Former Malaysian PM Najib and Chef Wan in war of words over Felda Icon award remarks

Former prime minister Najib Razak questioned if land development authority Felda really needed an icon after celebrity chef Redzuawan Ismail received the award and called on young Malays to work hard.
Former prime minister Najib Razak questioned if land development authority Felda really needed an icon after celebrity chef Redzuawan Ismail received the award and called on young Malays to work hard.PHOTO: CHINA PRESS, BH FILE

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak and celebrity chef Redzuawan Ismail, have launched a "war" on social media over the latter receiving the Felda Icon award.

Better known as Chef Wan, the well-known cook had celebrated the award bestowed upon him by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad with statements calling on young Malays to work hard.

It sparked off several sarcastic tweets by Najib questioning if land development authority Felda really needed an icon.

"You are bound to hear all these unhappy souls bitching behind as in the case of 'Sour Grapes'... You can never please everyone," Chef Wan responded on Monday (July 8), adding that the award will only motivate him to help others.

Najib however continued to train his gun at Chef Wan over a statement allegedly calling Felda settlers "lazy".

"Felda Icon has spoken after being given the title by Pakatan Harapan. He said Felda settlers are lazy and like to marry twice or thrice. After getting married, they reproduce like cats.

"Never mind, he will apologise later, saying he had been once again possessed by the devil," Najib tweeted on Tuesday.

In a series of Instagram posts, Chef Wan rebuked Najib, saying that it is "sad and stupid" that his statement was intentionally twisted to make him look bad in the public eye.

Chef Wan said his "reproduce like cats" comment was meant as a joke.

"Najib should shut his mouth and sing Kris Dayanti's Menghitung Hari (Counting the Days) instead of meddling in my affairs.

"If he is a smart and wise man, he should have read between the lines… rather than jumping to conclusions like the rest and barking at me like a mad dog," Chef Wan said.

He added that during Najib's premiership, the then Rural Development Ministry had also requested him to motivate Felda settlers and bring up issues of "laziness, stealing, cheating, remarrying, drugs, and more".

"I want to ask Najib, if I am a bad person and unsuccessful in my career, why send me to assist him and his ministry," he said, calling Najib a "hypocrite".

This is not the first time the two were at each other's throats.

The war between the famous chef and Najib started in January during the Cameron Highlands by-election when Chef Wan lambasted Najib for boasting about former ruling coalition Barisan Nasional's contributions to Felda.

Chef Wan said he wanted to slap Najib for being disrespectful.

He came under fire for his statement and issued a public apology to Najib over his "coarse language" and anger, but stood by his criticism against BN.