KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Mohd Na’im Mokhtar and Johor Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman Mohd Fared Mohd Khalid today called on the public to uphold the King’s decree on ‘3R’ matters in Malaysia.

The term ‘3R’ refers to race, religion, and royalty.

The joint statement comes on the heels of several contentious incidents involving products such as socks, shoes and prayer mats, which were deemed disrespectful to the Islamic faith.

“This matter is becoming ever more concerning because it threatens the harmony of this multi-racial and multi-religious country. Starting with the issue of the sale of socks with the word ‘Allah’ written on them sold by KK Super Mart and Superstore Sdn Bhd, and then the issue of the logo of shoes allegedly resembling the word ‘Allah’ sold by Vern’s Holding Sdn Bhd, followed by the latest issue of the sale of mini prayer rugs with misleading labels at Aeon BiG (M) Sdn Bhd (Aeon Big), as supplied by A&R Fashion Collection (A&R).

Advertisement

“PDRM has taken appropriate action against the parties involved, based on the laws of this country. The government will not compromise should any party cause similar issues in the future.

“In this regard, the government advises everyone regardless of religion or race to uphold the decree of His Majesty the King, Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar, delivered at the opening ceremony of the third term of the 15th Parliament, last February 26, 2024. His Majesty emphasised the importance of cohesion among races and at all levels of society to strengthen national unity and of not inciting the people by playing up ‘3R’ issues,” the duo said in the statement.

They also listed several immediate actions taken by the government to tackle said issues, including the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) summoning the parties concerned on March 18, 2024 and April 8, 2024 to be investigated and given stern warnings.

Advertisement

At the Johor state level, meanwhile, the Action Committee to Address the Misuse of the Word ‘Allah’ was also formed and is co-chaired by Mohd Fared Johor Housing and Local Government Committee chairman, Datuk Mohd Jafni Md Shukor.

“All chambers of commerce, trade associations and industry groups must give their firm commitment to dealing with the issues that have occurred, and to prevent a recurrence.

“Community awareness campaigns to uphold the dignity of those within a multicultural society should always be organised, together with continuous monitoring by all enforcement agencies, whether at the federal or state government level, without exception,” the duo added.

Last week, the Johor Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JAINJ) seized 11 floor mats bearing images of the Kaaba from a supermarket in Batu Pahat.

In response, Aeon BiG and the product’s supplier, A&R Fashion Collection, issued a joint statement to explain that the confiscated items were mini prayer rugs that had been incorrectly labelled as ‘doormats’.

National news agency Bernama reported Mohd Fared as saying that they were confiscated following complaints from the public.

He said the supermarket management had been called up to provide an explanation.

He also warned shopkeepers to be vigilant to avoid selling items that might offend sensitivities.