PETALING JAYA, July 6 — A Malaysian’s vow to boycott furniture brand Ikea for selling Pride Month rainbow bags in its United States store has been met with criticism and ridicule.
Last weekend, a woman known as Ulya Azhari tried to call on her Twitter followers to show Ikea “Malaysians’ boycotting power” and tweeted a photo of a poster promoting its rainbow-themed Storstomma carrier bag.
The poster also stated the company’s pledge to donate 30 per cent of the bag sales to the Ali Forney Centre and the Los Angeles LGBT Centre in the United States.
Both charities provide support to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community who often lack access to housing and healthcare services.
“Does Ikea want to see that Malaysians have the power to boycott?
“Take down this poster or we will buy nothing from you @Ikea. From: Malaysian (sic),” wrote Ulya.
The tweet has since been deleted but was reuploaded by Ulya yesterday following intense backlash.
Nak maki, sila. Nak hina, sila. Siapa yg letak video porn dlm tweet kali ni saya block. TENTANG LGBT HABIS HABISAN!!! pic.twitter.com/5y0kG6eBPq— Ulya Azhari (@azhari_ulya) July 5, 2020
“You want to bash me, go ahead. You want to condemn me, go ahead,” she wrote.
Many Twitter users said Ulya was kicking up an unnecessary fuss as the bag is not even being sold in Malaysia.
According to the Ikea website, the Storstomma bag is only available in the United States, Europe, Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Others also criticised Ulya for bashing a company just because they are helping charities that provide basic human rights to vulnerable communities.
“The Los Angeles LGBT Centre provides a home for queer kids that were thrown out from their homes because of prejudice.
“Causes like this one by Ikea is to make sure a child or young adult is safe and taken care of,” wrote @sunfloweraidil.
Ulya responded by saying “not all good deeds are correct” and compared Ikea’s charitable initiative to the act of stealing to help the poor.
“This is just like stealing to help a poor person. What’s wrong will always be wrong,” she wrote.
Some Twitter users replied to Ulya’s anti-LGBT tweets with GIFs of same-sex couples kissing and hugging to drown out her views and promote messages of love and acceptance instead.
A handful also welcomed Ulya’s initiative to boycott Ikea as it would mean fewer crowds and a comfortable atmosphere for other shoppers.
Artist Fahmi Reza sarcastically encouraged people to heed her boycotting campaign to ensure an easier shopping experience for her fellow Malaysians.
“To those who want to shop or eat at Ikea, you won’t need to queue up in long lines after this.
“Come on Malaysians, show off your boycotting power,” Fahmi wrote on Facebook.