S’pore dishes ‘stolen’ from M’sia, says Hero Tai on reality show, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

S’pore dishes ‘stolen’ from M’sia, says Hero Tai on reality show

Maybe he meant it as a joke, or his intention was to be controversial.

Whatever it is, the comments made by Malaysian actor-host Hero Tai Zu Xiong on a Taiwanese reality show probably won’t sit well with most Singaporeans.

“All the Singapore food that you know of are stolen from Malaysia,” said Tai on a recent episode of Students Coming.

The producers of the show had invited guests from both sides of the Causeway to speak about their respective countries.

When it came to Tai’s turn, he said most dishes associated with Singapore such as chicken rice, char kway teow, bak kut teh and nyonya kueh are from Malaysia.

He then asked the Taiwanese guests to list dishes that they thought were from Singapore.

When they told him barley drink, crab dishes and pandan cake, Tai, 37, replied that these were also from his country.

He explained that many of these dishes already existed in Malaysia before Singapore gained independence from the former.

A Singaporean guest then argued that Singapore was helping to “promote” the dishes, calling it a form of “cultural exchange”. Another compatriot then said Malaysia had failed to promote its dishes.

The Taiwanese guests on the show were later treated to both Singaporean and Malaysian versions of bak kut teh, and gave these positive reviews even though they differed in taste and appearance.

Tai wasn’t done being provocative, however. He also made unfavourable comments when talking about famous attractions in Singapore. He labelled all of them “man-made”.

He called Jewel’s Rain Vortex a “man-made fountain”, said Siloso Beach was a “man-made beach” and Gardens by the Bay were “man-made botanic gardens”.

Then pointing towards the Singaporean guests, he said they were “man-made people”.

The Malaysian celebrity, who has been living in Taiwan for 12 years, also gave advice to any would-be visitor to Singapore not to spend too much time in the country. He said three days and two nights were enough.

There’s not much to do, Tai reasoned.

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