SINGAPORE: The Royal Malaysia Police has opened an investigation against Dr Akmal Saleh – the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) youth chief – after two reports were lodged against him in relation to the ongoing saga involving convenience store chain KK Super Mart and its sale of socks bearing the word “Allah”. 

In a statement on Friday (Apr 5), the police said that Dr Akmal was being investigated under the Sedition Act as well as Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.

Dr Akmal has been at the forefront of calls to boycott KK Super Mart following the sale of the “Allah” socks.

His vocal condemnation of the store has led some public figures, such as Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, to urge police to arrest the UMNO youth chief for inciting racial and religious tensions.

Earlier in March, the homegrown convenience store chain – which boasts over 800 stores across the country – landed in hot water after photos of the socks went viral online, prompting widespread backlash from netizens and politicians as well as calls for a boycott.

KK Super Mart founder Chai Kee Kan and his wife – who is the firm’s company director – have since been charged with “deliberately intending to hurt the religious feelings” of those in the Muslim-majority nation.

Three officials from vendor company Xin Jian Chang who had supplied the socks were also charged with abetting the alleged crime.

On Friday, the police said that the case would be referred to the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) upon the completion of investigations.

Earlier that day, Dr Akmal wrote in a Facebook post that he had been detained in Kota Kinabalu in Sabah. In a subsequent video, Dr Akmal was seen being whisked away in a car.

“No fear, no surrender,” said Dr Akmal in the video.

According to The Star, Dr Akmal has since been released by the authorities after giving his statement at the police headquarters in Kota Kinabalu in relation to a seditious speech he made while in Kelantan.

“They took about two and a half hours to record my statement, and I’ve cooperated. It was done professionally,” he was quoted as saying by The Star.

The UMNO youth chief has been vocal in his calls to continue the boycott against KK Super Mart. This is despite a warning from Malaysia’s king – Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar – that the issue is not dragged any further.

Sultan Ibrahim made the decree after meeting with Chai – the KK Super Mart founder – on Apr 3, where the latter apologised to the king as well as all Muslims regarding the “Allah” socks gaffe.

Amid the ongoing issue, there have been reports of multiple cases of petrol bombs being thrown at different KK Super Mart outlets in the country, including in Sarawak.


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