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Malaysia store hit by Molotov cocktail over 'Allah' socks

By AFP

March 30, 2024 05:03 PM


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A Molotov cocktail was thrown at a store belonging to a Malaysian chain that had offered socks bearing the word "Allah" for sale, police said on Saturday.

The incident came days after the mini-market chain's executives were charged with hurting religious feelings over the sale of the socks at another of its stores.

Wan Mohamad Zahari Wan Busu, police chief in Kuantan City in Malaysia's east, said the KK Supermart branch had been hit just before dawn, causing a small fire at the entrance.

He told AFP that the attack was "still under investigation, but we're not denying that it may be related to the incident involving stockings with the word Allah".

Employees put out the fire with an extinguisher and no injuries were reported, he said.

Pictures of the socks spread on social media this month, sparking public outrage among some Muslims who regarded them as insulting, especially because they went up for sale during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Islam is the official religion in Malaysia and Malay Muslims make up more than two-thirds of the population of 34 million.

Race and religion are thorny issues in Malaysia, which witnessed deadly racial riots in 1969.

KK Super Mart CEO Chai Kee Kan, 57, and his wife, who serves as a company director, were charged this week with "deliberately intending to hurt the religious feelings" of Malaysians, according to a charge sheet seen by AFP.

Three officials from supplier Xin Jian Chang were also charged with abetting them.

All five pleaded not guilty and face a maximum jail term of one year or a fine, or both, if convicted.

The case drew a rare royal rebuke from Malaysia's king, who called for an investigation and "strict action" against any party found guilty.

KK Supermart, Malaysia's second-largest mini-market chain, has apologized for the socks, saying it viewed the matter "seriously" and had taken action to stop their sale immediately.

Supplier Xin Jian Chang also issued an apology, saying the "problematic socks were part of a larger shipment of 18,800 pairs ordered" from a company based in China.


AFP


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