McDonald’s Malaysia Ad Pits Their Nasi Lemak Against Ours

Malaysia and Singapore’s head-to-head battle over who has the best food seems to never end.

Before, debates were about the origins of different dishes, but now there seems to be a new war over who does it better.

The title we Singaporeans didn’t even know we were fighting over is who has the best nasi lemak. And McDonald’s Malaysia seems confident that they’re winning.

“Nasi Lemak McD. This is our taste.”
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McDonald’s ad ignites Malaysia vs Singapore battle

Many Singaporeans who don’t watch Malaysian TV channels are probably unfamiliar with the dramatic ads promoting McDonald’s Malaysia’s new Nasi Lemak McD.

These ads place Malaysians in foreign, unforgiving territories like Mount Everest, Grand Canyon and even outer space, where food is scarce.

Still from “Nasi Lemak – Deep Space”
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While others reluctantly dig into their unpleasant food supplies, the sole Malaysian whips out a packet of nasi lemak and savours it, much to the envy of his or her companions.

Still from “Nasi Lemak – Everest”
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None of these ads point to any apparent cultural clashes, until they release the ad titled “Nasi Lemak MY vs. SG”. Watch the full video here:

The title is enough to trigger a petty cross-border debate, but the video is a whole other landmine.

Ad subtly throws shade at Singapore

In the video, Malaysian lady walks around Lau Pa Sat Hawker Centre with her luggage, trailing behind her Singaporean friend as they search for food.

Compared to the earlier Nasi Lemak McD ads, setting this location in Singapore makes it seem as though our country is as challenging to survive in as Everest or space.

Or perhaps in a more positive perspective, that Singapore is as breathtaking as the other places. To add to the optimism, we have to commend them for highlighting our famous “chope” culture quite amusingly.

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But the gripe comes when the Singaporean excitedly recommends “Best Nasi Lemak Singapore” to his Malaysian friend and buys a plate for her.

Instead of thanking him for it, the Malaysian pauses before smiling ‘politely’ and pushing her plate towards him.

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She takes out her own packet of nasi lemak from god knows where, and shows off the “Buatan Malaysia” or “Made in Malaysia” stamp before opening it.

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Seriously, is our nasi lemak that bad that they have to bring their own all the way from Malaysia?

Petition to make nasi lemak a Malaysian national dish

We don’t know what motivated McDonald’s Malaysia to bring Singapore into this hullabaloo, but we’re thinking it’s part of their new campaign to make nasi lemak Malaysia’s official dish.

They’ve started a petition that will go on till Malaysia Day on 16 September and they’re well on their way towards reaching the 35,000 signatures goal.

Their surge of national pride is certainly admirable, but there’s really no need to start an international food fight over it.

The ad has only been shared on YouTube so far, where comments have been disabled, but we’d suggest that McDonald’s Malaysia keep it on the down low before some Singaporeans get triggered.

Featured image adapted from YouTube.