A campaign to boycott non-Muslim products, believed to have been quietly unleashed by opposition UMNO Malay nationalist and PAS Islamist parties has spread like wildfire, at least on social media. On the surface, it certainly looks like a declaration of war against the minorities in the country, especially ethnic Chinese whose prowess in the business world is unparalleled.
Since the spectacular defeat in the last May general election, UMNO, the supposedly backbone of the Barisan Nasional coalition, has been happily stirring up racial and religion sentiments among the Malays that the Muslims and Malay Rulers have lost power to the “Chinese, Christians and Communists”. The goal was to spread hatred among Malays against Chinese and Hindus.
According to Malaysiakini portal, a Facebook group that is pro-Muslim business has seen its members grown from 10,000 to over 1-million in just 2 weeks. That’s a jaw-dropping 9,900% jump in membership. Chinese and Hindu haters, of course, celebrate the achievement as if they have won the FIFA World Cup. They have taken to social media to gloat about their “power”.
That’s fine. What is amusing though, is the confusion over the scope of the boycott. Apparently, the boycott campaign started when the Islamic Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) suggested to the Islamic Development Department that halal certificates should be issued in the native language of the product’s manufacturers so that consumers can identify if they are Muslim or otherwise.
So, initially they wanted the Muslims to boycott non-Muslim products. Then, for obvious reasons, they changed their mind and clarified that it was a campaign to buy Muslim-made products first. But as far as emotional and gullible UMNO and PAS supporters are concerned, their understanding remains – boycott everything produced or made by non-Muslims. Period.
Can they make up their mind? There was no such thing as being half pregnant. Why can’t they just go full force in their campaign against non-Muslim products? What is so hard in determining whether products made or sold by non-Muslim are either “haram” (forbidden) or “halal” (allowed)? Are they saying there’s such thing as a quarter-halal or half-halal?
Yes, it’s perfectly alright if the ignorant and narrow-minded Malays choose to boycott non-Muslim products. But as they soon found out, more than 90% of products is made or produced by the so-called infidel “kafir” non-Muslims – either local Malaysian Chinese or the Chinese from mainland China. And they hadn’t a clue that they have very little leverage against the non-Muslims.
The “nasi lemak” breakfast consumed by Malays every single morning, and lunch and dinner thereafter, contains onions, shallots, garlic, chilli and other spices imported from India. And most of the Malaysian importers are companies owned by minority Chinese, including NSK Trading Sdn Bhd, the favourite wholesale store where Malay-Muslims seek cheap groceries.
Did the Malays know that NSK (New Seng Kee) is a Lim’s family business first started at Chow Kit in 1985? Another Malay’s favourite destination, Econsave Cash & Carry, is a Malaysian family-run retail brand owned by ethnic Chinese. Econsave’s history goes back to 1955 when Lai Poh Tian sold the family’s only cow and borrowed some money to sail to what was known then as Malaya.
Today, supermarket chain Econsave, infamous for its “Compare Our Prices” slogan, is a multi-billion business with 57 retail outlets providing jobs to more than 6,000 people, mostly Malays. Yesterday (September 3), general manager Mas Imran Adam lodged a police report against two Facebook accounts which had spread lies that the supermarket did not sell Muslim products in its outlets.
The ignorant Malays who falsely accused the Chinese of being racist probably hadn’t a clue that Econsave actually has a Muslim general manager in its payroll. Not that Econsave would go bankrupt with the boycott, but sure, go ahead with the campaign and let’s see who will be the first to be jobless and unable to put food on the table for family members.
Alternatively, the idiotic Malays eager to boycott non-Muslim products can go to Aeon, Giant or Tesco. But all those hypermarkets are owned by foreign non-Muslims. Giant, founded in 1944 as a small grocery store in Kuala Lumpur, was owned by the Teng family until 1999 when Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International Holdings bought a 90% interest in the chain.
Tesco is a multinational retailer from the United Kingdom while Aeon (formerly Jaya Jusco) is owned by the Japanese. Do you realise that even Sogo, arguably the most favourite shopping heaven for the middle-income Malays, actually belongs to another Chinese kafir called Andrew Lim? Sogo is no longer owned by PERNAS Corporation or Sogo Japan since 2002.
In 2002, Mr. Andrew initiated a management buyout and KL SOGO today is a 100% Malaysian (Chinese) wholly owned and operated, but with a franchise agreement with Sogo Japan to allow the continual usage of the Sogo name. And you don’t need a rocket scientist to tell which race constitutes the majority of the staff of Sogo in Malaysia. So, go ahead and boycott Sogo.
In the food business, Malays’ favourite restaurants such as KFC, McDonald’s, Texas Chicken, Burger King and whatnot actually belong to foreign non-Muslims but operated by local fast-food operators through something called franchising. Starbucks Malaysia is owned by Berjaya Group tycoon Vincent Tan, whose empire included convenience store 7-Eleven.
That’s right. In case the clueless Malays didn’t know, employees of 7-Eleven – mostly Malay-Muslims – are all under the employment of Vincent Tan. How about “99 Speedmart”, another local convenience store brand so successful, it opened its 1,000th outlet in August 2017? Unfortunately to the racists and extremists of UMNO and PAS, 99 Speedmart is another Chinese success story.
The founder of 99 Speedmart is Lee Thiam Wah, who has been wheelchair-bound since eight months old, and had only 6 years of formal education. Sales revenue of 99 Speedmart reached RM3 billion in 2016 – up from RM2 billion in 2014. In comparison, Tesco Malaysia only posted revenue of RM4.45 billion in the financial year ending February 2017 with 71 outlets.
