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 hashtag #BoycottMalaysia has been trending on Twitter since October 1, with users asking people not to travel to Malaysia.
Dr Mahathir said there has also been no “backlash” from China, following his comments on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.
“I answered because (the question) came from a lawyer from Hong Kong. I didn’t want to share my opinion on what is happening there, as it is an internal matter.
“But because I was asked about what the administrator should do, my reply was, if she is in a dilemma, the best thing for her to do is resign.”