PM: Country not affected by #BoycottMalaysia campaign by Indian social media users

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 08 Oct 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Putrajaya has not received any feedback from the Indian government despite demands from social media users in the country to boycott Malaysia and Malaysian products, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic).

"I haven't received any feedback. I have told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he can contact me directly if India has any uneasy feelings," said the Prime Minister.

The call to boycott Malaysia came after Dr Mahathir said that India and Pakistan should work together to resolve the conflict over Jammu and Kashmir in a speech presented at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept 27.

Dr Mahathir said his remarks were impartial in nature, as he only wanted both parties to negotiate and avoid violence.

"It is our policy to not resort to violence, but to resolve issues through negotiations, arbitration or through a court of law," he said.

Dr Mahathir also said he had brought up this issue to Modi when they both met in Vladivostok, Russia during the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in September.

"My speech (at the UN general assembly) is a follow-up, where I said that we don't want to see any violence or disputes between countries. That's all we said. But, it's true that there are people who are unhappy with the mild criticisms of India," said Dr Mahathir.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said that Malaysia was not affected by the boycott, adding that Malaysia's bilateral ties with India were also not affected.

Saifuddin added that Malaysia's foreign policy is based on the principle of neutrality and a desire to trade with all countries except Israel.

He said that Malaysia does not get involved in the internal affairs of a country but there are some instances where a stand needs to be made.

"One example is when two million Cambodians were killed, the world was silent on it. That is why we were vocal and proactive on the Rohingya issue, and this is similar to the Kashmir matter as well," said Saifuddin.

"We want to maintain and safeguard our political and economic relationships with India but we can't maintain a diplomatic relationship which would see us keeping quiet on issues that are affecting the oppressed," he added.

He said this in reply to Fahmi Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai) who asked to state Malaysia's stance on the boycott.

Social media users had accused Dr Mahathir of publicly siding with Pakistan against India in the ongoing dispute over the region.

They had called for a massive boycott of Malaysian tourism, product and services, including airlines.

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