Najib & Mahathir jump on Crispy Rendang bandwagon because M’sia election fever

How to be part of a conversation.

Sulaiman Daud | April 5, 2018 @ 10:14 am


April 2018 will go down in history as when Rendanggate Scandal, a.k.a. the Crispy Rendang Saga, happened.

Masterchef UK judge says rendang should be crispy. M’sians, S’poreans & Indonesians triggered

As everybody ought to know by now, nothing riles and unites Malaysians (as well as Singaporeans and Indonesians) more than food and a whiff of neo-imperialism.

A diplomatic incident

International disputes have been started over smaller provocations. And the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office must have known this too.

The British High Commissioner to Malaysia quickly put out a response tweet when emotions were running high to make it clear that she was on the Malaysians’ side (with an abundance of hashtags):

Attention hacking

And naturally enough as well, politicians were quick to capitalise by jumping into the conversation by hacking other people’s attention.

Prime Minister Najib Razak tweeted:


“Where do people eat ‘crispy’ chicken rendang?”

And his political opponent, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, had this to say:

It’s about sending a message

It doesn’t matter what was said or memed, because when it comes to a situation like this, you know something is up.

Najib and Mahathir will face off in one of the most bitterly-contested general elections in the upcoming months.

Malaysia’s political drama plays on as 92-year-old former PM Mahathir gets another shot at leading the country

Sniping at a couple of celebrity judges that symbolise former colonial overlords is an easy way to score political points.

On the positive side, it can be said that no matter how divided Malaysia can be during election season, their love of food is the one thing that can unite everyone.

On the negative side, it can be said that Rendanggate is an example of how low politics can rise above.

Or maybe the truth is a bit of both, just like how you can eat nasi lemak either with fried chicken or with rendang.

Top image adapted from Twitter, YouTube and Facebook

About Sulaiman Daud

Sulaiman believes that we can be heroes, if just for one day. His favourite Doctor is Peter Capaldi's Twelve, and he lives according to the teachings of Jürgen Klopp. He also writes about film and pop-culture, which you are very welcome to read here.

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