Last Saturday, Klang MP and Wanita MCA deputy chairman Dr Tan Yee Kew led a group of community leaders
to a feast of bah kut teh to prove there
is no reason to fear a belly-up eating
A few days later, it was MCA
vice-president Datuk Chua Jui
Meng's turn to lend his stomach.
The Health Minister ate several
pieces of roasted pork to prove
that the publicity over the spread
of JE had gone overboard.
The DAP obviously found it difficult to stomach Chua's bravado. On Tuesday,
its leaders turned up in full
force for their bah kut teh feast after
party secretary-general Lim Kit Siang
had announced a “Save Bah Kut Teh''
“We have seen a roasted tiger in
Kelantan, dead pigs in Seremban
and now a dead dugong in Johor.
We should demand a Commission of
Inquiry,'' one DAP supporter demanded.
With the “Save Bah Kut Teh'' campaign,
he reasoned, the DAP would be able to
impress upon the Chinese community the
party's seriousness in fighting for their interest.
The MCA, he grunted, had been too slow
in responding to the needs of the pig
Call it pork-barrel politics or
whatever, the MCA is not amused
by the DAP antics either. Its supporters claim the DAP is capable only of snorting.
“The only thing they are good at is
sowing hatred for the government,'' one member said.
Both parties are saying they are no
push-overs and certainly no easy meat,
as far as the JE issue is
Said a bah kut teh eating academician: “It's a hot issue for both these Chinese-based parties.
“They want to prove they are still
lean. They are eager because of the next
A veteran journalist, however, said the
JE issue should not be politicised as it was a health problem.
“Let's keep our sanity. Lives and
livelihood are at stake here. The
DAP should not piggy-back on the
issue to gain votes.
“It's simply distasteful. There is
nothing rib-tickling at all.
“The farmers must not lose their income
and their children should be able to
continue putting money into their piggy banks,''
For consumers, many seem to have
chickened out, shunning bah kut teh for
“We would rather eat chickens now,
although it's less fleshy. I know some
of us are over-reacting but we would
rather wait and see,'' one confessed.
Pig farmers are understandably concerned
over what has been happening and they have demanded quick and effective help from the Government.
“We are merely demanding justice. If the authorities don't help, they will be meat balls come election,'' one
He also warned the press, especially those from the vernacular papers, to check their facts first.
“We are disappointed with some members
of the media who exaggerate the issue.''
But over in the Land Below The Wind, Sabahans
have continued to have their bah kut teh
with little hesitation.
Said a regular eater: “It's a semenanjung problem lah. There's no JE problem here. We are only interested in state issues.
“We are not concerned about dead pigs.
We're sorry to hear about your dugong
but we only want to talk about kataks
“When the election results are out,
we'll know how the kataks performed. That's the only thing brewing here beside my bah kut teh.''
Bah kut teh or whatever, politics must
be put aside sometimes. Or else
over-eager politicians, irrespective of their political affiliations, may find
themselves in hot soup.