By The Malketeer

Throughout Malaysia, a deafening cry for mercy rises from the doors of shuttered businesses and shattered dreams.

Caught in the crossfire of ideological conflicts and irresponsible boycott campaigns are the ordinary rakyat – innocent Malaysians – the true victims of a war they never asked to fight.

Innocent Victims of Boycotts in Malaysia

From the baristas at Starbucks to the smiling faces welcoming you at McDonald’s, from the cashiers at KK Mart to the hardworking team members of KFC, livelihoods have been mercilessly upended.

A tidal wave of boycotts has decimated careers, leaving innocent workers drowning in uncertainty.

Once-vibrant hubs like McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks outlets nationwide now stand barren, as boycott campaigns have slashed customer traffic to a trickle at some outlets.

Mama, Why Can’t We Get Happy Meals Anymore?

Employees like Munira Bibi, a single mother of two, have found their sole means of providing for their families mercilessly ripped away without warning.

“I wake up every night in a cold sweat, wondering how I’ll pay next month’s rent or put food on the table,” shares Munira Bibi, her youngest child’s wide eyes reflecting confusion and despair as she asks, “Why can’t we get happy meals anymore, mama?”

The toll transcends economic hardship, eroding the very sense of dignity and self-worth that comes with honest labour.

In the gig economy, Grab and Food Panda riders who once zipped through city streets with purpose now find themselves adrift, their livelihoods upended.

Ridwan Maidin, a former rider, recounts the gut-wrenching moment he had to sell his motorcycle, the very tool that had empowered his entrepreneurial spirit.

“I felt like a failure, unable to provide for my family despite working day and night,” he cries.

Even home-grown convenience stores like KK Mart have not been spared due to boycott-driven losses.

Who Bears the Responsibility?

Employees who had built their careers at these neighbourhood staples now find themselves jobless, their loyalty rewarded with pink slips.

Amidst this maelstrom of suffering, a haunting question lingers: who bears responsibility for this path of economic destruction?

The answer, it seems, lies with a cadre of irresponsible activists and politicians who have weaponised boycotts as tools of division and hatred.

With reckless abandon, these individuals have incited anger and resentment, carelessly sacrificing the well-being of ordinary Malaysians in pursuit of narrow political agendas.

Their inflammatory rhetoric has fanned the flames of discord, igniting a conflagration that has consumed the hopes and aspirations of the very people they claim to serve.

A Humble Plea For Solidarity

Yet, the victims of these boycotts are not faceless statistics or collateral damage – they are our neighbours, our friends, our fellow Malaysians.

They are human beings with dreams, families to nurture, and an unwavering belief in the sanctity of honest labour.

As Munira Bibi, Ridwan Maidin, and countless others grapple with the harsh realities of joblessness and economic hardship, their cries for mercy echo through the streets they once called home.

These are not merely pleas for financial aid, but for a restoration of their dignity, their self-worth, and their fundamental right to provide for their loved ones without fear of destitution and intimidation.

It is a call for unity, a rallying cry against those who would sow division and hatred at the expense of the innocent.

For too long, these destructive politicians and self-serving activists have held the well-being of Malaysians hostage to their own selfish ambitions, leaving a trail of broken dreams and shattered lives in their wake.

Now, it falls upon us, the people of Malaysia, to raise our voices in solidarity with the victims of these senseless boycotts. We must reject the politics of hatred and embrace a path of compassion, empathy, and peaceful resolution.

The Pragmatic Path Forward

Let us be the change we wish to see, boycotting not businesses or brands, but the very forces that seek to divide us.

Let us choose leaders who uplift our shared humanity, who understand that true progress is achieved not through economic warfare, but through dialogue, understanding, and a commitment to uplifting the dignity of all Malaysians.

For in the end, we are not mere consumers or workers, but human beings deserving of respect, opportunity, and the chance to build a better future for ourselves and our loved ones.

It is time to heed the cries of the innocent, to wipe away their tears, and to forge a Malaysia where dreams are nurtured, not shattered by the whims of those who would put misplaced ideology before people.

The path forward is clear, but it demands courage, compassion, and an unwavering belief in the power of unity over division.

Let us answer this cry for mercy with open hearts and a resolute commitment to creating a more just, more humane Malaysia for all.

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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

Campaign entries must have run between June 2023 to May 2024

Submissions Deadline
30th June 2024

APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


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