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Monday, January 13, 2014

PM: Save money, eat Kangkung

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's use of the humble water spinach or kangkung to explain why the government should not be blamed for the volatility of food prices has drawn ridicule on social media.

At an event in Kemaman yesterday, an irate sounding Najib explained that vegetable and fish prices at times increase due to factors out of government control, such as bad weather.

"There are times when the price of vegetables, sawi (mustard green) and kangkung goes up and there are times it comes down.

"I read in the newspaper that some prices have come down. Kangkung prices once went up and now it is down.

"When the prices come down, why are there no praises for the government? When it goes up, the government gets the blame.

"This is unfair because (such issues are determined by) the weather condition," he said, during his off-the-cuff speech.

Save money, eat kangkung

The premier's use of this ubiquitous and cheap vegetable as an example has become the fodder for jokes on Facebook and Twitter.

A number of images depicting Najib's speech in a humorous way are in circulation on Facebook along with links to a video recording of the speech.

On Twitter, Najib's speech has been met with sarcasm and jokes about how grateful the public is for cheaper kangkung.

"Money that I save from buying kangkung can be used to pay tax, petrol and student loans," said Twitter user petypalter

Similarly, Twitter user LittleHantu wrote: "Marie Antoinette when told French were mad said 'Let them eat cakes!' In Malaysia, it's 'Let them eat kangkung!'"

What did the foxes say?

Even PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim got in the act wit this tweet: "During konfrontasi, the government mocked Sukarno for eating jagung (corn). Now, Malaysians are told to eat kangkung. LOL."

However, BN politicians do not seem amused with the constant flow of jokes online and have asked Twitter users cut it out.

"No need to make a fuss over kangkung. The premier was using it as an example to show that not everything had gone up in price. Those that went up were caused by the weather, among other factors. Be a bit more rational," he wrote on Twitter.

As for Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang, true to form, blamed the kangkung debacle on Pakatan Rakyat.

"What's the fuss over the PM using kangkung as an example? It is a famous local vegetable. No need to stir lah Pakatan. Go goreng (stir it up) elsewhere," he wrote.

Malaysiakini

3 comments:

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