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.
“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.
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.