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Vendor in ‘Allah’ socks controversy says licence still valid
Published on: Thursday, March 21, 2024
By: FMT
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Vendor in ‘Allah’ socks controversy says licence still valid
Batu Pahat Municipal Council president Ezahar Abu Sairin (centre) and other council members during a meeting with Xin Jian Chang Sdn Bhd’s representatives at MPBP’s office in Batu Pahat, Johor, yesterday. (MPBP pic)
PETALING JAYA: The vendor that supplied convenience store chain KK Mart with socks bearing the word “Allah” maintains that its business licence is still valid despite an earlier statement by the Batu Pahat Municipal Council (MPBP) that it had been revoked.

In a statement, Xin Jian Chang Sdn Bhd said MPBP presented the company’s representatives with a notice alleging non-compliance with the terms of its business licence during a meeting yesterday.

“In the same notice, the council granted us 30 days from March 20 to submit a written statement before any decision is made regarding our licence,” said Xin Jian Chang.

“Therefore, our business licence remains valid until the council considers our written submission. Reports suggesting that our licence has been revoked are inaccurate.”

Xin Jian Chang also said that it was seeking legal advice to safeguard its interests.

In a Facebook post yesterday, MPBP said it had revoked Xin Jian Chang’s business licence and issued the company with a notice to halt its operations during a meeting between the company’s representatives, MPBP president Ezahar Abu Sairin, and other council members.

MPBP said the company’s factory was served the notice under the council’s trade, business and industry licensing by-laws for violating the conditions of its business licence, but did not specify what these conditions were.

Xin Jian Chang today said that the alleged non-compliance with its business licence was linked to its packaging of the socks.

Yesterday, Oriental Daily reported that Xin Jian Chang was halting its factory operations until Sunday to ensure the safety of its staff after the residential addresses of its top management were leaked on social media and threats were made to burn the factory down.

The company had also displayed a banner on its factory gate expressing regret over the controversy, promising to preserve the sensitivities of a multi-religious society, maintain harmony and enhance quality-control efforts.

Police were called in after several NGOs protested in front of the factory on Tuesday. The groups also submitted demands such as the putting up of the banner to the company’s representatives.

The controversy arose after photographs of the socks appeared on social media last Wednesday, earning the ire of the Muslim community and sparking calls for a boycott.

On Saturday, KK Mart apologised and expressed regret over the incident, saying it had sourced the socks from Xin Jian Chang which is now considering legal action for negligence against its supplier in China.

Xin Jian Chang said that when it contacted the supplier for an explanation, the supplier admitted that the socks were included in stock purchased “by mistake”.

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