PETALING JAYA: “If you are at Setia Alam’s Zawara Coffee and you see this Missile Launcher, don’t panic!”
This was part of a Facebook posting by Zawara Coffee on June 18, accompanied by several pictures of the outlet’s unique food truck made to look like an armoured personnel carrier, complete with two “rocket launchers” perched on its roof.
However yesterday, the coffee outlet appeared to have hit a snag after two men were arrested by Sepang police as they were driving the vehicle.
Following the arrests, Zawara Coffee today apologised to Malaysians if its advertising gimmick had caused panic among them.
Zawara Coffee Sdn Bhd Group CEO Kamarul Ariff admitted the company had overlooked the fear the carrier could generate among members of the public and promised to change the paint job of the vehicle in question.
He said it was not Zawara Coffee’s intention to mimic an armoured personnel carrier per se.
“If you look closely, the truck’s design was not military camouflage but pictures of the food we sell at Zawara. There are motifs of burgers and churros,” he said when contacted by FMT.
Earlier, Sepang District Police Chief Asst Comm Abdul Aziz Ali said police acted after receiving information from the public about a vehicle with “rocket launchers” being driven around Cyberjaya.
In the 11.30am incident yesterday, two men aged 24 and 28 were arrested and taken to the Cyberjaya police station for further action after police spotted them operating the vehicle along Jalan Semarak Api, near Multimedia University.
The two men were released on police bail yesterday and the case is being investigated under Section 170 of the Penal Code for vehicle modification.
Kamarul Ariff said the fake rocket launchers were used as it signified the “strength” that came from drinking Zawara Coffee.
“That is why we used the phrase ‘take a shot’, referring to espressos,” he added.
According to Kamarul Ariff, the food truck, which had been in use for a month now, was usually parked in Shah Alam and The Curve at Mutiara Damansara.
He said Zawara Coffee bought the decommissioned vehicle from the Armed Forces and its registration had been changed to civilian ownership.
The food truck has now been confiscated and is parked at the Sepang district police headquarters.
Kamarul Ariff added that Zawara Coffee would work on a more appropriate advertising gimmick and possibly consider placing a burger atop the vehicle.
He regretted that the vehicle had caused unnecessary panic at a time when Islamic State (IS) militants were much talked about.
“If the truck is released to us, we will change the colours.”
Following news of the two men detained by police, Facebook user Adli Ismail noted how this incident had turned out to be free promotion for the outlet as the matter had gone viral.
“If there was no missile (launcher) and no camouflage (design), surely it wouldn’t be a problem,” Facebook user Muhd Farhan said on the Zawara Coffee Facebook page.