Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Today is a public holiday – one of the very many that Malaysians enjoy in this country. And we wonder why work never gets done in this country! But my colleagues involved in the Australian University Program are at work which goes to show you that here at Sunway University College, lecturers and students are a dedicated lot! I feel a wee bit guilty that I am relaxing at home, but this regret evaporated quickly enough!

A retailer withdrew a toy pig from a children's farm set to avoid the risk of causing offence on religious grounds, it emerged yesterday. A mother who bought the Early Learning Centre's (ELC) HappyLand Goosefeather Farm for her daughter's first birthday contacted the store after finding that the pig was missing!

Nope – this did not happen in Malaysia, not yet anyway!. But the UK’s The Sun reported this story about the missing pig in a £25 set that contained a model of a cow, sheep, chicken, horse and dog but no pig, despite there being a sty and a button which generated an "oink".

A spokesperson tried to explain: "ELC is a truly global brand, which means we need to be aware of the full range of customer expectations and cultural differences. The decision to remove the pig from our Goosefeather Farm set was taken in reaction to customer feedback in some parts of the world”.

But Caroline (the said mother) protested: "This is political correctness gone loopy…This is as bad as no more 'baa baa black sheep' or other such things. Stuff like this is just insipid, it worms its way into every aspect of our lives and we just let it happen. Surely if someone has issue with a toy that they don't agree with, then don't buy it!"

Another mother called Chouli was also reported to have responded: "Does it have a disclaimer on it, though? 'Pig sold seperately (sic)'? Perhaps they keep a stash of them in the back somewhere in brown paper bags?"

And another named Safiyyah said: "I'm Muslim and it doesn't bother me. It's just another animal.

"What are the store going to do next? Ban the Peppa Pig cartoon? Stop selling books with pigs in? This is a multi-cultural country."

The ELC later said it had decided to reinstate the pig because "we recognize that pigs are familiar farm animals, especially for our UK customers”. It’s nice to know that it’s not only in Malaysia where idiotic things happen!

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