KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh today insisted on continuing his call to boycott KK Mart over the “Allah” socks issue, in apparent disregard of His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim King of Malaysia saying not to prolong the controversy.

Earlier today, Sultan Ibrahim said he did not want to the controversy drag on, after granting an audience to KK Mart Group executive chairman Datuk Seri Chai Kee Kan who apologised to the King over the incident.

Despite this, however, the Umno Youth chief would not agree to call off the action.

“Did the King ask to stop the boycott?” he was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.

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After socks printed with the Arabic word for “Allah” were found for sale at a KK Mart outlet in Selangor last month, Dr Akmal launched a boycott against the convenience chain.

When he received the Umno supreme council’s endorsement over his position later, Dr Akmal told KK Mart to find a new line of business as he did not intend for the boycott to end.

Shortly after, however, KK Mart outlets began coming under arson attacks, starting with one in Perak.

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On Sunday, a third such outlet was targeted with Molotov cocktails, this time in Sarawak that is considered among the country’s remaining bastions of multiculturalism.

Today, the Umno Youth chief sought to argue that his boycott was not an express call to violence.

“The people have made their decision without any coercion. Keep calm and boycott peacefully,” he was further quoted as saying.

Earlier today, Sabah Umno chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin claimed party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has directed Dr Akmal to stop playing up the socks controversy.

Bung also claimed that Umno did not approve of Dr Akmal’s actions, which contradicted party secretary-general Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki’s statement last month saying the Umno supreme council agreed with Dr Akmal on the controversy and other related issues.

Aside from apologising, Chai has also been charged along with his wife under Section 298 of the Penal Code for intentional incitement on religious grounds.