Last Sunday, my dutch friend Michael invited me to an event at Mandarin Oriental in downtown KL. It was unsuprisingly glamorous, and the food served were scrumptious. One food that I really enjoyed was the beef and chicken Satay, especially with the hotel's very special spicy peanut sauce. Naturally, I went to Michael and recommended him to try some of it. I was shocked by his reply.
The famous satay...not from Malaysia?
"Oh the sate? Yeah I've tried it. We have it back in my country too...almost everywhere!" Michael replied.
I was stunned by his in-depth knowledge about satay.
According to Michael, Satay or sate is originated from Indonesia, specially Javanese, where
spread out across Indonesia. It was brought back to Europe by Dutch
during colonialism era. Over there, it is commonly made of beef, chicken with spicy
peanut sauce and some other ingredients (which I couldn't remember). Sate can be found almost everywhere in Holland, in their restaurants and supermarkets.
"Oh no wonder la..." I awkwardly replied.
It got me thinking. Most of us Malaysians believe that Satay is one of our unique national dishes, invented here in our soil; but we were wrong.
Satay in Bali, Indonesia
So what is Satay? And where does it come from?
According to some websites, Satay is a shish kebab style dish (what, kebab?! ) that
has long been popular in Southeast Asia, particulary in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. It is most frequently
associated with Thai food, where satay
made from cubes of beef, chicken, or lamb may be dipped in a traditional
peanut relish or sauce.
Some say that it was invented in Thailand, while Michael and some of the websites (including wikipedia) says it was originated from Indonesia. Food historians are not certain if satay was first introduced in Indonesia or in Southeast Asia. Now, several countries in Southeast
Asia, like Malaysia, Singapore absorb this as local cuisine with
slightly different ingredient. Regardless of origin, all satay are praised by fans as delicious dishes.
In Malaysia, Satay comes in many forms, vary from culture and location. For most Klang Valley folks, the Satay Kajang was insanely famous back in the day, and many still visit Kajang for this very special delicacy. It was one of my childhood memories where my parents used to bring me there all the way from PJ just for dinner. Apart from the usual chicken and beef satay, I've also tried the rabbit and some other stuff that I don't really fancy. The satay, nasi pulut, the special wrappings....oh the childhood days.
That is Malay satay for me. As for chinese satay, or 'Lok-lok' in general understanding, is also a well received delicacy all over the country. The sate lok-lok in Penang, or the Satay Celup lok-lok in Malacca. The special thing about these lok-lok and celups are the fusion of hotpot and satay. You can also eat it with the peanut sause if hotpot isn't you 'thing'. Halal or non-halal? See who's the onwer lah!
That's all I know about Satay, and I bet there are plently more out there. What about you?
I have been visiting bookstores lately to pick up new books
to read……………well, not exactly.
I was actually looking around on how to spend the RM200 book
voucher, courtesy of our caring government. I was planning to buy research
books for my thesis purposes, then I came across with a funny-titled book, HONK! If you're Malaysian (Haha I know right, it sounds really familiar)
I know right?
In this book, author Lydia Teh wrote essays of typical Malaysian tales with a
twist of hilarious Malaysian infamous
traits and anecdotes.
In one chapter, Lydia highlighted the fact of Malaysians
being overly generous despite being thrifty and kiasu. Sounds very contradicting? Let's see. Example, we would find an alternative route to escape the ridiculous highway toll, or to skimp on
RM1 parking fees, even with the risk of getting a hefty fine. But when ‘you’re-short-of-funds-for-a-life-saving-operation’
or ‘you’re-so-poor-you-can’t-afford-to-buy-milk-powder’, caring Malaysians will
donate their hard-earned money without any hesitation. Even when there are rampant
fraud and syndicate cases out in the streets nowadays, we Malaysians will still put the money in the hat for those who’re in need.
At the end of the chapter, Lydia concluded that ‘despite those
rotten apples, the basket of
Malaysian generosity still overflows. If our tourism ministry wants to revamp
its “Malaysia, truly Asia” tagline, they should consider “Malaysia, truly
Indeed, being generous is one of our good traits, but
where the fishes are, there the bait will be; ugly Malaysians would abuse this virtuous
fact for personal gains.
