'Yes' to ban on foreigners cooking street food

PETALING JAYA - Most hawkers and coffee shop owners in the Klang Valley are generally in favour of Penang's ban on foreigners cooking its famed street food.

These eatery owners here feel the authenticity and flavour of Malaysian food is somehow impacted for the worse when foreign cooks are used en masse.

Kuala Lumpur-based Penangite Ang Igor said Malaysian food, especially from Penang, is a cultural heritage which should be protected.

"Tourists come for authentic food and get disappointed! Foreign workers don't know the real taste - they just cook because they're instructed to do it!" said the 31-year-old stall owner.

Former hotel chef Mohamad Hardy Sharman Datuk Samsuddin said that he thought the ban was a good idea.

"We should maintain the Malaysian flavour," said Mohamad Hardy, 31, who is now running a stall that concentrates on prawn dishes.

However, all of them acknowledged that keeping to the "Malaysian-only" philosophy will mean encountering staffing problems down the road as they all admitted that younger Malaysians are not willing to work as hawkers.