Nasi lemak ‘babi’ vendors experience upsurge in demand following recent controversies

AFTER the recent furore surrounding non-halal versions of national faves such as nasi lemak, there has been an upsurge in business as local foodies seek out these vendors.

This can be seen as interest shown in posts in foodie sites such as The Makan Club on Facebook which boasts close to 70,000 members.

A recent post by member Calvin Wong highlighting the delicious pork rendang at a stall called Tok Pork got tongues wagging – and presumably, tummies rumbling.

“Initially, I thought it’s just a hyped up nasi lemak but when my friend told me that it’s constant sold out, it got me intrigued. The pork rendang is really tender because of the pork fat and sambal is tasty, too, along with the fried shallots,” reported the foodie. “It’s a good plate of non-halal nasi lemak.”

Although nothing new in Malaysia, the issue was given fresh impetus when PRESMA (the Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association) president Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan seemingly took offence to this practice of cross-culinary fusion.

He has had to make a climb down as municipal authorities and even religious spokespersons saw nothing wrong with vendor’s business which clearly stated it served non-halal food.

The upshot of all this silliness, though, was a huge and very welcome injection of custom (for Pumbaa Nasi Kandar and Nasi lemak stall.

As seen from the recent upsurge in interest in nasi lemak with pork side dishes, it appears non-Muslim foodies have been jolted into action.

By highlighting popular vendors on social media and joining the ever-growing queues, they are fighting for the right to enjoy their fave non-halal dishes.

These incidents are nothing but thinly-veiled attacks on multi-culturalism and diversity. And the foodies have responded in the best way they know – by supporting these outlets serving non-halal version of Malaysian dishes. – Nov 17, 2023

Pics credit: Tok Pork Facebook page

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