You’re neither prosecutor nor judge, Anwar warns public as vigilantes emerge over ‘Allah’ socks issue

March 25, 2024 By 0

IPOH, March 25 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has today told the public not to be a prosecutor or judge over the issue of the sale of socks bearing the word “Allah” by a KK Mart branch recently.

As vigilantes started cropping up to champion the matter, Anwar said the country would not be able to see any growth if the people decided to harp on certain issues, especially on the so-called “3R”: race, religion and royalty.

“I didn’t mean to make this insignificant. No one should belittle or insult any religion, what more Islam,” he said in a breaking fast event at the Kolej Poly-Tech Mara Meru Raya here, referring to the socks issue.

“The world is now vigorously competing in artificial intelligence and digital transformation while we are still arguing on other matters.”

Anwar pointed out that the problem in the country now is that everyone wants to become an investigator and judge over most issues.

“In any case, the one who should be investigating is the police, the one who charges is the Attorney General’s Chambers and the one who delivers the verdict is the court,” he said.

“There are procedures before someone is judged. We need to call the accused, allow him to defend himself, call the witness to give a statement, analyse the facts and only then the judge makes the decision.

“However, the public immediately makes judgment when they see such issues in social media such as TikTok. We need to be mindful of such matters so that the country’s dignity can be preserved,” he added.

Anwar also said he wishes for the matter to reach its conclusion soon.

“This matter can’t be dragged on every week and we shouldn’t blame everyone and isolate all the shops,” he said.

Earlier this week, Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain warned vigilantes against taking the matter into their own hands.

The remark was made after several incidents where those deemed insulting Islam were confronted by mobs, including a popular silat instructor and influencer who has since been sentenced to six months in jail and fined RM12,000 by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.

Tomorrow, the top management of KK Supermart and Superstore Sdn Shd will be brought to face charges over the sale of the at the Shah Alam Sessions Court and is expected to face charges under Section 298 of the Penal Code with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of others.

KK Mart has also filed a lawsuit against socks’ supplier Xin Jian Chang Sdn Bhd and its director Soh Chin Huat for supplying the controversial socks, seeking a court declaration that the supplier had unlawfully interfered with its business, and for court orders for Xin Jian Chang and its director to indemnify it for the losses and to prevent further causing of losses by unlawful interference to business.