KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the #BoycottMalaysia movement on social media would not affect Malaysia-India trade and relations.
Prime Minister added that the government had not received any response from the Indian government with regards to the hashtag, which was trending on Twitter after he spoke about the need to resolve the Jammu-Kashmir conflict at the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept 27.
“So far I’ve not received any feedback. I had told (Prime Minister of India) Narendra Modi to contact me if he is unhappy or dissatisfied.
“We don’t give criticism to side with anyone, but we call for both parties to discuss, use arbitration or go to the court of law, not to resort to violence,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah during the Minister’s Question Time said the boycott by the citizens of India against Malaysia due to the Jammu-Kashmir issue would not affect the country’s image and the bilateral ties between the two countries.
“The boycott campaign was launched after the prime minister made a speech at the United Nations general assembly recently,” he said in reply to a question by Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai) who asked the government’s stand on the boycott campaign against Malaysia on social media.
Saifuddin said Malaysia would continue to play a proactive role in objecting any form of oppression regardless of religion or skin colour.
“Malaysia practises a non-aligned foreign policy, and wishes to befriend and do trade with all countries except Israel, but we have to make a stand on certain matters. For example, we spoke against the genocides in Cambodia, Rohingya as well as Jammu and Kashmir.
“The Pakistani prime minister had contacted Dr Mahathir to ask for his views. In an international event in Russia, Dr Mahathir had met the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, and gave his views on the matter.”
The matter was again raised during the question-and-answer session when Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (Pas-Marang) asked what the government is doing in the Foreign Policy Framework of the New Malaysia to resolve the Kashmir conflict.
“There were chapters in the recently-launched Foreign Policy Framework which refers to the fight to represent the oppressed, including in Jammu (and) Kashmir.
“Following the phone conservation between Malaysia and Pakistan's prime ministers (as well as) discussion with the prime minister of India, the UN Security Council had on Aug 16 held a closed-door consultation to discuss on the Kashmir issue,” he said, adding that the meeting was recommended by China following a request by Pakistan for UN security council to discuss the matter.
He said since Malaysia was not a member of the United Nation’s Security Council, it had sought the cooperation of Indonesia to state Malaysia’s stance on the matter.
“We would communicate directly with Indonesia on matters pertaining to the Jammu-Kashmir conflict discussed in the council. OIC Contact Group meeting held on the side-lines of the UN general assembly on Sept 25 had made a strong stance on the issue.
“It has called for India to firstly, retract the revocation of Article 370 (of Indian Constitution on Jammu and Kashmir special status) which had caused problems today. Secondly, for India to repeal its emergency law, and thirdly, for it to recall its soldiers (in Jammu and Kashmir).”