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McDonald's Malaysia Sues Pro-Palestinian Group, Seeks $1.31M Worth Of Damage

McDonald's Malaysia sues pro-Palestinian group in a landmark lawsuit, seeking $1.31 million in damages for defamation and business loss amidst the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Kenzo Norman
Dec 31, 20231582 Shares56515 Views
McDonald's Malaysia sues pro-Palestinian groupseeking $1.31 million worth of damages. McDonald’s Malaysia, represented by Gerbang Alaf Restaurants Sdn Bhd (GAR), the licensee of the fast-food giant in Malaysia, has initiated a lawsuit against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Malaysia movement.
The lawsuit, seeking damages amounting to 6 million ringgit ($1.31 million), stems from a series of social media postings by the pro-Palestinian group, which McDonald's alleges to be defamatory and damaging to its business operations.

McDonald's Malaysia Files Lawsuit Against Pro-Palestinian Group

The controversy centers around posts on social media platforms that BDS Malaysia made, which McDonald’s claims have led to a boycott of its restaurants, adversely impacting its profits and necessitating job cuts. These postings allegedly link McDonald's, among other companies, to what is described as a "genocidal war against Palestinians in Gaza." The McDonald’s logo was prominently featured in these posts, further implicating the company in these serious allegations.
In a statement via The Star, McDonald’s Malaysia clarified its stance: "Like all Malaysians, our utmost sympathies go out to the innocent victims in Gaza. We have contributed 1 million ringgit ($218,000) to the Palestinian Humanitarian Fund launched by the government and will continue to pray for the end of the conflict and continued peace in Gaza."
The writ of summons, as viewed by Reuters, elaborates on the company's position: "There is no proof that we (the plaintiff) has committed genocide against the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, nor any proof that we contributed to Israel’s army."
The document goes on to describe the postings as "not only defamatory and slanderous, but it has also been done with malicious intent to cause harm against us (the plaintiff), as it carries innuendo that we are involved in the genocide against Palestinians by colluding with Israel in this war crime and profiting from it."

BDS Malaysia's Response

BDS Malaysia, in a statement, acknowledged receiving the writ of summons and expressed its intention to let the court decide on the matter. "We BDS Malaysia received a writ of summons from McDonald’s Malaysia, accusing us of defaming the company," the statement reads. "We categorically deny this. We have therefore decided to let the court decide on the matter."

The Impact On McDonald’s Malaysia

McDonald’s operates over 320 locations in Malaysia, serving more than 13.5 million customers per month and employing over 15,000 people. The lawsuit filed by McDonald's Malaysia underscores the significant impact that the alleged defamation has had on its business operations. The company asserts that the boycotts incited by BDS Malaysia led to a substantial loss of profit, job cuts, and reduced operating hours in many of its outlets.

Malaysia’s Stance On The Palestinian Issue

Malaysia, a majority-Muslim country, has historically been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause. The situation in Gaza and the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict often resonate deeply with the Malaysian public. This backdrop adds a complex dimension to the legal battle between McDonald's Malaysia and BDS Malaysia, as it intertwines with the broader geopolitical and social issues at play.

Conclusion

As the case progresses, it remains to be seen how the Malaysian courts will adjudicate this matter. The lawsuit raises important questions about corporate responsibility, freedom of speech, and the impact of social media on business operations in a globally interconnected world. Both parties await a legal resolution, as do observers keen to understand the implications of this case in the broader context of corporate ethics and international political activism.
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