KK Super Mart, a 24-hour mini-supermarket chain which was a favourite target among robbers, was founded by Douglas K.K. Chai, obviously another ethnic Chinese. KK sells both Gardenia (owned by Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary) and Massimo (owned by Robert Kuok) bread. So, will the Malays buy Gardenia bread, knowing very well it would enrich the Chinese owner of KK?
But do you also know that in 1969, together with Sye Slocum and Jim Humpries, two Americans with vast experience in bakery, Malaysian Chinese Wong Tze Fatt co-founded the Gardenia brand of beverages, bakery and creamery food products? Yes, Mr. Wong, who was murdered in 2004, was the Chinese millionaire who started Gardenia brand in Sabah.
Robert Kuok’s empire is not limited to Massimo bread only. The consumer brands associated with the billionaire include Shangri-La hotels, various brands of flour, Marina frozen food, Seri Murni, Krystal and Neptune cooking oil, Jordan toothbrushes and oral care products, Snow brand infant formula, Goodmaid household cleaning products, Kart’s frozen food and the list go on.
Interestingly, Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd (GSC), Malaysia’s largest cinema exhibitor with over 41% market share, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PPB Group (a member of the Kuok Group). Perhaps the Malays should boycott GSC and go to TGV for movies. However, TGV is owned by tycoon Ananda Krishnan, another non-Muslim.
The only Muslim-owned cinema – MBO – was already sold to private equity firm Navis Capital Partners by then-owner Abdul Rashid Abdul Manaf. However, due to pressure from increasing costs and slowing revenue growth, even Navis is looking to dispose of its MBO business in Malaysia. Does this mean the Malays will boycott cinemas entirely in the name of Muslim dignity?
British India, Mr. D.I.Y., Secret Recipe and Chicken Rice Shop are just some of the local brands owned by local non-Muslims but flocked by Malay community all the time. From Chatime to Tealive, those Malays hooked to bubble tea would form long queue just to get their kicks, despite the fact that the Taiwanese-born tea drink is not a Muslim product.
Hilariously, every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, the Malay-Muslims would religiously queue at Magnum, Sports Toto and DaMaCai to try their luck betting on 4D numbers or Jackpot. Clearly, these are not Muslim products, are they? You can bet your last penny that those Malays, including police officers, can never abandon or boycott the non-Muslim product called betting game.
Perhaps there’s a reason why Kelantan is in such a sorry state, despite being ruled by the PAS Islamist party based on the strictest Islamic Law. Jobs were scarce and the state has recorded the highest number of HIV or AIDS cases in the country. They have no idea how the world trade works so much so they probably thought condom is another type of flavoured chewing gum.
Smartphones from Huawei to Oppo to Vivo to Xiaomi – even Apple – are all made by non-Muslim Chinese. From lighting bulbs to fridge to TV to every single electrical appliance at home, nothing escapes China. And when all those components arrived at Malaysian ports, they readily go to mostly Chinese-owned warehouses or shops, thanks to their well established business ecosystems.
Two different Chinese-owned tyre shops, less than 200-metre apart, sell a same brand and model of tyre at an unbelievable price difference. One shop sells at RM145 a piece while the other at cut-throat prices of RM210. Besides operating costs and expenditures, business strategy and supply chain contribute to the dog-eat-dog business world even among the Chinese.
Malay-Muslims should co-exist with non-Muslims for their own good. They’re simply not built to excel in the world of trade and business. From a complicated product like halal airline Rayani Air to a business as simple as Digital Mall in Pertama Complex, they had tried but failed spectacularly. Rayani Air, proclaimed Malaysia’s first “Syariah-compliant” airline, had gone bust just 110 days into operation.
After Rayani Air goes bankrupt in 2016, not only were the workers’ salaries not paid, more than RM1 million was deducted from more than 500 employees’ salaries but not credited to employees’ accounts. So much for a Muslim product called Rayani Air. Perhaps running an airline is too complicated for them. Sadly, the same fate hit Malay traders selling basic IT products.
A Malay youth, Shahrul Anuar Abdul Aziz, who was charged for stealing a mobile phone that triggered a bloody racial riot outside Low Yat Plaza in 2015, was acquitted by the Kangaroo Court in 2018. Three Chinese handphone salesmen were arrested by police instead and were fined RM1,800 each for committing assault. As a result, UMNO set up Digital Mall to rival Low Yat.
Today, after “handout” free rental runs out of juice, all the Malay traders at the 4-storey Pertama Complex are eating dust. If they can’t even survive selling ready-made branded IT products without handouts, exactly how could they promote non-existent Muslim products? Get the gist? To talk big about boycotting non-Muslim products is one thing. But to actually do it is another thing altogether.
You can only start a trade war or boycott if you either own the technology or knowhow of certain products (as in the case of the U.S.) or you have the financial muscle to engage a trade war (like China). Trump can hurt the Chinese flagship Huawei because America owns the technology. China can hurt American farmers because it has tons of money to buy more expensive soybeans from Brazil.
The silly group of Malays yearning to boycott fellow Malaysian non-Muslim products have none of the above. They neither have the replacement products, nor the deep pocket to teach non-Muslims a lesson. The biggest joke was when UMNO’s newspaper – Utusan Melayu – and PAS’ newspaper – Harakah – ran into debt. Those newspapers are Muslim products, obviously.
While financial-stressed Utusan has total debts of RM139.19 million as at June 30, PAS stunningly owed NAJ Press Resources (M) Sdn Bhd, a Muslim-owned printing company, a staggering RM3,053,204.59. Harakah reportedly had fled and is now being printed by a non-Muslim-owned business. So much for inciting Malay-Muslims to boycott non-Muslim products.
Source : Finance Twitter