Penang Government To Ban Foreign Cook On Street Food

GEORGE TOWN, July 12 (Bernama) -- The DAP-led Penang government will implement a ban on foreign workers to work as the main cook in the hawker food business in order to protect the food heritage.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the hawker licences were only given to the locals but the local council had found out that there were a few hawkers who employed foreigners as their main cook.

He said the local council was currently gathering feedback from the public relating to the matter and the implementation could be as soon as early next year.

"We are considering to revoke their hawker licences if they were found to engage foreigners to work as their main cook but we need to get public feedback before we proceed with the implementation," he told reporters here today.

According to research conducted by the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP), there were over 119 foreign workers working as cooks in the 68 hawker centres in Penang Island.

Lim said Penang was famous for its hawker food and all its food must have the local taste instead of foreigners cooking with their respective foreign taste.

"It defeats the purpose of approving the hawker licence only for the locals if the hawkers employed foreigners as their main cook," he said.

He also reminded the hawkers to only employ foreigners as their kitchen helper, waiter or waitress and not as the main cook.

"We will take into consideration the public's need before proceeding with the implementation," he said.

Over 68 hawker centres were screened during the research, with the majority of the hawker stalls operated by foreigners in Bayan Baru, Relau, Jelutong and Tanjung Tokong.


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