Buy Malaysian products first, says minister amid debate on product boycott

Buy Malaysian products first, says minister amid debate on product boycott

Woman in Malaysia shops at supermarket
File photo of a woman shopping for groceries at a supermarket in Malaysia. (Photo: AFP/ MOHD RASFAN)

PENANG: A Malaysian minister called on Saturday (Sep 7) for the public to generally buy Malaysian products first, instead of focusing only on buying products of Bumiputeras (indigenous Malays). 

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said that for a multi-racial country like Malaysia, the campaign to buy Malaysian products should be supported by all quarters - regardless of race - to maintain peace and harmony in the country.

READ: "Buy Muslim-made products first" campaign will divide Malaysians, says MP

“In the context of our country, I really think that we should give priority to the ‘buy Malaysian products first’ campaign.

“We don’t need to say ‘buy Malay first’ or ‘buy Muslim first’... I say we all should buy Malaysian products first,” he told a press conference. 

Saifuddin's comments came several days after a campaign in support of Muslim-made products, with certain parties also calling for a boycott of halal products made by non-Muslims, came under the spotlight. 

READ: Malaysian Malays need to change attitude, seize work opportunities - PM Mahathir

A statement from Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), which defended the campaign and claimed it had a positive effect, drew a rebuke from the likes of Democratic Action Party's Ramkarpal Singh.

"Encouraging a boycott on non-Muslim products by Muslims is wrong and goes against the spirit of our Federal Constitution which guarantees equality, which includes one's right to livelihood," he said. 

A campaign also emerged on social media asking the public to boycott products of non-Bumiputera and to buy Bumiputera products instead. 

Last Friday, Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he disagreed with the boycott, attributing such moves to  people with shallow thinking.   

Source: Bernama/hs