KUANTAN, July 18 — Action still needs to be taken against the shoe distributor alleged to have printed Malaysia’s coat of arms or ‘Jata Negara’ on the inside of its shoes although the company has openly apologised for insulting the national symbol, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said stern action was needed as national emblems, including the coat of arms, must be respected and that this was the second such incident after copies of a book featuring a logo similar to Malaysia’s coat of arms were seized recently.

“Apologising does not work for me now. When a mistake is made, it must be investigated and, if found guilty, appropriate punishment must be meted out. If not, it’s very easy to make a mistake and then apologise as such an incident can recur.

“The case regarding the printing of the book is said to be under investigation… this case too I will monitor and forward to (the relevant authorities) for stern action to be taken,” he told reporters after the Indera Kota biscuit-making course for single mothers at the Cenderawasih KRT stall here today.

Saifuddin, who is also the Indera Mahkota MP, said this when asked to comment on photographs of shoes containing the coat of arms and an apology letter from the company dated July 17 which had gone viral on social media.

In another development, Saifuddin said the Information Department is producing a guidebook on the use of the names and emblems of Malaysia that will be distributed to everyone, including via online.

He said that many still did not know the use of the names and emblems, including the correct coat of arms, and that many also were not aware of the existence of a specific law regarding the matter, which is the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act 1963.

“We will also explain the proper use of the Jalur Gemilang (Malaysian flag) because there have been times when we have made mistakes. For example, can we use the flag to make clothes? This is one of the things many are unsure of.

“This matter will be studied in detail. We encourage everyone to show off the flag, but it must be done in a proper and ethical manner. These are among the things that will be explained in the guidebook,” he said.

Meanwhile, commenting on the course, Saifuddin said he would assist entrepreneur Maizatul Akmar Rizah Mazlan, who currently trains 20 single mothers in making traditional biscuits and chips. — Bernama