SINGAPORE - Bakery chain BreadTalk Group apologised and pulled a bun commemorating the city-state's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, from its stores after drawing flak from social media users who said the baked goods were insensitive.
"We would like to convey our deepest apologies with regard to the commemorative bun #rememberingLKY which was introduced at BreadTalk outlets today, 25 March 2015," the company said on its Facebook page.
"Our intent was to create a commemorative product in memory of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew whom we deeply respect. Together with all Singaporeans, the passing of our Founding Prime Minister is deeply felt by all of us at BreadTalk," it said.
"Nevertheless, we are made aware that this manner of remembering his legacy was insensitive in light of the current context," it added.
BreadTalk said it was sticking to original intent and would donate projected sales proceeds of S$30,000 to Community Chest.
While some called it cheap marketing ploy, others said the company should have distributed the buns to the thousands waiting in line to pay their last respects to Lee, who died on Monday, aged 91. "It is insensitive at any point in time. Mr Lee deserves more respect than being linked to a bun which was clearly created as an opportunistic moment. Shame on you BreadTalk,"Facebook user Agnes Heng posted.
Singaporeans continued to queue on Thursday to say their final goodbyes to Lee. As of 8:30 a.m., the waiting time was two-and-a-half hours.