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After second attack on KK Mart, PAS wing denounces boycott and urges authorities to probe possible agent provocateur

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — Citing “hidden hands”, a PAS wing has called on authorities to look into possible acts by so-called agent provocateurs which it suggested may be behind the two firebombing attempts against KK Mart.

During a breaking fast event with the media in Ampang here, Pokok Sena MP and the chief of the party’s clerical Ulama wing, Datuk Ahmad Yahaya, also distanced the Islamist party from any call for boycott against the convenience store chain.

“For us it is simple. We want to manage the situation in the country so that no conflict leads to division. Because our call earlier for there to be unity, is because the situation that we want is a stable one.

“So because of that, we are stern in that we cannot accept any parties insulting any religion. In fact, I would say, [that this is the sentiment] even among Muslims too,” he told reporters.

“We hope that the authorities, especially the government will also be stern. If there are ‘invisible hands’ that are deliberately creating causes for contention among the different races and faiths in our country,” he added.

Ahmad said this reasoning is behind PAS’ decision to not blindly criticise anyone in this matter, and has instead placed the onus of investigating in the authorities’ hands.

“Because for us, we want authorities to investigate. Is this an act of sabotage against the management of the mart? It could be,” he added.

Ahmad stressed that while no insults or abuses toward any faith should be condoned, the disappointment and anger among Muslims in the country stemmed from what they perceived as a sluggish government response towards the controversy.

He said that there was an inherent sentiment that the government was being “selective” in its management of such matters, and that the issue would not have been prolonged if the authorities had acted quickly.

“Because we too are not accusing blindly, unless KK Mart admitted that they printed it, that they did it deliberately to insult.

Then that is a different story. However now, they too have apologised.

“That is why we illustrated earlier, that there seem to be invisible hands that deliberately cause issues like this,” Ahmad said, expressing worry that if the troublemakers are not identified and dealt with, similar issues involving race and religious matters will continue.

He also explained that this was why PAS had never joined in a call to boycott KK Mart since the issue of the controversial socks printed with “Allah” came to light.

“I am confident that there was no single PAS leader who called for the boycott. The PAS leadership only asked for stern action towards the person responsible,” he added.

Ahmad also noted that PAS typically takes time to thoroughly comprehend unfolding issues before issuing public statements, preferring careful consideration over knee-jerk reactions.

“God willing. We carefully manage such matters because for us, the people are smart in evaluating. The people are smart in evaluating PAS’ situation today,” he added.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim reminded the public to not take matters into their own hands following another incident whereby a Molotov cocktail was hurled at a KK Mart convenience store in Sungai Isap, Kuantan.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail also urged parties behind the call to boycott KK Mart to take responsibility for attack, saying they should help mollify angry Muslims agitated by racial provocation.