Making a rookie mistake is all part of the learning process but if you’re representing a certain establishment then you should definitely know your stuff. If you’re a fashion brand then you should know the name of the designers. If you’re a history, travel and exploration brand then you should definitely know that Malaysia and Singapore are completely two separate countries.
Either we need to update our history and geography classes or National Geographic UK needs to relearn basic Geography again. The online travel and exploration portal is known for documenting and showcasing various beautiful, mysterious and strange places around the world. You’ll see them highlighting their best photographs or videos they’ve taken on their social media but recently one post had not 1 but 2 countries coming after them. Here’s what happened:
Over the weekend (Saturday, 28th August), National Geographic UK (NatGeoUK) posted a photo on their official Facebook page. The photo is a scenic view of a popular park in Singapore with a caption that reads, “From the Archive: A family from India walks through the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, Malaysia.” Yes, you read that right. Apparently, the exploration publication had mistaken that Singapore is (still) a state in Malaysia.
The (now deleted) Facebook post stayed unedited for about 20 hours and received over 9.9k shares and 4.3k comments. Netizens from the two mentioned countries including popular brands and companies in Malaysia such as Golden Screen Cinemas, MGAG, Sunway Pyramid and AEON Retail Malaysia responded to the post with sarcastic and hilarious comments poking fun at the media company for their rookie mistake.
After the entertaining backlash online, NatGeoUK’s official Facebook page not only deleted the post but also went private. If you were to search the company on Facebook, it will redirect you to NatGeoAsia instead. It is unclear as to why they straight up went private but we’re going to guess it’s to either prepare an official statement regarding the post or just stay low until everything calms down.
For your information, Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965 over deep political and economic differences between the ruling parties. Since then, the former became an independent and sovereign state. It’s not everyday we get to see these two countries unite on something, so we have to thank NatGeoUK for giving us this fun moment of unity.