Socks controversy: “It’s deeply insulting for Muslims,” Puad says

AN UMNO leader has called out MCA secretary-general Datuk Chong Sin Woon for seemingly trying to act as a defender of KK Super Mart and downplaying the issue of socks bearing the word “Allah” being sold at KK Super Mart outlets.

In a statement on Facebook, UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi said this is not about blowing things out of proportion; rather, it is a religious issue that insults Muslims, who are the main customers of KK Super Mart.

“Chong’s claim that boycotting KK Super Mart is reckless adds to the insult for Muslim consumers. What does the MCA secretary-general mean when he said that calls to boycott KK Mart would make the country a victim? What would be worse, a riot or a boycott?” he questioned.

“At least there have been no KK Super Mart stores burned down as seen in other countries where religious sensitivities are not respected.

“Instead of blindly defending KK Super Mart they should reprimand their negligence. Please respect the purchasing power of Muslim consumers.”

On Sunday (March 17), Chong had called for UMNO Youth chief Dr Muhammad Akmal Saleh to stop playing up the issue.

Dr Muhammad Akmal Saleh (Pic credit: Utusan Malaysia)

This is after Akmal had demanded banners at all 881 of KK Super Mart outlets nationwide to apologise over the controversial issue.

Akmal also warned of more “drastic” actions if such an apology is not forthcoming at all the convenience store outlets or from its vendor within the next two days.

The convenience store chain had caused a furore when one of its stores had socks with the words “Allah” on it for sale on its shelves.

Earlier on Saturday (March 16), KK Mart founder Datuk Seri Dr KK Chai said he publicly apologised to all Malaysians, especially those of the Muslim faith, over the incident.

“The company does not have any intention to disrupt public harmony. As such I humbly apologise to all Malaysians, especially those from the Muslim faith,” he said in a statement.

He said an inspection of its 800 branches nationwide found that only three outlets carried the socks and 14 pairs had the word on them.

The vendor involved has since made a public apology, saying the goods were sold on a consignment basis and the company did not have any intention of disrupting public harmony.

Probe to continue

Datuk Seri Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (Pic credit: Bernama)

In related news, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said the Home Ministry (KDN) will continue its investigation into the convenience store chain despite the store’s apology on the matter.

“KDN views this issue seriously and enforcement action was taken by carrying out checks at all KK Mart premises nationwide and the results of the inspection we made found that KK Mart had already recalled all the socks in question from all of its branches nationwide,” he told Parliament today.

“However, we conducted further investigations on the management and vendors involved to ensure that these socks are no longer in the market.

“Although an apology was issued by KK Mart and the vendors involved, KDN will continue investigations to contain this issue that caused public uproar and annoyance.

“If found guilty, the relevant parties may be punished with a fine of up to RM20,000 or imprisonment of up to three years, or both.” – March 18, 2024


Main pic credit: The Merdeka Times

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