Jan 13, 2010

The Mystery of the Missing Pig

First we had that unnecessary hoo-haa in Malaysia, about the word Allah, and it escalated into something really nasty, with churches getting burned and all that.

Now we have another example of foolishness - alas, this time it is happening in Singapore, not in Malaysia. This one won't escalate into a mess, but it is an example of foolishness nonetheless.
    ST Forum, Jan 13, 2010
    Hard to believe McDonald's promotion was not about the zodiac

    I WAS born in the year of the Pig. So, when I first saw the toy collectibles in a McDonald's outlet, I stared at the display for a long while to confirm that I was not mistaken: that McDonald's had omitted my Chinese zodiac sign.

    The pig was not one of the 12 collectible designs representing the dozen animals of the Chinese zodiac. Instead McDonald's replaced it with Cupid.

    I wrote to McDonald's last week to ask why and to say why it was wrong:

    - Cupid is not a Chinese zodiac sign;

    - While McDonald's is a halal restaurant, and the reason for replacing the pig is to be sensitive towards the Muslim customers, the exclusion seems to be disrespectful and insensitive to Chinese patrons.

    - By replacing the pig, McDonald's is suggesting that the Muslim community is not tolerant enough to accept it as part of the Chinese zodiac.

    McDonald's said that as Valentine's Day coincided on the first day of the Chinese New Year, it decided on Cupid.

    It also stated that its Doraemon lucky charms promotion was never intended as a zodiac collection.

    If the 12 designs were not meant to mimic the 12 zodiac signs, why are customers upset?

    Tan Chin Kwang
For goodness sakes, Chin Kwang. It's a McDonald's souvenir. It's a free gift. It's just a little pig toy, for kids!

Okay, there is no pig. You can't get a pig. So go get yourself the tiger, the horse, the bull, the monkey.

What? You're born in the Year of the Pig? And you must have a pig toy? Okay, then go somewhere else and buy it. Die die MUST get a pig toy from McDonald's meh?!!

There are things in life which are worth making a fuss over. And there are things in life which are not. Free gifts from fast food restaurants, in my opinion, belong to the latter category.

148 comments:

小肥与阿宝 said...

They are not free if I'm not wrong, but going for $2 each.

Reminds me of the Hello Kitty door crashing incident years ago.

HH said...

Yup it cost $2 when you buy a EVM. I still think Tan Chin Kwang should get what he want especially when Mac promote the toy as "Chinese Zoiac". It is just not right leaving out the pig. Just like eating Mee Pok without Te Kuao or Mee Siam without Ham. :)

Anonymous said...

agreed. like the ocbc cake incident. mr tan, they dont owe u anything. esp not just because you are born in year of pig. dont want dont buy. so they boo-booed in judging the tolerance of the minority. but u don't care abt that, just care abt ur pig right?

Anonymous said...

What about dogs ? I understand dogs are also not a desirable animal.

What about cow ? Some religion don't eat beef.

Mcdonald shd also be sensitve to all other religions.

Pls explain !

Anonymous said...

aiyah.... let's not get to far from the topic... you want, you buy.... don't have, don't bother lah.... there are other toy pigs out there..... not happy... don't patronise Macs... nobody force one... so susah meh?

Anonymous said...

>>It also stated that its Doraemon lucky charms promotion was never intended as a zodiac collection.

Wow McDonald is learning fast from MIWs...telling lie with opened eyes

Kaffein said...

>>It also stated that its Doraemon lucky charms promotion was never intended as a zodiac collection.

Wow McDonald is learning fast from MIWs...telling lie with opened eyes

Kaffein>
*start singlish*
This is meant by spinning until customers/citizens become blur like sotong. Make mistake say make mistake lah. No need to hide behind spin stories. Lie also don't know how to lie.

*end singlish*

Well, what Mr Wang says is true. These 'charms' aren't that important. But I think the grouse against MacDonald are:
- Sold 'charms' during CNY. 'Charms' are more inclined towards Chinese traditions during CNY.
- The number of charms are 12 which coincides with the 12 zodiac signs.
- 11 of the animal charms are hauntingly akin to the 12 Zodiac animals.
- Then publishing public statements that the souvenirs are not meant to be zodiac animals.

Does Macdonalds think S'poreans are stupid? Just because you make a public statement doesn't mean you get away scot-free.

Now, now isn't that hauntingly familiar with a certain political party style?

Kaffein

yamizi said...

Fastfood ain't exactly that healthy anyway.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, you don't usually miss the point. But this time you do. Let me explain to you. It is MacDonald's capitulation to the sensitivities of the Malay/Muslim community that is to be challenged. We live in a multi-cultural, pluralistic society where no religion or culture is treated differently to the other. We are all the same. So why the double standard from Mac's? If Muslims are insulted that Mac's sells pig souvenirs, they are always free to take their business elsewhere. But then again, the Malay/Muslim customer forms a huge part of Mac's demographic. So you see, its nothing to do with being sensitive, its all about the bottom-line. As is everything else in sgp. Cheers.

Mr Wang Says So said...

I understand all that.

But why is it a problem to you that MacDonalds wants to give or not give certain souvenirs?

You as consumer feel you have the right to tell MacDonalds what souvenirs to give?

Suppose MacDonalds only chooses to give tigers, because it's the Year of the Tiger ... Should the Chinese pigs and horses and monkeys and dogs all get angry?

Suppose MacDonalds only chooses to give ang pao paper or pineapple tarts, no zodiac toys at all ... Should all the Chinese get angry?

Suppose MacDonalds chooses to give no souvenirs at all, during this CNY season .... Should all the Chinese be angry?

Why should you not go protest against Burger King? They are not giving out any Zodiac animals at all?

----

I feel that the people who are angriest about this are just the people who just want to have a nice "complete" set of toys.

By analogy, it's as if Harry Potter, supposed to be a 7-movie series, stopped production after Movie No. 6, for whatever reason.

As a fan, of course you might be disappointed. But do you actually have the right to demand that the producers and actors all get together to do a Movie No. 7 to satisfy you?

MacDonalds can capitulate to whatever it wants to capitulate to. Is that your problem?

Suppose I throw a big party, and invite lots of people. Some are Muslims and some are Hindus, so I decide that none of the food should contain pork or beef, and also I will not serve any alcohol.

Will you feel insulted? Will you demand that I, as host, should not "capitulate", and must provide pork, beef and alcohol?

Of course not. At most, you can decide that you won't accept my party invitation. You don't have the right to tell me what I want to serve at my party. That's none of your business, it's MY business.

And what macdonalds wants to give as souvenirs is also its own business.

Anonymous said...

LOL, reminds me of this email forwarded to me recently:
==================

Company Memo

-----------------------------------

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: October 1, 2009

RE: Gala Christmas Party

I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23rd, starting at noon in the private function room at the
Grill House. There will be a cash bar and plenty of drinks! We'll have a small band playing traditional carols... feel free to sing along. And
don't be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus! A Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00 PM. Exchanges of gifts among employees can be
done at that time; however, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pockets. This gathering is only for
employees!

Our CEO will make a special announcement at that time!

Merry Christmas to you and your family,

Patty




Company Memo

-----------------------------------


FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: October 2, 2009

RE: Gala Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Hanukkah is an important holiday, which often
coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on, we're calling it our "Holiday Party." The same policy applies
to any other employees who are not Christians and to those still celebrating Reconciliation Day. There will be no Christmas tree and no Christmas
carols will be sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment.

Happy now?

Happy Holidays to you and your family,

Patty



Company Memo


-----------------------------------

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: October 3, 2009

RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table, you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to
accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, "AA Only", you wouldn't be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle
this?

Somebody?

And sorry, but forget about the gift exchange, no gifts are allowed since the union members feel that $10.00 is too much money and the executives
believe $10.00 is a little chintzy.

REMEMBER: NO GIFTS EXCHANGE WILL BE ALLOWED.

Anonymous said...

Company Memo



-----------------------------------

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
To: All Employees
DATE: October 4, 2009

RE: Generic Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20th begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during
daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees'
beliefs. Perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party or else package everything for you to take it home
in little foil doggy baggy. Will that work?

Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet, and pregnant women will get the table closest to
the restrooms.

Gays are allowed to sit with each other. Lesbians do not have to sit with Gay men, each group will have their own table. Yes, there will be flower
arrangement for the Gay men's table..

To the person asking permission to cross dress, the Grill House asks that no cross-dressing be allowed, apparently because of concerns about
confusion in the restrooms. Sorry.

We will have booster seats for short people.

Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet.

I am sorry to report that we cannot control the amount of salt used in the food . The Grill House suggests that people with high blood pressure
taste a bite first.

There will be fresh "low sugar" fruits as dessert for diabetics, but the restaurant cannot supply "no sugar" desserts. Sorry!

Did I miss anything?!?!?

Patty

Company Memo
-----------------------------------

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All F*%^ing Employees
DATE: October 5, 2009

RE: The F*%^ing Holiday Party

I've had it with you vegetarian pricks!!! We're going to keep this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at
the table furthest from the "grill of death," as you so quaintly put it, and you'll get your f*%^ing salad bar, including organic tomatoes. But
you know, tomatoes have feelings, too. They scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream. I'm hearing them scream right NOW!

The rest of you f*%^ing wierdos can kiss my *ss. I hope you all have a rotten holiday!

Drive drunk and die,

The B*tch from H*ll!!!

Company Memo

-------------------


FROM: Joan Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director
DATE: October 6, 2009
RE: Patty Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy recovery and I'll continue to forward your cards to her.

In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd off with full pay.

Happy Holidays!

Joan

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Wang

The analogy given by you drawing parallels between McD and party host is flawed imho.
1) You don't need your guests to pay for your food and drinks, they're invited.
2) They don't get to call the shots too because they're invited. I'm pretty sure you'll suss out any trouble makers before sending the invitations.

As a consumer, I may not have a right to tell McD what souvenirs to give. But even non consumers have a right to criticize when the actions/reasons given smacks of stupidity, insensitivity and patronization. Let alone consumers.

You don't need to be gay to be a supporter of their rights. I'm not a McD toy collector but I'm equally perplexed by the action and response by McD.

