PN staying away from ‘Allah’ socks issue, says Lau

Gerakan president Dominic Lau says the matter has been turned into political fodder for certain parties.

(FMT) – Perikatan Nasional (PN) does not want to comment on the “Allah” socks issue as certain parties are politicising it, says Gerakan president Dominic Lau.

“We don’t want to comment because it has been turned into political fodder by certain parties,” said Lau when asked why PN has been silent about the ongoing controversy.

He added that there are certain matters which PN does not want to comment on for fear of “turning it into a racial issue”.

“Silence is better than speaking up. The authorities are addressing the issue, so let them do their job. If there are charges to be made in court, let them (the culprits) be charged.

“Why do we need to comment?,” he told reporters at the party headquarters in Menara PGRM, in Cheras today.

On Friday, Bukit Aman criminal investigation department director Shuhaily Zain said four investigation papers had been opened after 143 police reports were lodged nationwide on the issue, with 174 witnesses called to provide statements.

Meanwhile, two men have been sentenced to jail and fined for separate Facebook postings deemed insulting to Islam concerning the sale of the socks.

The controversy began when photographs were circulated on social media of socks bearing the word “Allah” which were found at the Bandar Sunway branch of the KK Mart convenience store.

The factory that supplied the socks has temporarily ceased operations, while KK Mart’s management has issued an apology over the socks. The company said the goods were supplied on consignment and were produced in China.

Umno Youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh has repeatedly called for a boycott of KK Mart, although senior political leaders have urged that the issue not be prolonged.

Umno’s leadership has said it fully supported Akmal’s stand on the controversial issue, despite criticism from MCA and DAP over his persistent call for a boycott.

When asked whether PN has decided to boycott KK Mart, Dominic said the coalition has not discussed the matter.

“The more you comment, the more the ‘other side’ likes it,” he said without elaborating.

Earlier in his speech, he said Gerakan wants to ensure that the “two-party system” does not become a “two-race system” which focuses on racial issues.

When asked about the meaning of a “two-party system” and “two-race system”, Lau clarified that the former referred to “the government and the opposition” while the latter referred to “Malays and non-Malays”.

“Differences of opinion are common because we are of different races, religions, and cultures. But what we are worried about now is when we see sensitive issues like bak kut teh, school canteens, vernacular schools (being played up),” he said.

“All these issues are not just differences of opinion but have become national issues. We don’t want our country to have ‘two races’.

“We want a two-party system but we don’t want it to be seen from a racial perspective because Malaysia is a multiracial country.”