MTUC slams ‘overdrive’ by politicians, groups in boycott campaign

MTUC says it has asked workers not to support the boycott campaign.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has slammed what it called an “overdrive” by certain groups and politicians who resort to racial and religious attempts to woo consumers to boycott products made by non-Muslims.

In a statement today, MTUC president Abdul Halim Mansor said asking consumers to boycott products and services by a certain community was akin to “poisoning their minds”.

Halim said MTUC has asked workers not to support the call by these groups as it is based on racial and religious sentiments.

Instead, the National Labour Centre has asked workers to support all Malaysian products for the “healthy development” of Malaysia, he said.

“We agree with the groups encouraging the use of halal products by Muslims as it is in line with the Islamic principles.

“It is also acceptable to encourage Malaysians to focus on Bumiputera-made products.

“However, it should not be at the expense of boycotting other local products,” he said.

Halim said such a campaign not only affects national unity adversely but will also result in workers from all races and religions losing out across the board.

“Any boycott that has narrow racial interests will affect foreign investments, resulting in them boycotting Malaysia. This will directly affect jobs in Malaysia and the future of the rakyat,” he said.

MTUC president Abdul Halim Mansor.

Halim urged all Malaysians to reject such campaigns as it will lead to unhealthy provocations.

“This boycott must be opposed for the progress and the future of Malaysia which is for all races and religions.

“MTUC urges consumers not to be victims of certain quarters who do not care about the welfare of workers in their political ambitions by using methods that do not make sense.”

Halim said MTUC, which champions the cause of 15 million workers in the country, will find it difficult to do its work as it will have an impact on their employers.

“What they need now is help to get higher wages, better welfare and humane work conditions for the workers, and our focus will only be on this,” he said.

The campaign movement began on social media recently, with the Bumiputera community urged to avoid buying products made by businesses owned by non-Bumiputeras.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has since said he does not agree with the movement’s call as it was only carried out by people with shallow thinking.