Sunday, September 20, 2009

Big Cow...

... seriously think that the Malaysian politicians has nothing better to do.... read the article below:

The Electric New Paper :
M'sia's Crab Grab

Son of woman who invented signature S'pore dish says:
I've never heard anyone talk about M'sian Chilli Crab
Others in S'pore food industry also upset over M'sia staking claim to local favourites
CHILLI crab, Hainanese chicken rice, even laksa: Created in Malaysia, owned by Malaysia, but hijacked by other countries?
By Amanda Yong
19 September 2009

CHILLI crab, Hainanese chicken rice, even laksa: Created in Malaysia, owned by Malaysia, but hijacked by other countries?

Yes, yes and yes, claimed Malaysia's Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen yesterday.


'We cannot continue to let other countries hijack our food,' she was quoted as saying by Malaysian newspaper The Star.

'Chilli crab is Malaysian. Hainanese chicken rice is Malaysian. We have to lay claim to our food.'

She did not specify exactly which countries had 'hijacked' the dishes, though the question must surely be whether chicken rice is to Singapore what tom yum soup is to Thailand.

Previous Singapore newspaper reports have consistently claimed chicken rice to be the unofficial national dish. In other reports, tourists have always associated chilli crab with Singapore.

There are other dishes on the Malaysian government's hit list: 'In the next three months, we will identify certain key dishes (to declare as Malaysian),' said Ms Ng. 'We have identified laksa... all types of laksa, nasi lemak and bak kut teh.'

How the Malaysian government will go about doing this 'is Part Two,' she replied. 'We cannot reveal it yet, but we will let you know soon.'

How Malaysia intends to brand these dishes as Malaysian was of little interest to foodies and chefs The New Paper spoke to yesterday.

Instead their reaction was: 'How can they?'

How can Malaysia claim chilli crab or chicken rice as 'Malaysian?'

'I've never been so shocked in my life,' said Mr Roland Lim, 52, owner of Roland Restaurant, which claims to be the founder of Singapore's famous chilli crab dish.

'Chilli crab has been around for 59 years. Why did they suddenly claim today that it's theirs?'

He said he found out about the claim from his younger brother 'first thing in the morning' when he arrived at his office yesterday.

His brother, who was already very upset, showed him the online news report about the Malaysian claim.

He added that if he and his brother are this bothered by the Malaysian claim, he can't imagine how agitated his 78-year-old mother would be.

His mother, Madam Cher Yam Tian, is the self-professed creator of chilli crab.

That is why he does not dare to tell her the news - at least not yet.

'I better not tell her now. Otherwise, she won't be able to sleep tonight. I'm sure she'll be very upset,' he said.

Time to cool down

He plans to break the news to her today. 'I'll tell her in the morning so she'll have the whole day to cool down,' he said.

His mother claims to have invented the chilli crab dish in 1950.

She has also been acknowledged as its creator in various Singapore newspaper reports.

Mr Lim said: 'One day, she was cooking crabs with some tomato ketchup because my dad loves seafood and he suggested, 'Why not put in some chilli sauce to add spice?'

She did just that. It was an instant hit.

That was when his parents set up an itinerant pushcart 'with only two tables and two stools' next to the beach along East Coast Road, in pre-reclamation Singapore.

This was also right in front of the kampung where their family lived.

Moving around

Without a licence to operate their stall, the couple moved from one location to another, mostly in the eastern part of the island.

It was only in 1956 that they opened a restaurant selling the dish.

Mr Lim and his younger brother have taken over the reins. Together with their wives, they now run the restaurant at Marine Parade.

So riled was Mr Lim by the Malaysian claim that he called The New Paper last night to express his disgust.

'The more I read (about this issue), the angrier I get,' Mr Lim said. 'I better not read anymore, or I won't be able to sleep tonight.'

Singapore's chilli crab is so well-known that tourists from all over the world come to Singapore eager to try the dish, he said.

'Everybody comes here for the chilli crab,' Mr Lim said. 'Whenever I travel to other countries, everyone there talks about Singapore's chilli crab.

'But Malaysia? Till today, I've never heard of anyone talking about Malaysian chilli crab.'

Mr Thian Boon Hua, 55, the general manager of Boon Tong Kee chicken rice, was also miffed.

The founder of the famous chicken rice chain said in Mandarin: 'It's very shameless of them. If they dare to say that Hainanese chicken rice is theirs, then they are very thick-skinned.'

While the chicken rice his restaurants dish out is the Cantonese version, he is more than familiar with the Hainanese variety as he learnt the ropes from Hainanese chefs he hired when he started his business in 1979.

Mr Thian, who is also the President of the Singapore Restaurant Merchants Association, is even able to delve into the history of the much-loved dish, from its origins in China to its introduction in Singapore.

Hainanese chicken rice is not simply a dish, but a cultural product that the Hainanese from Hainan island in China brought along with them when they migrated to Malaya, which included Singapore at the time, he said.

He said: 'Singapore and Malaysia used to be one family. It's like you and I share the same father, but when he dies and leaves behind an inheritance, who does it belong to? Is it yours or is it mine?

Culinary icon

Hainanese chicken rice is available everywhere in Singapore. And it was in Singapore that the dish was improved on to become the iconic culinary item it is today, Mr Thian said.

But, he added: 'If they are really so thick-skinned to claim Hainanese chicken rice as theirs, then there's no point arguing with them.

'But if you ask me, the real one (Hainanese chicken rice) is in Singapore.'


1950: Madam Cher cooks some crabs with ketchup, chilli sauce and other condiments for her husband. It tastes so good, she starts selling it from a pushcart

1956: They set up a beachfront stall at Upper East Coast Road

1963: The Lims open a restaurant 514 Upper East Coast Road. They call it Palm Beach restaurant

1984: They sell restaurant to another seafood chain and leave to live in semi-retirement in New Zealand

2000: Madam Cher's son, Roland Lim, opens Roland Restaurant in S'pore. Madam Cher comes back to help him.

seriously, Ms Politician, you got nothing better to do but to stir things up ah? my honest opinion in all these, since i've worked in Singapore before is, whether Hainanese Chicken Rice or Chili Crab is Malaysian or Singaporean, who really give a flying fuck? As far as i m concern, Singaporean food / tastebud is waaaaay different from Malaysian and i find them both equally good. Whether Malaysian or Singaporean. I think chili crab and chicken rice is Chinese food, be it Malaysian Chinese or Singaporean chinese. Harlow, u never study history ah? Singapore used to be part of Malaysia leh... so Singaporean hawker food sure got share similiarities with Malaysia one what... how would you feel if suddenly Singapore decided to claim Nasi Kandar as Singaporean food as opposed to Penang Food? stupid, right? can u fucking stop wasting our taxpayer's money and do something useful instead???

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