Buy Muslim First (BMF) Facebook group, the Muslims-only secret group barely had any follower when it was set up last December. But, it is no longer the case today – after it became a national issue when Prime Minister Dr Mahathir spoke on the campaign, followed by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
The group’s members swelled to 100,000 in just one day and as in today noon, the number of members surpassed 1.6 million people. Many of whom support the campaign and have been updating the list of products – mainly groceries, made by Muslim companies.
1. A call to prioritise buying Muslim products
The campaign began on social media with a sole intention to urge Bumiputera community to avoid buying products made by businesses owned by non-Bumiputeras. The campaign began as an initiative to educate Muslims to be more vigilant about halal or Syariah-compliant products.
2. Why the campaign suddenly garnered a lot of attention?
BMF was not initiated by public figure or political party. Instead, it’s more a grassroots driven campaign to educate and create awareness for Muslim in buying products that are proven halal and not fall in grey area.
This campaign received a lot of comments be it is positive or negative. Some described it as a boycott campaign and could sour racial tension but some against it. According to some people, BMF is not a boycott because no one has asked or forced Muslims to stop buying products made by non-Muslims.
3. BMF should be viewed positively rather than negatively
Gerakan Pembela Ummah (Ummah) launched the campaign on Sept 7 and has received the backing of PAS and others. In the past, prices of essential goods were difficult to be decreased, with this campaign, it will help consumers choose the goods they need at competitive prices.
The competitive prices in the market will positively impact the country’s economy and as consumers regardless of race and religion will benefit from this campaign. It is backed by Ummah national deputy chairman Mohd Zai Mustafa who clearly said that it was not a boycott of non-Muslim products, but to empower the economy and create a healthy environment between the Muslim community and others. BMF’s main objective was to raise the buying power of Muslim and at the same time, help Muslim businesses.
4. Consumers purchasing power
It is not wrong to create awareness and choice for Muslims to choose their own preferred goods and indirectly, can help boost the economy. As consumers, they are free to choose what they need without being burdened by the high cost of goods and do not benefit the user.
*This article doesn’t reflect editor’s personal view