Tourism D-G: Boycott of non-Muslim products won’t hurt arrivals

Yiswaree Palansamy
Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Musa Yusof speaks during an event in Kuala Lumpur September 3, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — A campaign to boycott halal products made by non-Muslims will not dissuade visitors from coming to Malaysia, the director-general of the Tourism and Culture Ministry (Motac) said today.

In a press conference, Datuk Musa Yusof said tourists who chose Malaysia as their holiday destination were keen to experience the diversity and culture here, and not interested in local politics.

“Tourists also, sometimes when they travel, they don’t want to get involved in local sentiments. So that is not a problem.

“In tourism, there is no effect by all these kind of things,” he said.

Musa said tourists were only concerned about the country’s peace, stability and security, before pointing out that none would visit if there was fighting.

Calls for the boycott originated from the Islamic Consumers Association of Malaysia’s suggestion to the Islamic Development Department on August 23, when they said halal certificates should be issued in the native language of the product’s manufacturers so that consumers can identify if they are Muslim or otherwise.

After the movement was criticised as divisive and racially polarising, proponents tried to present it as a call to “prioritise” Muslim-made goods rather than a boycott of non-Muslim products.

Yesterday, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution said there has not been any reported effect of the call to boycott halal products sold by non-Muslims.

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