BDS Malaysia Claims KFC Never Targeted for Boycott Over Palestine Issue

By The Malketeer

The Malaysian chapter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement now claims that KFC was never on their list of brands to boycott in relation to the Palestine conflict.

In a statement released on Instagram on Sunday, 26 May, BDS Malaysia Chairperson Prof. Nazari Ismail addressed recent reports of KFC outlet closures in the country.

According to Ismail, the reason KFC was not targeted for boycotts is because the fast-food chain did not engage in actions that provoked the group’s opposition, unlike McDonald’s.

He specifically cited McDonald’s decision to provide free meals to the Israeli military from its branch in Israel as the primary reason for the boycott against the latter brand.

“For your information, KFC has never been on the BDS Malaysia boycott list. We have never campaigned for Malaysians to boycott KFC from before until now,” Ismail clarified in his statement.

He further explained that while some customers may have chosen to avoid KFC due to perceived high prices, this was not a result of any boycott campaign driven by concerns over the Palestine issue.

In comments cited online, many netizens were highly skeptical of the BDS statement with some claiming it was a late attempt at damage control and blamed BDS for job losses, salary cuts and hardship.

Earlier this month, media reports surfaced claiming that 108 KFC outlets in Malaysia had been temporarily closed.

These reports cited data from Google Maps and attributed the closures to the impact of a public boycott, as well as an opportunity for QSR Brands, the company that manages KFC in Malaysia, to cease operations at underperforming stores.

However, Ismail’s statement suggests that the closures were not related to any boycott efforts by BDS Malaysia or its supporters.

Instead, it appears that the closures were likely driven by economic factors and business decisions made by QSR Brands.

QSR Brands, which operates more than 600 KFC restaurants in Malaysia, is owned by Johor Corporation, a state-owned entity of the Johor state government.

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