Impossible to boycott all Israeli trade, says Bersatu Armada chiefTASNIM LOKMAN VEISHNAWI NEHRU
SHAH ALAM - It is impossible for Malaysians to boycott or sever all ties with Israeli trade as it is an integral part of the supply chain, says Bersatu Armada chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal.
He said this was the reality and complexity of the supply chain.
"For example, if you want to produce devices such as smartphones, we need chips from certain producers.
"It could be from Taiwan but also designed by Israeli companies, so we can't escape it," he told Sinar Daily during an exclusive interview after the Bersatu Armada General Assembly 2023 held at the Ideal Convention Centre here today.
Acknowledging the difficulty of complete avoidance but suggested that, instead of entirely escaping, it could be reduced through proper planning or decoupling from sources deemed to support Israel.
"In reality, it's challenging due to our high level of integration, but we can make efforts to minimise the impact," he said.
This Palestine issue, he said was a “very emotional cause” to Muslims but we need to empower the protesters and give the people proper knowledge about how the economy and trade works.
"I respect those who choose not to consume McDonald's for health and boycott reasons, but to be fair, McDonald's also contributed significantly to corporate social responsibility in Sabah and many places all around the world," he said.
He emphasised the importance of rationality, saying that leaders, including the government, opposition and religious leaders should carefully consider where and how boycotts can play a role.
Commenting on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, he said the initiative was making major progress today after gaining traction in European countries such as Spain and Norway as well as Brazil.
He said living in the social media era has helped create awareness and amplify the movement worldwide.
Wan Ahmad Fayhsal was responding to a question on the data of “Israel Exports to Malaysia” and “Israel Imports from Malaysia” on the Trading Economics website.
The website states that Israel exports to Malaysia was US$74.41 million during 2022, according to the United Nations Comtrade database on international trade. Among items were listed for trading were mineral fuels, oils, distillation products, aluminium, plastics and electrical and electronic equipment among many others.
Meanwhile, Israel imports from Malaysia amounted to US$10.69 million during 2022, according to the United Nations Comtrade database on international trade. Among the top items imported were animal, vegetable fats and oils, printed books, newspapers, pictures and rubber among many others.
Both segments stated that they were last updated November 2023, this month.