There has been a Facebook Page to “Boycott Jollibee Singapore” and posts on TR Emeritus to “Boycott-Pinoy-first business”, gathering lots of comments, many of which are insulting to the Filipinos and other foreign labour in Singapore.

I know this may anger some people, but I find the page, posts and negative comments ridiculous and uncalled for. Reading the comments, we can sense that there are also many who join in ‘the boycott’ without fully understanding the reasons behind it.

Some background: Jollibee is the largest fast food chain in the Philippines, and is set to open its first store in Singapore on March 12 in Lucky Plaza. It is a multinational fast food chain, and has already shops in the USA, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Brunei. They are largely known for their signature fried chicken Chickenjoy, Yumburger and Jollibee Spaghetti.

So why the boycott?

On the February 12, it was posted on TR Emeritus that “Unlike other multi-national fastfood restaurants like McDonald’s and KFC which hire mainly Singaporeans and even the disabled and elderly, Jollibee Singapore intends to hire their fellow pinoys to fill up jobs in their latest Singapore venture.”

Where did all those accusation come from? To be fair, Jollibee Singapore never said that.

Quoting their Facebook page, it says “Dear Jollibee fan, if you are looking for careers at Jollibee Singapore, please send your detailed CV via email…”

This is a clear case that Jollibee’s statement was completely taken out of context, misquoted and misconstrued for some anti-foreign sentiments (again).

In another posting by TR Meritus on 22 February, it acknowledged (but did not apologize) that Jollibee Singapore “did not specifically say they would hire Filipinos only in its Facebook posting”.

However, they went on to comment that since the hiring note was addressed to “Jollibee fans” and “undoubtedly, it would mean largely Filipinos since most Singaporeans have not tasted Jollibee’s food and are not familiar with Jollibee.”

I question the word “undoubtedly”.

And there is the assumption that many Singaporeans are unfamiliar with Jollibee. Well, perhaps. But let us keep in mind that Jollibee is a multinational chain with 39 stores in Vietnam, 13 in Brunei, 12 in the Middle East, 27 in USA and 1 in Hong Kong. The brand “Jollibee” even appeared in Glee before. (I would assume TR authors don’t watch Glee, but many do.)

To add on, in a previous Press Release I received from Jollibee, they included that “Singaporean nationals and permanent residents” can send in their applications. While why they would include recruitment details in a Media Press Release is a big question mark, let us discuss this local vs foreign labour issue with greater sensitivity, understanding, and reasoning. Taking statements out of context is not.

Let us also not forget that the Ministry of Manpower has introduced lower Dependency Ration Ceilings on the hiring of foreign workers. It is really not up to the restaurant to hire whoever they want.

After reading all the comments, I have more concerns that so many people are jumping on that bandwagon to add on insults and name-calling, without actually finding out the reasons. If this were to snowball, what may it lead to? How would creation of this conflict and distance help us Singaporeans in way?

I know many people are unhappy about foreign labour influx and their societal problems they bring upon the country. Everybody living here feels the frustration, me included. But taking it out on a fast-food chain and reinforcing false negative stereotypes is not going to help the situation at all.

On a side note, Yes, I was afraid of my job being replaced by a foreigner as well. My little advice is: Just do your job well, and do it really well.

Other Related Entries
Jollibee Singapore (Lucky Plaza)


  1. Kudos! I think it’s a well balanced piece of writing you’ve done here. BTW, I also enjoy your blog very much. Thank you.

  2. Sad to see that your excellent article has 8 comments only when the racist articles against Jollybee have hundreds of comments on Yahoo! and Total Rubbish Extremists. What does it say about Singaporeans?

  3. Thanks a lot for this enlightening, open-minded article. I believe in critical engagement in society because that is how we all mature socially and politically. But I too have been reading a lot about these negative comments. They are not about policies anymore; they are hatred towards Filipinos, and foreigners in general. If policies are anti-Singapore, then by all means generate a conversation. But why call us Pinoys many names, not just below the belt kind of comments but even worse than that? Singapore is a first-world country; I hope the people’s hearts are first-world too.

  4. A worrying trend indeed, more singaporeans are increasingly getting xenophobic. Am wondering, did the Indians & Chines settlers of Singapore take away the jobs and opportunities of the locals (Malays, the original sons of the soil)? We should learn from the silicon valley model. Before that take a good look at our own souls (if we have one!)

  5. Hmmm! What did poor Jollibee do to deserve this? We Singaporeans are supposed to be welcoming of food in general. Probably, people are not aware of the Singaporean person behind this venture, Ms Jennie Chua is an outstanding Singaporean (at least in my opinion). Don’t know her personally, as such my opinion is based on what I read about her.

  6. Nice article. I hope a lot of Singaporeans think like you. And I do apologize also for my countrymen who have help fan the flames by responding in the same way.

  7. They have just shame themselves by doing this. Around the world people are reading this and this will be forever in our heart. I will never forget this. Jollibee is part of our childhood and jollibee always a place of laugh, happiness and smile together with friends, family and other people yet become the cause of HURT TO ALL FILIPINOS when it open in SINGAPORE. Being called cochroah, prostitute, low IQ, retarted, insult our woman and mothers…. It had really made my tears drop. We didnt come to this country to beg we are here to work what money we get we work for it then why blame and hate and blame us?

  8. There is no sense to answer people that are educated but seems not.
    There is no reason for any person on earth to be insecure in any way
    If you have such potential that Filipino’s taking job away from Singapore, think about it…you should prove your worth.
    I have so many Singaporean friends here and they appreciate Filipino’s hardworking and contributing to companies success.
    Having said all, Foreigners are part of the Singapore success where it belongs up to date.

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