Penang invites feedback on the ban of foreign workers cooking hawker stalls

SHAH ALAM, 13 July: The Penang Government has invited the public to provide feedback on the ban for foreign workers to cook at hawker stalls.

The Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, said that this is to ensure that our favourite hawker food remains the same and retains the unique Penang flavour.


He said that this proposed prohibition only applies to foreigners and not Malaysians and only to hawker stalls and not restaurants.

“The Penang state government is jealously protective of our famous Penang hawker food.

“We are concerned at famous foodstalls in other towns and cities in Malaysia being cooked by foreigners leading to a decline in the taste and quality,” he said in a statement.

Lim said that this latest proposal and request for public feedback is an initiative to prevent our unique Penang flavours from “mutating” to a foreign taste if foreign workers are allowed to cook at hawker stalls.

In relation to that, the public and hawkers can give their feedback to the two local councils, the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) and the Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP), who will make announcements on how to collect public feedback.

“Such proposed prohibition is also consistent with the legal rule that hawker stall licenses can only be given to Malaysian citizens and not foreigners.

Recently, Lim proposed to enforce the prohibition which does not apply to those foreign workers who help in serving customers or washing up.

It seeks only to bar foreigners from cooking at local hawker stalls.

However, Lim regrets that some mainstream media has falsely distorted and twisted his suggestion to examples of banning non-Penangites from being a hawker in Penang or “banning those not Hainanese from cooking Hainanese chicken” or that hawkers cannot employ foreigners as helpers.


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