Thanks for offering an alternative view anyway. =)

Mr Wang Says So said...

"1) You don't need your guests to pay for your food and drinks, they're invited.
2) They don't get to call the shots too because they're invited."


------

The point is very simple. I too can open a restaurant.

And it's up to me what I want to sell. I can choose to sell or not sell pork, beef, alcohol, vegetables, fish, whatever.

I can also choose to give or not give souvenirs, and if I choose to give souvenirs, I can choose to give toys; key chains; mouse pads; cookies; coasters; pens, whatever I choose.

If I give souvenirs to the public which are offensive to some segment of the public - eg perhaps I give a nude Lee Kuan Yew doll - then yes, some people could justifiably be offended.

But why should people be offended by what I did NOT give?!? (In this case, the CNY pig).

It's as absurd as people getting offended because I choose NOT to serve pork (or beef, or alcohol, or kangaroo) in my restaurant.

Anonymous said...

I don't think any Malays will mind seeing some pig soft toys in MacDonald. It's just a toy.

Mac wanna be biased to one race while not offending the other by coming out with a totally unconvincing explanation.

Denied its a Chinese zodiac while having 11 out of 12 resembling animals? C'mon!

Its completely unnecessary in the 1st place.

They say "kiang ju ho, mai gei kiang"

Anonymous said...

I think ppl are angry not because there's no pig-doraemon but because of the reason why Mac decided not to have a pig-doraemon.

Kayangmo said...

The underlying message is more than just a stupid toy pig.

It shows that terrorism is working for the terrorists and that corporate organisations, even entire countries are "respecting" the Muslim community more than they ought to.

Look at France. Look at Europe. Luckily the swiss voted out the Miniarets building rights. That is solidarity within themselves, and not cowing to Muslim pressures.

That is dangerous.

Anonymous said...

So are you angry with MacDonalds for being excessively respectful to Muslims?

Do you have a RIGHT to be angry with anyone for being excessively respectful to ANYTHING?

Mr Wang Says So said...

It seems that not only do organisations have to worry about not accidentally offending religious groups,

organisations also have to worry about offending people who are offended by organisations who worry too much about accidentally offending religious groups.

Anonymous said...

looking at how mr wang has to explain in details the reason for the way he writes his post makes me realised the folks at MacD must have it difficult to come to a conclusion before releasing the Doeramon collection....

Its their choice... do not assume how they came about with their decisions.
you just make an ass out u and me.....

Anonymous said...

For a moment after reading this article I thought I must have come to a fake blog masquerading the real one. Mr. Wang has really miss the point on this one.
The cause of this boo boo is due to the lack of local sensitivity of the person who made the decision to exclude the pig toy in the collection. I suspect the management person who made this decision is a foreigner, who has an international outlook but limited local sensitivity. It displayed a total lack of understanding of the significance and symbolism of Chinese society and its culture. Cold Storage used to over promote its Halal culture in the north, thinking that the Muslim clientele is important to its bottomline. It used to display very prominently that its items are Halal. They have toned down quite abit, probably due to losing out some of its non-Halal customers who felt discriminated for whatever reasons.
MacDonald's practice is not a wise one even if it is practised in Malaysia, with a dominant Muslim population. To do it in Singapore is plain foolishness, and its HQ should seriously review the credential of the local management before it destroy its good branding.

Anonymous said...

And why have we descended into this deep pit of triviality? Oh my goodness.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Funny. I am Chinese, and I don't feel offended about the missing pig.

If I were at MacDonalds, would I care that I didn't get a pig to choose?

No. Maybe I would be disappointed if I couldn't get a tiger (since it is going to be the Year of the Tiger).

If I couldn't get a Tiger, what would I get? Oh whatever. Dog, horse, monkey, whatever looks cute.

Would I personally be disappointed that there was no pig? Nope.

Under what circumstances might I be disappointed if there was no pig?

Possibly if I were very enthusiastic about getting the entire collection .... and if I were prepared to eat 12 Extra Value Meals, and pay an extra $24, to get all 12 animals.

However, I have better things to do with my life, than eat 12 Extra Value Meals to get 12 toys.

(Actually, you'd probably have to eat 15 or 16 meals, because the Tiger will probably go out of stock from time to time at some outlets).

Do I feel that Chinese culture is insulted, by MacDonald's omission?

No. In the first place, I don't depend on fast-food restaurants to uphold or sustain Chinese culture.

-----

As a matter of fact, IF I had to find something to be offended, I would say:

"MacDonalds should never have combined Doraemon with the Chinese zodiac at all.

Doraemon is a robotic cat from Japan - it has nothing to do with Chinese zodiac or Chinese culture."

Anonymous said...

good on you, mr wang....

Spicy Mother said...

MacDonalds has a right to omit the pig from their souvenirs.

If consumers don't want to collect the toys due to the missing pig, it is also their right.

End of the day, McD is more expert than us at weighing bottomline when they omit the pig which could result in a lacklustre promotion or risk being labeled as insensitive.

Robert L said...

Dear Mr Wang, I'm sorry to say that you have missed the point on this one, as others have already said.

I have, on my own little volition, stopped patronising MacD.

The toy is not food, it is nothing to do with halal. I'm extremely disappointed that no Singaporean Muslim has come out to advise MacD that toys in the restaurant has nothing to do with halal status. I'm terribly perturbed that no Muslim in Singapore has scolded MacD that what they have done is a disgraceful insult to the intelligence of Muslims.

Since the appropriate response from Muslims is not forthcoming, after so many days into the issue, I'll have to revise my expectation on the intelligence of Muslims in Singapore.

The anger against MacD is not about any great concern for the pig toy, it's more about the lies that they think they can perpetrate. MacD must think we are dumb. And THAT is not forgivable.

Anonymous said...

The Chinese people have nuclear missiles. As far as I can tell, that's more powerful than AK47s and suicide bombs.

Mac should fear the Chinese people more and give us the piggy.

Anonymous said...

George says:

What do you expect from a pig?

Ever tried looking from the angle that it is unique precisely because of this?

Too much to expect, I suppose, from typical humourless heartlanders?

Anonymous said...

McDonalds made a business decision to exclude pigs. Normally it is not a big deal except MaDonalds is not a typical business.

We are not supposed to have comics/jokes about a particular religion, or face death threats.

Abortion proponents have been threatened and clinics have been bombed.

Public buildings and some private businesses in the US refrain from explicit public Christmas displays and celebrations, even though Christianity is the dominant religion here, so as to be sensitive to other religions. So you don't hear "Merry Christmas" anymore. Instead, you have "Season's Greetings" and "Happy Holidays."

Gay marriage is another trigger point.

So this is not just about a little pig. It is about our way of life, our civil liberty, and our freedom of speech and expression.

I hope you get the point.

Anonymous said...

People should just talk with their wallets. If they are not happy with McD's promotion, they can just don't buy the dolls.

However, what McD is trying to do is pretty silly. They released a set of 12 dolls during the run up to CNY, of which 11 dolls represent animals from the Chinese Zodiac sign. Any normal person would infer that what McD is trying to do is to sell some kind of Chinese zodiac souvenir.

Also, what I can infer from this saga is that some people think that Singapore Muslims are shallow enough to be offended by the use of a "pig" zodiac sign doll. If you follow the same logic, during the year of the Pig, Singapore Mint should not release coins with a pig face on them?

I think that Singapore, being a melting pot of religion and race for so many years, SHOULD already have the tolerance to treat each race and religion with equality and respect. By doing so, McD has regressed our time to the days of the racial riots.

Chee Kong said...

Mr Wang, yes, you really missed the point. it's not about a toy.

you may not feel offended as a Chinese, but i do and many Chinese do. does that mean that they are not sensitive to the feelings of other religions or minorities? No. respect and sensitivity has to be both ways. in fact, as reported by ST, many Muslims also feel that it is not necessary. by its action, McDonald's may have inadvertently created an impression of the Muslims being intolerant and over sensitive.

McDonald's maybe just a fast food company, but if this precedent of over-sensitivity and political correctness is set, there's no guarantee that others may follow.

there's also such a thing called hegemony of the minority.

i suggest you read this blog http://fuzzielemon.blogspot.com/2010/01/did-anyone-else-read-about-pr-mess-mac.html

Anonymous said...

If Mac is sensitive enough they should not launch this promotion in the first place. It is hard for the public not to construe this promotion is nothing related to Chinese Zodiac with all eleven rest of the animals are available except one, especially during this coming festive occasion. It is about culture about tradition no noe can simply change it. To please the public I hope Mac should withdraw this promotion.

Anonymous said...

I find it disgusting that Mr. Wang supports the imposition of the religious beliefs of a minority group on everyone in the society - which is what this issue is about - and deliberately (given his legal training) distort the issue to become "It's just a little pig toy, for kids!".

Perhaps Mr. Wang, being a slow-learner, would need to wait till he is ban from celebrating Chinese New Year in the Year of the Pig, ban from eating Char Siew Bao anywhere in Singapore (it did happened some time back, where some schools ban char siew bao), ban from putting up pig characters at shopping centres' cny decoration, before he realise what this issue is really about.

Some people are able to tell the whole picture from a single example. Some, well, are just unable to connect the dots. Yet some are able to connect the dots, due to their rigorous legal training, but choose deliberately to trivialize the issue.

Anonymous said...

Ban snake - offend Christianity
Ban goat - offend Christianity
Ban dog - offend Muslim
Ban pig - offend Muslim

In all these CNY zodiac years, no image of these animals shall be shown on tv, or in shopping mall decoration, or in Singapore Mint zodiac commemorative coin, or in McDonald's commemorative toy.

It's ok. It's not about religious intolerance, or cultural bigotry. It just about a tv character, just a decoration, just a coin, just a toy -- according to Mr. Wang that is. lol

Anonymous said...

"But why is it a problem to you that MacDonalds wants to give or not give certain souvenirs?"

The problem is McDonald is imposing its islam exclusion/intolerance in MY soiety, MY community, MY country, MY Singapore.

As a concerned member of MY society, MY community, My country, My Singapore, I am...concerned!

