‘Allah’ socks issue: Minister chides Umno Youth chief for playing up racial sentiments, trying to ‘be a hero’

Tiong (right) has called for Akmal to stop playing up racial issues for his own personal political interests. Photo credit: Tiong King Sing/Facebook

By DayakDaily Team

KUCHING, March 19: Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture Dato Sri Tiong King Sing urged United Malays National Organisation (Umno) Youth chief Muhamad Akmal Saleh to cease playing up racial issues for his personal political interests.

In a statement posted on Facebook today, the Bintulu MP said when he was asked to comment on the recent KK Super Mart ‘Allah’ socks blunder, he said Akmal should not ride on the issue, which could affect the country’s harmony.


He added that Akmal should not use this issue to try to be a hero as it is inappropriate behaviour for the leader of a political party’s youth wing.

Tiong, who is also Dudong assemblyman, said Akmal must refrain from making the issue bigger than it is and hoped that the Umno leaders will take this seriously and not let Akmal use his platform to pursue his own personal agenda.

At the same time, he also called upon Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh to take action against Akmal’s behaviour as the Umno Youth chief is also a member of the Melaka executive council.

“I have received feedback that the people and grassroots community in Melaka have made a complaint against Akmal’s behaviour, which, if not resolved quickly, may negatively impact Melaka’s political development,” he said.

Tiong also called for the public to accept KK Super Mart’s apology as the convenience store chain, with over 800 branches nationwide, has benefitted the country, especially in boosting the economy and providing employment opportunities.

If the issue is left to escalate, he said, it might divide workers and affect their income.

“When the issue was brought to light, KK Super Mart was quick to apologise, promising the incident will never happen again, and was ready to cooperate with the authorities. Not only that, but they also acted fast in removing the product from their shelves in all affected branches.

“Because of that, all parties should calm down and not add more fuel to the fire. Instead, give KK Super Mart a chance to rectify their mistake.

“Humans are not perfect, and we are bound to make mistakes. KK Super Mart’s action (of selling the socks) was unintentional based on their carelessness,” he said.

Recently, socks bearing the word ‘Allah’ were found to be sold in several outlets of the local convenience store chain. Photographs of the item went viral, triggering backlash from the public, with some calling for a boycott of the convenience store chain. — DayakDaily