Bak kut teh's recognition nothing to do with race, religion, says Tiong

KUALA LUMPUR: The recognition of bak kut teh as a national heritage dish has nothing to do with religion or race, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said bak kut teh has been around for a long time and that there were both halal and non-halal versions of the dish.

"(It) does not involve issues of race or religion," he said when debating the royal address.

Tiong appealed to all parties to respect Malaysia's diversity and preserve the unity between its people of different races and religions.

"I feel that there is no need to talk about the matter extensively as there is already a lot of debate about it on social media," he said.

Tiong also shared a news report on Pas serving halal bak kut teh while campaigning for a by-election in 2018.

"Pas also served the dish once. They prepared the dish back in 2018," he said after some opposition members of Parliament criticised him.

In February this year, bak kut teh, a traditional Chinese soup boiled with meat, herbs, and spices, was recognised as a national heritage dish.

Bak is the Hokkien word for meat but typically, bak kut teh is made with pork. However, there are also halal versions of the dish in which pork is replaced with chicken and fish.

The recognition of bak kut teh as a national heritage dish was criticised by some parties including Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh who said it was insensitive to Muslims.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories