“It’s cute!,” said more than one good friend, confirming our suspicions that we may have just become so woke, we’re never sleeping.
“Don’t you think it’s a little ironic that we’re celebrating the release from the shackles of colonialism, by low-key celebrating American imperialism in the shape of a chicken nugget?” we countered.
“No. Lighten up, kiddo,” was the consensus.
And there you have it, over 20 years of abstaining from McDonald’s food, save for one nasi lemak burger (review? HERE!), and a million McFlurries (we’re only human, after all), and it’s come to our attention that in the case of McDonald’s versus curmudgeonly Coconuts KL editor, we’re fighting a losing battle.
McDonald’s, let’s be real — the world’s most recognizable brand, is always one for localizing when it comes to their international markets: India? Vegetarian menu, zero beef. Philippines? Inexplicable McSpaghetti. Malaysia and Singapore? The aforementioned nasi lemak burger.
This Merdeka (Aug. 31, Malaysian independence day from the British, y’all) someone who probably wears Converse at an advertising agency thought it would be a cute idea to re-brand Malaysia’s first McDonald’s in Bukit Bintang, with a bit of local flair.
Taking cues from our local language bahasa melayu, they’ve renamed it “Mekdi,” which is what some of us call it here, the same way French people call it “mac doh” or how high-brow culture paragons Australia call it “maccas.”
Looks like whatever creative agency team behind this should get a bonus, as the public can’t seem to get enough of the city’s latest Instagram backdrop:
Maybe after they’re done dressing up this artery-clogger with cute names, McDonald’s Malaysia might try their hand at joining 2019, and adding some healthier items to the menu? Just a thought.
Alas, Coconauts, while we seem to have lost the battle over McDonald’s cultural imperialism, if not that over our colonial oppressors, we leave you with a quote from one of the best ’90s films, Dazed and Confused:
“OK guys, one more thing, this summer when you’re being inundated with all this American bicentennial Fourth Of July brouhaha, don’t forget what you’re celebrating, and that’s the fact that a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic, white males didn’t want to pay their taxes.”
So, while we’re out there, celebrating our independence, taking photos in front of this multinational conglomerate’s symbolic arches, just remember what we’re celebrating: American cultural imperialism, globalization, a pox on public health, sub-standard animal welfare, and problematic worker safety. (Editor: See? Curmudgeon!)
Stay cute; stay woke.
This article, Malaysian public can’t get enough of ‘Mekdi’ signboard at McDonald’s in lead up to independence day, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!