But of course, some are not concerned.... that is, until they cannot buy char siew bao anywhere in Singapore etc. These people are the slow one... not able to see the big picture. Are you one of them, Wang?

Anonymous said...

"Suppose MacDonalds only chooses to give tigers, because it's the Year of the Tiger ... Should the Chinese pigs and horses and monkeys and dogs all get angry?"

No. Because then there is no ban of a non-muslim from performing a non-islamic act, by the muslims.


"Suppose MacDonalds only chooses to give ang pao paper or pineapple tarts, no zodiac to"

No. Because then there is no ban of a non-muslim from performing a non-islamic act, by the muslims.


"Why should you not go protest against Burger King? They are not giving out any Zodiac animals at all?"

Because there is no ban of a non-muslim from performing a non-islamic act, by the muslims.



Why don't you quit asking irrelevant question, but answer this question straight:

Is it ok to ban (eg by not selling) a non-muslim (eg. Chinese) from performing a non-islamic act (eg. buying of a pig toy), by the muslims (eg management of Mcdonald)?

Yes/No?

Anonymous said...

"By analogy, it's as if Harry Potter, supposed to be a 7-movie series, stopped production after Movie No. 6, for whatever reason."


Nonsense analogy. The supposed stoppage after movie 6 is not due to the 7th movie offending the Muslim /Christian /Buddhist /some minority segment of the society.

Correct analogy:
""By analogy, it's as if Harry Potter, supposed to be a 7-movie series, stopped production after Movie No. 6, because some Muslim in Singapore want to ban all Singaporeans from viewing the 7th movie due to lots of dogs and pigs appearing in the movie"

Is due right or wrong?

Anonymous said...

"At most, you can decide that you won't accept my party invitation. You don't have the right to tell me what I want to serve at my party. That's none of your business, it's MY business."


That's a nonsense analogy. A business company doing business in MY country have to abide by MY country's law, cultural norm. For eg. My country has a right to ban companies which practise age discrimination or sexual harrassment. The company cannot say: "this is my business. I shall discriminate against female employee all I like!"

Anonymous said...

"As a fan, of course you might be disappointed. But do you actually have the right to demand that the producers and actors all get together to do a Movie No. 7 to satisfy you?"


Yes, you have the right to demand your government to chase the producers and actors out of the country, if they ban everyone from eating pork in the studio, thus discriminating against non-muslims, Or if they ban women from the studio, thus discriminating against females etc. It is your country - you can set the rule not to allow discriminative practices by businesses which want to operate in your country!

Anonymous said...

"But why should people be offended by what I did NOT give?!? (In this case, the CNY pig). "

Why should people be offended by who you did NOT employ i.e. the pregnant women, the Sinkaporeans, the over-40s, the gays?

Indeed, you have the right to discriminate against females, citizens, middle-aged and above, homosexuals and in this case, discriminate against a chinese culture. It's your business. You can NOT do whatever in your business - NOT serve women, NOT serve those who are ugly, NOT serve non-muslims, NOT employ those above 30.

right?
Have you forgotten that you are doing business in MY country?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mr Wang Says So said...

Several of the comments above are mistaken -

because nobody BANNED MacDonalds from selling a toy pig.

McDonalds itself decided NOT to do it.

If you object to that decision (in the way that some posters here seem keen to do),

then you are infringing civil liberties

AS MUCH as a Muslim who insists that non-Muslims not eat pork.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"I find it disgusting that Mr. Wang supports the imposition of the religious beliefs of a minority group on everyone in the society"

That is an example of a point that has been missed.

Nothing was imposed.

Here are two scenarios:

1. MacDonalds does not sell any Zodiac set at all

2. MacDonalds sells a Zodiac set, minus a pig

EITHER WAY, you would not have got a pig.

If in Scenario 1, nothing was imposed on you, then in Scenario 2, nothing was imposed on you either.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:54pm,
"Do you have a RIGHT to be angry with anyone for being excessively respectful to ANYTHING?"

Yes. If this excessive "respect" will result in the "disrespect" of my culture.

If McDonald's excessive "respect" for Islam did not result in my Chinese culture being "disrespected", I couldn't care less. But in this case, its excessive "respect" has resulted in the "disrespect" of one of the 12th zodiac sign of my culture, hence I have a RIGHT to be angry.

F U McDonald! Maybe you should stop selling dogs and goats and snakes zodiac sign too. In fact, ban all Chinese from your restaurant, even better! That's the best way to "respect" the muslims -- by "disrespecting" the non-muslims!

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Why should people be offended by who you did NOT employ i.e. the pregnant women, the Sinkaporeans, the over-40s, the gays?"

Because that's discrimination, obviously.

In the MacDonalds example, there is no discrimination.

Muslims and non-Muslims are equally entitled to get the souvenirs,

provided that they eat an Extra Value Meal and pay $2.

Was that very difficult to understand???

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Yes. If this excessive "respect" will result in the "disrespect" of my culture."


Ahhh, there we see it.

Now you are behaving exactly in the way that you fear the Muslims will behave.

Mr Wang Says So said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr Wang Says So said...

I still want to understand why:

(1) there are Chinese who say their culture is disrespected, when MacDonald omits selling the pig;

but

(2) there are no Chinese who say that their culture is disrespected, when MacDonalds takes a CAT,

a time-travelling, robotic,
manga, anime, unnaturally big-eyed, Japanese, BLUE
cat by Fujiko Fujio, named "Doraemon"

and superimposes it on the 11 Chinese zodiac animals.

How come it's so terrible to have a missing Zodiac pig, but it's okay to turn, say, the Zodiac bull into a half-bull, half-cat? Or to give the Zodiac dragon the features of a ... cat!?

Anonymous said...

"There are things in life which are worth making a fuss over. And there are things in life which are not. Free gifts from fast food restaurants, in my opinion, belong to the latter category."


There are things in life which are worth making a fuss over. And there are things in life which are not. Condoning a business culture where the traditional practices and beliefs of the majority of the society are suppressed and dismissed so as to "appease" to some minority, belong to the former category.

Anonymous said...

"Muslims and non-Muslims are equally entitled to get the souvenirs, provided that they eat an Extra Value Meal and pay $2."

Non-muslims are NOT entitled to a pig souvenir even if they pay $200, because pig souvenir has been banned for the muslims' sake.

That's discrimination against the Chinese culture - specifically those part of the culture that supposedly offend the muslims.

Was that very difficult to understand???

Anonymous said...

"How come it's so terrible to have a missing Zodiac pig, but it's okay to turn, say, the Zodiac bull into a half-bull, half-cat? Or to give the Zodiac dragon the features of a ... cat!?"

Because in the case of the missing Zodiac pig, it's a ban/ disrespect/ dismissal of ONE culture (specifically the part of the culture that deals with pigs), in order to cater to ANOTHER culture (specifically that part of the culture that deals with pigs) i.e. a form of racism, religious bigotry, cultural discrimination etc and that is a no-no, especially in a multi-racial society.

Because in the case of the Zodiac bull being turned into a half-bull, half-cat, it's simply lousy artistic taste that has nothing to do catering to one recognised culture/race/religion in Singapore at the expense of another culture/race/religion in Singapore!

Anonymous said...

"In the MacDonalds example, there is no discrimination."

Of course there is. And I will spell it out for you:

Given a potential conflict between the Chinese belief (pig is a cute zodiac sign) and the Muslim belief (pig is a taboo), let's DISCRIMINATE against the Chinese beliefs by banning it (ban pig toy), and uphold the Malay beliefs (by having no pig toy).

If there were no discrimination, then the pig toy should be available and it would be up to the consumer to decide whether to buy it or not to buy it.

Anonymous said...

Here are two scenarios:
1. MacDonalds does not employ anyone at all (all staffs are family members)

2. MacDonalds employ foreigners but not Singaporeans.

EITHER WAY, you would not have gotten a Singaporean employed.

If in Scenario 1, you find it ok, then in Scenario 2, you should find it ok too.

What kind of logic is that? THat's the strange scenario Wang presented at January 14, 2010 6:03 AM
The 2 scenarios are not the same.

Anonymous said...

"nobody BANNED MacDonalds from selling a toy pig. McDonalds itself decided NOT to do it. If you object to that decision, then you are infringing civil liberties."

By this strange logic, nobody banned a company from employing Indian Singaporeans. The company itself decides NOT to employ Indian Singaporeans (but to employ only young FT from PRC). If you object to that decision, you are infringing civil liberties!

Try telling that to US/European countries which ban companies from exercising such discrimination in the name of "civil liberties".

Mr Wang Says So said...

Your analogy doesn't hold.

In your example, the company offers employment to a certain class of people, excluding others.

However, MacDonalds offers its souvenirs to all customers (Muslim or non-Muslim).

When I referred to infringement, I was saying that the response of some posters here is tantamount to trying to dictate what MacDonalds should or should do

- when nothing that MacDonald has actually done is discriminatory in nature.

Anonymous said...

>For goodness sakes, Chin Kwang. It's a McDonald's souvenir. It's a free gift. It's just a little pig toy, for kids!

For goodness sakes, Chin WANG! It's about banning Chinese culture which (supposedly) offend Muslim. It's just the pig zodiac (muslims) now, and later just the dog zodiac (muslims again), and then just the snake zodiac (christians), and again just the goat zodiac (christians again), and then finally just the cow zodiac (hindus). You are still allowed to buy toys which do not offend the Muslims or the Christians or the Hindus. Just so long as you are banned from from buying toys which offend the muslims or the christians or the hindus.

Anonymous said...

"the response of some posters here is tantamount to trying to dictate what MacDonalds should or should do"

What's wrong with that? A country dictates what companies should or should not do with regard to employment of citizen versus foreigners etc. Your analogy that just because it is your company, you can do whatever you want does not hold water.

Then you may argue that a country can dictate when it comes to employment discrimination, but cannot when it comes to cultural discrimination. I do not subscribe to that. In any case, anyone can "dictate" by voting with his wallet or by voicing his opinion, or by writing protest letter to McDonald. Why not? Should such voicing of opinion be called "dictate" and be suppressed?

