A few people in the blogs including Mr. Wang criticize why some chinese folks are up in arms with McDonald changing their lucky charm for a pig to the cute cupid. After all, it’s a McDonald toy and you can just don’t buy it. Also Mac representative did point out that they are not meant to be Chinese zodiac signs represent the 12 signs..
The issue, however, is not about buying the pig as a complete set, but an issue of the failure of our religious and racial policies, thus leading to irrational fear and narrow mindedness.
No matter how Mac denies it, those lucky charms does come in 12 as a set and all but 1 are coincidentally the same animals in the Chinese zodiac signs, how can they lied with a straight face that those are not meant to represent them as such? At the same time that they tried to hoodwink us, they also admit that they were trying to be sensitive to the Malay Muslim community. Of course, there is also the issue of economics, if you looking at the patronage at fast food joints like MacDonald and KFC, its quite common to see it filled with Malay customers.
The problem lies in that it’s okay to be insensitive to the majority Chinese but not the minority religion or race. It’s unfortunate in our context we cannot talk about the Malay race without also talking about Islam. But who makes the Malay race malay is a question of the government’s policy whitewashing ethnic groups from the Malay archipelago, something which YawningBreading have talked about before.
The Malay folks should not be too happy too that Mac are being so sensitive if not overly sensitive to their religious obligation. What this means is that there is an irrational fear of offending the Malay Muslim community and the perception that they, of all communities in Singapore, are most easily offended and petty and cannot understand the needs of others. That is the message Mac sends to everyone.
MUIS, in the meantime, have not made any clarification and prefers to keep silent, perhaps they are all too happy that the majority Chinese race’s tradition is being promised for their rights?
What MacDonald could have done better is to offer the pig toy with an alternative cupid toy. So customers can choose between a pig or cupid to complete their set or buy both and have 13 instead, which is a lucky number. Surely there will be cost involved, but I believe that that is a better move. At the end of the day, it does costs to keep everyone happy.