KK Mart 'Allah' Socks Fiasco: What Happened And 3 Facts You Need To Know

UMNO Youth Chief Dr Akmal Saleh has called for a boycott to teach KK Super Mart "a lesson".

Cover image via Instagram & Malaysiakini

Follow us on Instagram, TikTok, and WhatsApp for the latest stories and breaking news.

A recent controversy surrounding KK Super Mart's sale of socks with the word "Allah" has polarised the nation, despite a public apology from its founder and executive chairperson Datuk Seri Dr KK Chai

During a press conference on Saturday, 16 March, Chai, who appeared tearful, said his team had never made such a mistake in his 23 years in the business. He also took full responsibility for the blunder.

"We don't want to offer mere excuses," he said while appealing for an end to calls for a boycott against his company.

What happened?

On 13 March, an Instagram influencer with over 350k followers uploaded several photos showing socks bearing the word "Allah". He claimed that the socks were being sold at KK Super Mart at Bandar Sunway.

"Oversight or insensitivity?" he asked, urging the authorities to launch an immediate investigation.

Image via Instagram

Shortly after the influencer's post, the 24-hour convenience store chain released an official apology on its social media channels and took steps to remove the product from its shelves.

In its statement, KK Super Mart also sought to explain that since it was a consignment product from its vendor, Xin Jian Chang Sdn Bhd from Batu Pahat in Johor, it reached out to the vendor for an explanation.

Additionally, the vendor also apologised for the incident.

"We admit our mistake in not carefully inspecting the product [which was] procured from China. We will be more careful and sensitive in the future. We apologise to all Muslims," the vendor said.

Despite the apology, UMNO Youth Chief Dr Akmal Saleh called for a boycott of the convenience stores and demanded that KK Super Mart display apology banners at all of its 881 branches nationwide within two days.

"We will teach them a lesson," he said in a Facebook post, calling on UMNO Youth members throughout the country to file police reports against the popular convenience store chain.

Since then, police have received 36 reports and opened an investigation paper under Section 298(A) of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998.

Image via Malaysiakini

Here are three facts you should know:

1. The socks were imported from China

KK Super Mart had offered shelf space to the vendor, Xin Jian Chang Sdn Bhd, owned by Soh Chin Huat. The vendor sells socks, including imported ones from China, reported the New Straits Times.

According to Soh, the socks bearing the words "Allah" came in a bundle from China.

"They come from a batch of 1,200 socks of various designs and colours which arrived in our facility in Batu Pahat, Johor, last year. Our employees then sent out the socks to various KK Mart premises on 29 January," he said, adding that it was his employees' mistake for not scrutinising the socks.

Soh also described KK Super Mart as the victim in the incident.

"As the owner of the company that supplied the socks to KK Mart, I apologise for everything. This has opened my eyes to the need to be more careful in the process of bringing in products from overseas. We will learn from our mistakes," he said, while expressing hope that people, especially Muslims, could forgive them.

Xin Jian Chang Sdn Bhd owner Soh Chin Huat (left) and KK Super Mart and Superstore Sdn Bhd founder Datuk Seri Dr KK Chai displaying some of the socks.

Image via New Straits Times

2. The controversy has now reached parliament

The matter was raised during Ministers' Question Time today, 18 March, when Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Anuar Nasarah was asked by Paya Besar member of parliament (MP) Datuk Mohd Shahar Abdullah to state the actions taken by the Home Ministry put a stop to the sale of such socks.

Shamsul said that the police opened an investigation paper on 14 March.

"We are viewing [the issue] seriously. Enforcement action has been taken by inspecting all the premises of the chain nationwide," said Shamsul, adding that the ministry is conducting further investigations into KK Super Mart's management and its vendor to ensure that these socks are no longer available in the market.

3. The parties involved could be fined or jailed

According to Shamsul, the investigation against KK Super Mart will continue.

"If found guilty, the relevant party could face a fine of up to RM20,000 or imprisonment for no more than three years, or both," he told the Dewan Rakyat today, as reported by the New Straits Times.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah.

Image via Malaysiakini

Check out more trending stories on SAYS:

You may be interested in: