McDonald's Malaysia denies any links to Israel

KUALA LUMPUR • The Malaysian franchise of McDonald's Corp said it was "disappointed" with calls on social media to boycott the fast-food restaurant chain in apparent retaliation against the US' recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Social media users in the Muslim-majority country have called on people to boycott various American companies following United States President Donald Trump's decision to relocate the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

One Twitter user, who goes by the name, TheUsopIbrahim, stated without citing sources that US-headquartered McDonald's "channelled funds to Israel".

The user did not respond to a request by Reuters for comment.

McDonald's Malaysia said in a statement on Facebook on Saturday that the chain does not support or engage in any political or religious conflicts.

Mr Azmir Jaafar, managing director and operating partner of franchisee Gerbang Alaf Restaurants, said: "The claim that McDonald's channels funds to Israel is a false accusation, a lie, fake and slanderous."

He added that Gerbang's largest shareholder is Muslim.

The Malaysian and Singaporean franchise rights were bought by Saudi Arabia's Lionhorn a year ago, as part of the US parent's strategy of moving away from direct ownership in Asia.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 11, 2017, with the headline 'McDonald's Malaysia denies any links to Israel'. Print Edition | Subscribe