McDonald's M'sia sues Israel boycott movement for S$1.73 million in damages

It claimed that the chain has suffered a loss of profit and job cuts, among other damages.

Zi Shan Kow | December 30, 2023, 05:29 PM



McDonald's Malaysia is pursuing legal action for defamation against a Malaysian non-governmental organisation, stating that boycotting should be based on "true facts and not false allegations".

Alleges that organisation incited boycott

The company is suing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Malaysia movement for a series of social media posts, which allegedly link the fast food franchise to Israel's "genocidal war against Palestinians in Gaza".

It is looking for RM6 million (S$1.72 million) in damages, reported Reuters.

McDonald's franchises in different countries are often owned locally and operate independently.

In Malaysia, McDonald's is locally operated by Gerbang Alaf Restaurants Sdn Bhd.

According to Reuters, Gerbang Alaf Restaurants alleged that BDS Malaysia incited the public to boycott McDonald's Malaysia.

This led to a loss of profit and job cuts, among other damages, due to closures and shortened operating hours of its outlets.

"While we understand and respect that the act of boycotting is an individual decision, we believe that it should be based on true facts and not false allegations," it stated.

Reiterates that it does not support current conflict

In a statement on Dec. 29, the company affirmed that it filed the suit to protect its "rights and interests".

McDonald's Malaysia said it has been "transparent and consistent" in its position that it "does not support or condone the current conflict", reported New Straits Times.

"Like all Malaysians, our utmost sympathies go out to the innocent victims in Gaza. We have contributed RM1million (S$287,000) to the Palestinian Humanitarian Fund launched by the government and will continue to pray for the end of the conflict and continued peace in Gaza."

The chain repeated that it does not channel any sales, profits, royalties or franchise fees from restaurant operations to support any political cause or conflict in any part of the world, according to The Star.

BDS Malaysia rejects defamation claim

In response, the organisation wrote that McDonald's Malaysia claim their business has "suffered lately" and they are "blaming" the organisation.

BDS Malaysia said on X, formerly Twitter, on Dec. 29 that they categorically deny McDonald's Malaysia's defamation claim.

They added that they will "let the court decide on the matter".

Top image via Google Maps/S C.