BreadTalk SG apologizes, pulls out Lee Kuan Yew buns
What happens when you try to honor someone with bread?
Photo Bilahari Khpsk’s Facebook page and screencapped from Channel News Asia
(SPOT.ph) The special commemorative Lee Kuan Yew buns never made it to the Philippine franchise of BreadTalk, but they definitely reached the Internet-and that’s almost the same thing. According to several news reports, Singaporeans and netizens deemed the bun as "in bad taste," "opportunistic," and "disrespectful" to the achievements of Singapore’s premiere prime minister who passed away on March 23.
The buns, released on March 25, were called Lee Bu Kai Ni ("can’t leave you" in English), which according to Marketing-Interactive.com, was a play on Lee’s surname. A Channel News Asia report mentioned that the buns were displayed with a sign: "Thank you for your unwavering strength and dedication in transforming Singapore. Filled with gula melaka-flavoured grated coconut and mixed with attap seed, this kampong-inspired creation is a tribute to a visionary leader who gave his life to build a nation from a kampong to a successful Singapore today. Let us join hands and hearts to honour him, Mr Lee Kuan Yew." Priced at SG$2, proceeds of the sale were to be donated to charity agency Community Chest.
After immediate flak, BreadTalk Singapore announced via Facebook that they were pulling the buns off shelves on the same day. As posted on their Facebook page, "We would like to convey our deepest apologies with regard to the commemorative bun #rememberingLKY...We regret that this product has caused much concern and appreciate the public’s feedback which we take very seriously." Whatever proceeds generated from any Lee Bu Kai Ni sale will still be donated.
The lesson is: Never try to commemorate anyone with bread.