Something fishy about tom yam business


Compiled by C. ARUNO, SIM LEOI LEOI and R. ARAVINTHAN

THE tom yam business is getting increasingly “heated” in the cities with Thai men said to be targeting local women for marriage so that they can easily apply for licence to operate restaurants, reported Harian Metro.

The Malay daily claimed that Thai businessmen, who were actually behind many of the tom yam restaurants mushrooming in the city, had allegedly used the name of their local wives or their in-laws to apply for operating licences.

A tom yam restaurant operator, Ahmad, 36, said the business was being monopolised by Thais.

“They start off as cooks before saving enough money to rent a stall in a restaurant, which doesn’t need a licence to operate.

“This makes many local authorities and customers think that the cooks are probably only restaurant staff whereas they could actually be owning the stalls. They use this ‘formula’ until they can obtain their licence by other means, ” he said.

This, added Ahmad, including looking for local women to marry.

He said the only competition against these Thai tom yam operators were those from Kelantan who had the same culinary skills but they lacked the large capital to operate in Johor Baru.

Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Nur Hisham A. Dahlan said City Hall would not compromise with local operators who leased their licences to Thai businesses.

He said these restaurants must be prepared to be blacklisted.

> Ayda Jebat was quoted as saying in Harian Metro that she was not hoping to get rich from acting.

“I know acting won’t give me a luxurious life as compared to singing. I am acting because of my interest and I am not chasing after money or popularity, ” said the 27-year-old.

Ayda, who got her start in the entertainment business by being a singer, said she hoped to continue acting.

“I am aware of many new artistes now making the industry more competitive. That’s why I am trying my best in acting. I am more focused on improving the quality of my performance, and not merely chasing after popularity, ” she said.

The above articles are compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with a >, it denotes a separate news item.

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