Why Malaysian food keeps losing to Singapore internationally
BY ANNE DORALL
OCTOBER 21, 2019
“Singapore ranked the best place for street food!” headlines read, and Malaysians have once again gathered to complain about it.
Much like how Netflix’s documentary on Street Food Asia included Singapore and Indonesia but left out Malaysia, CEO World has also ranked Singapore as the world’s best and conveniently left out the place where all Singapore’s “good” food originated from.
Is it just because Singapore is better-known overseas? Well, in a nutshell: Yes.
It’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows you.
Most Malaysians who have gone overseas understand how rare it is for foreigners to know of Malaysia. Most Malaysians have to explain the country as “south of Thailand, north of Singapore”.
While we know and fiercely protect Malaysia for its food, it’s not the same globally. Further West, the concept of “Southeast Asia” is just as a collection of small countries with yummy food without real identities.
Singapore, however, has been fighting since Day 1 to make its mark on the global stage,
which is probably why they’re so kiasu all the time.