Sultan Ibrahim: Don’t exploit ‘Allah on socks’ issue

The King of Malaysia, Sultan Ibrahim, has called on all parties to stop taking advantage of the issue of socks bearing the name of Allah, saying it should now 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 fueling anger,” said Sultan Ibrahim, as posted on his official Facebook page today.

“The action taken is not solely to punish, but also serves as a lesson and reminder to all to uphold the sensitivities of Malaysians.”

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

“Persistent anger brings no benefit. All parties, especially community leaders must act with maturity.

“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,” Sultan Ibrahim added.

Photos of the socks, sold at a KK Super Mart in Bandar Sunway, Selangor, were widely circulated on social media recently, sparking public outrage as Muslims observe the holy month of Ramadan.

The owners of the 24-hour convenience store, which has outlets nationwide, apologised for what had happened and stopped the sale of the socks immediately.

The supplier of the socks, Johor-based Xin Jian Chang Sdn Bhd, also issued an apology. The company said that the socks were part of a larger shipment of 18,800 pairs ordered from a China-based company.

On March 19, Sultan Ibrahim, on his official Facebook page, called for stern action to be taken against those responsible for the blunder. He added such gaffes related to religious and racial issues are unacceptable, and should never be allowed to happen again.

Sultan Ibrahim’s prince, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, who is the Regent of Johor, also commented on the issue, stressing that the name ‘Allah’ is an important holy word for Muslims. He urged the authorities to take firm action and ensure an incident like this does not happen again, as he hoped the blunder would not jeopardise Malaysia’s national harmony.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had also told the public not to play prosecutor or judge over the issue.

On March 26, KK Supermart & Superstore Sdn Bhd, its founder and executive chairman Datuk Seri Dr Chai Kee Kan, his wife Datin Seri Loh Siew Mui — a KK Mart director — and four others were separately charged with intentionally wounding the religious feelings of Muslims over the display of socks bearing the word “Allah” at its store.

Chai, 57, and Loh, 53, pleaded not guilty to the charges after it was read before judge Muhamad Anas Mahadzir at the Shah Alam Sessions Court

Three of Xin Jian Chang’s directors — Soh Chin Huat, 61, his wife Goh Li Huay, 62, and their daughter Soh Hui San, 36 — were charged with conspiring to commit the offence. The trio pleaded not guilty.

It was on the same day police confirmed that a petrol bomb was thrown at a KK Super Mart convenience store in Bidor, Perak. The bomb did not explode.

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