PREVAILING non-uniformity of opinion especially from the view of workers’ welfare and the Malaysian economy has proven to be a dampener on the Perikatan Nasional (PN)-initiated boycott efforts against US and Jewish products from reaching their optimum level.
This has somehow diminished the impact on the quest to paralyse the American and Israeli economy to the extent that citizens in both countries would rise to protest against their governments’ role in facilitating attacks on the Gaza Strip.
On a similar note, boycott measures have begun to fizzle out when they should be mobilised at full steam as a sign of undivided solidarity towards the people of Gaza and Palestinians at large.
To overcome the ineffectiveness issue, a PAS women’s wing leader has deemed the termination of franchise employees as the “core dilemma” which has to be overcome.
“This should be examined by many parties, especially the government and stakeholders,” opined the Employee Affairs, Human Capital, Consumers and Consumerism Bureau chairman Dr Salmah Abd Rahman.
“Action by Malaysians to boycott American and Israeli products States has put significant pressure on the government of the Zionist regime. In Indonesia, a 40% drop in sales of Israeli and American products was recorded.”
Salmah further listed down four steps that can be taken to overcome the issue of job loss among the so-called franchise workers fraternity:
Firstly, the government should be transparent in providing information related to franchise companies in this country, especially the status of their relationship with the parent company whether they are still connected or have been severed.
“This is important to avoid confusion and ensure that boycott efforts are targeted only at companies that are really involved in contributing funds to the atrocities in Palestine and Gaza,” asserted Salmah.
Secondly, the effort to transfer franchise employees of the companies involved to home-grown and Bumiputera-owned companies needs to be strengthened so that unemployment issues can be avoided.
“The Employment Insurance Scheme (SIP) under the management of SOCSO (Social Security Organisation) needs to be utilised and improved. The campaign to buy Malaysian-made goods should be accorded priority to ensure that local companies are able to stand up and be resilient.”
Thirdly, Salmah called on the relevant authorities to set aside special funds to those who are interested in opening their own business based on their previous experience working in a franchise outlet.
“This can indirectly improve the recipe and design of local products in order to stand with franchise products,” she suggested.
Fourthly, local owners or shareholders of franchise businesses must be prepared to give up their businesses or to stop the payment of royalties to the parent company while channeling funds to assist local start-ups.
“If these measures can be put into practice, then the issue of abusing franchise workers will not arise. This is definitely easier to achieve than continuing to be a consumer of Israeli products that become ammunition against our Muslim brethren,” argued Salmah.
“The successful implementation of this proposal can guarantee the continuity of the boycott action in parallel with the continuous solidarity towards the people of Gaza and Palestinians.” – Dec 6, 2023
Main pic credit: Change.org