HAWKER stalls in Penang will soon have ‘Tagline Penang Street Food’ stickers on them to indicate that the delicacy served by that particular stall is prepared by a local.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said this was part of the effort to elevate the status of the Penang local fare, which is one of the state government’s initiative to preserve, protect and promote local food as a tourism product in Penang.
“We want the Penang brand and the originality to be maintained, so we have to ensure that the food has to be cooked by Penangites or Malaysians.
“It is our hope that Penang will be known for having the best food in the world.
“In a recent survey that we conducted, a total of 12,952 respondents or 87.45% agreed that Penang hawker food has to be cooked by locals while the remaining 1,858 respondents or 12.44% disagreed,” he said before launching the ‘Tagline Penang Street Food’ at the Gurney Drive hawker centre on Sunday night.
The survey also saw the respondents choosing the famous local delights which have to be prepared by locals - asam laksa, char koay teow, loh bak, hokkien mee, curry mee, wan than mee, pasembor, chee cheong fun, mee sotong, char koay kak, oh chien, koay teow thng and nasi lemak.
Lim said Penang was a favourite tourist hotspot because of its hawker food and the state government wanted to ensure that the taste was maintained.
“There is nothing discriminatory about barring foreign workers from cooking at hawker stalls because hawker licences are granted for lower-income Malaysians and are supposed to be owner-operated.
“This ruling does not bar foreigners from owning restaurants nor preventing foreign workers from cooking in restaurants.
“There is an expectation when you eat the famous Penang street food, it should be cooked by locals,” he said.