There seems a minor storm brewing on cyberspace over Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's recent remark at the United Nations' meet about the Jammu-Kashmir issue.

While Indian Twitter users got the ball rolling by starting the #BoycottMalaysia hashtag, Malaysians are retaliating by lobbing insults at the country and calling for a #BoycottIndia campaign instead.

Here's what got the issue started.

During his speech at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Sept 27, Mahathir waded into the issue of India scrapping the special status (Article 370) accorded to the area it administers in Kashmir, by saying that India has "invaded and occupied" Kashmir.

The article used to give Jammu-Kashmir the power to have a separate constitution, and autonomy over the administration of the state.

The scrapping move enraged Pakistan, with its prime minister Imran Khan warning that it could cause a 'bloodbath' in the region and provoke war between the two nuclear-armed countries.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, has stuck to his guns.

Touching on the issue, Mahathir said: "Despite the resolution on Jammu and Kashmir, the country has been invaded and occupied. There may be reasons for this action but it is still wrong. The problem must be solved by peaceful means. India should work with Pakistan to resolve this problem. Ignoring the UN would lead to other forms of disregard for the UN and the rule of law," he was quoted saying by NST, which published his full speech.

Indians are now calling for boycott of trade with Malaysia and travel here, in protest of Mahathir's remark.

In reply, Malaysians are asking why India is mad since Mahathir was merely "telling the truth". There are also those asking India to fix its own issues, such as public lynching, open defecation and rapes, before attacking Malaysia.

Amid all these, some local netizens are saying that Malaysians should not counter the hate campaign with more hatred and stereotyping.

Indeed. This is an extremely touchy subject which could easily derail the cordial relationship between two countries, so it is perhaps better to let cool heads prevail and let the authorities from both countries settle it via diplomatic means.

It is easy to become a keyboard warrior, but when things hit the fan, it is going to end up raining on all of us.

Source: NST, Twitter
Photo source: NST/Bernama, Twitter.