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Malaysia prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob caused a stir among Malaysians with his recent choice of footwear when he met Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong on Sep. 5 in Kuala Lumpur.
This took place on Wong's second day visiting Malaysia in his official capacity.
An image posted on Wong's Facebook page showed Ismail Sabri sporting a pair of Hermes Paris Loafers for the meeting.
The loafers, made with goatskin and has a gold-plated signature "H" on them, cost US$1,050 (S$1,480) on Hermes' U.S. website.
The exact loafers, with the gold "H", can no longer be found in Singapore's or Malaysia's Hermes online stores.
Commenters are divided
Twitter account PoliticoMy spotted the pricey shoes, stating that they cost RM5,100 (S$1,595) on the Malaysian Hermes website.
PM pakai apa hari ini?— POLITICO 🇲🇾 (@PoliticoMy) September 5, 2022
Kasut Hermes RM5,100. https://t.co/iXeYCH9bl1 pic.twitter.com/ti0egmX2d0
This sparked a discussion amongst Malaysians online.
Some commenters remarked that the PM's footwear choice was "tone deaf" and made him seem "out of touch with reality".
This was not the first time Ismail Sabri was accused of flamboyance.
In June 2022, he wore a red and pink short-sleeved Burberry shirt that cost S$2,190.
An opposition member of parliament, Fahmi Fadzil, told Malaysiakini that Ismail Sabri should have been more careful with his clothing choices especially as others faced the rising cost of living.
"At a time when more and more people are suffering due to the rising cost of goods, the prime minister should not be seen to be isolated from the rakyat’s (ordinary people's) reality," he said.
However, not everyone thought his choice of footwear was an issue.
Some argued that those online should "chill" and not condemn Ismail Sabri for choosing to wear these pricey shoes.
One commenter said there is no need to argue about what the PM wears, as long as he is dressed appropriately and not wearing something inappropriate like flip-flops to the meeting.
Another commenter said if the PM can afford to buy the shoes, then others shouldn't comment on it.
He also added that the discussion is getting "really noisy".
Top images taken from Lawrence Wong/FB and Hermes USA.
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