Malaysian makes intense appeal to CNN to fix “poor journalism” about chendol; drags Singapore too

With our alliance against the Brits over crispy rendang shattered, Malaysians and Indonesians have been up in arms slamming American broadcasters CNN for saying that chendol from Singapore is the best in the region — good enough to appear on its listicle compiling the world’s best desserts.

One Malaysian lady was so disturbed by this that she actually wrote a long, impassioned message to CNN, accusing them of “poor journalism”. But we’ll come back to her later.

While the general Singaporean population had nothing to do with influencing CNN’s conclusion (we thought their opinion was wrong anyway; everyone knows Malacca or Penang has the best chendol), it didn’t stop our neighbors from dragging us too. Their main source of contention stems from years of having their native dishes appropriated and credited to Singapore as its origin. In this case, folks be frothing at the mouth that CNN said that chendol is a Singaporean dish.


But if they actually read the article, CNN never did state that chendol is a Singaporean delicacy. In fact, it was acknowledged that versions of the dessert can be found throughout Southeast Asia, but the writer prefers Singapore’s take on it due to the additional element of sweetened red beans.

CNN website screengrab

Enter Chow Ping, a proud Malaysian patriot and chendol champion. Particularly aggrieved that CNN dared to even associate the icy treat with Singapore, she patted herself on the back for sending a Facebook message to the broadcasters, urging them to correct their “terribly inaccurate” and “horrendous” statements. Hats off to her we suppose for feeling strongly about the issue, but damn girl, chill.

Some highlights of her rant:

  • “Please learn that to call chendol Singaporean is no different from saying that apple pie is Malaysian. One might find apple pies in Malaysia, but that does not make it a Malaysian dish.”
  • “Kindly note that chendol is NOT a Singaporean dish. It is a Malaysian dessert. Some would argue that it’s Indonesian, and even that is more accurate than the horrendous claim that Singapore owns the dish”
  • “Of course, Singapore may convince you otherwise, mostly in the confines of beautifully decorated boardrooms.”
  • “…I understand that to err is human.”
  • “…as long as this mistake is properly rectified, you will not be held accountable, even if it screams poor journalism.”

Some folks tried to show her the light.

Alas, it’s people like Ping who have no chill at that will continue to entertain us on the internet. Take the folks who totally had the joke fly over their heads and were offended by this image by A Better World By Memes.

This article, Malaysian makes intense appeal to CNN to fix “poor journalism” about chendol; drags Singapore too, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. For more Coconuts stories, you can download our app, sign up for our newsletters, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.