Singapore: US fast food giant McDonald`s placed an apology in Singapore dailies for omitting from the local market the pig version among a series of toys featuring the Doraemon cartoon character in costumes of animals from the Chinese zodiac.
McDonald`s announced in half-page ads in two local dailies yesterday that it has decided to bring in the Doraemon pig lucky charm after its earlier exclusion to respect Muslim sensitivities upset the majority ethnic Chinese population.
McDonalds launched the Doraemon lucky charms in its Singapore market at the beginning of this year to coincide with next month`s Chinese New Year festival.
The soft toys were also launched in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and a check with McDonald`s Hong Kong web site showed that the pig lucky charm is sold in Hong Kong.
The company, which runs a chain of more than 100 restaurants in Singapore, has halal certification from the Islamic religious authority here to indicate that the food is fit for Muslim consumption and does not serve pork, which is taboo for Muslims to consume.
Instead of the pig, McDonalds featured a Cupid soft-toy in Singapore, as Valentine`s Day will coincide with the first day of the Chinese New Year, which falls on February 14 this year.