KFC shutters over 100 outlets in M'sia amid boycott, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

KFC shutters over 100 outlets in M'sia amid boycott

KUALA LUMPUR – KFC has reduced its operations in Malaysia, shuttering more than 100 restaurants temporarily after months of a persistent pro-Palestine boycott of US-linked businesses triggered by the ongoing war in Gaza.

QSR Brands, which owns and operates the KFC fast-food franchise in Malaysia, is suspending 108 outlets nationwide, the Nanyang Siang Pau Chinese-language daily said, based on information from Google Maps.

A source in QSR who declined to be named, told The Straits Times the number is likely to be much larger than the 108 stores. 

Checks by ST on three outlets in KL at Jalan Ipoh, Jalan Sultan and Taman Melawati found signs saying they were “temporarily closed”. Boxes were seen stacked up inside the restaurants. Workers at neighbouring stores said they were closed a week ago due to a lack of customers.

“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, chairman of pro-Palestinian group Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Malaysia, told ST.

Since the boycott began in October 2023, KFC has also shifted its branding strategy, with signs on their menu boards and distributing flyers emphasising that it is owned by Johor Corporation, which belongs to the Johor state government, to mitigate the boycott.

There are more than 600 KFC restaurants in Malaysia, according to the QSR website.

KFC, along with a few other US-based brands such as Starbucks and McDonald’s, have also been facing boycotts due to their perceived link to Israel since the war in Gaza started on Oct 7, 2023.

QSR also operates KFC restaurants in Singapore, Brunei and Cambodia, as well as more than 480 Pizza Hut stores in Malaysia and Singapore.

Northeast Kelantan state is the worst-affected with nearly 80 per cent, or up to 21 outlets, halting their operations, followed by 15 outlets in Johor, Nanyang Siang Pau said.

Selangor, the most industrialised state in Malaysia, has 11 branches temporarily closed, 10 of which are located in Malay-majority Shah Alam.

  • Additional reporting by Azril Annuar