Why are Malaysians so engrossed with being gastronationalistic against Singapore, including making belitting, mocking or trashing remarks?
First and foremost, such a thing is subjective. How the food tastes, how it’s prepared, as well as its ingredients. Different places have different variants.
Personally, I love food from almost everywhere in the world; be it from China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Italy, France, Indonesia, India, etc. I’m always open to tasting new foods. In Southeast Asia, there is no ill-will or hostility when talking about cuisine between Singapore and Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, etc. For some reason, when it comes to Malaysia, it becomes a different story.
If you look at Malaysian online pages, news outlets, journalists, etc, there are always constant mocking of Singaporean cuisine, being referred to as shit, overrated, tasteless, horrible, and that everything is superior in Malaysia. It’s an obsessive trope at this point.
Furthermore, when foreigners make remarks of having positive experiences trying out the food in Singapore, there are always a bunch of Malaysians coming in to mock the food. You can find this on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, especially in vlogs. Is the hostility really necessary, with more more pressing issues to dedicate your energy to?
The question is – Why? Why the need to behave this way, especially if such a thing is subjective? If Malaysian food is so good, surely it’s able to stand on its own without resorting to belittling other nations? Singaporeans hardly do this. In fact, Singaporeans praise cuisines from other countries a lot, including from Malaysia.
And we haven’t even gone to the messy topic of the origins of some dishes, with Malaysians constantly claiming that everything was invented there when talking about Singaporean food, as well as with Indonesia and Indonesian food.