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AEON BiG: ‘Floor mats’ with image of Kaabah are actually mini ‘sejadah’; a matter of product coding confusion

Publish date: Sun, 14 Apr 2024, 11:18 AM

THE 11 pairs of floor door mats recently seized by Johor State Islamic Religious Department (JAINJ) from a Batu Pahat hypermarket for bearing the image of the holy Kaabah on them are actually mini prayer mats or sejadah.

AEON BiG (M) Sdn Bhd has clarified that the confusion arose due to the said items being inaccurately labelled as door mats by the supplier. 

The hypermarket operator said they were made aware of the issue on Tuesday (April 9) and had extended its cooperation to JAINJ.

Moreover, the supplier involved, A&R Fashion Collection, is a 100% Bumiputera and Muslim-owned small medium enterprise (SME) which supplies Syariah-compliant clothing such as prayer robes, hijab, kurta, sampin, songkok as well as products such as prayer mats, carpets and rugs.

“A&R has since confirmed that the product in question is indeed a mini sejadah (prayer mat), given that the design is a vertical format which is a common practice,” noted AEON BiG in a statement.

“However, in line with AEON BiG’s best practices for SME suppliers, A&R proceeded to use an item code previously used for the company’s various other products. As a result, the label tagged onto the product carried several descriptions, thus causing confusion.”

Established in 2007, A&R Collection has been AEON BiG’s supplier since 2015 in addition to being a supplier to other retailers and owning its own shops.

Elaborating further, AEON BiG said it has taken immediate measure to rectify the ‘confusion’ in the hypermarket’s stock management system with the description of sejadah on the said prayer mat having been reflected.

“Both the managements of AEON BiG and A&R hope that this joint statement will clear any doubts on this issue. We hope that there will not be any further speculation that may cause unrest in our multicultural society,” the hypermarket pointed out.

“AEON BiG and A&R will continue to extend our full cooperation with JAINJ and any relevant authorities should there be any further information required.”

It was reported yesterday (April 13) that the Johor state religious authority has seized 11 pairs of floor mats with portrayals resembling the Kaaba at a supermarket in Batu Pahat a day before the Aidilfitri celebrations.

The action followed a complaint from the public against the business premises in question that sold the mat in conjunction with the Aidilfitri celebration, according to the state’s Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman Mohd Fared Mohd Khalid.

The issue came about after a social media surfer expressed shock after finding foot mats sold at the said supermarket bear portrayals of the Kaaba. “At first I thought they were prayers mat because there is a portrayal of the Kaaba but on second look, they were floor mats meant for wiping the feet,” penned the netizen.

As expected, UMNO Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh has sprung into action following revelation of the seizure of 11 pairs of ‘floor mats’ bearing the Kaaba portrayal. - April 14, 2024

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