KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — Whether you have been naughty or nice this year, a local apparel and souvenir outlet recently released a range of Christmas gifts that will put a smile on your face and guarantee a “Jho-lly” good time.
Cashing in on the global financial scandal that is 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is the Apom Store lifestyle and souvenir outlet, with Apom being the acronym for “A Piece of Malaysia”.
The brand known for its quirky and truly Malaysian phrasesprinted on their products introduced this week a new range called the Jholly Christmas Collection.
Bearing a resemblance to fugitive financier Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, Apom’s version of Santa Claus featured in the collection is surely a seasonal steal.
Not being bashful with the quotes printed on souvenirs that range from mugs to greeting cards, the collection also features T-shirts with phrases like “Lari Party Jholly Repeat” and “Spend It Like You Stole It”.
Even the young, or young at heart, were not forgotten with the Find Jholly Book ensuring hours of fun, depending on the eyesight of the players, searching for Jholly.
The book bears a concept similar to that of the famous children’s trivia book, Where’s Waldo, but this time, the character being sought, Jholly, wears a black-and-white striped prison uniform.
The merciless captions and direct references to the global scandal can be seen throughout the collection, making sure every item from the coasters to the tote bags always remind you to have a Jholly good time.
Brand co-owner Kelvin Long spoke to Malay Mail and explained how the campaign had come about after the company was looking to think outside the box for this year’s Christmas season.
“We try to resonate with how Malaysians are feeling at the time and I think after the Billion Dollar Whale was published, there have been a lot of sentiments about Jho Low.
“But, of course, we didn’t want to use Jho Low as the name, that was why we decided with Jholly; we thought it would be fun to call a character Jholly the Santa.
“We took it as how can we make it a more humorous title, some tongue-in-cheek humour, to launch the campaign,” he added.
Long said there were currently no plans to continue the range into the next festive season, but he did not rule out the possibility of a Chinese New Year-themed range featuring Jholly.
He added the range had received encouraging feedback from customers since its launch on Wednesday.
The collection is now available at the Apom flagship outlet in Bangsar Village 1, and online, with prices ranging from RM8 to RM50 per item.
A walk-in customer, 31-year-old E. Shangar, said he found the collection of souvenirs amusing, admitting he would consider buying a souvenir from the range as a Christmas gift.
“It is amusing and good to see the shop is brave enough to sell such items. I think it would have been unlikely they (the sellers) would not have got into trouble if the government had not changed,” said the engineer.
“The items are interesting, funny, and it’s good to see people are now open-minded and willing to accept such items.”