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Saturday, 18 January 2014

Kangkung just a general example, says PM

Going green: Coffee outlet Artisan Coffee offering a cup of coffee to customers in exchange for kangkung.

Going green: Coffee outlet Artisan Coffee offering a cup of coffee to customers in exchange for kangkung.

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak used kangkung as an example of items which have reduced in price as the vegetable is widely consumed by Malaysians.

“I like to eat kangkung, you all like to eat kangkung. As such, I gave an example which everybody eats. If I use quail as an example, only certain people eat it.

“The example should not be ridiculed by anybody because I gave the example on the principle of supply and demand, which decides the prices of some of the food commodities that are not subject to price controls,” Bernama reported him as saying at a dinner organised by the Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress on Thursday.

Najib said the vegetable was only one example of food items used by the public, which he used in his speech in Kemaman, Terengganu on Jan 12.

Netizens picked up on his remark and the humble vegetable, also known as water spinach, soon became a trending topic as well as the butt of many jokes and gimmicks.

Popular it may be in cyberspace and social media, it isn’t the best selling vegetable despite its cheaper price.

Point of interest: Malaysians making fun of the kangkung comment on T-shirts.

Coffee outlet Artisan Coffee, in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, offered a cup of coffee to customers in exchange for a bundle of the vegetable yesterday.

Some wet markets experienced good sales but at hypermarkets, that was not the case.

A vegetable vendor at the SS2 wet market said his stock of kangkung was sold out in the morning, and confirmed that the price of the vegetable had come down.

“Previously, we charged RM2 per 200g of kangkung. It is now 400g for the same price,” he added.

However, it was a different scenario at the hypermarkets. At the AEON in 1-Utama, piles of kangkung were still available around noon at RM1.20 for 300g.

Housewife Mei Ling, 53, said she preferred other vegetables for her family.

“I do not consume kangkung because it is known to have some health effects.

“It does not matter to me if the price has been reduced,” she said, while adding that she preferred to buy broccoli, cabbages and organic greens.

Another customer, who did not want to be named, said she did not like kangkung because it had a cooling effect.

For Y.P. Ng, 63, a retiree, said kangkung was a very small part of his diet.

“Thus the price drop does not affect me,” he said

Restaurant manager Kelly Ow, 32, said sales of their kangkung belacan dish had not improved despite the drop in the vegetable’s price.

“The dish was not highly popular to start with, and even now many customers prefer other vegetables,” she added.

Tags / Keywords: Government , najib , kangkung , price , joke


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