The defence of PAS of a campaign in support of purchasing products produced by Muslims first on the ground that such a campaign is inclusive and a competitive move in business, as claimed by its Secretary General Takiyuddin Hassan, is most unfortunate and an affront to our multicultural values.
I cannot see anything positive in such a move as urged by Takiyuddin.
Of all people, Takiyuddin, being legally trained, ought to understand the serious social ramifications of such a campaign which can lead to racial polarisation and a divide amongst races in this country.
We have been importing and exporting goods to non-Muslim countries for years without any problems and have enjoyed the benefits of doing so, for instance, in our exports of palm oil to India.
Takiyuddin may claim to have been referring to local industries but the same logic applies – restricting businesses according to race will have a negative impact on such businesses as this would result in a lack of competitiveness as they cater only for a restricted market.
PAS should, instead, be encouraging Muslim businesses to compete with all other businesses, be it Muslim or non-Muslim, by increasing its productivity and efficiency rates for the betterment of such Muslim businesses.
There can be no doubt that such encouragement will result in much improved Muslim businesses and equip them with the necessary skills to compete both locally and globally, as well as create more job opportunities for the youth.
Encouraging a boycott on non-Muslim products by Muslims is wrong and goes against the spirit of our Federal Constitution which guarantees equality, which includes one’s right to livelihood.
It is hoped plans for such a boycott ceases immediately and all political parties are firm in rejecting the same. Such a policy serves no useful purpose and will only divide Malaysians.