Another Malaysia store attacked over ‘Allah’ socks

A second store belonging to a Malaysian chain that had offered socks bearing the word “Allah” for sale has been attacked with a Molotov cocktail, police said on Monday.

The incident happened on Sunday, a day after a similar attack on another store in a different city.

“A glass bottle filled with kerosene was thrown” at a KK Supermart branch in Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, on Malaysia’s Borneo island, local police chief Ahsmon Bajah said in a statement.

Boxes containing mineral water bottles, which were stacked outside the shop, caught fire.

The two attacks 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.

No arrests have been made in either attack, police said.

Pictures of the socks spread on social media last 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 is a company director, were charged last month 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 guilty party.

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

The supplier also apologised, saying the “problematic socks were part of a larger shipment of 18,800 pairs ordered” from China. jsm/sn


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