Malaysia joins Indonesia in attempted Starbucks boycott

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Malaysia has joined Indonesia in an attempted boycott on giant coffee chain Starbucks over its support for LGBT rights.

Last week Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organisation in Indonesia, Muhammadiyah, urged followers to boycott Starbucks.

Anwar Abbas, who made the calls for the boycott, also leads the semi-governmental Indonesian Ulema Council which is responsible for Halal certification in the country.

Malaysian Starbucks

Now, Muslim Malaysian group Perkasa has joined in the calls for a boycott reports the Associated Press.

“Our objection is because they are promoting something that is against human instinct, against human behavior and against religion,” Amini Amir Abdullah, Perkasa’s Islamic affairs bureau chief, told Reuters.

“That’s why we are against it.”

Perkasa has also called on the Malaysian government to revoke operating licences for Starbucks as well as companies like Apple and Microsoft.

Boycott Starbucks trended on Twitter for a short time and the AP reports that shares fell in price for the company that runs the chain there.

Amini pointed to a statement by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz who called on shareholders who oppose equal marriage to sell their Starbucks stock in 2013.

Malaysia criminalises gay sex with up to 20 years in prison for those convicted.

Earlier this year, Malaysia’s health ministry defended its intention to hold a competition on the best ideas for “preventing” homosexuality and transgender identities.

Starbucks opened in Indonesia back in 2002 and as of last year had 260 stores in Indonesia.

Amnesty International earlier this year urged Indonesia to stop the caning and arrests of LGBT people in Indonesia.

Anti-LGBT discrimination is said to be costing Indonesia as much as $12 billion every year, according to a recent study.

The losses are a result of barriers to employment, education, healthcare, as well as “physical, psychological, sexual, economic and cultural violence” suffered by LGBT citizens.

France has been urged by human rights groups to put pressure on Indonesia to do more to protect the rights of LGBT+ people.