Anthony Loke remembers his grandfather who ‘invented’ Yee Sang

TRANSPORT Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook went viral today on social media after sharing the story of how his grandfather, Loke Ching Fatt, popularised the famous Yee Sang dish.

It is a tradition during Chinese New Year in Malaysia for people to toss their food together in hopes of a more prosperous new year.

According to SCMP, Loke’s grandfather emigrated from China to Malaya in the 1920s and established a catering business in Seremban. He added Yee Sang to his menu in the 1940s, and it quickly became a hit among the Chinese community.

The Loke family home was often crowded with customers, with queues stretching out onto the street. Ching Fatt’s recipe was passed down to Loke’s father, Loke Chee Chow, who opened a restaurant in 1974.

On Twitter, a netizen disclosed the fact that this tradition is strictly a Malaysian and Singaporean one. This practise is not found in China.

The original poster @adrianlimcheeen replied when asked if it is true that it is a Malaysian tradition:

He stated that Chinese people in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Indonesia do not indulge in Yee Sang during Chinese New Year. They don’t even know what Yee Sang is. It is a Malaysian thing, as Malays, Chinese, Indians, and other ethnic groups know what it is.

Twitter user @annethum__ stated:

When translated, she said that it is good to read positive information like this. It might make one ponder on whether their ancestors created a dish recipe before that became popularised. However, it is sad that Malaysians are not interested in the historical importance of our food, we only prioritise eating the dishes.

Meanwhile,  Twitter user @katrinabianca75 commented:

Another netizen @JoeReds23 said:

He meant that Anthony Loke in the picture posted by the original poster makes him look like a Hong Kong movie star. He went on to add that this would be more apparent if he were slightly leaner and had longer hair. — Jan 21, 2023

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