King grants audience to KK Mart founder over “Allah” socks controversy, issues final warning

YANG di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar held an audience today with the founder of KK Mart Datuk Seri Chai Kee Kan amidst the controversy surrounding the sale of socks bearing the word “Allah” by the convenience store chain.

During the 15-minute meeting, Chai also known as KK Chai, seized the opportunity to apologise to the King for the sale of the contentious socks.

“All parties must be more responsible. Don’t let this incident reoccur,” said His Majesty, according to the royal press office.

“Once again, I warn all parties against taking advantage of the matter, including inciting the rakyat. I do not want this issue to prolong any further.”

He also urged businesses and retailers including KK Mart to exercise prudence in selecting products for sale, particularly imported goods.

The KK Mart controversy emerged on March 13 when images of the “Allah” socks at an outlet in Bandar Sunway circulated on social media, prompting immediate apologies from the company.

Expressing displeasure at the controversy’s onset, His Majesty called for stern action against those responsible.

Chai and his wife Loh Siew Mui, a director at KK Mart, have pleaded not guilty to charges of intentionally offending the religious sentiments of Muslims through the sale of the socks.

Despite KK Mart’s apology and legal proceedings, UMNO Youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh continued advocating for a nationwide boycott of the convenience store chain’s outlets.

On March 27, the King urged all parties to refrain from exploiting the controversy, stressing that the matter should be left to the authorities and that sustained anger would yield no benefits.

In a concerning turn of events, three KK Mart outlets including one in Kuching, Sarawak, were targeted in petrol bomb attacks over the past week. – April 3, 2024

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