KUALA LUMPUR: The decision to boycott Israeli and US goods is up to the individual consumer, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“This is an individual’s choice. As a consumer, you have to make your own decision,” he said after opening the Third Islamic Economic Congress on Monday.
He said some people would feel strongly about supporting the call to boycott US and Israeli goods because of Israel’s military action in the Gaza Strip, but others would see it as a grey area.
“In the franchise system, some of the franchise-holders of American products here are Malaysian companies, and even bumiputra companies,” he said.
He said the actual situation was that the economy existed in a “very complex and very intertwined” world.
“For a small nation, what do you do? We can have demonstrations, make statements but they might not necessarily have any impact.
“As consumers, they want to show their unhappiness (at the Gaza situation), but let that be an individual choice,” he said, referring to a chorus of calls for such a boycott, including one from former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the Government would now focus on marketing Islamic banking and financial products and services to make them more acceptable to non-Muslims.
Earlier in his keynote address, Najib said the current global turmoil presented a golden opportunity to prove to the world the effectiveness and advantages that the Islamic financial system could offer.
“Clearly, it is the best alternative in meeting this financial crisis. It demands that we commit ourselves to study the best practices of Islamic finance and banking,” he said.
[Source : The Star Online]