A remark by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the United Nations General Assembly last week on Jammu and Kashmir sent Twitter into overdrive yesterday.
According to The News Minute, it all started when Turkey and China raised the issue at UNGA, leading to Dr Mahathir supporting the two countries.
He said: “Now, despite UN (United Nations) resolution on Jammu and Kashmir, the country has been invaded and occupied. There may be reasons for this action, but it is still wrong. The problem must be solved by peaceful means. India should work with Pakistan to resolve this problem. Ignoring the UN would lead to other forms of disregard for the UN and the Rule of Law,”
The report said his statement, particularly related to “the country has been invaded and occupied” has not been well received by netizens in India and prompted the call for a boycott against Malaysia.
The #BoycottMalaysia hashtag, it said has been trending on Twitter since Monday, with users asking people not to travel to Malaysia.
One of the users, Krishna (@kkrishkore) wrote: “No one have the right to interfere (in) our internal matters, why is your prime minister (Malaysia) involve this matter, if he do the same, we take this #BoycottMalaysia,”
Another user, Mayur shah (@JasMayurshah) questioned why Dr Mahathir was focussing on a small percentage of Muslims in India who opposed the abrogation.
“Well well, if you say so. Just remember that only some percentage of sunnis live in India who opposed the abrogation, (the) rest of the of twenty crore Muslims are ok. what does it mean? It’s political power shift in the valley that’s being opposed.”
Rita (@RitaG74) said: “Though Malaysia was never on my travel list, Turkey was. Won’t visit both countries ever. #BoycottMalaysia.”
As the number of tweets reached 8,000, other netizens, presumably Malaysians, decided to break their silence on the matter and responded with #BoycottIndia.
It was reported that the Indian government had revoked the special status accorded to the region in a presidential decree issued on Aug 5 that guaranteed special rights to the Muslim-majority state, including the right to its own constitution and autonomy to make laws on all matters except defence, communications and foreign affairs.
Following the move, India sent thousands of troops to the disputed region, imposed a curfew, shut down telecommunications and internet, and arrested political leaders.