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KK Mart draws ire after controversial sock issue, Religious Affairs minister steps in

KK Mart draws ire after controversial sock issue, Religious Affairs minister steps in

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KK Mart's brand sentiments have plummeted from 38% positive and 13% negative to 0.4% positive and 37.7% negative after it put socks featuring the word “Allah” printed on them for sale in its outlet in Bandar Sunway, according to media intelligence firm CARMA. 

Images of the socks went viral online on March 13 and quickly began drawing criticism from users. According to CARMA, prior to the incident, KK Mart's word cloud included words such as 'sale', 'facilities' and 'pharmacy'.

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However, after the incident, it changed drastically to reflect words such as 'boycott', 'socks' and 'police'.

In response to the incident, KK Super Mart issued a statement on Facebook apologising for selling the offensive socks. It said that it regretted the incident and that it has since been in touch with its vendor for further clarification. 

KK Super Mart founder Datuk Seri Dr KK Chai also reportedly issued a verbal apology at a press conference over the weekend. He said that product management of the socks were done by a vendor through a space rental system at its convenience stores and without the supervision of KK Super Mart employees.

Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar, Malaysia's Religious Affairs minister, has since said that KK Mart and its vendors must learn from this and that this is a very sensitive issue particularly because it happened in the month of Ramadan, according to The Star

He added that he was "saddened and disappointed" by what happened and that it was a matter that couldn't be ignored. 

He reportedly said that Allah is "our creator" and that the act of putting Allah on people's feet is a "huge insult" that Muslims cannot ignore. 

Mokhtar also said that Muslims must be given the space needed to forgive the act and said that he has instructed the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) to summon KK Super Mart's management to further discuss the matter.

He added that Muslims should trust authorities to conduct their investigations to determine the true cause of the error. 

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