M’sians Salty That M’sia is Left Out of Netflix New Series Asian Street Food

Netflix has been brewing up a storm in recent years.

From its early days of DVD sales and rentals by mail, it has since morphed into a global giant intent on changing the cinematic and movie landscape.

Closer to home though, Netflix has apparently hit a nerve with our neighbours up North.

Malaysia that is.

Netflix’s Street Food Asia

According to MalayMail, Malaysian Twitter users were less than impressed when Netflix debuted a trailer for their new culinary series Street Food Asia.

In this 1 min 34 sec trailer, this new series debuting on April 26 promises to showcase the best of Asian street food culture, featuring food from Thailand, India, South Korean Indonesia, Vietnam,  Taiwan,  Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and Singapore.

In what seems to be a glaring omission, Malaysia wasn’t mentioned and is presumably a non-feature in this series.

Malaysian foodies were quick to take up arms and voice their displeasure online.


Some sounded the alarm in clear exasperation.

One netizen took issue with the country’s tourism ministry and questioned if it was doing its job.

Others asked if Netflix knew of the country that was Malaysia.

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However, a more common theme among the comments was an incessant reference to Singapore.

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Malaysia Vs Singapore’s Food

The animosity competitiveness that is apparent between Singapore and Malaysia when it comes to food (among other things) is a mainstay in our bilateral relations.

In 2009, then-Tourism Minister, Ng Yen Yen, laid claim to signature dishes such as nasi lemak (fragrant coconut milk rice), laksa (spicy soup noodles) and bak kut teh (pork ribs herbal soup).


He was quoted as saying: “We cannot continue to let other countries hijack our food. Chilli crab is Malaysian. Hainanese chicken rice is Malaysian”.

This drew the ire of Cher Yam Tian, who stated that she was the inventor of the chilli crab in 1959.

In January and February 2019, both CNN and BBC came under fire from Malaysians when they linked Chendol and Yu Sheng respectively to Singapore, instead of Malaysia.


More monumentally though, is Singapore’s recent bid for the “island’s rich hawker culture… for inscription into Unesco’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.

According to The Straits Times:  “If the bid is successful, Singapore’s hawker culture will join the likes of Malaysia’s Mak Yong theatre from Kelantan, Indonesia’s batik and India’s yoga on the world stage. Started in 2008, the list which has about 400 elements, sets out to demonstrate the diversity of world heritage and ensure its protection.”


Understandably, this too drew a uproarious response from Malaysians, which was even reported by The New York Times.

One can only imagine the cacophony if Singapore’s Unesco is successful.

Ear plugs, anyone?

**All images from seewhatsnext unless otherwise stated.


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