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When beef becomes pork

  • Such a compromising attitude may in the long run deplete our entire society of the urge to pursue and defend the truth.

Sin Chew Daily

A weird "apology" has sent many completely confounded and starting to speculate.

The inflight magazine of Malaysia Airlines published several pictures of food in a restaurant ad.

The main picture was a piece of meat steak cut into two halves, with the accompaniment of greens, mashed potato and some sauce.

Looking at it alone one may not really tell whether the meat is beef, lamb or could even be pork.

Here comes the problem: a netizen objected that as the national carrier, MAS should not have put up the picture of pork in its inflight magazine.

This was followed by a chorus of protests from some Islamic NGOs accusing the national carrier of openly insulting Muslims.

MAS instantly offered an apology, claiming that the meat was actually wagyu, not pork.

To be honest, I believe in MAS. As a major carrier, it must have very high expectations for its own reputation and will never do something so dumb as to undermine it.

If it is beef, then how can it become pork?

I really get confused now. Since it is pork, then MAS has not done anything wrong and therefore needs not to apologize.

Those accusing MAS of publishing the picture of pork should instead apologize to the airline.

Sometimes we can hardly tell the right from the wrong in our biased society, especially when it comes to something "sensitive". And it appears to me that the side which is louder will automatically get justified.

It is beyond doubt that when religion is cited, the protestors will most positively get what they want. And often because of this, conservative religious organizations and individuals always put themselves high on the moral pedestal and justifiably pass down their distorted judgments.

MAS' apology could be an act of trying to appease the frustrated few even though it knows very well it has not done anything wrong in this whole thing, for fear a flare-up could cost the company its established business and reputation.

What I really worry is that such a compromising attitude may in the long run deplete our entire society of the urge to pursue and defend the truth.

So, it doesn't matter whether one has done something right or wrong, people will just start apologizing for fear of offending certain people or triggering undesirable controversies, and then tell themselves such sensitivities must be avoided at all costs in future.

While sometimes it is indeed advisable to take a step backward in a confrontation, if only one side keeps backing off, then the world will slowly give up its yardstick to gauge what is right or wrong.

The side that has the louder voice will come to the realization that being tough will almost always pay off, and will shamelessly call a beef a pork based on their own subjective evaluation.

Anyway, is there anything wrong with pork? Can we wipe out the existence of pork or its images in a multicultural society like ours?

Then what about the Hindus and some Chinese who don't take beef? Isn't a picture of beef repulsive to these people, too?

It is utterly frustrating and anomalous for a particular section of our society, which is teeming with taboos and sensitivities, to forgo its diverse lifestyles in compliance with the demands of some other people.


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