A former Wanita Umno chief has hit out at Umno Youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh’s behaviour following the controversy sparked by the sale of socks bearing the word “Allah”.

Rafidah Aziz said even Prophet Muhammad had shown “exemplary restrained behaviour” when confronted by those who were hostile towards him. She said Prophet Muhammad did not allow his ego to get in the way.

“If people like the Umno Youth chief cannot even try to emulate our great Prophet , in terms of how he treated others, then Akmal has not upheld what Islam expects of him,” she told FMT.

Akmal had previously dismissed an apology made by the convenience store chain KK Mart after photographs of the socks, sold at a KK Mart store, appeared on social media. He deemed the apology insufficient, and pushed for a boycott. Akmal, who is the assemblyman for Merlimau, Melaka, also said he was willing to lose his post to defend Islam.

Rafidah said the nation did not need rabble-rousers like Akmal who would only divide Malaysians. She said the government must not allow itself to get caught in a difficult situation of managing rebel-rousers and should ensure that tensions do not escalate.

“There are already so many pressing issues to address and manage without being distracted by such unwarranted problems, like the socks. Action is already being taken and no one should be allowed to politically capitalise on it. Enough already,” she said.

The photographs of the socks posted on social media last Wednesday had earned the ire of the Muslim community.

On Saturday, the company apologised and expressed regret over the incident.

However, on Wednesday, Akmal vowed to continue calling for a boycott of KK Mart, despite advice from party officials that the issue not be prolonged. He said “no one will be able to stop me even if they try.”

He also demanded that the company put up banners at all of its 881 stores nationwide to apologise for the sale of the socks, threatening a stronger boycott should it fail to comply.

Earlier today, Umno secretary-general Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said the party’s Supreme Council fully supported the Umno Youth chief’s stand.

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