Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I'm bannin' it

I don't know about you all but I seriously find this rather stupid: the recent controversy about fast food and all. I'm quite sure that even my friend McIvan, a hardcore pro-BN ( and PDRM) ultra, would find the hoo-hah rather futile since he himself is also a hardcore McD fan.

The story went like this: Our most honoured Health Minister YB Dato' Chua Soi Lek is feeling that Malaysia should impose a ban on fast food advertisements at televisions since fast food is supposed to be the "primal suspect" for the cause of the increase in population of obesity in Malaysia. According to him, fast food has been proved in countries like the U.S. and the U.K. the main factor among all to have caused obesity.

While what he has argued about may proved to be true, it may not be totally true in the Malaysian context. The real culprit of the increasing obesity rate may still be out for verdict, since we Malaysians are not only glued to fast food, but rather we are always indulging in Nasi Lemaks (tambah the Sotong), keropok this, keropok that, Char Kuey Teow, Satay, etc., all of which contain high calories and high cholesterols. Which do you think, fast food or the Malaysian delights, is more popular among Malaysians? I will definitely place my bet on the latter, for you should consider the differences of the price between both: Nasi Lemak Ayam+Teh Tarik (which is usually super-sweet) will cause you around RM5.00 to RM5.50. McValue Meal of Big Mac(M)? RM8.15 excluding tax.The answer is quite clear as to which of both is our favorite breakfast.

From the economic point of view, such act actually violates the basic economic law introduced by Adam Smith, which is the operations of a free market: authorities should not interfere in any economic activities as long as these activities are legal. While this theory is quite unrealistic to be implemented since there should always be a class of control by the government on certain economic activities such as cigarettes and liquor (which are regarded as being "sinned"), can fast food industry be considered "sinned" and be regulated as how they are with Marlboro and Carlsberg? They are food, anyway!

Instead of lingering with the issue of whether fast food ads should be banned from the television, why not put some time in thinking of more effective ways to educate the people properly, that high calories or high choresterols food, be it fast food or mamak food, should be taken lesser. All in all, Malaysians are not idiots to not being able to think by themselves what's good and what's bad to them, and the Government need not interfere with our daily lives with what we eat, what we do with our couple (Mat Skoding!), what movie we should watch (Amir Muhammad's new film is banned again), and so on. If they really care about us, check out what prices are we paying for oil, salt, rice, toll, and so the list goes. I think we Malaysians are more concerned with that.


ivan said...

As much as i want to agree with you, however, i don't think that i should be on your side yet for another time.

Before i start condemning you, do you know that the fast food chain will not change the oil which they use to fry chickens for at least a few times of frying? if my memory serves me right, it's 4-5 times b4 they change it. I was informed of this years ago by someone who actually worked there. If it were to be true, are you telling me that there's no hazard innit?

I will know touch on the ingredients used as im neither a pro or a fast food watchdog but i'm sure you've been reading articles in the papers or mags about the things that they use to produce them so that whatever they have in the menu is finger licking good.

Of course, we cannot discount the fact that Malaysians like fatty food and it is one of the reasons why the general health of Malaysians are deteriorating.

Whatever it is, i thing what Datuk Chua is doing is justified. End of story.

p.s would love to write more on this but i've got a test tomorrow so, fuck you.

z-win said...

oh....a vegetarian now, huh.... forgetting how u urself like mcd till naming urself mcivan. i can't deny things that u said but hey, u think the mamak food u ate with me last sat was as clean? come on man, i'm not standing up for fast food but i'm just saying that dun make fast food the sole culprit for obesity, u blind fucka!
i think u picked on me just for fucks lah. wonderin' how we can be friends for so long with so many differences....

ivan said...

shit fuck. realized that there's lotsa grammatical error there. Anyway, i got to go and nola, i dont pick on u la. it's just that u've been too extreme in certain issues... :)

z-win said...

yeah right, if u dun pick on me u wouldn't have picked on my "grammatical error" ok....
extreme? what a funny word to use on me since i dun even call for shooting chua in his head. i'm just voicing out opinions. can u use "extreme" on someone who pleads for some policy not to be implemented? fuck it if u dun like what i said.
and last point, u see govt has banned cigarettes ads and raised its sin tax year after year but do u have the balls to tell me smoking population has declined? so how will fast food ads ban make any difference?

me again said...

i was talking about my errors in my 1st comment. Anyway, what i meant was you being too extreme for not liking the things that you dont like. i.e. kuda and some other stuff i presume

come on, you should realise by now that ciggies are addictive. If you were to ask a dude to stop smoking for a day, you might as well ask him to slit his own throat. On the other hand, in my humble opinion, fast food's not addictive regardless how one loves it.

