MAJU PRESS STATEMENT: BOYCOTT OF NON-MUSLIM PRODUCT/BUSINESS OR BUYING MALAY-MUSLIM ONLY/FIRST CAMPAIGN, IS NOTHING BUT BIGOTRY

Imagine if the Chinese Chambers of Commerce calls for a boycott of non-Chinese businesses by all Chinese Malaysians. Imagine if the Ibans in Sarawak call for the patronizing of only Iban shops in the state of Sarawak under the pretext of strengthening Iban businesses. 

How does that sound to Malay and Muslim ears? But these communities or any other communities has never done that because they don’t have that us vs them in their mindset.

Now the promoters of the original boycott or buy Malay-Muslim only is back-tracking after being criticised. However, it does not seem to occur to them that even if you were to say “buy our kind’ products first it is jarring to the ears of our neighbours, our fellow Malaysians. It promotes an US vs THEM mentality. Commerce is about the best at service and quality at the right price. It is not about let us buy amongst ourselves; such a mentality merely promotes a crutch and mediocre mindset instead of a competitive mindset.

We also condemn the misleading statement made by Ketua Dewan Ulamak PAS Negeri Pahang, Ustaz Zuridan Mohd Daud in Harakah that this dividing behavior is in accordance with the teaching of Islam according to Surah al-Baqarah 168. The demand in the verse is that they should not follow all those taboos in matters of food and drink which have their basis in superstitious beliefs or irrational usages. In some of the historical narrations it is cited that a few of the Arab tribes had unreasonably forbidden a part of their crops and their animals for themselves, where they used to sometimes attribute those prohibitions to Allah. Then, the above verse was revealed to dismiss that ambiguity. This verse emphasizes that we have to consume from what is religiously lawful and pure / halal / on the earth. Therefore, it has nothing to do with boycotting or choosing Muslim product first as long it is halal and clean.

MAJU PRESS STATEMENT

BOYCOTT OF NON-MUSLIM PRODUCTS/BUSINESSES OR BUYING MALAY-MUSLIM PRODUCTS ONLY/FIRST CAMPAIGN, IS NOTHING BUT BIGOTRY

Imagine if the Chinese Chambers of Commerce calls for a boycott of non-Chinese businesses by all Chinese Malaysians. Imagine if the Ibans in Sarawak call for the patronizing of only Iban shops in the state of Sarawak under the pretext of strengthening Iban businesses. 

How does that sound to Malay and Muslim ears? But these communities and others have never initiated such campaigns because they do not have that ‘us vs them’ mindset.

Now the promoters of the original boycott or “buy Malay-Muslim product only” campaign are now back-tracking after being criticised. It does not appear to occur to them that anyone who says “buy products from our own kind first”, is jarring to the ears of our neighbours; our fellow Malaysians. It segregates us and promotes the ‘US vs THEM’ mentality. 

This is a dangerous game to play in our multiracial Malaysia, where all different races have contributed positively and equally to the socio-economic and political growth of the country. 

We need to unlearn our prejudices as we chant slogans of a “New Malaysia” and teach ourselves to celebrate unity in diversity. 

It is about time we understand that we, Malaysians, are stronger when united as one people; one nation. 

And we need to come together to reject any and all attempts, political or otherwise, to thwart this unity that we have all worked hard at achieving. 

It is also equally important that we educate ourselves that commerce involves healthy competition for our economy to thrive, by competing for the best service and best quality, at the reasonable price. It is not about us buying amongst ourselves, thereby insulating ourselves within a narrow mentality and merely perpetuating the crutch and mediocre mindset, instead of driving the competitive mindset. 

We also condemn the misleading statement made by Ketua Dewan Ulamak PAS Negeri Pahang, Ustaz Zuridan Mohd Daud, in Harakah that this dividing behavior is in accordance with the teachings of Islam, according to Surah al-Baqarah 168. The demand in the verse is that they should not follow all those taboos in matters of food and drink which have their basis in superstitious beliefs or irrational usages.  In some of the historical narrations, it is cited that a few of the Arab tribes had unreasonably forbidden a part of their crops and their animals for themselves, and they attributed those prohibitions to Allah. The above verse was revealed to dismiss that ambiguity and clear the confusion. This verse emphasizes that we have to consume from what is religiously lawful and pure / halal / on the earth.  Therefore, it has nothing to do with boycotting or choosing Muslim products first, as long as it is halal and clean.

No matter what the reasoning is – none of it is acceptable. There is nothing in the Quran that advocates such behaviour. It is not just shallow thinking or ineffectiveness of such methods that make such advocacy unacceptable. It is purely bigotry and racism that drives such thinking and conduct. 

