Aida Azimah showing the ingredients used in the soup
KUCHING: A shopping mall here uploaded a video just to show that "we are a pork-free establishment."
The video by The Spring Shopping Mall showed how the bakso soup was made at its food bazaar.
“This is to clarify that the food bazaar does not serve pork,” said Aida Azimah Mohd Abas, the mall’s advertising and promotions manager.
“We are a pork-free establishment and we will continue to do so. The image, widely spread online, is actually of beef bones.
"As you can see, beef bones are one of the main ingredients boiled together to make the authentic Indonesian soup,” she said.
The video showed the cooking process, starting from scratch until the finished product. The video was uplouded on Friday on YouTube and is featured on the mall’s Facebook page.
The Sarawak Islamic Religious Department (Jais) on Thursday carried out checks at the food court following the publication of a photograph showing a portion of the Bakso Soup, with a caption that questioned whether it was pork.
The Jais check around 3pm was conducted with cooperation from the state Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry.
According to an Utusan Malaysia report published Friday, the stall owners, Niluh Ayu Ari Mulyandari, who is Indonesian, and her husband Chan Chze Jit, a local, were “shocked” by the check but gave their co-operation.
“There is no pork in our food. We adhere strictly to the mall’s requirement that no pork be used,” Niluh Ayu was quoted as saying.
The mall, in a public statement on Friday, said it was “extremely concerned” over the false allegations.
It said under its lease agreement with food stall operations, clause 39 specifically states: “Tenants are not allowed to sell, keep or consume any pork, wine, alcohol liquor or intoxicating beverage or food at the stall.”
At the mall’s Facebook page, the public posted generally kind words towards The Spring’s quick response.
“So far the Spring mall in Kuching in my opinion is one of the most organised and responsible mall we have, and issues like this won’t go unnoticed,” wrote Faizin Zainudin.
“Well done. As with everything, handled with class. Not only were rumours clarified, but at the same time, I believe the publicity has swiftly been made from bad to good. Great job,” posted Charles Liew.
The Spring Shopping Mall is one of Sarawak’s best established shopping malls.
It is also known for organising the annual Live Active Run, a half-marathon distance event which has attracted thousands of participants since 2012.