Let's put 'rendang crispy' in the past, says British High Commissioner

Veena Babulal

KUALA LUMPUR: The infectious Hari Raya spirit has spread to the British High Commission with its mission head in Malaysia taking to social media to call people to come together and celebrate while leaving past mistakes behind. Clad in a red baju kebaya nyonya complete with a silver, traditional kerongsang (chunky brooch), Vicki Treadell recited a poem in Malay calling for mutual forgiveness. “Let’s forgive each other for mistakes made. Including the crispy rendang episode,” she said in a video message, while drawing on the intercontinental row on social media over what constitutes an authentic rendition of the Southeast Asian chicken dish.The issue unfolded a few months ago when Masterchef UK judges claimed that Malaysian-born Zaleha Kadir Olpin's chicken rendang did not have the required "crispy" skin. This sparked heavy criticism from Malaysians, Singaporeans and Indonesians roasting judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace. Interestingly enough, rendang, be it beef or chicken is a must have during Hari Raya in Malaysia. It is eaten with clumps of warm rice called ketupat or nasi himpit during the special occasion as well as warm rice cooked in bamboo called lemang. After Treadell's eight line poem, the video continues with the mission’s staff gathering and digging in together in traditional Malay finery before they indulged in selfies and wefies. The Hari Raya jingle Sebulan sudah berpuasa (It’s been a month of fasting) is also played in the background. And at the end of the video the crooner of the melodious acapella song is identified as Aidiel, the high commission's security guard.

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