McDonald’s defamation suit against BDS Malaysia set for mediation

19 Feb 2024 03:59pm
Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Malaysia Chairman Professor Dr Mohd Nazari Ismail.
Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Malaysia Chairman Professor Dr Mohd Nazari Ismail.

SHAH ALAM - Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Malaysia's Chairman Professor Dr Mohd Nazari Ismai has announced a significant development in the defamation lawsuit brought forth by McDonald’s Malaysia against BDS Malaysia.

The dispute, centered on allegations of defamation stemming from BDS's advocacy for a boycott and accusations of collusion with Israel, he said was poised to undergo mediation following recent statements from both parties.

Nazari, in a statement, expressed confidence in their stance, affirming readiness for either mediation or a full trial, emphasising their unwavering commitment to their cause.

“We are confident of obtaining a decision in our favour should the suit go to full trial.

“Nonetheless, we are prepared for the matter to be resolved through mediation as long as the resolution does not in any way undermine or inhibit our efforts to end Zionist apartheid and genocidal actions in Palestine,” he said in a statement.

Nazari also noted that BDS Malaysia was represented by Raja Riza and Associates, known for their extensive experience and expertise in defamation law.

“In the name of justice and freedom for Palestine, they are providing their services pro-bono. The mediation shall take place on Monday, March 18 at the Shah Alam High Court,” he added.

BDS Malaysia is part of the broader Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, which calls for action against Israel in response to its policies.

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On Dec 30, 2023, McDonald’s Malaysia, represented by franchise owner Gerbang Alaf Restaurants Sdn Bhd, initiated legal action against BDS Malaysia.

The lawsuit alleges defamation stemming from BDS's advocacy for a boycott, accusing the movement of ‘colluding with Israel’.

McDonald’s Malaysia seeks an unconditional apology from BDS Malaysia and RM6 million in damages.

The damages include compensation for alleged loss of revenue, employee layoffs, and expired materials, totaling RM3 million, RM1.5 million, and RM1.5 million, respectively.

Nazari highlighted the sentiments arising from boycotts, especially on companies like McDonald's during a recent podcast session titled THE PALESTINIAN DIARIES: Boycott Disinvest Sanction Companies Explicitly Involved with Israel [Episode 8].