Finally, you may argue that there is no discrimination in the sense that the same toys are offered to everyone. That's not the complete definition of discrimination. There is cultural discrimination in that cultures which regard pig favourably are discriminated against by banning all pig toys, while other culture which regard pigs as taboo are favoured by the banning of toys that it regard as taboo.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Given a potential conflict between the Chinese belief (pig is a cute zodiac sign) and the Muslim belief (pig is a taboo), let's DISCRIMINATE against the Chinese beliefs by banning it (ban pig toy), and uphold the Malay beliefs (by having no pig toy)."

This would amount to a civil liberties issue, only if in the first place, Macdonalds had a duty to sell the full set of Zodiac animals.


You might as well accuse of me for being as bad as MacDonalds. After all, just like MacDonalds, I am not selling any Zodiac pigs this year.

Waitaminit. You aren't selling any, either? Tsk tsk.

Mr Wang Says So said...

" There is cultural discrimination in that cultures which regard pig favourably are discriminated against by banning all pig toys, while other culture which regard pigs as taboo are favoured by the banning of toys that it regard as taboo."

Indeed, it would be worrisome if the Singapore government passed a law and banned toy pigs.

But individuals and corporates should be free to decide for themselves whether they wish to buy or sell or not buy or not sell toy pigs (or toy dogs, or toy horses).

And if you go around telling fast-food restaurants. "You MUST sell toy pigs, otherwise I'll be very angry with you"

then this is silly as you foing to your next-door neighbour, "You MUST buy a toy pig, otherwise I shall be very angry with you".

Anonymous said...

it is just a toy.McD should clarify with MUIS when deciding on this issue.MOst probably there would be no issue.

McD should just have the pig with an option to exhange to another toy for customer.

their decision gave a bad light on the Singapore Muslim,whom are Moderate and flexible in practising their religion.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, how much did Mcdonald pay you? ;)

Anonymous said...

It is just simply amazing that Singaporean can putting so much effort and debate on whether MacDo should sell a little piggy or not while :
1. upto 100,000 people maybe perish in Haiti quarke
2. the income gap
3. the homeless people
4. the injustice in the society
5. the high cost of living
6. etc etc.

Get your priority right, singaporean.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, some of your readers are offended by the way you trivialize the issue raised by Chin Kwang. You should clarify this.

Whether you like it or not, this issue is of concern to others.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

Your logic is not right this time. Best you just shut up and not try to explain your mistake away.

What MacDonald is saying is that the Muslims are sensitive and intolerant even if it is toy pigs. This is insulting to the muslims here.

It also says that it is ok to change the thousand years zodiac signs of the Chinese and they will not be offended. This is insolent and rude to the Chinese.

What is more dangerous is that it is ok to offend one group to appease another group.

These are not acceptable in a our society when tolerance and mutual respect for one another is expected. The Chinese zodiac signs existed long before Islam. They were never intended to offend anyone. Now it is put up as offending the muslims. So what next? Chinese zodiac signs cannot be on display in areas where muslims are present?

This is no good, MacDonald.

KT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

I'm not a fan of Mac toys and never will be. I also don't give a damn about the zodiac.

Holiday Party analogy is very entertaining(I'm gonna send it to my co-workers for a good laugh) but it doesn't really fit into this situation, does it?

I think the frustrations felt by some of the customers are understandable. Besides feeling 'cheated' or 'short-changed' it's the indignation of having one's culture altered.

Imagine buying a Vivaldi's CD that says "Four Seasons" only to realise that Winter and Autumn are missing when you listen to it at home. You confront the CD Shop/ Record company and the reason - "we don't have 4 seasons here anyway" As a advocate of consumer rights(or so I perceived), would you dismiss this as trivial?

A more 'disturbing' analogy would be our health or environment agencies banning consumption of nasi with hands for hygiene reasons. Would this go down well with our 'sensitive' friends?

Anonymous said...

mr wang > maybe you can consider taking a step back and looking at the issue from a NON-Legal perspective. Legally, Mcd has done nothing wrong. By logically? was there a need for them to "omit" the pig in the first place? is the singapore society so "fragile" religiously? would the muslim community really get upset abt a pig soft toy?

Personally, I feel that the chinese zodiac is just too recognizable. even if our muslim friends are asked, they will be able to recognize it as the chinese zodiac. i dont care abt Mcd omitting the pig. but I get upset when i read that Mcd claims it is not the chinese zodiac. Cos thats blatantly BULLSHITTING!!!

If Mcd were to say openly that they juz wanted to avoid a potential religion issue (that wasnt to be in the first place) and admit that they SCREWED UP, I would be much happier. cos it juz smacks too much of the BS that we get from miw. if u make a mistake, admit it, correct it, learn from it, move on. juz my $2+EVM worth. (or 1 vote worth)

Anonymous said...

Looking at the passionate arguments from the commenters on this forum who are scolding McD for their "omission to offer" a pig, does it not strike anyone that this is purely a commercial consideration from McD's point of view? Yes, it is well possible that there is no secret insiduous plot to please muslims at the expense of other religions!

1) Malay Muslims form a significant revenue source in SG given the competitive prices

2) A CNY-themed toy promotion makes sense given the larger number of Chinese customers (of mixed relgions mind you)

3) But as Mr Wang points out, no point affecting a core biz (selling food) by mucking around with a non-core biz offering (selling toys). Hence corporate decides not to theme the toys as a CNY Zodiac while cleverly positioning the (obviously zodiac-ish) toys as a Doraemon collection, in an attempt to hopefully please both sets of customers

4) At no point is this an issue of Muslims versus other cultures because Islam is a religion not a culture. And not all Chinese give a hoot about the zodiac.

5) The only thing that McD (and indeed many many other pple) gives a hoot abt is the bottomline. Blaming Muslim favouritism is just a red herring - it's commercial considerations that dominate all their actions.

6) Judging from the negative press/ internet feedback however, it does seem like culture remains a hot button topic - McD (and other large corporates) will learn well from this episode. Not that they need to favour Muslims less, but that as much as possible, to avoid making any kind of cultural offering in a non-core biz to avoid offending the many idiots out there.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

This is about political correctness gone overboard.

Imagine that Mediacorp make a cartoon about Santa Claus.

Imagine that some religion (whose believers constitute <20% of the populateion) considers reindeers as offensive.

To respect this religion,mediacorp Santa's reindeers are replaced by dogs.

Now its not Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, but Rudolp the red nosed german shepard
---------

Based on what you wrote on the Zodiac:
- Santa as we all know does not exist, like the zodiac.
- Mediacorp can choose not to make such a cartoon, and everyone will be happy, just as McD can choose not to sell it.
- We can choose not to watch the cartoon, just as we can choose not to buy the Zodiac toy.


But should the public be outraged that an organisation has been too overly PC and bending over to make believers of 1 religion happy?

That is the core of this zodiac issue.

~ Merv

Calvin said...

Mr Wang.
You have missed the point lah.
And you do not know anout it and still keep trying to win the discussion. The more you debate the further you are away from the point.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so you are not happy with McD. Then don't patronise them. Is it so difficult ? If they have screwed up, they will pay for it with less customers, no need to write a novel or thesis on why they should have the pig or not.

kurodatenshi said...

I don't care about these Mac toys one bit. It's been years since I ate a Happy Meal.

However, I and many other Chinese and anyone who treasures the cultural aspects of Chinese New Year have every right to be upset by MacDonald's PR response.

The problem here is Mac's principle concerning the swapping of the pig toy for the cupid toy, NOT the swapping of the toys itself.

Look at it this way.

If Macs sells the 11 zodiac toys + cupid and does not comment on the reason for this OR gives an explanation with no religious implication i.e. we just thought cupid was cuter than mr pig, nobody would feel discriminated (oh well maybe those born in the year of the pig might get upset but at least it won't escalate into this entire racial discrimination bigotry mess).

In this case, however, Mac's PR people have plainly suggested in their statement that they are compromising one race/religion's belief to cater to another race/religion's preferance, and this is where discrimination is implied, which is precisely the issue many of your readers are upset about.

Using your Harry Potter analogy, if production of the 7th installment was cancelled because A) No reason offered
B) No budget
C) Some anti Harry Potter extremist bought all the filming rights so nobody else can shoot the film

fans might be upset, but none would feel discriminated.

On the other hand, if it was
D) Governments all over the world are banning screenings of any HP film to be sensitive to the beliefs of the Christians

you can be sure some church burnings will be reported.

Especially in a multi-racial society, where every race and religion has been promised equal rights, everyone has the right to demand that their cultures and heritage are respected and preserved. Had this happened in Malaysia, probably there won't be so much discontent about it.

However, this is Singapore, therefore, we have every right to be offended by the principle behind Mac's choice of swapping the toys.

kurodatenshi said...

saying which, I'm not suggesting that we should all take drastic actions against Mac, or demand a statement from MUIS.

If you look at the Straits Times online forum, lots of people are making anti-Muslim remarks about the issue. many of which had to be deleted by the forum moderator. Yes no doubt a lot of people post silly posts in the forum, but the amount of attention and negative sentiments should be a clear indication that this issue can't just be summed up as 'it's just toys'.

Lobo76 said...

I'm just posting to say that I disagree with Mr Wang on this one... not a often occurrence, but here it is.

With regards to analogy, well, unless we know what Mr Wang believes or have a strong opinion in, I think it may be pointless to come up with one. They would all be irrelevant to Mr Wang.

p.s Mr Wang, how often do you have that many people disagreeing with you? My impression was that the number is small. If so, you'd have to ask yourself why there is more this time round.

Anonymous said...

Would it not be wonderful if there was this much passion during the General Elections ? You can hear the pin drop then.

Lobo76, there are multiple postings by going the language some of them us.

Hei, take it out on McD if you are so unhappy. Mr Wang doesn't have to agree with anyone, just as you don't have to agree with him.

Onlooker said...

I don't care about Mac Donald,The decision is damaging to the public image of Doraemon(a fun loving robot cat that is cosplaying as Chinese Zodiac characters removing PIG stupid and uncalled for).

And Mac Donald used to give out Muppet glass/mugs(1981/6?) with miss piggy and miss piggy (muppet babies) soft toy too.

Also How can it be halal in Singapore (around our region) but not halal in Other countries (usa etc)......

