McDonald’s Malaysia denies Israel link after boycott call

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PETALING JAYA: McDonald’s Malaysia has expressed its disappointment over renewed calls for a boycott of the American fast-food chain in the wake of the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

McDonald’s, in a statement posted on its Facebook page, said it was “disappointed” with the boycott call over claims being circulated on messaging apps and social media that it was channelling funds to Israel.

The fast-food chain said the claims were “untrue, false, fake and defamatory”, reported CNA.

“As Malaysians, we understand the disappointment felt by Muslims around the world on this issue,” said Azmir Jaafar, managing director and operating partner of McDonald’s Malaysia.

He said the fast-food chain did not endorse or engage in any political or religious conflicts in any country in the world.

Azmir said McDonald’s Malaysia would not hesitate to take action against “any irresponsible side, which continues to spread lies through social media platforms and other channels”.

McDonald’s Malaysia has faced boycotts in Malaysia before.

In 2014, Muslim groups protested outside a number of McDonald’s outlets over claims that it had links to Israel. The affected outlets reportedly suffered up to 80% loss of revenue at the time.

In McDonald’s Facebook comment section, some users noted the franchise name’s similarity to US President Donald Trump, with one remarking “Donald (Trump’s) name is obvious (in McDonald’s)”.

However, many seemed unconcerned with the alleged links.

One Facebook user slammed the hypocrisy of critics, saying “for those commenting using Facebook, who do you think owns Facebook”, in reference to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg who is Jewish.