This article has been updated…
The Human Resource Minister, M Kulasegaran said the government will follow the policy implemented by the Penang government in 2014 to ban foreign cooks in local restaurants.
The Minister said that the restaurant operators will have a 6-month buffer period to start recruiting local cooks as the regulation will be implemented on 1 January 2019. Bernama reported that the Minister believed this would reduce the dependence of local restaurants on foreign labour and the quality of local food would be preserved.
As the saying goes, Malaysians have no chills when it comes to food. Netizens are split over this policy.
Some think that this will increase job opportunities for the locals.
And it will be a great platform for the locals to showcase their talent!
There’s lots of a talented local chef wait for opportunity. Give them a chance
— nathan (@n_puspanathan) June 22, 2018
However, Presma president Ayub Khan said that locals are not willing to take up the job even though the restaurant owners have advertised such job vacancy in the past. Many restaurants have already been facing the problem of manpower shortage all this while. The new policy will further create a major impact on the F&B businesses.
Nevertheless, those who agree with the government’s move say this will reduce crappy chain restaurants where the owners do not care about the quality of the food.
Netizens also expressed their views on the importance of hygiene and cleanliness of the restaurants rather than the identity of the cooks.
Honestly cleanliness is more important to us. If the food served is not of quality, we can just skip the restaurant and find a better one. Enforcement was no where to been seen in cleanliness. The grading system is a joke and no one bothers about it except in high class area.
— DQ (@DQ89685687) June 22, 2018
Twitterjaya has been also flooded with discussions on this issue. Many were wondering if the policy applies to the Korean restaurants, Sushi bar or even 5-star Michelin restaurants.
And what if Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay wants to open up a restaurant in Malaysia?
what if we want Japanese chefs to make our sushi or Italian chefs to cook our pasta/pizza. Isn’t this ban a bit crazy?
— Poopy (@poopybutthole0) June 22, 2018
There are also activists from several NGOs who slammed such policy as racist, discriminatory and xenophobic.
What justifies this?
More jobs for local? (then why cooks specifically?)
More authentic food? (is there evidence locals are better cooks? what about foreign cuisine?)
Sad to say, this is blatant discrimination. Harap Menteri akan pertimbangkan semula. https://t.co/6LzrvO9Lec
— Yu Ren Chung (@renchung) June 22, 2018
Dear white chefs working at 5 star hotels, don’t worry, we only hate brown migrants from the global south–>>Minister: Only local cooks allowed in restaurants https://t.co/YeUr86Z7LI
— Fadiah Nadwa Fikri (@FadiahNadwa) June 22, 2018
If you have no problem with sushi king, you shouldn’t have problem with myanmar char koay teow.
If you insist on authentic Uncle Pagoda’s authentic CKT, maybe you are willing to pay more because the labour economics work differently? That’s basically my argument.
— Stevie Chan, Esq. (@tapaimalaya) June 22, 2018
Most importantly, people are afraid that the price of the food might be hiked up.
YB,with this can we expect that roti canai at an Indian restaurant be priced at Rm 3?I don’t think this would solve the local employment problem as locals as per now don’t want to work in Indian/mamak restaurants.This step is likely to burden the citizens as prices will go up.
— Eshween (@eshween_G) June 22, 2018
Updates: After rounds of bashing by the netizens, the Minister was reported saying that the policy is still being discussed, nothing has been finalised yet.
So are you saying yay or nay to the policy?