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Malaysia: Campaign to boycott US goods

Categories: East Asia, North America, Israel, Malaysia, Palestine, U.S.A., Citizen Media, Digital Activism, Economics & Business, Food, Governance, International Relations, Labor, Politics, Protest

As a form of protest against Washington’s support for Israel, some Malaysians are boycotting U.S. products [1]. Israel has launched military offensives in Gaza [2] which have claimed the lives of more than 800 Palestinians. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is actively supporting the boycott campaign.

More than 2,000 Muslim restaurants belonging to the Association of Muslim Restaurant Operators have stopped serving Coca-Cola products to their customers. The Malaysian Islamic Consumers Association have also identified 100 other products with brand names like Starbucks, Colgate, McDonald's, Nike, Wendy’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Gap, Dell, and Maybelline which are targets of the boycott campaign.

Picture from the blog of Shamsul Yunos [3]

Opinion in the Malaysian blogosphere is divided over the campaign.

In my humble opinion lists the following criteria in selecting the US products [4]:

1. Is the product solely manufactured in USA?
2. Is the company opposed to the war?
3. Does the company have direct relations with Israel?

Everyday Ordinariness prefers other forms of protest [5]:

As much as I want to participate in this boycott, I have to constantly ask myself: Will it do more harm than good? It seems so easy to boycott American goods but I have to give up on a lot to do so.

When we are so used to Americanization and globalization, do you think it is easy to boycott goods, products and brands that have been part of our life for years? Who are we kidding? Look around and I am sure you have a piece of “Americanization”.

I am very sure there are other ways to express our sentiments in this issue. During Friday prayers just now, the money collected will be donated and benefit the people of Palestine. By doing so, the money will be used for daily necessities, such as food. I prefer doing donation so that it will, in one way or another, benefit the innocent victims.

My anger, it may be yours too believes the boycott would send a strong message to the West [3]:

I don't think the point here is to bankrupt Coca Cola but to send a message that the Muslim economy is strong enough to affect the West, after all this is as much economic warfare as it is about territory

New Malaysia doubts if the boycott [6] would be effective:

It's always easy to call for a boycott of American goods. Groups and individuals advocating such a boycott may have the best intentions but seriously, does it work? We call for a boycott of US products and have we considered the economic consequences of the US and Jewish lobbyists hitting us back?

Let's ditch the logical dismisses the protest [7]:

Malaysian politicians think too highly of themselves. The US doesn't really care if we boycott their companies. They can see through the smoke and mirrors. Who're the big foreign investors in Malaysia? American companies!

Pictures courtesy of Hantulaut [8] and Tunku [9].

The Artist urges student leaders to support the boycott [10]:

It’s time for Malaysian Student Leaders to take action and follow suit on an economic boycott. This will give us a double edge benefit: helping our Malaysian industry & creating a consumer-centered business model.

Carefully select products to boycott: We wouldn’t want our industry to be in trouble don’t we? Let’s examine which products would be wise to boycott at a start and which we can live without. Then we work to boycott others from there.

Think; Think; Think emphasizes that the campaign’s success depends on the cooperation of consumers [11]:

Its an ORDER! Boycott, Refuse, Stay Away From, Impose Sanctions, Embargo, Shun, Proscribe, Prohibit, Reject, and all other synonyms to Boycott, Israeli’s or Jewish, or any organizations or products related to them, or even supporting them. Boycott!

They maybe laughing at me, as a Muslim independent blog writer, “who are you to boycott us?”, but if we all cooperate together, boycott their product, they will feel some (if not huge) impact from our actions.

Icedlemontea does not object [12] to the idea of boycotting Coke:

I never much favor coca-cola in the first place so I think this boycott can be done for me. Now I just have to change all my cosmetic products to local’s. That’s right, gosh.

Jaff Point enumerates various acts of protest [13] which individuals and groups could launch to show support for Gaza:


1) Keep up the demonstration against Israel brutality in Gaza
2) BOYCOTT all Israel and USA goods and currency
3) Keep praying for God justice against Israel
4) Keep up the moral and financial support to Palestinians – DONATE
5) Spreads the words on Israel cruelty to the people around you and the world community

Hantulaut reminds bloggers [8] to rethink their support for the boycott:

“Those bloggers who supported Dr Mahathir's call probably forgot they are blogging on American products. If you boycott America then you have to stop using computers, computer software and all American made blogs and not forgetting the Internet. Can you? Our former premier probably didn't realize that he himself is a blogger and very deeply involved in using American products.”

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad delivering a speech in a national mosque. Photo from the blog of Jaff Point [13]