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Saturday, December 17, 2011

The politicising of bread in cyberspace

For the past month, an online campaign has been raging against Gardenia bread, accusing it of being a crony company.

robert kuokThe campaign calls on consumers to support rival bread company Massimo which recently entered the market.

One email read: "Let's support the new Massimo bread by Robert Kuok (right)  and boycott Gardenia bread owned by Umno crony, Syed Mokhtar Albukhary's Tradewind group."

Alarmed by the campaign which has taken a racial undertone, Gardenia Bakeries (KL) Sdn Bhd late last month debunked the claim.

"Gardenia takes pride in being everything that a good Malaysian company should be. We employ highly professional and ethical people regardless of race or religion."

In its statement, the company attached several pictures of its office with the words "There's just once race, the human race" framed on its walls.

It added that Bernas, owned by Syed Mokthar has a 30 percent stake in Gardenia since 2001.
Most messages in Chinese
It is unclear where the campaign originated but the campaign appeared to target Chinese consumers with most messages being in Chinese.

selangor dap congress 2011 teresa kokEarlier this month, the company's managers also sought the aid of Seputeh MP Terasa Kok (left).

"There are various permutations of these messages but in a nutshell, they allege that Gardenia is linked to BN, Umno and Bernas which alleged to be anti-Chinese, and thus Chinese Malaysians are urged to boycott Gardenia and purchase another brand of bread instead.

"I too received such an text message on that day. The test message was written in Chinese. I find this SMS to be extremely racist and not acceptable," she said in a blog posting.

Gardenia's management, she added, informed her that despite the 30 percent Bernas stake, Bernas did not instruct it not to buy flour from Kuok's company.

"Gardenia only buys flour from company that offers reasonable rates. It never takes instruction from Bernas," she said.

Kok has condemned the racial campaign and urged the public to exercise caution when forwarding similar messages.


  1. who cares, its the truth that Massimo bread quality and flour seems firmer and bulky compare to gardenia trying to get more profit from consumer and reduce their cost for producing great breads for daily consumer, gardenia breads are too soft and thin, moist and it literally partially stick on ur hand. Bring both breads to any pastry shop, they will tell you the difference rather than here posting who boycotting who, child-play.

  2. gardenia was now a malay company, therefore it sucks
    easy to understand

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I like Massimo bread. Support the good quality goods rather than "sucking money" products.

  5. People escalating messages to boycott is not ethical. On the other hand, do deeper research on this issue to have a better picture of it. You're just looking on the surface of it.