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HomeMalaysia NewsMcDonald's Malaysia Pursues $1.3 Million Legal Action Against BDS for Defamation

McDonald’s Malaysia Pursues $1.3 Million Legal Action Against BDS for Defamation

McDonald’s Malaysia has taken a significant legal step by filing a lawsuit against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Malaysia movement. Seeking damages amounting to US$1.3 million, the fast-food giant alleges false and defamatory statements that have purportedly harmed its business. In a country where sentiments towards the Palestinian cause run high, Malaysia has been a fervent supporter, leading to the targeting of some Western fast-food brands, including McDonald’s, by boycott campaigns due to Israel’s military actions in Gaza.

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Allegations and Financial Ramifications:

According to a writ of summons dated December 19, as reported by Reuters, GAR accuses BDS Malaysia of inciting the public to boycott McDonald’s Malaysia. The alleged campaign, linking the fast-food chain and other companies to what BDS Malaysia terms as Israel’s “genocidal war against Palestinians in Gaza,” has purportedly resulted in significant financial losses. GAR claims damages totaling 6 million ringgit (US$1.3 million), attributing job cuts, closures, and shortened operating hours of McDonald’s outlets to the boycott campaign.

McDonald’s Malaysia’s Firm Stance:

McDonald’s Malaysia, responding to the situation in a statement released on December 29, affirmed its decision to file the lawsuit against BDS Malaysia. The company expressed its commitment to safeguarding its “rights and interests” in light of what it perceives as defamatory actions by the movement. The legal action underscores McDonald’s Malaysia’s determination to address the tangible impact on its reputation and business operations.

BDS Malaysia’s Counter:

In response to the legal action, BDS Malaysia categorically denied the allegations of defaming McDonald’s Malaysia. The movement stated its intention to leave the matter to the court’s judgment, maintaining its position on the claims made against it. As the parties gear up for legal proceedings, the case brings to the forefront the complex interplay between activism, corporate reputation management, and the broader socio-political landscape in Malaysia.