And what are the reasons for Malaysians to really give their
money despite being stingy? Is it really out from sincerity? Or it is just merely ‘for
"Violence has come to KFC stores near you....watch out! "
"Sudah kata ayam habis, apa lu mau lagi? "
I'm sure everyone knows about the latest internet viral hit - the KFC assault incident (If you haven't watch the video, just click play on the video above). A lot of people expressed their views and picked their side of justice. Certainly, almost everyone gave the sympathy vote to the victim who got assaulted for complaining on the outlet's incompetency, and there were some people who put the blame on the victim who allegedly uttered racial slurs when expressing frustration towards the employee. No matter who's the culprit here, this is not how the incident should have ended. Furthermore, this is not the first time KFC got dragged down into deep-water by its goon-like employees.
Amidst the rising tension of the chicken saga, one particular post in Facebook has caught my attention immediately. For a moment I doubted the genuinity of it, its validity has been confirmed with evidence on the newsfeed itself. Here it is:
I was bewildered with the 'amaran' issued by the Firdaus fella. Who is he to issue the warning? Does he even thought of the magnitude of his 'amaran' before posting it up on Facebook? I don't think so. And has KFC, a GLC owned by J-Corp (Johore state governmentt's Investment arm) taken any action on the incident? Minta maaf pun tak reti kah? Apatah lagi nak buat siasatan ni? Incompetency is the best word to describe the whole damn company, from top to bottom.
Of course, orang buat jahat tak semestinya kita kena ikut juga, we should all reject extremism and fight back with wisdom. These hooligans will eventually retreat if their wisdom is truly tested. Extremism has officially penetrated into the Malaysian society. Scary?
Familiar with the 'First world infrastructure, Third world mentality' phrase?
What do you think?
PS: Actually I wanted to write about something else, dah penat nak tulis pasal extremism ni...thanks to the Firdaus fella la!
As you can see from the screenshot above, The JKMM Facebook page had announced a Happy Thaipusam, but to Buddhists
instead of Hindus. Almost immediately, this controversy has caught the attention of irate Malaysians who wrote
on the page, accusing the JKMM of being cultural insensitive, or just being plain stupid.
From what I see, this was just an unfortunate and embarrasing statement written in good will, perhaps one should be well educated with the subject before writing a statement like that. Let us forgive and learn from each other mistakes, and celebrate our differences as our diversity, our identity; the Malaysian identity.
Tak perlulah nak incite racial tension on this auscipious day. Peace!
Note: You can also view the article at the Malaysian Insider here!
This will be a quick post, was just thinking about it while trying to get some sleep (insomnia la tu). For your information, this is not a political post, so please don't get all tense up if the content does not please your ears.
Dato' Ibrahim Ali giving out white angpau's. (pic from here)
In some cases, it was just plain dumb, 'bila curi ayam tinggal tapak kaki pula'...you get my point. Of course, that was not the only case going on recently, but I would not go on to discuss on that; I believe we all have been well 'entertained' with news about cow's and pig's heads. In conclusion, we have been bombarded with dramas of one against another to the
extreme in every aspect almost every day.
My point is the culture of extremism as a result of the clashes between the left and right wings of ideologies and agendas is growing; this is not good at all! Is this
the culture that we really want? Can't we all just bertolak-ansur, receive the good and relinquish the bad, live in peace and harmony like our parents did in the past 50 years? Kalau ada clash in ideologies pun, we
can (should) all sit down and debate like adults. Moreover, that is
how people should behave in a democratic society in the first place.
How would our children behave next time when now they have been exposed with
things like this?
Is this what we really want for our children?
On the other hand, our PM Datuk Seri
Najib Razak has called for voice of moderation; have we take notice of that? Why would he organise a platform for everyone to be moderate, and more
importantly, reject extremism?
Like father like son, our future generation will
deteriorate further if we are incapable of doing the right thing. I believe that's
not what Malaysia is all about, and hopefully will never be.
Ah done writing, I should get some sleep. Happy Thaipusam to all Hindu brothers and sisters!
Thank you readers and friends for the support of this blog, we have now over 100+ views since yesterday! Do comment and express your views and opinions on the topic discussed, or anything about our beloved country!
Stay tune with us as we will be discussing on the originality of our music scene; and is art a subversion tool of Power in Malaysia?
In the mean time, enjoy the video titled "Shit you won't hear in Malaysia" :D
The below excerpt is taken from The Sun : What They Say by Zainon Ahmad. The nature of our national language Bahasa Melayu/Malaysia (in dispute in the following conversation) was discussed in a casual conversation among a few friends and their teacher.
What do you think?
