(Hokkien Mee and Laksa with Jojo and Dodo)
It’s about time! I know I haven’t lived in Malaysia long enough to dwell in the presence of heavy rivalry between Singapore and Malaysia but I do know 1 thing. They stole our food…and they do a bad job of stealing it cuz it aint’ that good. Finally we start letting people know where this originated from because its the truth. Our Tourism Minister really grew some balls saying what she said but I’m with her 100%.
â€œWe cannot continue to let other countries hijack our food. Chilli crab is Malaysian. Hainanese chicken rice is Malaysian. We have to lay claim to our food,â€Â Malaysian Tourism Minister Dr Ng Yen YenÂ told reporters after launching the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival yesterday.
The festival, which runs throughout October, is part of the Fabulous Food 1Malaysia campaign. Novemberâ€™s part of the campaign will centre around shopping mall food, while street and heritage food will be the highlight in December.
â€œIn the three months, we will identify certain key dishes (to declare as Malaysian). We have identified laksa â€¦ all types of laksa, nasi lemak and bak kut teh,â€ she said.
When asked how the ministry would go about labelling the dishes Malaysian after identifying them, Dr Ng said she would reveal her strategy at a later stage.
But to be fair to the Singaporeans, their governmentÂ is a marketing machine and they do have to sell something so I guess it was a matter of who says what first. But I think its about time that we finally let the rest of the world know that coming out to Malaysia for food is a must! (Check out 15Malaysia’s Rojak to truly understand what it is about our food that brings us together) Although the food is relatively regional, we must remember that Singapore used to be part of Malaysia until Johorian pirates got rid of it (doh!) and Lee Kwan Yew progressed it to new heights.Â Don’t get me wrong tho – I think Singapore has done amazingly well as a country but when it comes to food. We rock.
THANK YOU TO DR. NG YEN YEN FOR BRINGING OUR BRAGGING RIGHTS BACK TO THIS COUNTRY!
*Edit: I didn’t realize how much controversy this topic would be, but I’m still sticking to my guns about how fabulous our food is. However, I will say that Singapore can take claim to their delicious bamboo clams, mee pok, and roti prata (which has no meaning in Malaysia because we have Roti Canai). Just to re-iterate,Â BKT is from Klang and Hainanese Chicken Rice maybe from Hainan, but Malaysia has a very sweet soya version that Singapore can’t beat. Plus, Hokkien Mee is black, so don’t be fooled by bad imitation!
My suggestion: we should have a taste test of all the “hijacked” foods and blindfold 50 Singaporeans and 50 Malaysians and challenge them which tastes better. Perhaps the bragging rights there would be worth everyone’s while – not who has marketed the food better? Or where it was originated? Or where it is most popular?
I challenge Singaporeans to cross the causeway and not worry about the propaganda tales they’ve been fed about our sex scandals, human trafficking and mat rempit theft (even though its all true). Just come and try the food lah! See what you’re missing out on!! 🙂