Time for local businesses seize the opportunity amid boycott movement

We have won the war on social media, now it is time for the economic front. We just need to make more effort.

21 Jan 2024 06:00pm
Photo for illustration purposes only. - 123RF
Photo for illustration purposes only. - 123RF

No words can describe this writer's anger towards Israel's inhumane actions against the people of Gaza.

Since Oct 7, last year, this writer shared thousands of posts related to the atrocities of the Zionists on Facebook.

This has led to the account being 'restricted' twice, citing 'community standards violations' or 'against our recommendation guidelines'.

There were other Facebook users who were more outspoken about the matter and their posts had been permanently removed. That was the price we had to pay, but this could not be compared to the sufferings of our brothers and sisters in Palestine.

As of Jan 1, the death toll in Gaza due to Israel's relentless attacks has reached over 22,000 which included more than 9,100 children.

Sunday marked 100 days of Israel's bombings on Gaza and many have continued to boycott products associated with Israel as a 'protest' against its atrocities.

Recently, CNN reported that three global giant brands experienced a decline in the global stock market due to strategic boycott carried out by almost the entire global population.

Internet millionaire, business consultant and young entrepreneurial icon Noor Irfan Khairy Noor Azmi said for a large company to incur losses, it did not require a 100 per cent boycott.

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He said it did not even need 50 per cent of consumers to stop using the products, but a mere 10 per cent profit drop was sufficient to have a significant impact on the organisation.

As a result of the boycott movement, sales of local food and beverage businesses such as Richiamo Coffee, Marrybrown and GTR Burger have seen an increase of up to 40 per cent.

However, in some places, the spirit of the boycott seemed to be weakening. It was as if they were returning to their daily routines, even as the genocide in Gaza intensified.

Perhaps consumers were starting to 'miss' products that have become a part of their life.

This writer has even started to experience headaches and nausea while embarking on this small jihad to switch to a different brand of coffee.

It can't be denied that pro-Israel products were suitable with the people's palate that it could be challenging to maintain boycotting the products.

This writer wonders why local products could not compete with the pro-Israel products.

It's not that there isn't any at all, there is, but there's only a few.

So, it's no wonder if the momentum of the boycott loses steam. It's a matter of taste, as well as packaging or ethical aspects in business.

This writer went through an experience at a supermarket. While trying to figure out which product was not pro-Israel, the writer noticed a local product with the advertisement 'buy product, get a beautiful container for free'.

When the writer tried to claim the gift after paying, the cashier said the containers were out of stock.

The writer presumed that perhaps many people had purchased the product, but sadly, that assumption turned out to be wrong.

"The supplier only sent three containers," the cashier said, leaving this writer was disappointed.

Opportunities arose as a result of the boycott, but local entrepreneurs did not fully seize it to boost their businesses and make themselves more noticeable by customers.

As a result of the boycott, restaurants with ties to Zionists have lost some customers. They were forced to shorten their operating hours and no longer open 24 hours.

Now, it was the local businesses' turn to 'shine' 24/7 and create more profits.

Some of the best local brands, such as Ramly, Farm Fresh Milk or the Naskeen Coffee chain owned by a local youth from Kelantan were able to compete with international brands and became consumers' favourites.

We have won the war on social media, now it is time for the economic front. We just need to make more effort.

This writer will continue to 'beat the drum' until Israel's atrocities are stopped.

Condolences go out to the 110 media personnel who have sacrificed their lives to show the world what was happening in Gaza as of Jan 9.

If we want to win the 'war,' even if not martyred like the journalists in Gaza, at the very least, let's not diminish our attention to Palestine.

* Adila Sharinni Wahid is a Sinar Harian Kelantan bureau journalist

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