Our elected political leaders need to come out right now, stand firm and say it outright: loud and clear, but we only hear a deafening silence . Do not be cowards. You need to lead the way to show the better side of our society. Otherwise you only end up allowing the extremists to lead the way and the cancer will spread.

Islam is not about promoting racism. Period. Anyone advocating racist behaviour is against the teachings of Islam. The country needs to reprimand or remove those who advocates racism. We need a Malaysia for all.

Let’s MAJU together for Malaysia

Malaysian Action for Justice and Unity

3 September 2019

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. 100% agreed! “Those extremists “ Ngo/Party are scared of Sabahan & Sarawakian ! Please make them “facing “ the people there !

  2. Dear Supporters of MAJU and fellow Malaysians

    Come with us, register and volunteer where you can. Get your friends and family register as MAJU Supporters. stand and be counted with us. Join us now with hundreds of others already. together with the numbers, no longer anonymous, we will be a force no one can ignore. please come into the MAJU blog post exclusive for supporters and comment there as well. MAJU will be a movement – every activity is means to an end.

    Thank You

  3. The proponents of the boycott movement have been instigated by irresponsible politicians, likely from the islamic party. They are also ignorant of how commerce, business and the economy works. These people need to learn, and continuously learn, how the Malaysian, the regional and indeed the global economy are all interlinked. The way to success in commerce is not by boycotting but by focussing on customer needs across all customer types without exceptions for their different faiths. Doing a business on the basis of religious beliefs has to be fully exposed for the self defeating exercise it really is.

  4. Using race and religion to propagate separatism and exclusivity is dangerous. Malaysia started off with all races standing together abreast and as one family but now those far-right and religious fundamentalists are trying to break up that line and cause a rift among the people. Their reason for doing so is simple; for political mileage.

    They know they cannot lead our political landscape if they do not try break up the unity of the people and at the same time promote their ideology of extremism. The tactics they are using is quite similar to what our former colonials used to ensure that Malayans remained weak and unite to speak with one voice. It is also a tactic used by Jihadists like the Islamic State (or Daesh) to attract supporters and recruits to fight their devious cause.

    Sadly, our government is allowing it to fester by doing little to stop its infestation. We do not know why they are keeping mum about it but perhaps it may have something to do with trying to avoid offending the ever-growing rightist population. The PH government realizes that it is losing the support from the people as it appears that the rightist movement is more attractive to the population. As such, it may not wish to stop the bleeding by adopting a more pacifist stand while itself may even join the club and jostle for support. As they say, if you can’t beat them, join them.

    All these events are threatening the harmony of this country. It is time we speak up against it before it is too late. We do not want to be a Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan where racial and religious conflicts transcend into sectarian conflicts. We love this country too much to allow it to die in that manner.

  5. The slogan has changed from a boycott to buy malay/muslim first which suits the convenience of those who choose to practice it. What i’m wondering is, if non-malay/muslim businesses or services are well within their rights to refuse to be second choice and refuse sale or services to them? Of course the challenge would be how to identify the BMF supporters, it’s not like they would wear a badge to identify themselves. I can’t imagine the chaos.

    1. We don’t believe such boycotts or even buy first will work. It is not the first time it has been mooted and it won’t be the last time either. This campaign is a political tool to further drive a wedge in our society by extreme interests for political gain. But we have to say out as neccessary to be the voice of reason in our society

      1. I agree the campaign in itself is short sighted, but the spill over effect of such a slogan in the social media may lead to a whole lot of other complications. I would wish the people in power will be swift and decisive in shutting down this propaganda as it’s dominating all other more pressing issues. As for the rest of the more informed readers i would seriously suggest we just ignore any kind of publicity on this subject in the media as the main intent is just to create an uneasiness amongst the rakyat.

        1. Noted. But we do have to point out the errors of their way and not allow them to maintain that narrative without objection. thanks for your input

  6. How is mymaju different? I see this “islam is about…., islam is not about….” everywhere. Both sides of the aisle doing the same thing. Some enlightenment plz.

    1. Dear Sharin,

      MAJU will point out without fear or favor truths. As we also comprise of Malay muslims in our movement, we must point out aspects of misuse of islam as political tool in logical ways specifically for malay muslims in our population to provide a different narrative than the extremists in our society. Otherwise we surrender the argument to the extremists. The press statement is for general release.

      With respect to MAJU itself, we want to see our government move away from religion in the public sphere. We are not against any religion, but religion must remain the personal domain of the individual and not governance.

  7. This calling is actually a hoodwink to get Malay supporters into PAS/Umno coalitions.

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