(Featured image from malaysiaedition.net)
Just a measure of how much this has spiralled out of control, McDonald’s Malaysia MD Stephen Chew just wrote an appeal on behalf of the fast-food corporation’s 12,000 employees in Malaysia. This is coming after its outlets were attacked over the past week by protestors who championed the boycott McDonald’s Malaysia movement.
The anti-campaign stemmed from allegations that fast-food giant McDonald’s funded Zionists in Israel because former McDonald’s Chairman and CEO Jack Greenberg was a Jew. The truth is that Jack Greenberg left McDonald’s more than 10 years ago and no longer functions as head of the US-based company. That and the fact that McDonald’s Malaysia is simply a franchise owner.
Nevertheless, as the accusations spread like wildfire on the interwebs, McDonald’s Malaysia is still struggling with the issue despite having tried to fend off the rumour that they’re funding Israel against the Gaza conflict. At times, it got so bad that innocent employees were harassed for no reason whatsoever. Refer to this video of some youths verbally attacking a cashier girl at a McDonald’s Malaysia drive-through counter:
Furthermore, according to the appeal, which was posted up by The Malaysian Insider, Stephen Chew stated that McDonald’s Malaysia’s staff comprises of 95% Malaysians, among which 85% are Malays. Does it make sense that they had to suffer the consequences of McDonald’s rumoured indirect involvement in the Israeli Gaza conflict then?
Why resort to hurting our own people?
Read Stephen Chew’s appeal here:
On behalf of the 12,000 employees at McDonald’s Malaysia, I am writing to make an appeal to all Malaysians to please stop hurting fellow Malaysians. In the past month since the conflict began in the Gaza region, we have faced boycott calls, as well as angry demonstrations in front of some of our restaurants. Every attempt we made to clarify the misconceptions with the protest organizers was rejected.
Now, we cannot keep silent anymore because our staff which comprises of 95% Malaysians, among which 85% are Malays, have faced countless attacks ranging from personal harassment to public attacks.
We have been operating in this country for 32 years now and the culture in McDonald’s Malaysia is unique. While business is important to us, our first priority is, and has always been, our people and our customers. This is an important principle that defines us and our company. We are truly like a big family here and we sincerely care for each other. Some of us have worked in the company for over 30 years.
While it troubles us to see our franchisees’ businesses affected, it is heartbreaking for us to see their livelihoods affected as they have families to care for. Our people have also broken down in tears because of threatening telephone calls. There were also incidents where our people were physically intimidated and publicly humiliated, and of property being vandalised. Some were even afraid to go back to their hometown for Hari Raya for fear of being harassed.
Our staff in uniform have been publicly humiliated. Others were shunned by their peers when they went to the mosque. Even the children of our staff have been singled out in their schools, confused by warnings by some teachers not to go to McDonald’s.
I am truly saddened by how the boycott has evolved into one of hurting our people.
We knew we had to respond when our critics declared last Friday a “National Boycott McDonald’s Day“. And we responded positively. Everyone in our headquarters rallied together and we agreed that we would all go to different outlets to provide moral support to our crew. Indeed we are proud to be called family because our crew showed great courage and strength, where others would have crumbled under such difficult circumstances.ADVERTISEMENT
I also want to thank fellow Malaysians who came to our stores to support us and speak a kind word to our staff. Someone just said two words, “Good job”, and it brought tears to the eyes of our staff. Others left heartwarming notes of encouragement in the stores for our restaurant teams, as well as posting online asking them to stay strong.
ll these mean a lot to us, and we want to believe that these acts of kindness reflect the true heart of Malaysians.
McDonald’s is not just my extended family. Anyone who works at McDonald’s would feel the same. And we will do all we can within our means to protect each other from becoming a victim of twisted truths incited by anger and hatred. We can understand peoples anger over the conflict in Gaza which has claimed thousands of innocent lives. But what we cannot accept is Malaysians venting out their anger at fellow Malaysians over what’s happening in Gaza.
Malaysians are already hurting from all the national tragedies and many other issues we are facing today. We don’t need any more hurt. We need healing as a nation. We need to love our fellow Malaysians more than we hate others.
Just to give you an idea of what has been happening at McDonald’s Malaysia outlets nationwide, we’ve sourced some pictures from this site:
We can’t agree more with his statement though. There are better ways to fight for your cause if your cause is indeed to help the Israeli Gaza conflict. Punishing McDonald’s Malaysia isn’t one of them and as Malaysians, we are made of better stuff.
So, why not play your part by visiting Viva Palestina Malaysia to find out what you can do to help? There’s also Candies4Gaza, which is a page dedicated to the children of Gaza. Be truly Malaysian, guys.