#Rendangate: Crispy or Original?

Crispy or Original? A question we often heard when we ordered our favourite 2-piece chicken meal at KFC.

But for Malaysians this week, they confirm (plus chop) will go for “original”. In case you are wondering WTF we are going with this, yes, we are referring to the #rendanggate – the trending topic over the week in Malaysia, and even in Indonesia and Singapore.

If you have purposely or accidentally imposed a ‘communications stop order’ on yourself, then ok lor, we bo bian have to give you the TL;DR version of the origin of #rendanggate. Here goes:

MasterChef UK judges John Torode and Greeg Wallace have pissed off Malaysians after their decision to kick out (sounded like something Malaysians have done in 1965) Malaysian-born contestant Zaleha Kadir Olpin. She had prepared Nasi Lemak with chicken Rendang during competition, and the Ang Moh judges have kaobei-ed that her chicken Rendang was “not crispy enough”.

There is a saying, never criticise your wife, your mother-in-law, and the Malaysians and their food – ok lah, the last one was made up by us. But you get the idea, right?

You know #rendanggate is a ‘nation issue’ when the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak weighed in on his social media to question, “who eats crispy rendang ayam”. Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir also tweeted, “maybe you (the judges) are confusing rendang chicken with KFC”. What a rare sight – they finally agreed on something!

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Netizens and organisations have also taken to the social media to show their support for their favourite dish, and poking fun at “crispy Rendang”. Here are some of the classics:





Who would expect a little piece of Ayam would be the key ingredient that unites Malaysians, especially when their upcoming General Election (GE) is likely to divide the nation.

This #rendanggate episode drives home one important message – don’t “play” with food, as mothers have always said. In #rendanggate, it has become an issue of national pride.

Actually hor, we think that MasterChef is kinda suay, especially in this region. Remember, they have earlier pissed off Singaporeans when they decided to air MasterChef Singapore in Mandarin on Channel 8. Luckily, they ka-belakang pu-sing, and will now film the cooking show in English and air it on Channel 5. Of course lah, we are a multi-racial society leh – don’t ever try to play race and religion here.

We shall see if MasterChef Singapore would be Singaporeans’ cup of Teh. Don’t come and anyhow say our chicken rice or laksa hor. Meanwhile, we just need to sit back, relax, and enjoy the “crispy” episode of #rendanggate over the Causeway.

P.S. Writing this makes me hungry sia. I shall pop by KFC later for 2-piece chicken meal.