- UPDATE 3.50PM: Added further comments from PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man criticising DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan has defended the campaign to buy Muslim-made products first, saying that DAP had misunderstood it as a boycott.
"For PAS, the campaign to buy Muslim-made products first is an inclusive and competitive move in business and should be seen in a positive light," Takiyuddin said in a statement today.
"Studies show that the campaign will cause an economic spillover to larger sections of the community, especially SMEs and rural traders, giving them a competitive edge.
"PAS calls on the government to help make this noble campaign a success."
The campaign, which began on social media, urges those in the bumiputra community to boycott products produced by non-bumiputras. A number of NGOs also called for a boycott of halal products made by non-Muslims.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said yesterday that such boycotts would be counter-productive, not just because of the effect on national unity, but also since it could cause consumers to "lose out by boycotting products which are superior in price and quality".
Lim, the finance minister, also urged Umno and PAS to condemn the campaign.
"If PAS and Umno are not against both non-Muslims and non-Malays, both parties should adopt a similar stand condemning such boycotts of non-bumiputra products," he said.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad also called for a stop to the campaign last Friday, saying that it would only cause anger.
Takiyuddin dismissed this in his statement, saying that the campaign would create job opportunities for unemployed youths.
“It will ultimately bring about a progressive economic cycle among Muslim businesses, and non-Muslims, too,” he claimed.
PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (photo) accused Guan Eng of playing up racial sentiments and failing to respect the free will of Muslim consumers.
"The main aim of the campaign is for Muslim consumers to choose the halal, tried and tested products of Muslims. To date, there has not been a call to boycott non-Muslim products by PAS," Tuan Ibrahim told party organ Harakah.
"The government should focus more on immoral activities in business such as fraud, monopolies, price manipulation and the black economy," he added.
Meanwhile, Putra and Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali threw his weight behind the campaign.
"Non-Muslim leaders do not have to worry about this," Ibrahim said in a statement.
"After all, Muslims remain silent over liquor licences and entertainment centres for non-Muslims. Trillions of ringgit revolve around these industries which are haram (illegal) for Muslims, yet even though the official religion is Islam and the majority are Muslim, we allow these illicit businesses for non-Muslims."
"That's why there's a 'buy Muslim products first' campaign. What's more, some non-Islamic companies sell their non-halal products but advertise in Malay and some use Jawi, especially for food products.
"Are non-Muslims in Malaysia ready to help Muslims?" Ibrahim asked.