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Sabah Umno chief: State has nothing to do with KK Mart 'Allah' socks issue

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KOTA KINABALU, April 3 — Sabah Umno chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin last night said that the party has instructed Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh to cease discussing the controversial “Allah” socks case.

Distancing himself from the increasingly heated issue, the outspoken Kinabatangan MP said that the issue was discussed at an Umno meeting and that Dr Akmal was asked to stop going on about the issue since it was already a police matter.

“At the party meeting alone we had asked him to stop the issue.

“The Umno president had asked the youth chief (to stop). Maybe at that point, he didn’t know that KK Mart had made plans to deal with it. But after police interrogation and we were given more information, we accepted and agreed it should stop then,” said Bung.

Dr Akmal has been receiving flak for sowing racial hatred by calling for a boycott of the convenience store franchise, despite the case being brought to court.

Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been reported saying that Dr Akmal was asked to handle the issue “courteously” but Umno secretary-general Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki was also reported saying that the Supreme Council fully backed Dr Akmal’s stance.

Bung said that he thought Umno’s party stand was clear on the subject but it was recently brought up here by a former politician in Sabah who cited the recent issue as a reason to reject Umno in Sabah.

“Umno in Sabah is run by Sabahans, and we are not affected by what is happening there but he labelled us as extremists.

“Everyone knows Umno Sabah are not extremists. Like me every day I work with non-Muslims. I eat with them and they follow me when I go down to the ground,” he said, adding that he has asked the non-Muslims in his party to reply.

“But ask him not to judge Umno by that. What happens there, don’t bring it here because Sabah is peaceful. We get along regardless of religion or race. So this has nothing to do with us,” he said.

Bung was commenting on the remarks made by a former state assembly James Ligunjang who recently said Umno’s actions were akin to sowing discord and inciting racial hatred that may disrupt the harmony in Sabah and called on Sabahans to reject the party.