US firms in Malaysia not amused about boycott action

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Calls by some Malaysian politicians and Muslim activists to boycott Israel- and US-related products after US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel have triggered angry reactions by the companies.

McDonald’s Malaysia has filed a police report against more than 20 individuals and non-governmental organisations for “spreading lies and slander,” and for calling for the boycott of the franchise, Malaysian media reported. The report was lodged in response to claims that McDonald’s Malaysia was “a direct contributor to the political conflict.”

Gerbang Alaf Restaurants Sdn Bhd, which is McDonald’s operating partner in Malaysia, refuted any allegetions. According to managing director Azmir Jaafar,  claims that McDonald’s Malaysia contributes a fund to Israel were false and slanderous accusations.

“Gerbang Alaf Restaurants is a locally-owned company run by a Muslim individual as its biggest shareholder,” he said, adding that “as a company, we do not contribute, support, are involved or ttake side in any political or religious conflicts anywhere in the world.”

Another US firm that felt the heat was Coca Cola Malaysia. The calls to boycott Coca-Cola over its alleged links to Israel followed similar calls on social media for a boycott of McDonald’s outlets in Malaysia.

Coca-Cola Malaysia’s country manager Ahmed Yehia said that any call to boycott Coca-Cola products in Malaysia will only hurt its local employees. Even though it was a global brand, local employees, retailers, distributors and suppliers would be the first to feel the effects of a boycott as all bottling operations were local, he noted.

“The Coca-Cola Company operates in more than 200 countries and territories across the globe with different political systems, religions and histories. Our goal is to refresh everyone. We do not support or oppose religious causes or favour one country over another anywhere in the world,” Yehia said.

Malaysia is not the only country where the fast food chain has faced calls for a boycott over the Israel-Palestine conflict. For example, in Saudi Arabia, a movement known as #BoycottAmericanRestaurants spread quickly.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Calls by some Malaysian politicians and Muslim activists to boycott Israel- and US-related products after US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel have triggered angry reactions by the companies.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Calls by some Malaysian politicians and Muslim activists to boycott Israel- and US-related products after US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel have triggered angry reactions by the companies.

McDonald’s Malaysia has filed a police report against more than 20 individuals and non-governmental organisations for “spreading lies and slander,” and for calling for the boycott of the franchise, Malaysian media reported. The report was lodged in response to claims that McDonald’s Malaysia was “a direct contributor to the political conflict.”

Gerbang Alaf Restaurants Sdn Bhd, which is McDonald’s operating partner in Malaysia, refuted any allegetions. According to managing director Azmir Jaafar,  claims that McDonald’s Malaysia contributes a fund to Israel were false and slanderous accusations.

“Gerbang Alaf Restaurants is a locally-owned company run by a Muslim individual as its biggest shareholder,” he said, adding that “as a company, we do not contribute, support, are involved or ttake side in any political or religious conflicts anywhere in the world.”

Another US firm that felt the heat was Coca Cola Malaysia. The calls to boycott Coca-Cola over its alleged links to Israel followed similar calls on social media for a boycott of McDonald’s outlets in Malaysia.

Coca-Cola Malaysia’s country manager Ahmed Yehia said that any call to boycott Coca-Cola products in Malaysia will only hurt its local employees. Even though it was a global brand, local employees, retailers, distributors and suppliers would be the first to feel the effects of a boycott as all bottling operations were local, he noted.

“The Coca-Cola Company operates in more than 200 countries and territories across the globe with different political systems, religions and histories. Our goal is to refresh everyone. We do not support or oppose religious causes or favour one country over another anywhere in the world,” Yehia said.

Malaysia is not the only country where the fast food chain has faced calls for a boycott over the Israel-Palestine conflict. For example, in Saudi Arabia, a movement known as #BoycottAmericanRestaurants spread quickly.

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