Tycoon sees red over colour rule on school shoes
“What difference does it make what colour the socks are? Who cares if they match as long as they are wearing socks.”
(FMT) – A retail tycoon has criticised the education ministry over a new rule on the colour of school shoes and socks, saying it has its priorities wrong.
Ameer Ali Mydin, the managing director of the Mydin chain of hypermarkets, said the ministry should be focusing on matters of real importance, such as the command of English among students.
He warned that the new rule would be costly for parents and businesses.
Yesterday, the ministry said students would be allowed to wear either black or white shoes but must make sure socks and shoes are of the same colour. The rule is effective next year.
Ameer said: “What difference does it make what colour the socks are? Who cares if they match as long as they are wearing socks.
“The concern should be whether people have money to buy socks.”
He said wholesalers and retailers were now stuck with too many white socks and the new rule would make the problem worse.
“In Mydin’s case, we have over RM1 million worth of white socks in stock, which is why we are clearing them at RM2 for three pairs. The same socks in black sell for RM7.”
He said many parents had already switched to black shoes for their children and would now be forced to buy black socks.
In 2018, former education minister Maszlee Malik courted controversy when he said the education ministry would allow students to wear black shoes and socks to school from 2019. The full implementation of the policy was supposed to start in 2021.
When announcing the move, Maszlee said many parents had complained that their children’s white school shoes soiled easily.
The ministry said yesterday’s statement nullified the 2018 circular.