“Since sock-gate controversy has simmered down, time is now for Akmal to debate vernacular school sore points”

RACIAL and religious tensions over the KK Super Mart Allah inscription on socks incident have more or less subsided.

Let the police complete the required investigations on the combustible matter. I am unsure if the UMNO Youth leader Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh has come to his senses on the matter.

Why Akmal called for nationwide boycott of the 24-hour convenience stores remains to be seen after the owner and the supplier apologised for the incident.

Some are saying that Akmal’s incessant non-stop calls for boycott might have to do with a larger political agenda of de-stabilising the present government of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

UMNO Youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh during a roadshow in conjunction with the blanket boycott of all 881 KK Super Mart outlets in Kuala Lumpur recently

This is rumour but in Malaysia, it might have traction. The petrol bomb incident at the KK Super Mart in Bidor was an indication of how racial and religious tensions could lead to unintended consequences.

Akmal shed crocodile tears by saying that he was against violence while conveniently ignoring that his call for boycott of the supermarket could have ignited extremist feelings.

Whether the strong stand taken by Akmal will endear UMNO to the Malays remains to be seen. Akmal’s religious rhetoric was akin to closing the gates after the horses have bolted.

Pending vernacular school issue

It is highly unlikely that Malays would revert to UMN after having the exodus has crossed over to Perikatan Negara (PN).

For the Malays who support the PN, Akmal’s call of boycott of the KK Super Mart was a cheap political stunt that cannot erase the past tainted history of UMNO.

It was unfortunate that as tensions rose – and threatened to boil over – with regard to the call for the nationwide boycott of KK Super Mart, Anwar was nowhere to be seen.

Other than calling for the reduction of tensions, he has been staying on the sidelines.

Anyway, since the authorities especially the police are in control of the situation, perhaps Akmal who ignited the debate by saying some unsavoury things on vernacular schools should go back to the subject matter.

Although he agreed to accept the challenge of the United Rights of Malaysian Party (Urimai) secretary-general Satees Muniandy for a debate on the vernacular schools, he has not followed up.

Satees Muniandy

I understand that Satees wants the debate to go on. I am sure that since Akmal has established a high profile of himself on the socks issue, debating with the former DAP Bagan Dalam state assemblyman is a walk in the park.

If Akmal is agreeable, then the date and venue could be set. I hope Akmal would not say that he prefers to have a “closed door coffee chat” similar to that he had with his DAP buddy Rajiv Rishyakaran who is the state assemblyman of Bukit Gasing. – March 29, 2024


Former DAP stalwart and Penang chief minister II Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is chairman of the Urimai (United Rights of Malaysian Party) Interim Council.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia

Main image credit: Akmal Saleh’s Facebook

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