Sarawak Patriot Association throws support behind ‘bak kut teh’ being named a heritage food

KUCHING, March 3 — Sarawak Patriot Association (SPA) strongly supports the federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing’s initiative of promoting ‘bak kut teh’ to global tourists in making Malaysia better known to the world.

SPA president Datuk John Lau said they welcome such initiative because many of their friends from China, who plan to visit their relatives in Malaysia, would consider ‘bak kut teh’ as a must-try dish during their stay in the country.

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“We see the recent criticism hurled against our federal minister of tourism from Sarawak as being unfounded. Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing is diligently working to boost tourism and attract visitors to Malaysia, which ultimately contributes to the growth of our economy.

“However, there have been dissenting voices internally, particularly from a leader within the Unity Government. We urge that if this leader has nothing constructive to contribute, they should refrain from unnecessary commentary,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Lau also stressed the importance of acknowledging the historical significance of Sabah and Sarawak in the formation of Malaysia.

“Without Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia would not exist.”

In this regard, Lau said leaders in Peninsular Malaysia must demonstrate respect for the cultures and traditions of the people of Sabah and Sarawak.

He also said in Sarawak and Sabah, there were variations of ‘bak kut teh’ such as ‘chit kut teh’ (using chicken instead of pork), as well as those using beef or seafood.

“The term ‘bak’ in Hokkien refers to meat.

“Embracing this diverse culinary heritage is crucial for Malaysia’s renewal and in fostering inclusivity among its people.

“When discussing national heritage, it’s essential to incorporate Sabah and Sarawak; otherwise it only represents the heritage of Peninsular Malaysia,” added Lau. — Borneo Post

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