Vivian Balakrishnan talks durians and gets schooled in the process

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Photo: Facebook / Vivian Balakrishnan

On Sunday, Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan hosted his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono for a breakfast of durian.

In a Facebook post, he shared pictures of their meeting and said, “Minister Kono is no stranger to Singapore, having spent some time living and working here early in his career. In fact, he is an avid durian lover! We decided to make the most of durian season over dessert.”

Hosted Japan Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Kono to breakfast this morning, after the hectic 51st AMM and Related…

Posted by Vivian Balakrishnan on Sunday, 5 August 2018

The two men ate ‘Mao Shan Wang’ durians, and Mr Balakrishnan captioned the photo as, “Minister Kono, a true connoisseur, could even identify the durian as the “Mao Shan Wang” variety once he tasted it, without being told!”

However, in the photo, Minister Kono are the durians with his hands, while Mr Balakrishnan chose to eat it with a spoon.

Minister Kono, a true connoisseur, could even identify the durian as the “Mao Shan Wang” variety once he tasted it, without being told!

Posted by Vivian Balakrishnan on Sunday, 5 August 2018

Netizens who saw this were quick to point it out.

One of them, Bhavan Jaipragas, Asia Correspondent for the South China Morning Post tweeted:

Sigh. I hope the Minister realises that a Singaporean eating a durian with a spoon is as heretical as a New Yorker eating a pizza with a fork and knife. https://t.co/GBXJ8HUwBq

He said, “Sigh. I hope the Minister realises that a Singaporean eating a durian with a spoon is as heretical as a New Yorker eating a pizza with a fork and knife.”

During his meeting with Minister Kono, Mr Balakrishnan “reaffirmed the very close bilateral relationship between Singapore and Japan, which is anchored by multi-faceted areas of cooperation in many fields.

He added, “We also had a good discussion on key regional and global developments of interest to our two countries. I told Foreign Minister Kono that Japan has been a close and valued partner that has contributed to the development of ASEAN countries over the years”.

It seems, local ministers do not have much luck with durians this season!

Singaporeans mock Teo Ser Luck after he disappoints them with tiny durians despite queuing for hours

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obbana@theindependent.sg