Socks issue: Akmal’s hardline stance invites extreme behaviour, says Nik Nazmi

KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh's hardline stance over the “Allah” socks issue has triggered extreme behaviour by others, says Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

The PKR vice-president urged the Umno Youth chief to ease off on the controversial issue.

"He continues to play on the issue of the socks with the word 'Allah' written on them as political capital.

"His (Muhamad Akmal) aggressive attitude towards this issue has invited extreme behaviour from some individuals - including the incidences of petrol bombs thrown at several KK Super Mart stores.

"Yes, KK Super Mart's actions have hurt the hearts of Muslims but they have made an official apology and explained what happened," he said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday (April 3).

Nik Nazmi, who is also Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Minister, said at the same time KK Super Mart Group founder and executive chairman Datuk Seri Dr Chai Kee Kan and his wife, as the company’s director, have been charged in court.

"All parties need to stop taking advantage of the issue as there is a legislative process.

"He (Muhamad Akmal) should heed the advice of His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia and stop using this issue as a political tool.

"Continuously exploiting this issue will not benefit anyone.

"My advice to him (Muhamad Akmal) is that the desire to introduce oneself to the political arena with issues like this will not last long, look for issues that are critical and beneficial to the people.

Even Umno leaders have asked Muhamad Akmal to step back from the socks issue, he added.

"At the same time, His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia granted an audience to Chai at Istana Negara to hear an explanation related to this issue," he said.

Nik Nazmi said Islam was a religion that upheld justice, but emphasised kindness.

"Using religious sentiments to inflame anger, causing discontent among the people when several violent incidents have already occurred, is an action that benefits no one.

"As leaders, we cannot continue to incite the people but when an unwanted incident occurs, we try to 'wash our hands' without a sense of humility and willingness to reflect," he said.

During a 15-minute audience at Istana Negara on Wednesday (April 3), Chai sought His Majesty’s forgiveness and apologised to the King over the sale of socks with the word “Allah” printed on them.

Chai also apologised to the Muslim community.

The chain has been mired in controversy since March 13 after the controversial socks were discovered in the Bandar Sunway outlet.

Chai and his wife, Datin Seri Loh Siew Mui, have been charged with two counts of intentionally wounding the religious sensitivities of Muslims over the distribution and sale of the socks.

The couple claimed trial to the charges.

Anger towards KK Super Mart over the issue has led to three firebombing attempts on the convenience store’s outlets in Perak, Pahang and Sarawak.

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