McDonald's Malaysia Sues BDS, Seeks $1.31M for Defamation and Boycott Israel
McDonald's Malaysia challenges BDS movement, alleging defamation and financial losses amid the Boycott Israel campaign.
McDonald's Malaysia has initiated a lawsuit against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Malaysia movement, seeking damages totaling $1.31 million. The lawsuit alleges that the BDS Malaysia movement made false and damaging statements linking McDonald's to Israel's military actions in Gaza.
The legal action, brought forth by Gerbang Alaf Restaurants Sdn Bhd (GAR), McDonald's licensee in Malaysia, contends that BDS Malaysia's social media campaign advocating a boycott of McDonald's Malaysia resulted in substantial financial losses, job cuts, and operational disruptions. These disruptions include closures and shortened operating hours, as outlined in a writ of summons dated December 19.
McDonald's Malaysia, in an official statement released on Friday, confirmed the lawsuit, emphasizing its commitment to safeguarding its "rights and interests" amidst what it perceives as detrimental allegations.
In response, BDS Malaysia vehemently denies the defamation accusations, stating its intention to address the matter through the legal system.
The BDS movement, recognized globally for its advocacy to end international support for Israel's actions and champion Palestinian rights, seeks to exert pressure on Israel to align with international law.
This legal dispute unfolds against the backdrop of Malaysia's majority-Muslim population and its unwavering support for the Palestinian cause. Western fast-food brands in Malaysia, much like in other Muslim-majority nations, have been focal points of boycott campaigns due to perceived connections with Israel's military endeavors.
As the legal proceedings progress, both McDonald's Malaysia and BDS Malaysia anticipate resolution through the legal system, providing an opportunity for a comprehensive examination of the claims and counterclaims involved.