Bo tong bu tong, diao xia shui.

BTW Too much fast food is bad for the health except maybe Subway(eat fresh) vege sandwich.

Anonymous said...

To MacDonald,
A pig is a pig. Treat it as a Pig and Respect it as a pig. Don't make good or bad about the Pig.


To Tan Chin Kwang,
It is just a Pig. There are many Pigs in this world why just insist on that one. A pig is still a Pig. It doesn't matter where it came from, what color it is, what costume it is wearing and so on. It is still a Pig. Don't make hoo-haa over it or you will never understand the Pig.

Anonymous said...

"Especially in a multi-racial society, where every race and religion has been promised equal rights, everyone has the right to demand that their cultures and heritage are respected and preserved. Had this happened in Malaysia, probably there won't be so much discontent about it."

the key word here is promised....
is it true? All cultures and heritage respected equally irregardless of it being the majority or minority
case in point: is Deepavali greetings and celebrations banners being displayed at major shopping ctrs as prominently as says, CNY/CHRISTMAS?HARI RAYA?

if this were to happen in Malaysia, there wont be as much discontent? are u sure? why not?

someone said:

"The only way out of this racial and religious time bomb which is ticking fast in this comment section to my mind is for all of us to confront all the issues in an unemotional manner. We should list them all out in the open. We should accept that those issues constitute problems and acknowledge that fact. We cannot deny their existence. We should stop assigning guilt. We should avoid pointing fingers. We should not adopt the my-religion-is-more-righteous-than-yours attitude.

After we manage to do that, we should then sit down and find the solutions as best as we can.

And we better do it fast. Because the longer we delay it, the more insidious and deep they will become. Soon more people will misuse those issues for whatever personal purpose which they may have. The situation may then become irreversible.

May God give all of us the wisdom."

Percevale said...

McD's is halal ergo no pork.

Therefore no "pig" TOY lucky charm.

Which GENIUS in management had the idea that some muslim might eat a "non-halal" toy?!

The issue isn't even about racial sensitivity or insensitivity anymore. It's about simple logic.

Don't suppose Warner Bros should sanitize all appearances of Porky Pig? Muslims can no longer purchase soft toy Piglet to complete their Winnie the Pooh collection?

According to Islam, the animal is unclean, I'm unsure if Allah categorises soft toy depictions of the pig to be unclean as well.

Ridiculous.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"p.s Mr Wang, how often do you have that many people disagreeing with you? My impression was that the number is small. If so, you'd have to ask yourself why there is more this time round."


It is an interesting question.

Firstly, I suspect that the Hello Kitty fan club is back, and their obsession has simply morphed into a new form. The same obsession that previously led to fistfights and the collapse of glass walls at MacDonalds has now morphed into an ugly desire for a complete set of Zodiac toys.

Secondly, there also seems to be a strong undercurrent of Chinese feeling threatened by, or feeling resentful towards, Muslims. I even saw the word "terrorism" being bandied around in one of the earlier comments. I find it sad and funny at the same time.

See this comment:

"If you look at the Straits Times online forum, lots of people are making anti-Muslim remarks about the issue."

To me, what is much, MUCH more disturbing about MacDonalds omitting the pig

is the fact

that there are Chinese Singaporeans who kick up such a protest over such a matter.

If I were a Malay, I'd feel a little nervous about going to MacDonalds now. Who knows, I might meet some crazy Chinese Singaporean who's going to take out his "why-no-pig" frustration on me, and box me on the nose or something.

Won't happen? Who knows. It happened before, over the Hello Kitties.

Has all this discussion in my comment section changed any of my views, as expressed in my post?

Yes, actually.

Earlier I wrote:

"First we had that unnecessary hoo-haa in Malaysia, about the word Allah, and it escalated into something really nasty, with churches getting burned and all that.

Now we have another example of foolishness - alas, this time it is happening in Singapore, not in Malaysia. This one won't escalate into a mess, but it is an example of foolishness nonetheless."


I had said that in Singapore, the situation won't escalate into a mess.

Why? Because I had believed that generally, Singaporeans are much more sensible and level-headed than those folks across the Causeway.

Well, I'm not so sure now.

Malaysians seem ready to fight over words. Singaporeans seem ready to fight over toys. Seems like the two countries are quite similar, after all.

One thing, though. If the situation does become a real mess, it will be a very memorable one.

Far away, say, in the USA, people will no longer say: "Singapore? Ahh, yes I know. That's the place where they ban chewing gum and cane teenagers for vandalism."

Instead they will say: "Singapore? Ahh, yes I know. That's the place where the people fight and riot over Doraemon toy pigs that don't exist."

As I said, it's sad and funny at the same time.

I also think that MacDonalds is being accorded a kind of status, a kind of prominence, in public discourse, that it doesn't deserve.

If it were the SAF; the Supreme Court of Singapore; or the HDB that was rolling out some new and allegedly discriminatory practice against Chinese, or Malays, or Indians, I'd sit up and really take notice.

For goodness sakes. This is a commercial fast-food restaurant.

A protest against MacDonalds for the unhealthiness of its food (remember Michael Moore?)

.... would be MUCH more warranted, MUCH more valid, and of MUCH more public importance

than a protest against MacDonalds for the toy pig that it didn't sell.

Anonymous said...

It's very easy to lose sight of the big picture of things when one becomes embroiled in petty little issues. Everyone needs to take a step back, and see that there's really nothing to argue over.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"I think that Singapore, being a melting pot of religion and race for so many years, SHOULD already have the tolerance to treat each race and religion with equality and respect. By doing so, McD has regressed our time to the days of the racial riots."

Think carefully.

Suppose Singaporeans really had that level of mutual tolerance and respect that you suggest we have.

Then suppose McD did what it did - omitting the pig.

What would happen? Both Malay and Chinese Singaporeans would just laugh and say, "McD is so silly ... That was an unnecessary move."

But the fact that there is ANGER, and the fact that the anger has a race-vs-race element to it

(see comment at January 14, 2010 6:05 AM, for instance)

... in fact tells you that McDonalds did NOT misjudge Singaporeans.

Ironic, isn't it.

Anonymous said...

crystal clear.


anyway it wasn't michael moore... supersize me by someguy name morgan spurlock. ;)

Lobo76 said...

Mr Wang,

Another way of interpreting the 'anger' is that Singaporeans have had it with stupid excuses (courtesy of our beloved govt). It is so a zodiac toy series, and McD says it isn't.

What started with the anger of one individual due to cultural/religious reasons, become the anger of a mob, that was simply waiting to be ignited.

Anonymous said...

What a load of scrutiny into what is merely a business decision on Macdonald's part.

redbean said...

I smell a rat. Someone has a agenda and seems to have succeeded in stirring the hornet's nest.

Mr Wang and everyone, please do not fall into the trap by stirring up more anger among the various interest groups.

redbean

Anonymous said...

Wang, it is about simple respect for all. It is not like the Chinese are such pricks as you would have painted by now.

But the protest, while seemingly headed by Chinese, is supported by Malays as well. Why? Because it depicts Singapore just like Malaysia. Intolerant and selective sensitivity, which Singapore has painfully built ourselves out NOT to be.

The exclusion of a TOY like you said, non existant item, then pushing the blame to Muslims, is entirely unbecoming. If any company wants to cash in on CNY, they should just do the full CNY. If not, then don't even have any similiarities AT ALL.

This whole anger and undercurrent has nothing to do with Chinese vs Malays or whatsoever. It has everything about Singaporeans wanting to be ONE UNITED PEOPLE.

Actually, to think of it, it is a fear of being tainted and painted as racist, extremist on the part of Malays, and the anger against profiteering on their culture but attempting to subvert it for the Chinese.

McDees just got it all wrong this time.

Anonymous said...

I am anon at 6:25pm.

Wang, just being reflective a a fair bit off this topic. My point about Singaporeans wanting to be one united people? That's exactly where the PAP's weakness is.

They underestimated the nationalistic notions and sentiments of Singaporeans in their FT policies and regular boo-booing of Singaporean workers.

Had they been more sensitive in this department, the FT policies would have gone a lot smoother. But they have created a whole generations of anti-FT Singaporeans, they are just in deep shit already.

Anonymous said...

obviously, macD denying the toys resemblance to the chinese zodiac; coupled with the "coincidental" timing of the lunar (aka Chinese) new year; as well as it past history of business marketing of such toys, is a big fat lie.

well, just this fact alone insults you sinkies, which is understandable that the reactions are big.

more importantly, by omitting the pig out of the complete zodiac, and very unlike its past cny toy series is sending a wrong message. it is so totally shallow to omit the pig just to avoid religious confrontation. come on macD, it's just a bloody toy. no one in the right frame of mind is going to bitch about the pig imposing on religions.

and again, it's juz a bloody toy. if you dont like macD for being a hum ji kia, juz boycott it lah.

at the end of the day, my bet is, u sinkies will juz LL and suck it up anywayz. true to the spirit of all sinkies.

hahaha

ang moh

Anonymous said...

Wow Mr Wang, u completely missed the point this time.

I really have no idea how u could defend McDonalds poor PR stunt.

They could have released

1) 1 tiger
2) the complete zodiac set
3) nothing, or any toys not related to zodiac

But with only 11/12 zodiac animals, it obviously is a situation which they had messed up. And it was never about the whole collection craze that u have presumed. What about those people that just want to get their personal zodiac sign? 1/12?

But of course, if Mac picks option 1, and when the year of the pig arrives.... :D

Anonymous said...

yeah mr wang missed the point.

its 95% a zodiac set.
mindful of muslim sensitivities and yet not of chinese.
even muslims interviewed, said its alright for them to put a pig in and not an issue even for them to buy it.

and its not for free.
its for sale. take it or leave it.

just they issue 'take it' for 11 animals.
or 'left' 1 out.

overall a silly corporate affair.

Larry said...

i don't think Mr Wang has missed the point. Why are Chinese people getting so upset over this? There is something wrong for Chinese feel like this: "See! Yet another example of bowing to racial sensitivites!" This feeling of victimisation doesn't reflect well on the development of society and shows some kind of underlying resent that rears its head in such incidents. Mr Wang's response about how malays and chinese would react in a truly developed society hits the point.

