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‘Buy Muslim First’ campaign hits MCO bump

THE Buy Muslim First (BMF) campaign championed by PAS has stalled because of the movement-control order restrictions, said organisers after two years of pushing Muslims to buy products produced by the community.

According to Gerakan Pembela Ummah (Pembela) chairman Aminuddin Yahya, many of planned activities have stalled since the MCO began last March.

“We really can’t help anything right now. I myself am in difficulty and everyone is in difficulty.

“We could not plan other activities due to the emergency and MCO.

Ummah and several PAS-related groups, such as the Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM), started the BMF campaign during the Pakatan Harapan administration to pressure the government in 2019.

Aminuddin said because of the MCO, the BMF campaign, which was supposed to enter the second phase, was postponed and the campaign is now online.

“We had plans to run a second campaign but the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed many things. We can only do online campaigns now.”

Acknowledging the difficulties, Nadzim Johan, who is the head of PPIM activists, said the BMF campaign is at a bare minimum now.

Among the BMF measures, he said, is by handing out food baskets.

“BMF wants to launch a second campaign but we are waiting for the pandemic to subside first. We are still keen on BMF and will need to strategise to make it stronger.

“The items gathered for the food baskets are taken from Muslim wholesalers and Malay traders only.”

Nadzim said the move will strengthen the BMF campaign.

“But it’s a little slow now as all businesses are slow. Business is slow because traders cannot open their shops and for those who can, there is a time limit.

“But we still continue what we can do and we also do not discriminate (against traders of other races). Only our suppliers are Muslims,” said Nadzim.

The BMF campaign was officially launched on January 1, 2019 and met with various reactions.

Some parties supported it because it could help Malay-Muslim businesses, but there were also those who opposed it as it was discriminatory.

Aminuddin told The Malaysian Insight the campaign was successful, especially in malls that provide an opportunity for Malay traders like Malakat Mall, which promotes Bumiputera-owned businesses.

“So far, we have Malakat Mall, that is the model now. Malakat Mall is growing and becoming our successful model.

“But with the MCO, it also has a problem of falling footfall,” said Aminuddin.

In this regard, he hopes that the government will help the BMF campaign.

“Things like this, the government has to intervene and give incentives. Otherwise, we cannot survive. The main issue is capital, when there is less capital our facilities are less.

“We want to compete with others.”

THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

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