Netizens draft 'extensive itinerary' for Obama

Grand welcome: An LED billboard has been put up in Putrajaya in conjunction with Obama’s visit to Malaysia.

PETALING JAYA - Helpful netizens are coming up with unique Malaysian experiences for Barack Obama that include visiting places of worship and orang asli villages, and sampling local delicacies during his two-night stay in the country.

In response to The Star Online's queries on the most ideal Malaysian offerings for the 44th US president, readers submitted a torrent of food recommendations that featured perennial favourites like Penang char kuay teow, roti canai, assam laksa, cendol, nasi kerabu, bak kut teh, teh tarik and nasi lemak.

For a more adventurous treat, Facebook users Mohd Syafiq Jabaruddin, Larry Fong and Indran Balavishnu encouraged the US leader to try the king of fruits.

Fizzi Fahmi proposed: "Let him try durian, petai, jering (both petai and jering are stinky beans), budu (fermented fish sauce), cencaluk (fermented shrimp) and sambal belacan."

For a true enjoyment of Malaysia's sights and sounds, Samaneri Paramacari drafted an extensive itinerary that included visiting orang asli settlements, the Baba Nyonya community and stilted houses by the sea.

Samaneri also suggested that Obama watched Dondang Sayang and wayang kulit performances, play gasing (top spinning) and view fireflies in Kuala Selangor.

Netizens also suggested that the President made a stopover at the different religious houses for a first-hand look at the country's multi-faith make-up.

"Visit areas where mosques, temples and churches are situated nearby. Show him how we Malaysians maintain peace together with so many races," suggested Jimmy Yap.

"Go to Batu Caves and walk all the way up the steps and say 'hi' to the monkeys up there - can you imagine the US Secret Service agents shooing away the monkeys?" said user Anna Maria Alphonse-Weinzapfel.

Sayed Ali Hassan would like to see the President visit hot tourist destination like Pulau Langkawi while Prakas recommended the must-visit Chinatown in Petaling Street and Little India in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.

Jacinta Chong, meanwhile, suggested a game of congkak while Atan Asroy would like to invite Obama for a round of guli (marbles).

Many also insisted that the US chief executive visited Bornean states on his inaugural Malaysian trip.

"Bring Obama to places across Malaysia that show its religious and racial diversity. Bring him to Sarawak and Sabah as well," said Roy Gregory.

At the very least, Obama ought to take a leaf out of Datuk Shah Rukh Khan's book and don some traditional wear, some said.

"Like the full Iban warrior attire," said Siti Khatijah Othman.

"Wear our Baju Melayu. He would look stunning - Hang Tuah-style," said Siti Fatimah Ahmad Ariffin.