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#BoycottMalaysia sentiment fades - Saifuddin

Last update: 09/10/2019
Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (File pix)

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 9 -- The sentiment of #BoycottMalaysia movement on social media is fading, said Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said the #BoycottMalaysia calls made for a few days from Sept 30 on Twitter have not been seen since yesterday.

"Fortunately, the #BoycottMalaysia you don't see it anymore. For the first few days on Twitter and was retweeted, but as of yesterday we don't see that anymore. We are confident the bilateral relations (with India) remain warm," he told reporters after the ministry’s Excellent Service Award 2018 and Jasamu Dikenang 2019 ceremony here today.

Saifuddin said the #BoycottMalaysia movement started after Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad spoke about the need to resolve the Jammu-Kashmir conflict at the 74th United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York on Sept 27.

He said Dr Mahathir spoke firmly at the UN and it was not well received by netizens in India, thus sparking the calls for a boycott against Malaysia.

He said people who started the campaign might have deemed the prime minister’s words a little harsh.

“There is a reason why the prime minister used certain words in his speech, to ensure the message gets across," he said.

It was reported that Dr Mahathir said: "Now, despite UN resolution on Jammu and Kashmir, the country has been invaded and occupied. There may be reasons for this action but it is still wrong. The problem must be solved by peaceful means. India should work with Pakistan to resolve this problem. Ignoring the UN would lead to other forms of disregard for the UN and the Rule of Law."

Asked on arguments that Malaysia should not meddle in the internal affairs of others, Saifuddin said: "Our basic principle is to be friend with all countries, trade with all countries. We did not interfere in internal affairs. But we learnt from history that there are times when we just cannot sit quiet."

For example, he said, Malaysia had also spoken against the genocides in Cambodia and of the Rohingya.

"We have to make our standpoint," he added.

Saifuddin said the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) had in September asked India to rescind its actions in Kashmir and abide by the relevant UN Security Council resolutions following New Delhi’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

"It is best for India and Pakistan to negotiate and this has always been our standpoint, and hoping India and Pakistan can sit down and negotiate," he said.


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