Friday, May 24, 2024

KFC shuts over 100 outlets in Malaysia over pro-Palestine boycott

American fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has temporarily shut over 100 restaurants in Malaysia as U.S.-linked businesses around the world face battering amid boycotts in favor of Palestine, triggered by the ongoing genocidal war in Gaza.

The franchise has 600 outlets in the country.

“QSR Brands, which owns and operates the KFC fast-food franchise in Malaysia, is suspending 108 outlets nationwide,” The Straits Times reported on Monday, citing a local Chinese-language newspaper.

The fast-food chain had to reduce its operations across Malaysia, mostly in northeastern Kelantan state, following calls for a boycott of the businesses, amid protests over U.S. support to Israel in the aftermath of Israeli attacks on the Palestinian-besieged enclave of Gaza since Oct. 7 last year.

“KFC is not on the BDS list of targeted companies. But many Malaysians see any American fast-food operator to be related to Israel, including KFC,” professor Mohd Nazari Ismail, chairperson of the pro-Palestinian group Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Malaysia, told the Singapore-based newspaper.

The BDS movement seeks to end the occupation and dismantle Israel’s illegal wall and settlements, demands full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and calls for the rights of Palestinian refugees to be upheld.

The news report claimed that KFC saw the boycott of its businesses “as an opportunity to cease” some of its operations “that have weighed on its balance sheet.”

Early this month, KFC was forced to shut its first branch in Algeria just two days after its opening, following protests over U.S. support to Israel.

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