Pro-Islam non-governmental organisation (NGO) Gerakan Pembela Ummah made headlines for the past month as the group launched the “buy Muslim-made first” campaign.
The campaign urged Muslims to buy products manufactured by or sold in shops owned by Muslims.
Consequently, the campaign was criticised by the public as it is a racist move.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng called Malaysians to “buy Malaysian-made first” instead of “buy Muslim-made first”.
Lim’s motion was seconded by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution. Plus, Saifuddin also revealed that the boycott did not reduced the pricing of products in the market as claimed by certain parties.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad called the people who supported the boycott “shallow” as it will not a huge impact on the market, but it will only instigate hatred.
In his defence against the criticisms, Gerakan Pembela Ummah chairperson Aminuddin Yahaya said the campaign was not racist in nature as it never urged the Malays to boycott non-Muslims’ products.
Instead, the “buy Muslim-made first” movement was made with the objective to promote Muslim-owned businesses who don’t have the capital power to market their products.
Gerakan Pembela Ummah gained its popularity earlier in May this year for organizing the “Gathering 405” rally.
The NGO organised the rally as the Pakatan Harapan-led government had side-lined the Muslims and the Malays.
The issues raised during the rally were the proposed ratification of ICERD and Rome Statute, the recognition of Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) and the death of fireman Muhamad Adib during the Seafield temple riot.