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'Crispy' chicken rendang unites Dr M, Najib against critics

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Arch-enemies Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak found common ground today in hitting out at UK MasterChef judges complaining about a Malaysian favourite - chicken rendang.

Najib, in a Facebook posting, expressed puzzlement over judge Greg Wallace's complaint about expecting chicken rendang with "crispy skin."

"Mana ada orang makan rendang ayam 'crispy'?" (People don't eat crispy chicken rendang)," he tweeted, sharing a photo of a chicken rendang dish.

Mahathir, meanwhile, responded to a tweet by another Masterchef UK judge, John Torode, who questioned the origins of rendang.

"Maybe you are confusing chicken rendang with KFC," the nonagenarian tweeted cheekily, accompanied by a thinking emoji.

The controversy erupted after Kuantan-born contestant Zaleha Kadir Olpin was eliminated from a UK MasterChef contest after the judges did not take a liking to her chicken rendang.

John Torode, an Australian, believed that her chicken rendang was a mistake, while the British Wallace said he expected the chicken to be "crispy."

Malaysians have since taken to Twitter to complain about the judges' lack of knowledge about Asian cuisine.

The controversy even caught the attention of Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, who noted that the dish had united Malaysians.

"It is amusing that foreigners would try to teach Malaysians how to cook their traditional dish," he said, questioning whether it was a case of "whitesplaining."

"Whatever it is, I congratulate Zaleha. I look forward to meeting you one of these days.

"You have succeeded in a way that many of us politicians could not, i.e., to unite Malaysians in the most divisive of times," he said.

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