September 26, 2008 Categories: News
When Seputeh member of Parliament Teresa Kok had allegedly described the food served to her during her detention under the ISA as “slightly better than dog food”, she could not have predicted the firestorm it would spark off.
Kok’s comments drew numerous postings on her blog (teresakok.com) from Malaysians who recounted their own experiences at having to survive on meagre meals.
Below are excerpts of the postings.
Did you know that while I was growing up 30 years ago, that was the meal that my grandmother packed for me?
You get to eat eggs and yet you complain. Have you ever thought about those who can’t even afford a decent meal and need to share one egg with the whole family?
There are families who sleep on the earth, not even on cement with cardboard. Rather than taking our taxpayers’ money to upgrade jail facilities, please give it to the needy, not criminals.
This is not a matter of the ISA food being bad. The statement you made sounded as though you were insulting those who are used to eating hard-boiled eggs. Maybe your life has been easier, always able to eat good food, so it is easy for you to link what the less privileged usually eat to dog food.
I was truly saddened by your statement. Dog food or not, whether you realise or not, that is the main course for a large number of Malaysians, not just for weeks but years.
Never mind the food, because nobody has died of starvation in our cells. Of course, we have to provide a decent meal to the detainees and prisoners. There must be international standards regarding this and we have to comply with these standards. The fact that you got two eggs, some curry and something else is far better than many poor Malaysians can afford. Right now, there are many people in the kampung who do not eat as well as this. Even my own sister-in-law is earning RM400 monthly working in a factory and eats plain rice with watery sardine curry every day. So, you have indirectly insulted perhaps one million Malaysians who would love to eat what you got during your detention.
● Think Tank:
The meal fed to you is what many Malaysians, myself included, are eating right now, and you mirrored it to dog food. Don’t forget that we are your voters.