KUALA LUMPUR: Bata has cashed in on the social media hype after a photo of Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad with a pair of sandals from the footwear company was circulated online.
A photo posted by an @azranshah on Instagram on Thursday (May 17) showed Mahathir resting on a chair and looking at his phone, with his sandals off.
The Instagram user spotted the sandal's brand, which is well known for its affordable prices, and wrote: "Our humble Tun need(s) no Gucci or Hermes, just Bata is good to go :') Love you Tun."
On the same day, Bata posted on Facebook a photo of the model of the sandals worn by Dr Mahathir, claiming that it is the "hottest selling accessory" for this year's Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which began on Thursday.
"This is a heritage Bata sandal which has been retailing for more than 20 years. Today an Instagrammer posted a photo of Tun M wearing Bata slipper which we believe is this design," said Bata in response to queries posted on Facebook.
Regarding the slight difference in the print design of the sandal, Bata said: "The pair that Tun M wore is using our insole design from four years ago. Our current design, we have refreshed the insole design - which is now called Sandak by Bata. But it is the exact same slipper."
Bata's Facebook post has since garnered more than 5,000 shares.
A Facebook post of Dr Mahathir and his wife Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali shopping for discounted clothing has also been widely shared on social media.
Dr Mahathir, 92, was sworn in as Malaysia's seventh prime minister after the Pakatan Harapan coalition - led by him - defeated the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in the country's 14th general election last week.
Former premier Najib Razak, who had led BN, is currently involved in a money-laundering probe linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund created by his administration.
On Friday morning, Malaysian police seized 284 boxes containing designer handbags and dozens of bags stuffed with cash and jewellery from a private residence linked to Najib.