Damning with faint praise? Adding insult to injury?
Malaysians are not happy with CNN these days at all. CNN included local sweet treat cendol in its latest list of ‘50 of the world’s best desserts,’ published just a few days ago. But the news site attributed cendol’s origins to Singapore and not Malaysia.
While cendol can be found in different places across South East Asia, the caption in CNN’s article says Singapore’s “take on the classic treat remains especially tempting.”
This has led Malaysia’s netizens to voice their disagreement on social media, from the flat-out and simple setting-the-record-straight tweets, to registering offense, to outrage, and to challenging the writer of the piece.
Netizens responded to an article about the CNN list on the Malay Mail, some lightheartedly
and others with more seriousness.
One netizen pointed to other “Singaporean dishes” that supposedly originated from Malaysia.
Others tried to settle the matter by saying that the dessert is from neither Singapore nor Malaysia, but actually from Indonesia
Others joked that it the matter now needed international mediation.
The origins of the delicious desert are not certain, and it’s true that neighboring countries share many aspects of culture, including food. But iFood helpfully reposted that the word cendol first made an appearance in a project developing a Malaysian concordance way back in 1932.
But it seems like it’s all in good fun, at least, so far. As writer Amin Ashaari says, “Here’s the thing CNN…If cendol is from Singapore then why is the sugar used in Cendol called gula Melaka? Explain that CNN.”