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Mar 19, 2008


Nasi kandar sellers hit by boycott

PENANG: Nasi kandar operators are appealing to Penangites not to boycott their outlets, as they had nothing to do with last Friday's street protest at Komtar.

Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Operators Association president K.K. Sihabutheen said some members had complained of poor business following the circulation of an SMS, calling on the people to boycott their stalls after the demonstration.

There are over 250 nasi kandar outlets in Penang alone as the Indian Muslim fare is popular among people of all races here.

Sihabutheen, who is co-director of the homegrown Pelita chain, said it was unfair to spread rumours on nasi kandar operators when they were not even involved in the demonstration.

"We are all very busy with our business, where can we find the time to go to Komtar to protest? Anyway, such an act will not benefit us," he said in an interview.

"I have been told that outlets in Chinese populated areas have reported slow business due to a drop in customers the last few days," he said.

He advised nasi kandar sellers not to panic as he believed the business slowdown was temporary and the people would soon realise there was no truth in the rumour.

Bayan Baru Kassim Mustafa outlet supervisor Ibrahim Majid said his business was not directly affected but many regular customers had shown him the SMS.

“I am surprised why we businessmen are being ‘penalised’ over a political issue we are not even involved in,” he lamented.

Logistics executive Mandeep Singh, 33 said the SMS did not have any effect on him, as he was not easily influenced.

“It will not do anyone good to boycott the food,” said the nasi kandar lover.

Jacky Tan, 40, said he heard about the SMS from a friend but did not receive any such message himself.

“I think it is unnecessary to boycott mamak food. We shouldn’t blame the community for what happened at Komtar,” he added.


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