Malaysians take to Facebook to comment on Singapore's 'hawker culture' move

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 21 Aug 2018

Patrons at Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre, one of about 110 hawker centres here. Hawker culture was selected for nomination as it has shaped the Singaporean identity in many ways, say the organisations fronting the bid.ST FILE PHOTO

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians have taken to Facebook to question Singapore's move to push its hawker culture on Unesco's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

These Malaysians include Facebook user Sarimah Samad-Imran, who questioned if Singapore would stop at claiming "nasi lemak and curry laksa as their own".

"Apparently they continuing to claim “hawkers” as their culture too? I guess soon enough everything under the sun would be their food and culture," she wrote.

Similar views were shared by another Facebook user, Hamzah Hashim.

"I went to a Ramadan Bazaar in Singapore last year. It is a joke. Overpriced with a lack of traditional food and too much hipster food," he commented.

Chris Whata posted a similar comment, saying that South East Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam have a more authentic hawker culture.

"In terms of hawker food, I think Thailand and Indonesia are the most vibrant ones," Fikri Hasim added.

Other Facebook users, like  Roy Yuen, Shahrain Mohamad and  Khoo ChunKheng said Penang food is the best.

User Qui An said Penangites should instead lobby for their state for "Asia's best food destination and a heritage site for authentic Asian cuisine."

Other Facebook users like Steven Ngai said that the "the table reserved with tissue paper is very unique"

Noel Solomon Ponniah agreed with the statement, adding that it is "such a cultured practice" while  Harivin Krishnan said that this practice is the "only heritage the Singapore food court has".

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said in his speech during the Republic's National Day Rally on Sunday (Aug19) that it will be nominating its hawker culture for Unesco's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Lee said Singapore's hawker centres were its "community dining rooms" and are a unique part of the country's heritage and identity.

He added that while Singapore Botanic Gardens' inscription as a Unesco World Heritage site in 2015 as a proud moment for the country, putting Singapore's hawker culture on the list of intangible cultural heritage will "help to safeguard and promote this unique culture for future generations".

The post on The Star Online's Facebook page had over 330 likes, over 80 comments and has been shared 42 times as of Tuesday (Aug 21) morning.

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