The question we should ask is, "did McD consult any Muslim authority before making such a decision? Was there any Muslim on board to advise in the decision-making process?"

i suspect the answer is no. And that is the concern i have, that we just go around making assumptions about other cultures based on limited knowledge. All it would have taken would have been a few phone calls to MUIS, some iman, etc who can advise.

It's this assumed (mis)understanding of other cultures that will lead to society's downfall. The Muslims are saying, "hey it wasn't even us who asked for the pig figure not to be included!!!"

So don't go around assuming things about people from different cultures. Just open your bleddy mouth and ask them directly.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Larry.

It's NEVER about Muslims. It's just McDonald's themselves being ignorant and just ASSUMED that oh pig = not good for Muslims, and then they decided to link those 2 together.

Now that they've stepped on a potential land mine, they are now retracting their words and say "oh it's not 2b a zodiac in the 1st place".

Now they are saying "oh it coincides with Valentine's Day so ya!".

What fucking crap!! Mcdonald's, your fucking meals are not even worth it compared to BK! *rolleyes*

Anonymous said...

so what if Mac don't replace the pig? Will Mac outlets in this island be attacked & burn? All this ancient religious stupidty... in the year 2020 or even year 2050, there'll still have this kind of religious nonsense!

Anonymous said...

We, zee Chilese people, are golla nuke Mac HQ, if they don't gibe us zee peek.

MV said...

Agree with Mr Wang this time

teacherlet said...

some people are really struggling to make ends meet in Singapore. others - elderly, mentally disabled - are thoroughly neglected by the society. these are issues that seem to warrant more public discussions and debates.

mac's response was disappointing probably because it was composed quickly, without thought of how it might ignite a firestorm of criticisms. forgive and forget, i guess.

there are many more issues that seem more important...

Anonymous said...

McD, give these adults the pig toys as a gesture of goodwill. To the writer of the letter, send him a gold plated one. Sure, someone will say it is not the toy that matters. Still the matter is a toy.

SG Girl Next Door said...

Mcdonalds wanted to please its Muslim customers but had neglected its non-Muslim customers. Do the former make out the overall customers of Mcdonalds?

I remember I bought winnie the pooh toy from Mcdonalds years ago. Was Mcdonalds disrepectful to the Muslims then?

P.S. Am not a fan of zodiac animals

Anonymous said...

You are certainly wrong on this one, Mr Wang. The toy set was clearly meant to depict the Zodiac even though it was using the Doraemon character primarily.

If you take it from this angle, you will understand why many people are upset. It is like trying to tell the Chinese that their culture can simply be altered for the slightest fear of offending another religion. It may only be McD this time, but what if more and more companies start doing it? The Chinese culture would then be blasted to bits very soon. If McD had not chosen the animals to depict the Zodiac, nobody would be upset. Imagine the uproar if McD started selling dolls depicting the different races wearing their traditional costumes but with only the Malay doll wearing western clothing.

Certainly, there will be instances where changes can be put in to accommodate others but in this instance, an incomplete Zodiac set has an underlying significance. It also points to a painful chapter in Chinses history. Of course, most Singaporeans are too westernised to see the indirect reference but for those who is acquainted with the history, it feels like an insult.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, I wonder if and when Mr Wang will capitulate. 8)

Mr Wang Says So said...

" It is like trying to tell the Chinese that their culture can simply be altered for the slightest fear of offending another religion. It may only be McD this time, but what if more and more companies start doing it? The Chinese culture would then be blasted to bits very soon"


I have explained this before, and I will explain it again.

McDonalds already "altered the culture" of the Chinese people, by:

(1) transforming 11 Zodiac animals into Doraemons;

(2) adding Cupid into the collection.

But no Chinese is protesting about the irony of the Zodiac rat being transformed into a half-cat.

No Chinese is arguing that the magnificent dragon, so symbolic in Chinese culture, should not be demeaned by combining it with a rolly-polly manga character from Japan.

No Chinese is protesting about Cupid, the Roman god of romantic love, being included into the Chinese zodiac.

The Chinese do not give a hoot about that. They do not care about it at all.

So the issue has nothing to do with any Chinese being scared that the Chinese culture will soon be "blasted to bits" soon, as you so colorfully put it.

To put it quite bluntly, the underlying thinking seems to run along the following lines:

"Oh, Doraemon is a non-issue, because we don't mind the Japanese.

Oh, Cupid is a non-issue, because we don't mind the Europeans.

BUT the missing pig IS a big issue, because we have a problem with the Muslims."

In other words, the driver is not a desire to protect Chinese culture in itself,

there is no such desire at all -

instead the driver is a desire to protect Chinese culture against the Muslims

(anybody else, please feel free to affect Chinese culture in whatever way you like)

and the driver is so strong that even when the Muslims say or do nothing,

even when it is a commercial organisation like MacDonalds that voluntarily makes an unnecessary & unimportant concession to the Muslims,

the Chinese get upset.

And that is disturbing to me. Because it points to the existence of underlying racial/ religious disharmony.

Anonymous said...

No, even though Doraemon was used to represent the 12 animal signs of the Zodiac, it is widely understood that all were represented equally. For westernised Singaporeans like Mr Wang, they will never get the significance of why it is important that each animal sign has to present when depicting the Zodiac.

In the case of Doraemon disguised as various animals and the mythical dragon, it is obvious that there was no intention to insult as long as each animal is represented. It doesn't matter how the animals are depicted as long as it not meant to be derogatory to Chinese culture. No Chinese will ever mind that.

My opinion is that the Chinese are quite accommodating on how the animals can be represented but they draw the line when others try to break apart what should always appear together. They would have no problems if McD simply gives out toy tigers to represent the year of the Tiger as it is then understood they are not trying to portray the toys as a Zodiac set. The moment they retained the other 11 animals, they are breaking the symbolism of unity.

Anyway, I accept that there will be people who don't give a damn. All I ask is that people like Mr Wang who don't give a damn not to belittle those who feel upset. They have a right to be upset as long as they do not burn McD stores down.

Anonymous said...

If you add a cupid into the set to make it 13, the Chinese will not feel offended as the other Zodiac animals are still represented. It is the feeling of unity/reunion that is extremely important in Chinese culture.

For god's sake, it is not even an actual pig, it is a cat in pig costume. All they are asking for is for the Zodiac to be represented equally. How dare you suggest it is because of racial intolerance? In a multi-cultural society, there has to be give and take. It can't be one culture always giving when the other culture may not even be asking. No one is blaming the Muslims but as far as I know, all the fire is concentrated on McD. I have also not heard Muis issuing any statement on this yet.

I guess Mr Wang does not get it.

lobo76 said...

Mr Wang,

even when it is a commercial organisation like MacDonalds that voluntarily makes an unnecessary & unimportant concession to the Muslims,

the Chinese get upset.


How did you arrive at the conclusion the Chinese get upset beside of religious/cultural reasons?

First of all, the ONE person sending a letter to Forum doesn't represent the whole (not even the majority) of the Chinese race. That's like saying Islam is a terrorist religion because ONE terrorist claim to be Islamic.

Secondly, even if a portion of Chinese are upset, I would suspect that it could be equally because of the stupid reason contrived by McD, and not because the pig that wasn't a pig.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"First of all, the ONE person sending a letter to Forum doesn't represent the whole (not even the majority) of the Chinese race. "

Well, evidently it's not just one Chinese person who's upset. Look at the number of angry Chinese posters in this comment section alone.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"For westernised Singaporeans like Mr Wang, they will never get the significance"

Those are your imaginative projections of who and what you think I am.

By the way, I still haven't moved into my new rented place yet, even though the lease has started. Why? Because my fengshui master has checked his calendar and chosen an auspicious date for me, and that date hasn't come yet.

solo bear said...

Mr Wang, I FULLY agree with you on your points on this piggy issue.

I take my hat off to Mr Wang

solo bear said...

Eh? Since when have you taken off your moderation function?

Kaffein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaffein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaffein said...

Sorry Mr Wang, I believe you have missed gist from most of the comments.

"McDonalds already "altered the culture" of the Chinese people, by:"

Kaffein> That IS the grouse. If McDonalds can think 'sensitively' about the culture and religion of the Muslims, why not towards the Chinese? Guess it shouldn't even happen. It did. Hence the backfire.

"1) transforming 11 Zodiac animals into Doraemons;"

Kaffein> Wrong. Only the pig was transformed into 'cu-pig'. The 11 zodiac animals were REPRESENTED with an underlying Doaemon character.

"(2) adding Cupid into the collection."

Kaffein> Wrong. Cupid REPLACED the pig. Not adding.

"But no Chinese is protesting about the irony of the Zodiac rat being transformed into a half-cat."

Kaffein> Again the zodiac rat was represented correctly as with all the other 10 animals. Except the pig.

"No Chinese is arguing that the magnificent dragon, so symbolic in Chinese culture, should not be demeaned by combining it with a rolly-polly manga character from Japan."

Kaffein> I see your point. Why should it matter to Chinese since they can accept the manga character dressing in zodiac costumes? I believe there is a line drawn towards making the characters fun. But if the figurines were used to represent the zodiac animals, then it should be represented correctly.

"No Chinese is protesting about Cupid, the Roman god of romantic love, being included into the Chinese zodiac. "

Kaffein> I am not protesting against the Cupid. It can be Easter Rabbit for all I care. What the Chinese (or most of them I think) are protesting against the replacement of the pig into Cupid. McD can always add in a cupid doremon, or 5 other figurines of Santa Claus, Easter Rabbit, or whatever. But we care about the intact of the 12 zodiac animals. One doesn't just 'break' the unity and tradition.

"So the issue has nothing to do with any Chinese being scared that the Chinese culture will soon be "blasted to bits" soon, as you so colorfully put it."

Kaffein> I am not scared. I am perturbed that McD did NOT clarify with the Chinese people if it was alright.

"To put it quite bluntly, the underlying thinking seems to run along the following lines:
"Oh, Doraemon is a non-issue, because we don't mind the Japanese."

