- The New Paper
192 students suffered diarrhoea and vomiting after eating spoiled nasi lemak at this year’s Malay Dignity Congress.
The event, which called for Malays’ special constitutional rights to be protected, was attended mostly by Malay undergraduates.
During the event, congress secretariat head Zainal Kling made a controversial speech claiming Malaysia belonged to Malays.
He said those against Malay-Muslim rights should have their citizenship suspended.
Netizens made jokes about the food poisoning incident on social media, calling it “an omen”, “karma”, and “divine disapproval”.
This year’s Malay Dignity Congress has become the butt of jokes on social media, after 192 undergraduates came down with diarrhoea and vomiting from eating contaminated nasi lemak served at the event.
Selangor’s health department dispatched an emergency team to the event, and the victims were subsequently admitted to nearby hospitals, Bernama reported health director Khalid Ibrahim as saying on Sunday (Oct 6).
According to Khalid, 27 students were in semi-critical condition, and 91 were in stable condition, Bernama said in a separate report.
The congress, which took place on Oct 6, was organised by four pro-Malay universities: Universiti Malaya, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Universiti Putra Malaysia, and Universiti Teknologi Mara.
Most of the 10,000 or so attendees were Malay undergraduates, The Straits Times (ST) said.
Hadir menyampaikan amanat di Kongres Maruah Melayu, di Stadium Malawati pagi tadi.
Saya yakin orang Melayu akan berjaya jika kita gunakan peluang yang ada dengan baik, bekerja dengan baik dan mampu keluarkan barang pengguna, maka dari itu tiada siapa boleh jatuhkan maruah kita. pic.twitter.com/aGES2SH7UY
— Dr Mahathir Mohamad (@chedetofficial) October 6, 2019
The pro-Malay event discussed issues faced by the community, including a controversial speech by congress secretariat head Zainal Kling claiming Malaysia belonged to Malays alone, ST reported.
He added that non-Malay citizens should have their citizenship suspended if special Malay-Muslim rights were challenged, and those who opposed Islam as the official religion should be “fought against”, Malay Mail reported.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad also spoke at the event, calling for Malays to stop demanding Government help and reclaim their dignity by working “dirty, dangerous and difficult” jobs that migrants accepted and then built careers on, Malay Mail said in a separate report.
According to the report, the PM claimed he did not hear Zainal’s comments.
Nevertheless, netizens quickly zeroed in on the situational irony of the food poisoning incident.
Where is the dignity in eating rotten food? Now the only dignity left is in the jamban.
— Bukan Main (@BukanMainx) October 6, 2019
Hahaha. Food also cannot manage inikan maruah 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
— citizen (@citizenmalaysia) October 6, 2019
Some said that despite lobbying for more Malay special treatment, organisers couldn’t even get simple event catering right.
Perfect demonstration of competency by those who don’t like to compete fairly.
— Philosopher Stoned (@wlooi) October 6, 2019
Several speculated that the food could have gone bad after being left out for too long, attributing the bacteria to the dish’s coconut rice, while others said the incident was “karma”, and “an omen” from the heavens.
“This must be the work of a dignified Malay caterer,” one netizen wrote sarcastically. “Or a sign that God is angry.”
DIVINE DISAPPROVAL ?
— andrew2911 (@andrew29112) October 6, 2019
Karma. Funny how God work sometimes. But it’s good. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
— kem (@kem90741704) October 6, 2019
Its an omen
— Min_Sharmini (@dearsham) October 6, 2019
Some even made jokes that the episode had marred the reputation of nasi lemak, an iconic Malay recipe considered Malaysia’s unofficial national dish.