" CHONG: Sometimes I wonder whether the language we use is Bahasa Melayu or Bahasa Malaysia. Or is it the case of "what’s in a name"? After all they mean the same language. Can we use the name interchangeably, my friends? Azman: What is bothering you Chong? Of course they are the same. Chong: Confusing lah! On Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak when speaking at a function billed as the International Bahasa Melayu Public Speaking Competition said that the government is gearing up to promote Bahasa Melayu as a cultural and civilization element to the world.
Azman: What’s so confusing? Bahasa Melayu or Malay refers to the language or the lingua franca of the Malay world, which is much of Southeast Asia. Mohan: So the PM was referring to the language and culture of the Malay world. But shouldn’t Indonesia be promoting it. After all isn’t it the biggest component of the Malay world? Azman: Well, you got me there. Chong: Anyway the New Straits Times report on Saturday referred to the language as Bahasa Melayu. It’s correct I suppose. In the Malay Mail it was Bahasa Malaysia. In the English version of the Bernama report it is Bahasa Malaysia but in the Bahasa Malaysia version it is Bahasa Melayu.
Azman: Is that so? Sulok: Yes, I read all the reports and it is as Chong said. All the Malay papers said Bahasa Melayu. I didn’t see The Star on Saturday. Wonder whether it used Bahasa Malaysia or Bahasa Melayu. Mohan: Anyway if you guys are diverting to discussing our national language, Article 152 of our Constitution says "The national language shall be the Malay language …" And then in 1963 the National Language Act was passed which states among other things that it is the language for all official communication. The Act has been amended many times but basically it is still the same. Since the passing of the Act we called our national language Bahasa Kebangsaan. Sulok: Ya, that’s right. I remember we used to have Bahasa Kebangsaan week and Bahasa Kebangsaan month. We had all kinds of competition to promote the use of Bahasa Kebangsaan, essay writing, speech making and so on. And there is even a song. All for the purpose to make the language acceptable as a national language to the people of Sabah and Sarawak as well. Chong: And then it became Bahasa Malaysia. Somebody told me why it was appropriate for the language to be called Bahasa Malaysia. Cikgu? Zain: Indeed it was appropriate. No one objected. It was a language to unite all the people of Malaysia. After all it was already the lingua franca of the people in the country even before Merdeka or Malaysia Day. So to call it Bahasa Malaysia was most appropriate. Chong: Malay was also the language or lingua franca of the region even before the coming of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. Zain: Yes. And in its various forms, Malay was the lingua franca of the Indonesian archipelago. Such that when that country became independent it adopted it as its national language but called it Bahasa Indonesia. It could have made the language of the most dominant and numerous people, the Javanese, the national language but it didn’t as it was not the lingua franca throughout the archipelago. Chong: That’s it, that’s it. I remember now. Malay is the language of the Malay archipelago which includes Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and even the Philippines. Indonesia adopted it as its national language and called it Bahasa Indonesia. So when Malaysia adopted it as its national language it was appropriate to call it Bahasa Malaysia. Am I doing OK, Cikgu? Zain: You’re doing fine. Sulok: I think things changed when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim became education minister in 1986. Right, Cikgu? Zain: Right. Bahasa Melayu came back into use. First, the language subjects were renamed Bahasa Melayu and subsequently wider usage of the name in other areas outside schools. Of course those used to the term Bahasa Malaysia continued to do so. Others were a little confused like Chong is confused now. Mohan: But I thought it was changed back to Bahasa Malaysia sometime ago. Zain: In April 2007, the cabinet unanimously endorsed changing the name back to Bahasa Malaysia. Then Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin announced it on June 3, 2007 saying that it was appropriate as the language belonged to all Malaysians. Mohan: Yes, I remember. I also remember many Malaysians cheered him for that statement. Chong: OK, that’s settled then. To me that’s more important than promoting wider use of Bahasa Melayu in the world."
(Note: the nature of the conversation might be altered to be politically biased as "things changed when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim became education minister in 1986", and the revert of name to Bahasa Malaysia was received 'positively', as depicted in the following conversation. )
Hi, my name is Tan Sian Hoo (the guy in the picture).
And no, I do not like to write blogs, and I'm not even good at writing; but I'll give it a try anyway.
This blog is created to archive notes and interesting articles that are related with culture development and nation building; a platform of information on our culture and society reality, pieces of puzzle of success stories on building a civilised and harmony society.
Our beloved country has its unique, yet complex multi-diversed culture and society; some are good, and some are bad. Unfortunately, we are lacking in certain aspects that might leave us stucked in the "third-world paradigm".
With adequate research, information, and discussions, I hope this blog would serve as a 'blueprint' for our culture development and nation building.