Our Minister hear obviously did sweat the small stuff but whatever that he's said on this issue, i think it is justified for him to ban the ads because no one can deny that advertisments play a major role in influencing the young mind etc

If he were to ban on mamak's food, i think this is like asking a certain race to demolish their 'sacred praying house'. Thus, in my humble opinion again, the Kg Medan incident might happen again, no?

John Wee said...

In Australia McDonalds is the cheapest food you can ever find around. BigMac set for 5 AUD, everything else, even chinese fried rice is 7 AUD. Hence McDonalds is villified even in the US, because it's the cheapest thing out there on the market.

Not so in Malaysia. But McDonalds is trying to change their image by introducing healthier alternatives, though I'm not too sure whether it's the same in Malaysia. Here they have McDonald sandwhiches. Which taste like lousy. Which of course they put the blame on people saying that they could eat healthily if they want but just dont do it.

Big Mac's aren't that unhealthy. They could be healthier, but it's not economical to change their oil all the time. Go to the mamaks or any other restaurant. I don't think they change their oil for days! At least you should be glad Mackers have a policy to throw out their oil everyday. Deep frying is quite expensive if your going to throw out a 1 litre bottle of oil for someone ordering a 5 piece mcnugget set.

I agree with Tze-Win. Fast food isn't the only thing to be blamed. Nasi Lemak tambah sambal with the yellow oil oozing out together with teh tarik tambah gula is probably just as bad or worse than big mac set with chips and a coke.

Ivan said...

After reading your article for the second time, I decide to make another comment on this.

1) The unreasonableness of the decision by the Minister of Health to impose ban on fast food ads

2)Comparison between fast food and local delicacies namely mamak food on their level harm

3) Adam Smith's theory

4)The ministry's ignorance for not educating the ppl on the ways to stay healthy

Now, you might say that i pick on you because i disagree with the things you say but honestly, i dont.

Tell me, Tze Win, what is wrong with banning the ads? Did he sweat the small stuff? Yes but i dont see anything wrong for imposing ban on the ads since you, yourself has said that it may or may not be true that it's hazardous to our health. It's better be safe than sorry no?

Next, are you suggesting that he should be banning the mamak food too since they pose harm to Malaysians' health too? If he were to impose ban on the mamak food, will the Adam Smith's theory come into the picture? and will you say that he's being ludicrous for saying that mamak food should not be allowed?

I've never disagree with you on the harm that those food pose but i think that in a way, you're being bias while addressing these so called issues.

In your last paragraph, you said that the ministry should put in more time to educate the laymen but on the other hand, you said that these laymen are not idiots as they can differentiate between the good and bad. What's with the contradictory statements?

Besides, the Ministry of Health has no say in determining the price of the controlled items. So why do u put the blame on the ministry when some other ministry is in charge of it?

After all, you're a very hard to please chap, what more can i say?

John Wee said...

I personally think you've missed the point Ivan.

The issue here is whether banning Fast food companies from advertising would improve the health of fellow Malaysians.

It won't.

Safer than sorry? It simply won't. Malaysians are not fat because of fast food "only". I stress on the "only".

Plus, advertising spurs the economy! Create jobs! :)

ivan said...


try googling what harm does the fast food pose ok?

i dont think i missed any 'important' point here because after all, banning the ad is a justified move, regardless of what you say or tze win say.

oh btw, do google on how the tv ads can influence the young minds too... i mean YOUNG minds, not those who're above the age of majority, if you know what i mean.

John wee said...

Yes it is harmful to some extent. I admit. But it's not the only cause. Your not going to the root cause of the problem.

Japan has fast food advertistments everywhere, look at their sexy new Ronald McDonaled (woo hot!) yet it has one of the lowest obesity rates for any first world nation. Why? Better and healthier lifestyles.

Blaming and demonizing fast food isn't going to solve the problem in Malaysia. It's a case to case basis. Like I said above, in Western countries, Fast food is the cheapest things around.

