A Sarawak-based party has called on the state government to back KK Mart, which is mired in controversy following the sale of socks bearing the word “Allah”.

In a statement, Parti Bumi Kenyalang president Voon Lee Shan said since the convenience store – which has 881 outlets nationwide – was founded by Sarawakian KK Chai, the state government must intervene to ensure the controversy would not ruin the brand.

The state government must see to it that KK Mart is supported by the Sarawak administration to help the brand expand in West Malaysia, he said.

“Sarawak lost her local banks in the past. The state should not further lose KK Mart, which is its ‘business ambassador’,” he said, alluding to the bank mergers in the late 1990s.

Voon went on to talk about the possibility of sabotage by business rivals or religious extremists against KK Mart to destroy a flourishing business from Sarawak. He said this should not be ruled out.

He also said the police should not allow politicians and activists to stir up hate against the convenience store chain as it could affect the economy and cause workers to lose their jobs.

Voon’s statement comes a day after former Upko president Wilfred Madius Tangau called on Sabah and Sarawak to take action to avoid being dragged down by divisive issues prevalent in Peninsular Malaysia.

The two East Malaysian states should cultivate a clear branding as the “Other Malaysia” that was “reasonable, stable, inclusive and at ease with diversity” to help woo investors, both domestic and foreign, the MP said.

The controversy began when photographs were circulated on social media of socks bearing the word “Allah” that were found at the Bandar Sunway branch of the KK Mart convenience store chain, leading to calls for a boycott of the outlets.

The factory that supplied the socks has temporarily ceased operations, while KK Mart’s management has issued an apology over the socks. The company said the goods were supplied on consignment and were produced in China.

Earlier today, KK Mart’s founder and director claimed trial to intentionally wounding the religious feelings of Muslims by selling socks bearing the word “Allah”. Chai Kee Kan and Loh Siew Mui pleaded not guilty. Chai is the company’s CEO while Loh, his wife, is the company’s director.

Three officers from Xin Jian Chang Sdn Bhd, the Batu Pahat-based vendor which supplied KK Mart the socks, were also charged in the sessions court here.

Source : FMT

A petrol bomb was reportedly thrown at a KK Mart convenience store in Bidor, Perak, this morning.

The bomb, which landed in front of the store, did not explode, China Press reported.

It was reported that an unidentified person threw the petrol bomb at the KK Mart outlet at around 5am.

It is understood that staff members were working inside the store when the incident occurred.

They have since lodged a police report on the matter, according to China Press.

FMT has reached out to Perak police chief Yusri Hassan Basri for comment.

KK Mart has been under intense scrutiny after photographs of socks bearing the word “Allah”, sold at KK Mart’s Bandar Sunway store, appeared on social media, earning the ire of the Muslim community and sparking calls for a boycott by Umno Youth.

The company has apologised and expressed regret over the incident.

However, Umno Youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh said KK Mart should 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.

Source : FMT

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