Umno Youth Chief Arrested In Kota Kinabalu Amid KK Mart Boycott Controversy

In a surprising turn of events, Umno Youth Chief Dr Muhammad Akmal Saleh was arrested in Kota Kinabalu on Friday, sending shockwaves through the political landscape.

The arrest is believed to be linked to his vocal stance on the controversial issue of socks bearing the word “Allah” sold at KK Mart outlets, which has sparked heated debates and calls for a boycott.

Footage circulating on social media shows Akmal being escorted by police into a sports utility vehicle (SUV), nonchalantly stating, “Tidak takut, tidak menyerah” (Not afraid, not surrendering).

Despite being scheduled to provide a statement at the Dang Wangi police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, the authorities unexpectedly detained him in the Sabah capital.

Rising Tensions: East Malaysian NGOs Call for Travel Bans Amidst KK Mart Boycott Fallout

The arrest comes amidst growing tensions surrounding the KK Mart boycott, with two East Malaysia-based NGOs urging the Sarawak and Sabah governments to include Dr Akmal on their travel ban list.

Sarawak Associations for People (Sapa) and Sabah Defenders of Ancestral Lands (Mopot) have also called for the ban of several controversial figures, citing concerns over potential disruptions to social cohesion.

In a joint statement, the NGOs listed several other individuals they labelled as “hate preachers” from entering the territories, namely:

  • Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, a controversial preacher known for his divisive remarks on race and religion.
  • Firdaus Wong, the president of the Multiracial Reverted Muslims (MRM), who has been accused of making inflammatory statements.
  • Zamri Vinoth, a preacher who has faced criticism for his hardline views and confrontational approach.
  • Syakir Nasoha, another preacher who has been associated with controversial statements regarding race and religion

Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin recently revealed that the party leadership had instructed Dr Akmal to cease his aggressive stance on the issue, stating that KK Mart had no intention of persisting with the matter.

However, the Umno Youth Chief’s unwavering commitment to the cause has led to his arrest, marking a significant development in this ongoing saga.

As the nation watches with bated breath, the implications of Dr Akmal’s arrest and its potential impact on the delicate fabric of Malaysia’s multi-ethnic and multi-religious society remains to be seen.