I have blogged about this and am blogging again about Tourism Minister Yen Yen's views to endorse some local cuisine as ours. It appear again today in The Malay Mail. While we claim Nasi Lemak as our trade mark, according to a top hotel chef, Chef Rahmat Rahmood the claim can "cook up controversy" because it "have little nutritious value and are high on cholesterol".
Malaysia has created uneasiness in Indonesia that lead to the "Sweep Malaysia" claim in Jakarta. This resulted from a National Geographic production about tourism in Malaysia that uses a Balinese dance and "claim" as ours. Then Indons claim that Negaraku that originated from Terang Bulan is also theirs.
As in The Malay Mail verbatim: "Variations of the dishes Ng listed are available in several other Asian nations, particularly Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand and China.
Ethnic Chinese workers who settled here after leaving China a century ago introduced some creations, such as chicken rice, to Malaysia and Singapore.
Chili crab — a recipe of crabs stir-fried in tomato and chili-based sauces — could become a bone of contention. It is often associated with Singapore and is considered the city-State’s unofficial national dish."
We have to do lots of research before we stake claims so that we do not brew another storm that can sever International relationship with other neighbouring nations.
I would like to suggest we dig out our traditional delicacies which is becoming obsolete with modern generations and promote them. If found it is genuine local cuisine, then promote and market. If we can send our cultural troupe to promote our culture oversea, the same can be done with our food in future. We can raise our hat to Thais with their Tomyam, Padprid and Pattayas that spread like wildfire all over Malaysia.
Errr, what about Nasi Dagang?