Malaysia Airlines to drop word 'pork' from in-flight magazine after social media furore

Malaysia Airlines aeroplanes at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Nov 30, 2018.
Malaysia Airlines aeroplanes at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Nov 30, 2018.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

KUALA LUMPUR - The word "pork" will now be dropped from the Malaysia Airlines in-flight magazine, in response to a recent social media furore where the national carrier was wrongly accused of publishing a picture of a pork dish.

Articles on restaurants in the Going Places magazine may instead use the words "non-halal" (forbidden in Islam), reported The Malay Mail, and not mention pork dishes available on the restaurants' menu.

The issue first came to the fore when a reader in the Muslim-majority country complained that the airline was being insensitive for carrying a picture of a pork dish in its feature on the Curious Kitchen restaurant in the January edition.

The article went viral on social media and sparked anger among Muslims who accused Malaysia Airlines of promoting pork.

The carrier apologised, but also clarified that the image complained about was actually of Wagyu beef slices and cuttlefish.

"Just like other lifestyle magazines, the review of the restaurant was meant to promote the eateries for passengers all over the world," Malaysia Airlines was quoted by Malay-language daily Sinar Harian as saying on Monday (Jan 21) .

Capitalising on the furore, Curious Kitchen, located in the upmarket residential suburb of Tropicana in Selangor, jumped on the current social media 10-year challenge bandwagon on Friday to highlight the difference between pork and beef.

"Here's our 10 Year Challenge. Drop by our kitchen and we'll show you the difference :) #10yearchallenge #porknotpork #staycurious #mycuriouskitchen," the restaurant cheekily said on its Facebook and Instagram accounts.

The post featured two identical images of its Wagyu strip loin dish side by side, accompanied by fine print which read: "Haven't cracked it? It's still beef lah."

A day earlier, the restaurant had announced that its Wagyu strip loin is no longer available.

"Our Wagyu Strip Loin couldn't handle the sudden fame and has since retired. We now welcome a new addition to our family," it said on its social media sites, with a picture of Wagyu beef ribs and a cheeky caption: "not to be mistaken for pork."