According to Finance Twitter , foreign investors are watching with great interest – and caution – how Malaysia could repeat its May 13, 1969 bloody racial riots over five pairs of socks. An army of 40 policemen had stormed a factory in Johor, the state of newly crowned King Sultan Ibrahim, and found a jaw-dropping 5 out of 18,800 pairs of socks with “Allah” inscription – a whopping 0.00026% margin error.

The factory in Batu Pahat – Xin Jian Chang Sdn Bhd – received the shipments from its supplier based in Zhejiang Province, China, before repacking and distributing them to the market. And out of 881 KK Super Mart convenience stores in the country, only 3 stores received the supply and sold the socks. Even though there were just 120,000 Muslims in Zhejiang, Islam arrived there some 1,400 years ago.

Exactly why would the China-based company produce such socks remains a mystery, unless, of course, not all Muslims find the product offensive. Anything produced in China can be considered for huge market. But the damage has been done. The local vendor that imported the socks is closed – terrified over safety after personal data of key company personnel was leaked on social media.

While the source has been traced to China, there’s nothing the Malaysian government can do to punish the Chinese manufacturer. Kuala Lumpur can’t lecture Beijing about Malay-Muslims sensitivity for fear of being laughed at. But someone has to take responsibility else UMNO, one of the governing partners in the unity government, would look like a fool after all the hard work instigating ethnic Malays against ethnic Chinese.

Despite apologies from KK Super Mart and Xin Jian Chang, UMNO Youth still wants blood. And despite urges from ally Democratic Action Party (DAP) and even fellow Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) to stop instigating a “nationwide boycott”, UMNO Youth Chief Akmal Saleh doubled down on his threat. The racist even rudely told DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke to fly kite.

To make matters worse, Akmal, who clearly had the blessing from his own party leadership to play the racial and religious cards, arrogantly told Malaysian Chinese that they should be grateful he has not ordered the Malays to burn down KK stores. His dangerous statement is similar to that of ex-PM Najib Razak, who threatened to soak a “Keris” (dagger) in Chinese blood in 1987, evoking fear of the May 13, 1969 bloody riots.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who brags about RM45.4 billion in potential new investments from his trip to Germany, appears to be weak and unable to control rival-turned-ally United Malays National Organization (UMNO). As predicted, UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, has announced that his UMNO Youth will solve it “courteously” rather than telling his mad dog to stop barking.

But Akmal – with an “IQ of a carrot” – has no idea how to solve the crisis peacefully. So far, he has only shown the UMNO gangsters trademark without any respect for even Prime Minister Anwar, let alone fellow governing partner DAP. The UMNO Youth is so arrogant that it thought the unity government will collapse without its support, hence the threat to destroy Chinese businesses.

Sure, bring it on. If UMNO Youth has the balls, it should start burning down all KK Super Mart stores. We shall see if foreign investors are still interested to pump money or leave in droves. Why should they invest in Malaysia when neighbouring countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia or Singapore can offer better investment climate without the risk of closing down business due to religious extremism?

Essentially, Akmal has overplayed his hand to the extent that it’s impossible for him to stop without losing face. DAP and even MCA were forced to defend the Chinese business from being threatened and bullied, which led the UMNO Youth to pour even more fuel into the fire in retaliation. It didn’t help that the King, instead of telling everyone to shut up and let the authorities investigate, has done otherwise.

UMNO may think it could cunningly play racial and religious cards by outsourcing all the dirty jobs to its youth wing, which has been its modus operandi since 60 years ago. The Malay nationalist party may think it could easily win back all the Malay voters who had abandoned it for Opposition Perikatan Nasional by playing vernacular school, “bak kut teh” and “Allah” socks issue.

The burning question is whether the sock issue is as sensitive as caricatures of Prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban with a lit fuse protruding, as published by French magazine Charlie Hebdo. If it is more explosive, why hadn’t Muslims around the world taken notice and took to the street to demand KK Mart be punished, the same way when the Prophet was insulted?

It seems that very few care about the “Allah” socks, except UMNO Youth. Even Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS – Parti Islam Se-Malaysia) doesn’t seem to be interested, when the religious extremists should be the first to scream till face turned blue. After all, what type of Islamist party that does not defend the Islam, if indeed the sock issue was an insult to the God in the first place?

Sure, PAS and UMNO are not seeing eye to eye now. But when Allah is being insulted, PAS has no choice but to protest. To keep silence as if nothing had happened would lead to rebellion within its own supporters. But the Islamist party didn’t lift a finger to express its displeasure, did it? Likewise, the silence of Bersatu or Malaysian United Indigenous Party, its partner in Perikatan Nasional coalition, is equally deafening.

Even if PAS Islamist party does not wish to join hands with “kafir” UMNO in condemning KK stores, it should have organized its own rally, the same way it did to express solidarity for Palestine during the Israel-Hamas War. But not a single PAS supporter cares about the socks, which UMNO Youth cried, screamed and bitched was the biggest insult to the God.

The incredible silence from the opposition camp means UMNO Youth is barking the wrong tree. Crucially, PAS was so confident that the 80% Malays whom had thrown their support for the opposition in the November 2022 General Election will not go back to UMNO just because Akmal is screaming his lungs out under the pretext of defending Islam, Malays, and Malay rulers.

If the socks inscribed with the word Allah were a serious matter, at least some of the 5-million PAS extremists would have taken to the street, or have burned down some KK Super Mart convenience stores. Strangely, it was business as usual for the PAS supporters. They calmly run their errands and do their daily chores. Somehow, the sock fiasco fails to provoke PAS to running amok.

Opposition Perikatan Nasional probably could not stop laughing at Akmal, whose leadership becomes a laughing stock after a Johor UMNO Youth leader has been arrested for sexually assaulting six teenagers, including a 15-year-old boy. Yes, while the racist pretended to be defending Malays, Muslims and Islam, one of his underlings – personally handpicked by him – is caught with his pants down in sex scandal.

The UMNO Youth leader who claims that he has zero tolerance in mistakes, even though it was a genuine one like in the case of KK stores, suddenly has lost his tongue when faced with a paedophile sex predator in his own house. Perhaps he would like to scam UMNO-Malays that homosexual acts are allowed in UMNO’s version of Islam teachings.

As much as Akmal, and UMNO for that matter, hopes to be seen as the defender of Islam and the saviour of Allah, majority of Malays actually believe that KK Mart’s blunder was a genuine mistake more than Akmal’s drama to defend the 3R (race, religion and royalty). People could smell miles away how he planned to exploit and manipulate the sock issue for political mileage.

This issue will definitely backfire on the Malay nationalist party in the next 16th General Election. The lost Malay voters will not return to UMNO, while at the same time the angry Chinese voters will show the middle finger to the racist and corrupt party. Only morons will use the obsolete 1980s script to replay the same political gimmick in the 2020s to scam the people.

The Opposition does not need to do anything. UMNO has done a marvellous job shooting its own foot. In fact, UMNO may close shop before KK convenience stores fold its business. Reduced to just 26 parliamentary seats after the November 2022 General Election, UMNO would be lucky if it could win a dozen seats in the next national polls. Remember to send Akmal to contest so that he could be slaughtered.

Source : Finance Twitter

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