The battle between Malaysia and Singapore is often this: Food. Before the Internet, people debated over this very serious issue: did chicken rice originated from Singapore or Malaysia? Does Malaysia or Singapore have better satay?
Ironically, usually Singaporeans think that Malaysia has good food, and sometimes, Malaysians think that Singapore has got better food. There is no official statistics, nor has anyone done a study (is there a PhD in…food?) about this trivial issue, but I guess this latest news provides some premise for the fifty-year debate.
Apparently, the health minister of Malaysia has said that they are the most obese nation in Southeast Asia. Given the fact that only developed countries have high obesity rate (since less-developed countries strive to just put enough food on the table), and that Singapore and Malaysia are two of the most developed countries in Southeast Asia, it implies this: Malaysians are “fatter” than Singaporeans.
According to Health Minister Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam, about 45% of Malaysian men and almost 50% of Malaysian women are overweight or obese. In comparison, a 2010 survey showed that 40% of Singaporeans are overweight or obese. In other words, Singaporeans are very close to be as “big” as Malaysians—in fact, I believe that if not for NS, we would have been fatter.
Having said that, Singaporeans’ compulsory NS for all male Singaporeans has somehow keep us fitter, compared to Malaysians’ three-month NS for selected people.
But don’t hold your breath, Singaporeans. The last survey done was in 2010. If they conduct the survey now, I think, with the new IPPT system, we could well be fatter than Malaysia. Moreover, I do admit that Malaysia food seem to be slighter better.