Kaffein> Doraemon has never been an issue. It has never been linked to Japanese though it came from Japan. It was just a cute figurine. Sorry I don't quite get you. Or do you mean Doraemon was used as the main figurine under the zodiac animals' costume and why Chinese aren't so worked up over it?

"Oh, Cupid is a non-issue, because we don't mind the Europeans."

Kaffein> Cupid has never been an issue. Neither did we link it to the Europeans.

"BUT the missing pig IS a big issue, because we have a problem with the Muslims."

Kaffein> The missing pig is NOT an issue if the other 11 animals are not represented. The issue is McD replaced the pig with Cupid. For us, it has nothing in relationship between pig and Muslims. It was McD who THOUGHT there might be an issue and changed the figurine. It was the poor judgement that created such a furore.

I snipped off the other points. What McDonalds does is their own. I am not inclined to care or buy their products. What bothers me is like they took a storybook, replaced a whole chapter, changed the cover and signed off as their own. Well, technically one could do that. Ethically, it sucks.

Mr Wang, hope you can answer this question and share your thoughts:
How about McD using your family portrait for it's advertisement but replacing one of your kids' picture with another kid because they deem it not photogenic enough?

My message for McDonalds to get into their thick numbskull is:

"Hey don't short change us at the expense of others."

'Nuff said,
Kaffein

solo bear said...

What a load of crap that Singaporeans are not as racists as Malaysians!

Robert L said:
>>I'm extremely disappointed that no Singaporean Muslim has come out to advise MacD that toys in the restaurant has nothing to do with halal status. I'm terribly perturbed that no Muslim in Singapore has scolded MacD that what they have done is a disgraceful insult to the intelligence of Muslims.
>>Since the appropriate response from Muslims is not forthcoming, after so many days into the issue, I'll have to revise my expectation on the intelligence of Muslims in Singapore.
>>

Me:
I am extremely disappointed that we have Chinese Singaporeans who have taken the racist undertone.

Anon
>> The Chinese people have nuclear missiles. As far as I can tell, that's more powerful than AK47s and suicide bombs.
Mac should fear the Chinese people more and give us the piggy.
>>

Me:
Implicit reference that Muslims are terrorists.

Malaysians fight over the word Allah, we fight over the toy pig.

Who's the laughing stock now?

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, I'm Anon who posted on Jan 13 11:37 PM.

I think your comment on Jan 15, 7:45 AM hit the spot.

There has always been an underlying tension (for goodness knows what reason) that no one dared to release due to the policies and laws set in place. I know this because I've heard comments and remarks about other races everywhere. Which is why, I condone McDs for allowing such a fiasco to happen.

I believe, IF McD allowed the Pig figurine to be released, the Muslim community would just accept it in grace, unlike some people of my race (I'm a Chinese). I also think some people in McD's management had this myopic view that the Muslims would not accept the Pig figurine, and thus, this happens.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

By continuing to stick to your position, you are inadvertedly stoking ill-will,culturally or otherwise.

MacDonald's by trying to be culturally sensitive in their latest commercial promotion ended up now being accused of being culturally insensitive. (I just wonder what they would do in the year of the pig).

Lest people equate McD = MrW and for the above reasons, I suggest you close discussions on this topic and we all agree to disagree civilly.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Well, Kaffein, you say that:

1,. you just want a complete representation of the Chinese Zodiac;

2, your being upset has absolutely nothing to do with the Muslims;

3. in other words, you would have been equally upset, if for whatever reason, McD had omitted, not the pig, but the dog, or rat, or snake.

That's your view.

Now, let me now walk you through some comments from other readers. Excerpts:

"It is MacDonald's capitulation to the sensitivities of the Malay/Muslim community that is to be challenged."

"It shows that terrorism is working for the terrorists and that corporate organisations, even entire countries are "respecting" the Muslim community more than they ought to."

"Perhaps Mr. Wang, being a slow-learner, would need to wait till he is ban from celebrating Chinese New Year in the Year of the Pig, ban from eating Char Siew Bao anywhere in Singapore (it did happened some time back, where some schools ban char siew bao), ban from putting up pig characters at shopping centres' cny decoration, before he realise what this issue is really about."

"Suppose MacDonalds only chooses to give tigers, because it's the Year of the Tiger ... Should the Chinese pigs and horses and monkeys and dogs all get angry? No. Because then there is no ban of a non-muslim from performing a non-islamic act, by the muslims."

Look at France. Look at Europe. Luckily the swiss voted out the Miniarets building rights. That is solidarity within themselves, and not cowing to Muslim pressures."

"If you look at the Straits Times online forum, lots of people are making anti-Muslim remarks about the issue."


----------

So to you, the issue may be as simple as the fact that the Zodiac ought to be represented by the 12 animals, and not be "incomplete" or "broken". Nothing to do with Muslims.

To some others, however, the issue is quite something else.

Anonymous said...

"instead the driver is a desire to protect Chinese culture against the Muslims

(anybody else, please feel free to affect Chinese culture in whatever way you like)

and the driver is so strong that even when the Muslims say or do nothing,

even when it is a commercial organisation like MacDonalds that voluntarily makes an unnecessary & unimportant concession to the Muslims,

the Chinese get upset.

And that is disturbing to me. Because it points to the existence of underlying racial/ religious disharmony."

yes mr wang, sad but true... it has always been around.... although we have been living together so long there is still that little bit of doubt... look at the government policies in defence/edu/ and so on.... we still dont have a good knowledge bout each other cultures and religion... Solobear has written something bout SAP.... and the arm forces... you know and i know where malay/muslims can go and can't go....

"No one is blaming the Muslims but as far as I know, all the fire is concentrated on McD. I have also not heard Muis issuing any statement on this yet."

why must they say something.... where they consulted in the first place?... Will it help?
read all the postings....read carefully.... what is the issue that they are angry about.... think..
mr wang has been crystal clear in his explanation yet there are postings asking the same questions.... either they don't understand or simply refuse to understand as they already have a certain answers they want to hear stuck in their mind....

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mr Wang Says So said...

Announcement:

I am fine with comments that express views that differ from mine,

but I will delete comments that make derogatory remarks or insults at me personally.

So don't waste your time. It takes me one second to delete your insults, and a much longer time for you to type it out.

Anonymous said...

"To some others, however, the issue is quite something else."

The issue is quite something else because I think McD's initial response to queries was that they can't sell the pig because of Halal reason. This made people unhappy because it becomes ridiculous if Halal can be so widely applied (even to a toy cat dressed up as a pig) in multi-cultural SG.

Anonymous said...

Alright it is your blog. Sorry, but I am disappointed in how rigid in your views are and how you made fun of people who have a right to be upset. If you had just written an amusing piece about the trivial issue, most would have let it pass.

Anonymous said...

haha - this post and comments are so funny and interesting. What will Mcd do next to increase revenue?

Sell pig charms at a higher price later to allow people to complete the set?

Anonymous said...

"This made people unhappy because it becomes ridiculous if Halal can be so widely applied (even to a toy cat dressed up as a pig) in multi-cultural SG."

A lack of understanding of what Halal means and what it constitutes of...
Informations are just at a click of a button
a total lack of understanding each other religions and racial customs are always the root of the problem...

Anonymous said...

"even when it is a commercial organisation like MacDonalds that voluntarily makes an unnecessary & unimportant concession to the Muslims"

What you view as unimportant may not be so to others. I am sure you would not like it if someone tells you to your face that fengshui is some superstitious hogwash and pokes fun at you for sticking to your views. Just like you can post your thoughts freely without regards to what others think. But then, since you censor posts you do not like, this courtesy is not returned in full to those who visit your blog.

Anonymous said...

To Anon@January 15, 2010 11:18 AM

What I meant was in the context of multi-cultural SG. If you go to other non-Islamic countries, you will find that the Muslims there have to make even greater concessions. I have a Muslim friend who willingly joins us and simply orders seafood at non-Halal restaurants.

solo bear said...

Mr Wang, there is no need to delete posts that insult you. Those kind of posts reflect the posters' low character more than it insults you.

Just stand your ground. I am behind you on this one.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, why censor comments against you? But, allow racist/religious remarks - even highligting them. Dare I say, fan them.

What is kosher for you is not for others? If you do not butter your steak does not mean others cannot do it.

I suggest again that you close discussion on this topic.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Sure, they can butter their steak in their own kitchens in their own homes.

But in your own home, you'd throw out a guest who starts insulting you, wouldn't you?

Anonymous said...

"But in your own home, you'd throw out a guest who starts insulting you, wouldn't you?"

"Tan Chin KwangFor goodness sakes, Chin Kwang. It's a McDonald's souvenir. It's a free gift. It's just a little pig toy, for kids!

Okay, there is no pig. You can't get a pig. So go get yourself the tiger, the horse, the bull, the monkey.

What? You're born in the Year of the Pig? And you must have a pig toy? Okay, then go somewhere else and buy it. Die die MUST get a pig toy from McDonald's meh?!!"

Hmm, but aren't you making fun of others in public view as well. Your blog is not exactly your house as anyone can come along and grab stuff off it. Sure, people can avoid your site if they choose to but how are you going to prevent people from reproducing your words elsewhere? Double standards, won't you say?

lobo76 said...

Mr Wang,
Look at the number of angry Chinese posters in this comment section alone.

That doesn't address my second point where people (including Chinese) are upset because of the stupid excuse rather than an affront to their culture.

How about this...
if McD didn't reply (esp with that stupid excuse of it not being a zodiac toy series), do you think so many 'angry' Chinese would have responded?

Anonymous said...

damned if u do... damned if u don't

it's the same as questioning why Muis or muslim brothers not commenting the issue...

does it matter?....
read all the post.... what is the crux?
still not sure?
i don't think mr wang can enlightened those who don't get it
it's always goes back to him missing the point...
Is it missing your point?

Mr Wang Says So said...

You call that "making fun"? Sorry, I wasn't making fun. I was making a real point.

And that particular point was that the matter is rather small, and only becomes a big deal if you want to make it a big deal.

And is this particular point of view of mine very radical, strange or unusual?

