A RECENT post on the RedParrot Facebook page has suggested that a McDonald’s outlet in Pasir Pekan, Kelantan is on the brink of closure due to the on-going boycott of businesses with alleged pro-Israeli links.
For context, many Malaysians have apparently targeted the multinational fast-food outlet after news that outlets in Israel have donated thousands of free meals to Israeli soldiers. However, McDonald’s is a global chain whose franchises are often owned locally and operate autonomously.
A statement by McDonald’s Malaysia operator – Gerbang Alaf Sdn Bhd – points to the fact that it is a 100% Muslim-owned entity and that the actions of the Israel franchise holder does not reflect the company’s global policy.
The above clarification from the local franchise owner does not seem to appease fast-food lovers of Pasir Pekan with the outlet reportedly looking deserted even during peak meal times.
The post which at the time of writing already generated 7,200 comments, 61,000 likes and 13,000 shares went on to demonstrate that Malay-Muslim locals in PAS-ruled Kelantan are flexing their economic muscle by generating tremendous support to ensure that the supposedly nationwide boycott exercise is met with great success.
However, there were those who lamented that it was the local Malay-Muslim workers who would feel the immediate impact from their loss of income:
Some netizens opined that this was an opportunity for local brands to step in to fill the void or at the very least for street vendors to feed these former McD patrons:
Whichever way one may sway on this issue, one thing is for certain – in some parts of the country, the on-going boycott is going to leave a lasting impact on certain brands.
Rightly or wrongly, some will now feel compelled to avoid certain brands even when the current Israel-Hamas conflict comes to an end.
The pertinent question – as raised by many netizens – is whether local brands can seize the opportunity to fill that void. – Dec 25, 2023