Saturday, March 23, 2013

Flap over fried chicken joint

Mar 23, 2013
A TUSSLE over a fast-food joint has been cooking online recently - with people butting heads over whether staying away from fried chicken is a bold assertion of national identity or a crass display of xenophobia.

On one side is a group that seems to have taken exception to Filipino fried chicken joint Jollibee for what it claims is the chain's clear preference for Filipino workers.

They came to this conclusion because Jollibee had put a job ad on its Facebook page addressed to "Jollibee fans". While that may seem innocuous enough to some, the anti-Jollibee movement needed no further evidence of discrimination.

They reasoned that since most fans of Jollibee are from the Philippines, it must mean that the chain is looking to hire only foreigners, never mind pesky details like quotas on hiring foreign workers.

And so, in a long-held tradition when it comes to these sorts of causes, they started a Facebook page calling for a boycott. The page garnered some 2,700 "likes" and even got a mention in the Filipino press.

At this point a second group emerged who were opposed to the boycott, saying that it was "playing on the irrational fears of some Singaporeans". A retaliation Facebook event page was set up called Fight Xenophobia, Eat Jollibee!

As all this was going on, Jollibee opened at Lucky Plaza last week, and people - in true blue Singaporean fashion - went to queue up for it.

A few days later, the boycott's Facebook page was taken down.


[You need a laugh every now and then and bravo to Tessa for covering it the way she did - quirky, bemused, with a slight hint of jaded.

I'm not sure how to feel about this, but mainstream Singaporeans cut to the heart of the issue: is it good fried chicken? If so, who cares! Everything else is irrelevant!

Most of the time, it is good that we are practical, focused people. Focused on the really important things that is. Like good fried chicken.]

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