urges UMNO Youth Chief To Stop Exploiting “Allah” Socks Issue For Political Mileage

Mydin Boss Urges UMNO Youth Chief To Stop Exploiting “Allah” Socks Issue For Political Mileage

Mydin managing director Ameer Ali Mydin and some politicians have called out UMNO youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh for fanning the flames on the socks issue.

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Last Wednesday (13 March), KK Mart got into a controversy after socks bearing the word “Allah” were displayed to be sold in its Bandar Sunway outlet. It earned the ire of the Muslim community and sparked calls for a boycott.

The police identified 5 pairs of socks, not 14 as previously claimed, bearing the word “Allah” after investigating 800 branches nationwide on 13 March.

Since the issue went viral, KK Mart has issued an apology on Facebook on 13 March, and its founder, KK Chai, held a press conference on 16 March to apologise again.

The apologies were also displayed on the electronic displays and cash registers in all stores after Umno Youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh demanded the company to put up banners in all outlets nationwide to apologise. He wanted the banners up because he felt that the apology by KK Mart was insufficient.

Xin Jiang Chang Sdn Bhd, the vendor that supplied the socks, was forced to cease operations temporarily after the Batu Pahat town council suspended its business licence.

READ MORE: KK Mart Slammed For Selling Socks With “Allah” Print, Issues Immediate Apology

READ MORE: More Than Just An Apology: Founder KK Chai Details Steps Taken In Socks Controversy

A sample of the socks in question that were found in KK Mart Bandar Sunway. Image: TRP File

How far is too far?

Despite the apologies and the confiscation of the socks, the pressure to boycott KK Mart intensified due to certain parties.

Mydin hypermarket managing director Ameer Ali Mydin has urged Akmal to stop exploiting the “Allah” socks issue for political mileage.

Why is he still kicking up a fuss? Political parties should distance themselves from 3R (race, religion and royalty) issues and we should not pour oil on the flames.

Mydin hypermarket managing director Ameer Ali Mydin

He said Akmal’s campaign for a public boycott of KK Mart would affect investor confidence and the livelihood of workers, mostly Malay-Muslims.

Ameer, who is also the president of the Bumiputera Retailers Association, acknowledged it was a serious issue but noted that KK Mart has apologised, so there was no reason to escalate the issue, especially by those seeking to benefit from it politically.

MCA vice-president Tan Teik Cheng said KK Mart did not come up with excuses after the incident, acknowledged their mistake, and immediately rectified the issue to bring closure to the matter.

However, he added that the move by Umno youth chief to lodge a police report and urging others to do the same “does not only fail to solve the problem but also exacerbates racial tensions.”

DAP youth chief Dr Kelvin Yii echoed similar sentiments saying that the escalation or excessive threats that are not productive only divide the nation’s multicultural fabric further and hurt the local economy.

Previously, former Wanita Umno chief Rafidah Aziz also took Akmal to task over his conduct in this matter. She described Akmal as a “rabble-rouser” the nation could do without.

Former MCA vice-president Ti Lian Ker, currently a senator, said Akmal’s behaviour would lead the public to view Barisan Nasional with contempt.

Meanwhile, the religious affairs minister at the Prime Minister’s Department, Dr Na’im Mokhtar, urged for calm while acknowledging that it was an issue that Muslims find hard to forgive.

The apology has been made but surely we hope that in the future, KK Super Mart does not take such things lightly and any audit department should inspect goods that have been brought in from abroad. It is extremely sensitive. The Muslims must be given the space needed (to forgive this act).

Religious affairs minister at the Prime Minister’s Department, Dr Na’im Mokhtar

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