PM Najib and Mahathir agree on one thing at least: Don't mess with Malaysia's rendang!

Contestant Zaleha Kadir Opin's nasi lemak with chicken rendang and prawn sambal dish that got her eliminated from MasterChef UK.
Contestant Zaleha Kadir Opin's nasi lemak with chicken rendang and prawn sambal dish that got her eliminated from MasterChef UK.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/ Z.OLPIN
 Dr Mahathir Mohamad (left) and PM Najib Razak defended the Malaysian chef who was eliminated from the quarter-finals of MasterChef UK.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad (left) and PM Najib Razak defended the Malaysian chef who was eliminated from the quarter-finals of MasterChef UK.PHOTOS: REUTERS, AFP

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A MasterChef UK episode has done the impossible, managing to unite two rival political leaders in defending a Malaysian chef who was eliminated from the quarter-finals of the reality TV show on Monday (April 2).

The judges had criticised chef Zaleha Kadir Olpin's nasi lemak, with one, Gregg Wallace, saying that the chicken rendang that accompanied the main dish was not "crispy enough".

That was enough to rile up most Malaysians, and even the British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Vicki Treadell, pointed out on Twitter that chicken rendang should never be crispy.

Chicken rendang is a dry curry dish where the chicken is stewed in coconut milk and spices until it is tender.

If nothing else, it got Prime Minister Najib Razak and his political nemesis Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the same page: don't mess with our rendang.

"Mana ada orang makan rendang ayam 'crispy'? (Where do people eat chicken rendang that is 'crispy'?)", Najib posted on Twitter and Instagram on Tuesday (April 3).

Meanwhile, former prime minister Dr Mahathir quipped, in response to one of the chefs on Twitter, "Maybe you are confusing rendang chicken with KFC," in reference to the popular fried chicken chain.

Even Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman got in on the act, and congratulated Zaleha for managing to unite Malaysians from all sides of the political divide.

 
 

“You have succeeded in a way that many of us politicians could not, i.e. to unite Malaysians in the most divisive of times,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Malaysia is expected to go to the polls by late April or early May, where Najib will lead the incumbent Barisan Nasional coalition against an opposition alliance led by Dr Mahathir.