BAYAN BARU (PENANG) • As Malaysian election fever heats up, a stall called Uncle Lan'z on Penang island is cooking up a storm by sticking mini flags of various political parties on its nasi lemak burgers and chicken chops.
Stall owner Noor Azlan Arif, 42, said the flags have been a hit with his customers, who would smile and shriek in delight when they see the flag of their favourite party served with their food. The few dissatisfied ones would ask to swop flags.
"I struck upon this idea to commemorate the election as well as promote my food," he told The Straits Times.
He has dished out the first batch of 5,000 flags, and is nearly through with the second batch.
The flags bear the various logos of ruling coalition Barisan Nasional, opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), and parties in the Pakatan Harapan opposition coalition - Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Democratic Action Party, and PAS breakaway party, Parti Amanah Negara.
Mr Azlan's 30 employees paste the flags on toothpicks and jumble them up in a container before randomly picking one to stick on a dish.
"It's just for fun to promote my food. We don't play politics," he said, adding that who he will vote for on May 9 remains a secret.
Next month, Mr Azlan will feature new flags at his stall - those of countries participating in the football World Cup in Russia next month.
Student Emysha Kartika, 16, beamed when the fried noodles she ordered came with a PKR flag. "Yay! I can't vote yet, but at least I got my favourite party," she said.
Mr Azlan said: "When my customers see (the flags), they are happy. They sit at the same table and may like different parties but when the food comes with whatever flag, they just eat. They are being good sports."