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McDonald’s Malaysia’s Move To Sue Boycott Movement Slammed

McDonald’s Malaysia’s Move To Sue Boycott Movement Slammed

It is generally known that when a boycott takes place, it is the people’s choice to decide whether they want to boycott a certain company or not.

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McDonald’s Malaysia (MCD) recently initiated legal action against a non-governmental organisation (NGO) Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Malaysia (BDS Malaysia) for allegedly disparaging their business.

READ MORE: Pro-Palestine Group BDS Malaysia Faces Legal Challenge From McDonald’s Malaysia

The fast food chain confirmed that they filed a civil suit against BDS Malaysia to protect their rights and interests in accordance with the law.

“We further reiterate our stand that McDonald’s Malaysia does not channel any sales, profits, royalties or franchise fees from restaurant operations to support any political cause or conflict in any part of the world. While we understand and respect that the act of boycotting is an individual decision, we believe that it should be based on true facts and not false allegations,” McDonald’s Malaysia said in a statement.

BDS Malaysia denied any actions of defamation and has decided to let the court decide on the matter.

When the matter made headlines, many took to social media to criticise McDonald’s Malaysia’s move.

Some pointed out that BDS Malaysia is not the primary reason for them boycotting McDonald’s; and that it was because of the support that McDonald’s (in Israel) had been showing support to Israeli soldiers.

Others pointed out that it is better to buy local products rather than McDonald’s.

Also sharing his two cents is former Education Minister Prof Dr Maszlee Malik who remarked on Twitter that the legal action was a bad marketing move by McDonald’s Malaysia as it would only prompt more people to boycott them further.

Based on the sentiment we can observe on social media, Maszlee’s not entirely wrong.

Organic Boycott

The boycott of McDonald’s Malaysia following the escalation of the conflict in Gaza is categorised as an organic boycott.

Organic boycott simply means it was not initiated by NGOs or companies but was a move taken by people in reaction to issues, in this case the Palestine-Israel conflict.

“The BDS movement did not initiate these grassroots boycott campaigns but is in support of them due to these brands openly supporting Israel’s genocide against Palestinians,” BDS Malaysia had said.

It is generally known that when a boycott takes place, it is the people’s choice to decide whether they want to boycott a certain company or not.

McDonalds Malaysia

McDonald’s Malaysia has stated that it does not condone the Middle East conflict and has contributed RM1 million to the Palestinian Humanitarian Fund.

The company has expressed its solidarity with the innocent victims in Gaza and pledges to continue praying for peace in the region.

McDonald’s Malaysia also clarified that it does not use its profits, royalties, or franchise fees to support any political cause or conflict worldwide, as reported by NST.

Is Boycott Legal In Malaysia?

According to Article 10 of the Federal Constitution, every citizen in our country has the right to freedom of speech and expression.

Considering that boycotting is a form of expression, it is legal in Malaysia. However, it becomes illegal when a product or a company is boycotted through defamation.

In conclusion, there are many layers to this case of McDonald’s Malaysia suing BDS. However, as seen on social media, the move impacted McDonald’s Malaysia more than BDS.

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