KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 — Popular fast-food chain McDonald’s has said that the rumour it will give away free burgers and drinks in Malaysia this Friday is a “hoax”.
McDonald’s Malaysia denied issuing any announcements of the alleged food giveaway.
“We would like to clarify that the notices on free McDonald’s food posted on Facebook were NOT issued by McDonald’s, and we are unable to honour it. It is a hoax produced by an irresponsible party,” it wrote on its official Facebook account yesterday.
Calls to boycott McDonald’s fast-food outlets this Friday were also circulated online by some Malaysians protesting Israel’s attacks on the Palestinians in Gaza..
McDonald’s has been forced in recent weeks to fend off accusations that it was allegedly funding Israeli interests.
But the company issued a statement last month saying that there was “no truth” in such claims.
“We wish to stress that McDonald’s does not channel any proceeds from sales, profits or franchise fees from our restaurants to support any form of political campaign or conflict that happens in any countries in the world,” it said in a statement posted on its Facebook account on July 11 without mentioning the conflict in Gaza.
According to national news agency Bernama last month, the statement was issued after allegations spread that a Jew named Jack Greenberg was heading the US-based McDonald’s Corporation and sending financial aid to Zionists in Israel.
But Bernama cited McDonald’s Malaysia when saying that Greenberg had left the group over a decade ago and no longer the chief executive in McDonald’s Corporation.
In another statement posted on July 24, McDonald’s Malaysia directly addressed the attempts to link its brand to the Gaza conflict, saying that its Malaysian staff would be the ones eventually harmed by the allegations.
“But the actual victims of such accusations are the friends, workers and families that are the source of discrimination, and also our franchisees that are working to make a living,” it said.
The company pointed out that it employs 12,000 people here, with 85 per cent of them being Muslims, while saying that Malay Muslims run almost half of the 27 local franchised outlets here.
The firm further said it indirectly provided 2,500 job opportunities for Malaysians through its 50 local suppliers.
It added that it pays millions in taxes to the Malaysian government each year when saying that a boycott of its products would hurt the local economy and livelihood of some Malaysians.
Malaysians have joined others worldwide in protesting the Israeli offensive against Gaza that has already killed thousands of Palestinians.