Vern’s founder says Jakim meeting was cordial, will cooperate fully with authorities

PUTRAJAYA: The 51-year-old founder of shoe company Vern’s Holding Sdn Bhd says he will cooperate fully with the authorities over the contentious shoe logo that appeared to resemble the word "Allah" in Arabic script.

"Let the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and police do what needs to be done with regard to their investigations.

"After their investigations, I will cooperate fully with their next course of action," Ng Chuan Hoo told reporters after an-hour long meeting with Jakim officers at their headquarters here on Monday (April 8).

Asked about his meeting, Ng, who goes by the nickname Ah Foo, said that it was a cordial meeting with the officers who provided some guidance to him over the matter.

Although the issue had stemmed from a misunderstanding, Ng said he is fully aware that it had caused uneasiness and hurt to the Muslim community.

"In this respect, Ah Foo apologises. I hope to learn from the incident and to be more careful and sensitive in the future, especially with regard to business," he added.

Ng said that he immediately ordered the withdrawal of the shoes in question when informed by his assistant of the viral video.

Besides Jakim, Ng said that he will also give a statement to the police later today.

"I am waiting for them to call me in for a statement," the Temerloh, Pahang born Ng said.

The issue of the shoes arose following a three-minute video that had gone viral on social media in which a man claimed that the shoes he purchased displayed a logo believed to resemble the word "Allah”.

Following this, Vern’s Holding apologised in a statement on Sunday (April 7) evening for offending any sensitivities, clarifying that the graphic is actually a stylised high-heeled shoe with straps.

According to the company, it has taken immediate steps to cease the sales of the shoes affected and will offer refunds to customers who have purchased the shoes.

As of 7pm on Sunday (April 7), eight police reports had been lodged on the matter.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain said that the police will be working together with Jakim on the matter.

Earlier today, police seized a total of 1,145 pairs of shoes in Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kedah.

No arrests were made.

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