Cabinet agrees on swift and firm action on “Allah socks” issue

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22: The Cabinet today agreed that firm and immediate action on the ‘Allah’ socks issue is necessary for the matter to be resolved as soon as possible, said Fahmi Fadzil.

The Communications Minister said the Cabinet saw that the issue involving the sale of the socks by KK Super Mart Bandar Sunway branch in Petaling Jaya recently had resulted in a perception of religious insult and racial sensitivities in the country.

Fahmi, who is also the Unity Government spokesman, said the relevant authorities had been actively investigating the ‘Allah’ socks issue, which has gone viral on social media since March 13.

“Now police have conducted investigations and taken appropriate actions. For enforcement action, can refer to what has been done by police; for any legal actions, refer to the Attorney General’s Chambers,” he told a press conference at Angkasapuri here today.

Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain, in a press conference today, said police had completed their investigations on the matter and are awaiting further instructions from the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Fahmi said that following the socks issue, there was a surge in reports received by TikTok regarding content on the platform from March 13 until yesterday.

“MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) was told that before this TikTok received only about 1,800 complaints per month, but during this period (March 13-21), 1,040 reports were received. Not all may be related to the same issue (socks), but TikTok has found that 53 per cent of the complaints (cases) violate Malaysian law and another 19 per cent violate the application’s Community Guidelines.

“Thirteen per cent of the complaints are still under investigation by TikTok, and 15 per cent did not commit any offences,” he said.

Fahmi said he had also instructed MCMC to monitor social media, especially TikTok and Facebook, regarding screenshots of inflammatory statements related to the socks issue uploaded by various accounts on these two platforms, believed to be an attempt to shape public perception.

“MCMC has identified a trend of disseminating the same message and repeated by many other accounts, but it has not been determined whether it was intentional or not; perhaps an attempt by some parties to fish in troubled waters.

“However, I want to remind everyone that regarding the Allah word issue, don’t take the law into your own hands,” he said.