IPOH, Oct 10 -- “Don’t blow up racial matters, here Malays eat auntie’s fried mee at the stall over there, the Chinese help themselves to ‘sambal belacan’ like it is gravy, the Indians replace ‘tosai’ with ‘roti goyang’,’’ said a worker at a chicken rice stall at the Dataran Datuk Sagor Food Court here.
The worker, who only wanted to be identified as Natasha, 34, said the local residents of numerous races used the food court here as a place to mingle and catch up while enjoying various types of breakfasts and lunches.
While the reporter enjoyed the various dishes for lunch at the number 13 ‘Selera Utara’ food and drink stall, Natasha went on to say that there was no racial gaps or clusters in Malaysia when one touch on food.
‘’Malaysians have the same taste, no difference, all eat curry, the only difference is whether the food or drink is ‘halal’ or ‘haram’.
‘’But sharing a similar taste can form a unity and goodwill among the people of Malaysia,’’ she said when met by Bernama here today.
The food court, which is located along Jalan Datuk Sagor here, is among the popular destinations among the Ipoh City residents other than ‘nasi ganja’ at the Yong Suan Restaurant and New Hollywood Restaurant in Taman canning, here.
The food court, open from Monday to Friday, operational from as early as 6 am until 6 pm, would be thronged with visitors who wanted to enjoy ‘mee kicap’, ‘roti goyang’, ‘nasi lemak’, chicken rice, tosai and the ‘kopi cham’ drink.
Meanwhile, for Ong Chee Hong, 35, who had been working for years at the Ah Ying ‘Roti Goyang’ and Drinks stall belonging to his parents said he regarded all those working at the stalls at the food court like his own siblings.
‘’I enjoy working here other than being able to help my parents. I have many friends and I have regarded them as my brothers and sisters.
‘’One of them is not here today. What I can say is that all (Indians, Chinese, Malays) can get along closely,’’ he said.
At the number 20 stall, the menu, namely, ‘roti goyang’, ‘roti telor’ and ‘roti kaya’ had been available since the time of his grandparents in the 1970s.
For a lawyer, Awtar Singh, 58, who liked ‘roti goyang’ and ‘nasi lemak’, said he frequented the stalls here with his workers.
Awtar, who had three Malay and an Indian staff, said eating together with his workers was already a daily routine for him.
‘’Don’t be influenced by racial issues which are deliberately raised. What is important is that we see for ourselves how all the people, for example, at the food court here, sit and converse, laugh and eat together.
‘’One more import matter is respecting each other. Nothing to lose at all. I have Indian, Malay and Chinese friends. We had our differences but we always make up and are cordial again in a short time,’’ he said.