Monday, September 01, 2014

What is so wrong with being a Penang mamak? - The Rakyat Post August 31, 2014 at 11:39PM

If you have heard about this so-called Malaysian success story in San Francisco, read on. She's probably just another entrepreneur trying to thrive in the competitive food business here; and she has to localize her food (making it less authentic to the Malaysian appetite) just like food vendors of other ethnicity here in the US. Of course she has to exaggerate her "sufferings" in Malaysia, firstly to boost her personal branding, secondly to win some symphathy from the Americans. She has probably received some business advice that those are the ways to go. But I find the following quite perplexing: 1. She claimed that she did well in school but was denied college due to her ethnicity. Yes, Malaysian education system does favour a certain ethnic group. But even if you don't belong to that group but intelligent enough to score well in your exam, you can still make it to a local university. May be not popular faculties like law or medicine but you won't be deny a place completely. 2. She claimed that mamak people could never be successful since they belong to the lower caste. There are many successful lawyers, doctors and politicians in the Mamak community of Malaysia. They are no Hindus hence the caste system is out of questions. 3. This person keeps advertising herself as "rags to riches". Why does she still go around asking for donation to set up her business? I am sure she has enough collateral to get a business loan. 4. She said she had orang utan as a pet. Penang has no orang utan. The list goes on and on. Whoever her PR specialist is, this person seems to have so "successfully" drawn some media attention on her at the expense of Malaysia's reputation. Many Malaysians told me that her food is not great, probably just something pleasing to the Americans. I have no high hope but I wish to try it and be my own judge one day.

via Facebook GEORGE TOWN, July 8: The rags-to-riches tale of a Penang-born woman who shared her success story in running a food stall in the United States of America has drawn the wrong kind of publicity. Her story included episodes of being an ostracised “mamak girl”. Her comments have drawn flak from many Pena…

No comments: