Malaysia’s National Day (or Hari Merdeka) is just around the corner – and McDonald’s is petitioning (yes, an actual petition) for nasi lemak to be crowned its national dish.
The fast food chain is currently selling its version of nasi lemak – and is running an online petition to make the dish of coconut rice, egg and sambal the country’s trademark.
The brand previously sold a nasi lemak-inspired burger in neighbouring Singapore.
“Malaysia, a country known for delicious food, doesn’t have a National Dish,” McDonald’s wrote in its petition. “Nasi Lemak is our most beloved dish, embraced by all cultures and all states in Malaysia as their own… It is a simple, everyday dish that’s full of diverse flavours and textures.”
As of Wednesday (Aug 21) , the petition has almost 10,000 signatures – but McDonald’s is aiming for one million by Malaysia Day (Sep 16), about two weeks after Hari Merdeka.
In addition, the brand replaced the trademark “McDonald’s” sign on its Bukit Bintang outlet (Malaysia’s first McDonald’s outlet) with a sign saying “Mekdi”.
Mekdi (the pronunciation for McD – short for McDonald’s) – is a popular way of referencing the brand in Malaysia.
McDonald’s Malaysia vice president Melati Abdul Hai said that the brand decided to embrace its local nickname as a “gesture of appreciation” to customers.
McDonald’s currently has over 30 outlets in Malaysia run by 21 local franchisees. It currently employs 14,000 Malaysians.