KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (MOTAC) has submitted a nomination for the Malaysian Breakfast Culture to be inscribed in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) List of Intangible Cultural Heritage last March.
Its deputy minister, Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan, said the nomination under the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity highlighted the country’s iconic breakfast food, such as nasi lemak, roti canai, and teh tarik.
“If this nomination is successful, MOTAC is confident that it will further increase Malaysia’s visibility globally, making the country a tourist destination with a wide variety of heritage food,” he said during the question and answer session at the Dewan Rakyat today.
He was responding to a question from Jimmy Puah Wee Tse (PH-Tebrau) about the ministry’s efforts to elevate the status of traditional Malaysian foods so that they are not claimed as the national food of other countries.
Khairul Firdaus said the National Heritage Department had taken the initiative to gazette heritage food in Malaysia under the National Heritage Act 2005 to protect and preserve them from extinction.
“A total of 213 heritage foods from various states and races have been recognised as national heritage under this law,” he said.
In addition, Khairul Firdaus said the ministry had published four books on heritage food, including “Makanan Warisan Hampir Pupus” and “Malaysia Culinary Heritage: The Best Authentic Traditional Recipes”.
He said the ministry also provides grants for any party interested in promoting national heritage food domestically and abroad through certain programmes.