PUTRAJAYA: The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) stressed that legal action would be taken if there was any deliberate elements concerning the logo of a shoe produced by Vern's Holding Sdn Bhd that allegedly resembled the word 'Allah' that was imprinted on the shoe's sole.

Its director-general Datuk Hakimah Mohd Yusoff said the department viewed the issue seriously and supported the efforts of the police to conduct further investigation into the matter.

"JAKIM leaves it to the relevant authorities to investigate as an investigation paper has been opened by the police.

"JAKIM also does not want such a case to recur in the future, whether by Vern's Holding Sdn Bhd or anyone producing whatever sales product," he said in a statement today.

He added that JAKIM had met Vern's Holding Sdn Bhd's founder and managing director, Datuk Seri Ng Chuan Hoo today for the purposes of investigation and sought an explanation from the company, along with measures taken to avoid such an issue from recurring.

"Vern's Holding Sdn Bhd has explained the real situation that led to the issue and apologised. The company has taken drastic measures, including an immediate recall of the offending product from over 70 of its branches throughout the country, including Sabah and Sarawak," he said.

Hakimah said JAKIM issued a stern reminder to Vern's Holding and all operators, manufacturers, suppliers and importers to be always aware and pay serious attention to sensitive issues involving religion and race.

"(It) is to maintain harmony among the public in the country. Everyone is advised not to stir up issues touching on 3R - religion, race and royalty - that can cause tension and sow discord," he added.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain previously said that the police received eight reports throughout the country about the offending logo and that investigations papers have been opened to investigate the issue under Section 298 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

He also said at a media conference today that 1,145 pairs of shoes were seized to facilitate investigations into the issue so far.