In Malaysia it's the Roti Canai's, Nasi Lemaks and Teh Tariks that's slowly killing the population. Not only the teenagers and kids but even the adults.

Banning fast food ads might help abit. But I doubt so, because their still eating Roti Canai telur, Nasi Lemak and Teh Tarik's to extremes!

I seem to be repeating myself. You don't have to agree to my opinion.

z-win said...

a lil bit of argument we're getting into, aren't we? john has basically told what's on my mind and in that case, i won't repeat myself anymore. but ivan, u've totally got my message wrong. When i said fast food is not the only culprit but there are also mamaks, i don't mean "ban mamaks", rather, i'm saying "don't ban anything, including fast food or its ads". in short, let the economy flows by its way (which is bloody well in line with Smith's idea). Big difference there is. Next, when I said govt should spend time educating and not banning, i mean that M'sian people have brains to think by their own, hence there's no room for the authorities to impose anything on us. Imposing is by force, while educating only provides message, but the choice remains to be yours. So, what contradiction do i have here? educate them, but let them choose by their own, cos they have brains. That's what i've been saying (hell. i'm not gonna repeat myself anymore, it's damn tiring!)
btw, if u like to google so much, try google also the adverse effect of watching porn sites, to which i think u're probably succumbed as well:)

ivan said...

tze win,

Unless u delete ur the few last lines u have, i can file a libel suit against u for whatever that u've accused me and for your information, i dont appreciate the accusation that you've just thrown to me.

let me quote what u've stated in your entry:

"...why not put some time in thinking of more effective ways to educate the people properly, that high calories or high choresterols food, be it fast food or mamak food, should be taken lesser. All in all, Malaysians are not idiots to not being able to think by themselves what's good and what's bad to them, and the Government need not interfere with our daily lives with what we eat...."

at one point you want the ministry to educate the ppl on what's right and what's not and at another, you said that msians are not idiots.

so, if msians are not idiots, why do the ministry or government want to allocate a portion of whatever fund they have to educate these smart msians? if the government start campaigning, in my opinion, you'll have one entry in the future criticizing the ministry or government for having nothing better to do but just to waste the funds that the they have in doing something that's not necessary as the msians are smart. yes?

Next, why do you want to touch on Adam Smith in the first place, why not talk about marxism? the ideology touches on economics too. nationalisation, remember? oh no... if you touch on this, you'll be having different issues for that too... im sorry, it slipped my mind.


in your last paragraph, u said that it'll help a lil by banning the ads, so what is the issue here? i assume that by having said whatever that u've typed, you, yourself think that the act of banning is justified.

If this is not what u intended to say, may i direct your attention to the comment where u said that ive missed the point and u, yourself, pointed out the question whether the banning will do any good to msians health. To direct your attention to the last paragraph of your then, last comment, you admitted that it'll do a little help. If i may ask, i would love to know which is which.

My last word is, if you're not acting on something, that means you're condoning it, no?

p.s. like im not repeating myself over and over again here.

z-win said...

i've had enough. claim ur victory if u want it so much. i don't give a damn, really. and if u can't take a lil joke like that, do as u wish, file me a suit or whatever. stop all these "accusation" shit cos u're also accusing me of something in ur comments. i'm not gonna repeat myself anymore cos u won listen to any. .....but i have to concede, cos i dun wanna quarrel no more...u're da champion, ok?
i'm done.

ivan said...

dude, what did i accuse u in my comment? if you cant take any views from anyone, why bother writing it?

so, it's ok for you to say that i 'succumb' to porn and you cant take any comments on subjects which are open for discussion?

ivan said...

oh wait, maybe i should agree with you on every single thing, then only i can comment, ok i know what to do if there's a next time.

z-win said...

that's where u got me wrong again. u can have ur wateva say, i explained mine already, u didn't agree with it, that's fine and i just simply wanna put this into an end. no hard feelings at all. in fact the reason y i put up such a joke that u succumbed to porn is to make things less intensified but look at ur reactions. i tried so many times to end this conversation cos i know u'll stand firm with ur views but so will i. the only best way to solve this problem is to get out of it. seriously i've no idea what u want now. u want me to go on arguing with u or just stay silent? if i didn't wanna listen to other ppl's view i'd have switched off the comment box. i just simply feel that this conversation has gone too far, far till the initial focus was blurred and deviated from. for me, u're still my friend, ivan, but i'm not pretty sure what's on ur mind.