I am glad our prime minister, as a Malay and Muslim, has spoken against the boycott.
The boycott is unwise and may cause anger and further division among citizens in the country.
However, when Lim Guan Eng, the finance minister, echoed the PM’s call to rescind the boycott, the reaction was somewhat different. Now, the argument is to buy “Muslim-made first”, not so much to boycott non-Bumiputera-made products.
Whether it is to boycott non-Bumiputera-made products or buy Muslim-made first, I think the message is the same. There is bitterness and unhappiness, either real or orchestrated, among the people of different races and religions in the country.
Sometimes, in a situation like this, I think it is better for the non-Bumiputeras not to react or to boycott Bumiputera-made products or services. It is also better for non-Muslim leaders not to react. Whatever said, it is likely to add more fuel to fire. It is better for ministers and leaders from within the Muslim community to come to their senses and to dispense advice accordingly.
A boycott may be effective temporarily. Ultimately, I believe business is competition and value for money. Consumers will buy or not buy based on their own economic interests.
Unless the animosity is genuine and deep-rooted, I don’t think the boycott will last. It does not make sense to buy from an alternative source if pricing and quality are inferior. All businesses, Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera, must earn their own upkeep.
TK Chua is an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.