‘Stop exploiting socks issue’

PETALING JAYA: All parties are urged to stop taking advantage of the issue of socks bearing the name of Allah, says His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia. His Majesty said the matter should be left to the authorities.

“I have instructed that action be taken in accordance with the law, so there is no need for any party to continue fuelling anger.

“The action taken is not solely to punish, but also serves as a lesson and reminder to all to uphold the sensitivities of Malaysians,” His Majesty said in a Facebook post yesterday.

The King said it is better for all concerned to learn from this incident and strive to strengthen unity.

His Majesty called on the public, especially community leaders, to act with maturity, seeing as persistent anger brings no benefit.

“Let us guide the people towards unity, not division.

“This is an opportunity to gain a better understanding of each other in our diverse society, so that such incidents do not recur,” His Majesty added.

On March 13, several pairs of socks with the word “Allah” printed on them were found in certain branches of convenience store chain KK Super Mart.

The incident caused backlash from several parties calling for a boycott against the business, alongside threats against its business and staff.

While authorities are investigating the incident, several politicians including Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh, have issued comments on the matter.

Dr Akmal’s comments include calling for a public boycott of KK Super Mart and also for the convenience store chain to put up apology banners at all its outlets.

At a press conference yesterday, Bukit Aman CID director Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said all parties should stand down on matters involving race, religion and royalty (3R).

He said individuals and groups should refrain from escalating 3R matters as it will jeopardise the country’s safety and cause public distress.

“I advise everyone to stand down and not escalate matters. Enough is enough. Let the police investigate and take action on all issues relating to 3R,” he said.

Comm Mohd Shuhaily was commenting on the recent rise of 3R cases following the socks controversy.

“If there is a police report on 3R issues, we will open an investigation irrespective of the race, religion or background,” he said.

Comm Mohd Shuhaily said police will increase intelligence gathering and uncover any effort to stoke tensions.

“We are monitoring the situation closely.

“We don’t want another ‘Kampung Medan’ (racial clash) to occur as it will only cause trouble and tarnish the country’s image,” he said.

Comm Mohd Shuhaily reminded the public to let the justice system work.

“The people should show maturity... by letting the full process of the law run its course.

“We will use the fullest extent of the law... to take action against the culprits,” he added.

On acts of vigilantism in connection with the KK Super Mart controversy, Comm Mohd Shuhaily said no one should take the law into their own hands.

“We will take stern action against any would be vigilantes. Taking the law into your own hands is never the answer,” he said.

Comm Mohd Shuhaily reminded the public to think of the future generation.

“What we do here and now will have implications on future generations. Everyone must understand their boundaries and limits,” he said.

Asked on threats to burn down a sock supplier factory in Batu Pahat, Comm Mohd Shuhaily said police have started an investigation into the matter.

On Tuesday, five people and two companies were charged at the Shah Alam Sessions Court over their link to the distribution and sale of socks with the word “Allah” on them.

KK Mart Group founder and executive chairman Datuk Seri Dr Chai Kee Kan, 57, and wife, Loh Siew Mui, who is the company director, claimed trial to a charge under Section 298 of the Penal Code for intentionally wounding the religious sensitivities of Muslims by allegedly putting the socks for sale.

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