Hardly. To quote some other readers:

"aiyah.... let's not get to far from the topic... you want, you buy.... don't have, don't bother lah.... there are other toy pigs out there..... not happy... don't patronise Macs... nobody force one... so susah meh?"

It is just simply amazing that Singaporean can putting so much effort and debate on whether MacDo should sell a little piggy or not while :

1. upto 100,000 people maybe perish in Haiti quarke
2. the income gap
3. the homeless people
4. the injustice in the society
5. the high cost of living
6. etc etc.

Get your priority right, singaporeans."

"some people are really struggling to make ends meet in Singapore. others - elderly, mentally disabled - are thoroughly neglected by the society. these are issues that seem to warrant more public discussions and debates ..... there are many more issues that seem more important..."

"It's very easy to lose sight of the big picture of things when one becomes embroiled in petty little issues."

"And why have we descended into this deep pit of triviality? Oh my goodness."

lobo76 said...

not sure if this is correct, but it is just my impression...

Racism in other countries: people on the ground of the races in question, actually do have negative feelings towards one another.

Racism in Singapore: mostly directed towards establishments. McD in this case, and the judges and organisor of S'pore idol in the other. Even with regards to housing, it was directed at HDB. Meanwhile, I tot people on the ground got on with each other rather well.

Anonymous said...

Pig in a tea-cup.

Anonymous said...

"And that particular point was that the matter is rather small, and only becomes a big deal if you want to make it a big deal."

No issues with that statement as it is your opinion. You only crossed the line when you appeared holier than thou when you wrote that Mr Tan should just buy his toy pigs elsewhere when that was not his point at all.

People are allowed what they want to feel upset about, shouldn't they? That is what makes the world amazing. We have people upset about killing whales, climate change, even toilet standards. Who are you to tell others what they should feel passionate about? If you want to cast your opinions about others, then at least be prepared to take the heat without resorting to censorship. If you can't take the heat, stick to just blogging about your opinions of events, not individuals.

even-handedness is the issue said...

The issue is about treating different groups of our society in an even-handed fair manner i.e. to not suppress/ oppress/ discriminate against one group's culture/ religion/ beliefs for the sake of appealing/ appeasing/ favouring another group's culture/ religion/ beliefs

I put the above in bold so that Wang can get it into his head. Now, let's look at Wang's unfounded accusations:

""Oh, Doraemon is a non-issue, because we don't mind the Japanese."

Wrong. Doraemon is a non-issue because it does not violate what is written in bold.


"Oh, Cupid is a non-issue, because we don't mind the Europeans."

Wrong. Cupid is a non issue, because it does not violate what is written in bold.


"BUT the missing pig IS a big issue, because we have a problem with the Muslims."

Wrong. The missing pig is a big issue because it violates what is written in bold. Specifically, it suppress/ oppress/ discriminate against (through the act of banning) one group (the chinese)'s culture (concerning zodiac sign of pig) for the sake of appealing/ favouring another group (the muslims)' religion.


If Wang needs an analogy, here it is:

Many children do not mind their parents not leaving a single cent to them in their will. But they will fight to their death in court and wash dirty linens in public, if their parents leave to their siblings even 1 cent more than to them. Why? because it violates what is written in bold: they feel that they have been treated unfairly than another member of the family by their parents! Has not Wang come across such situation in his years as a DPP?


If Wang needs another analogy, here it is:

You may not mind not getting a fat bonus, but how would you feel if your fellow worker get an unfair bonus compared to you?

It's about FAIR TREATMENT OF THE INTEREST OF ALL GROUPS OF THE SOCIETY <-- a shorter phrase, in case the long bold paragraph escape your understanding!

-----------------

I don't think anyone of us here are against the Malays. Wang is the one stoking racial feelings by falsely framing the whole issue into a "Chinese don't mind being slighted by Europeans and Japanese, but targets only Muslims". Such a racist idea is his and his alone. Not ours. For us (well, at least for me. And I believe most if not everyone else), it is about what is written in bold. And to repeat, just in case it escape you again: FAIR TREATMENT OF DIFF GROUP OF OUR SOCIETY

even-handedness is the issue said...

I am Ah Gong. I don't give your kids any ang bao for Chinese New Year. Neither did I give any to your brother's children. It is just not my practice to give ang bao to my grandchildren. How do you feel?


I am Ah Gong. I don't give your kids any ang bao for Chinese New Year. But, I give ang bao to your brother's children. And I make it clear to you that it's because I show preference to his kids than to your kids. How do you feel?

In both cases, your kids did not receive any ang bao from me? Yet, Is there a diff in how you feel in the 2 cases?

In any case, the amt I give out is so little that it is like "toy money". Does the size of the amt makes a diff to how you feel?


Bottomline: people like to be treated fairly.

even-handedness is the issue said...

Then you might ask: If McD had sold the pig toy, won't that be treating the Muslims unfairly and suppressing/ oppressing them to favour the Chinese?

Ans: No. Because the Muslims can choose not to buy.

Anonymous said...

"Ans: No. Because the Muslims can choose not to buy."

ROTFLMAO.... seriously dude... your last line contradicts your whole argument....

Anonymous said...

"Ans: No. Because the Muslims can choose not to buy."

Ah.

So can McD choose not to sell the pig?

Anonymous said...

"So can McD choose not to sell the pig?"

Sure it can. And so can I choose to criticise its choice. Where does that get you? What point are you trying to make?

Anonymous said...

you are asking mr wang to accept your point of view..asking to be treated equally...
i can see where you coming from...
i think the beef here is... you are annoyed that many establishments... eating establishments has gone the Halal route...
you are annoyed... that another group religious views has taken precedent over others...
you are annoyed that you are unable to enjoy your usual serving of pork and lard based dishes..
basically you are annoyed that being a majority with bigger financial clout and voice have slowly begin to lose its footing...

well if you are talking about being treated equally...
let's take a look at the other side shall we?
before all these MacD's/BK/KFC/PizzaHUT gone the Halal route, you think the muslims have a choice...
Halal is not about not being able to consume pork...
even chicken/beef if not slaughtered according to the islamic ways is Haram... read up
Do the muslims demand all these corp to go Halal...
when the govt gives out bullshit bout higher tariffs/mas selamat fiasco/glc blunders...
you move on.. you are angry... your reactions are muted...

when the govt says crap bout muslims cannot be in certain quarters in arm forces....
you kept quiet...
the muslims kept quiet...
we move on...
why?....
are we still talking about equality....
the malay/muslims rather keep their mouth shut than bang tables and make unnecessary noise....
why?
because we live in a society... we have to be tolerant... we have to understand these so called sensitive issues... we have to move on...
we can't segregate... the island into 4 parts.. cut it up and move it physically away from each other...

you talk about being treated equally......

Anonymous said...

Summary: Lianhe wanbao reports that Singapore Doraemon fans are ordering the complete 12 zodiac toy from Hong Kong at the cost of $65 per set inclusive of shipping fee and they think it is value for money because the Hong Kong version is bigger and of higher quality.


麦当劳独缺猪风波
狮城小叮当迷纷购港版12生肖
(新加坡)联合晚报 (2010-01-15)
顾功垒

  麦当劳狮城版“十二生肖小叮当”独缺猪生肖,引起一些网友不满,宁可花新币65元,上网团购港版小叮当。

  麦当劳日前在本地推出以“多拉A梦”(小叮当的正确名字)为主题的十二生肖毛绒玩偶。

  不过,十二生肖一套中,唯独“猪”生肖缺席,被爱神“丘比特”取代;不免让本地小叮当迷小有失望。

  网友日前在网上召集大家团购港版小叮当,获得网友响应,纷纷预定。

  网友们说,港版的小叮当体积比狮城版的来得大,还列举出狮城版和港版小叮当的不同之处。

  总的来说,港版十二生肖不仅齐全,而且各个生肖的头饰能转动,鼻子是立体塑料制成,比狮城版绣一块鼻布要好。

  把港版小叮当全数“运”回新加坡,每只单价7元,一套12只则是65元,包括运费在内。

  有网友称,论体积和质量,港版的虽然贵了些,但比本地2元1只来得物超所值。

首批团购今日午夜截止

  团购组织者表示,首批团购预定今天午夜截止,料网友可在本月尾就收到齐全生肖的港版小叮当。

  发起人称,航空公司表示10套装成一盒,因此会尽量拼箱,节省运费。

  网友预计两周内可收到小叮当,或在武吉士森林广场附近挑个地点取货。

  如果来不及这回预定,下一批则要等到大约情人节或春节。

Anonymous said...

Poor thing, you actually regard McDonalds as your Ah Gong.

I regard McDonalds as a cheap fast food restaurant that sometimes sells little toys at $2, to entice children to eat their burgers.

No wonder you take this matter so seriously. Get a life lah. Playstation and Xbox is the in-thing, who on earth plays Doraemon now.

Anonymous said...

Poor thing, you actually regard an analogy as an equivalence. Go get a life e.g. by improving your logic so that you know how to argue an issue instead of making personal attack. Playing too much Xbox may have damanged your brain. LOL

Anonymous said...

Anon January 15, 2010 7:36 PM,

It can be a cheap fast food restaurant; it can be an expensive slow food restaurant. It can be enticing children to eat burger; it can be enticing adults to eat cavier. It can be a $2 toy; It can be a $200 electronics.

Doesn't matter. Because the issus is not about none of these; Your attempt to divert away from the issue by framing it as another issue...failed!

Mr Wang Says So said...

Personally, I do think that the Ah Gong analogy was indeed very stupid. So was the example about the parents dying and the children fighting over the will.

It might have been appropriate, if we were discussing how the HDB disadvantages Malays and Indians through the Ethnic Group Policy, adversely affecting the saleability of their HDB flats.

It might have been appropriate, if we were discussing how Malays' career prospects are dampened in the Singapore Armed Forces.

It might even have been appropriate if we were talking about how the Singapore government exempts Malays from having to pay school fees in Singapore.

However, I do not think it is appropriate at all, in the context of a $2 toy that a fast-food restaurant never sold.

To go on and on, as if McDonalds had really committed such a grave transgression against Chinese Singaporeans,

is really to make all Singaporeans look very stupid, and indeed to make the nation an international laughing stock.