PM: Probe sock issue but don’t pursue excessive punishment

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Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim believes the controversial issue of socks bearing the word “Allah” should be probed according to the law, but he doesn’t believe in excessive punishment on the matter.

“My view is clear. There was an offence committed, there must be investigation and immediate action according to the law. That’s enough.

“There’s no need to drag the matter. We must move forward. Why must we be stuck with these issues?” said Anwar at a buka puasa gathering with members of the media at Putrajaya tonight.

“Do not insult religion, especially Islam. Let’s not continue with this discussion as if there is a major catastrophe in this country.


“The punishment should not be extreme. Some people make mistakes just like we make mistakes,” added Anwar.

On the issue of friendly fire among government politicians on the matter, he said that his government was democratic and believed in freedom to express critically.

“The Madani government is democratic. We don’t practise a system where we control what people can say,” he added.

Meanwhile, speaking at the Al-Amin Mosque in Nibong Tebal, Penang, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also requested all parties not to raise sensitive matters and dwell on the issue.

Furthermore, he pointed out that the supermarket’s management has apologised.

“In this situation, do not raise such sensitive matters. Do not exaggerate this matter. Furthermore, they have made an apology.

“We think they were unaware and had no intention of doing it on purpose.

“In fact, the investigation found that it was not the factory that did it, it was imported material from China,” the Umno president said according to a report by Sinar Harian.

Zahid also said that he has asked Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh to handle the controversial issue of socks imprinted with the word “Allah” on them courteously.

While stressing the need for the issue to be dealt with immediately and not taken lightly by anyone, Zahid said the matter must not be “ridden” by those with a specific agenda.

The Umno president said that while the government is confident that this will not happen again in the future, immediate steps will be taken to prevent the present situation from escalating.

“We (the government) don’t want anyone to take it lightly, let alone take advantage.

“We must solve this problem immediately so that it is not misinterpreted, not ‘ridden’ by those who have an interest,” he said.

He added that Akmal, as the leader of the party’s youth wing, had been asked to look into the matter courteously.

Zahid said the issue it should not be taken lightly even though KK Super Mart has apologised.

The controversy surfaced last week when images of the socks bearing the words “Allah” being sold at the Bandar Sunway outlet of the KK Mart went viral on social media.

Following uproar, KK Mart issued an apology to all its customers, particularly the Muslim community, and confirmed that immediate action had been taken to halt the sale of the socks.

This included terminating its contract with Xin Jian Chang.

The supplier had, in turn, blamed manufacturers in China for wrongly sending the socks to it, which it then overlooked.

Police, in an inspection of the Xin Jian Chang factory, said it had only found five pairs of the “Allah” socks, all of which were the ones recalled from KK Mart.

Akmal was particularly vocal on the issue calling for a boycott of KK Mart while a number of other political leaders in the government called for restraint.