Thursday, March 30, 2006


Let's not write about why they called it brainstorming, or analyze the connection between storm and brain, or what does storm got to do with brain, or what good will the brain do to the storm, or why brain it with a storm since the whole thing won't amount to anything to win you a Mitsubishi Storm. (You can rap this if you are good speaking very fast likeyoucansayastringofsentenceinlessthanasecond.)

Whatever it is, I gotta storm for a brain to understand this whole thing about a guy from Putrajaya, a Terengganu native, who paid RM45.00 for gulai ikan aye nasi dagang. According to reports coming in daily for as long as this whole thing is still newsworthy until the newspaper editor says enough is enough, the guy wanted to buy it so bad that he was willing to pay whatever amount Makcik Ngah put the price on her famous gulai which she has been selling since 1961. I wasn't even born yet when she got into business and that's how long she has been in this nasi dagang business that I have nothing but salute salute salute for Trengganu women, famed for their business acumen. I know, I was raised by Grandma and Aunt. By Michelin restaurant standard, she is fully qualified to charge whatever amount she wants for her gulai, taking into account her 45 years experience, skill, and creativity. And so this guy bought the gulai for RM45.00. He was fully aware of how much it would cost him. He was told before he handed over the money. And he went home and told everyone that he was being overcharged by Makcik Ngah.

Makcik Ngah got so worried and has been under a lot of stress. You would too if you were 70 years old and have to deal with a platoon of pegawai from some important government department in charge of price. They came in a convoy of Pajero, swooping down on Makcik Ngah's stall like a SWAT team, probably frisked the poor Makcik in the process. They also took away the gulai, probably to analyze it in their CSI lab. I won't be surprised if these goons acted like a bunch of CIA agents looking for a suicide bomber hiding in a nasi dagang stall. According to the newspaper report today in the Star, they are going to charge Makcik Ngah in court for not displaying the price of her famous gulai. She may go to jail, or pay a fine. Or both.

This is history as far as nasi dagang Trengganu is concerned involving a 70 grandmother who has been selling this dish for 45 years. All because a guy in Putrajaya thought RM45.00 is too much for gulai nasi dagang. Of course he didn't mention that Makcik Ngah gave him isi ikan and telur ikan as well. Next time if you figure a dish is too expensive, do the society a favor, don't buy.

At the moment I have only one theory. The guy from Putrajaya has had enough of being a city folk, what with rising cost in everything brought on by the 30 sen petrol hike. So he decided to leave the city and go into nasi dagang business. The only way he can position his business for a good start is to get rid of Makcik Ngah. And so he cooked up this RM45.00 story to set the government machinery in action, doing the dirty job for him. Being in Putrajaya has the advantage with connections all over the precincts.

Too bad, dude. Your plan backfired. Makcik Ngah was on front page in the Star today. She shares the headline news with Abdullah Badawi 'Get Cracking', but if you look carefully, the editor didn't carry the picture of the PM but instead, ran a quarter page, large sized picture of Makcik Ngah. Now THAT is excellent mileage as far advertising goes. Since the Star is also ONLINE, the world now knows that nasi dagang Trengganu is a delicacy, very much like gourmet food featured in travel magazines and travel channel, the kind Ian is good at. Or Anthony or Flyod. I think Trengganu government owes Makcik Ngah something. She deserves a medal, man.

I don't know the moral of this whole affair. I am still trying to storm for a brain, or brain for a storm so I can win meself a Mitsubishi Storm. Fat chance.


Blogger Queen Of The House said...

How big was the fish head? I don't know much about the price of ikan tongkol (lately almost all the fish I got is free courtesy of KOTH and my brothers-in-law who are fishing kakis), but we have paid RM35-45 for fishhead curry from the nasi kandar mamaks ..... the fish heads would cost about one third or a quarter of that at Giant or Tesco or whatever. But if you're a curry lover and can't cook like the mamak (or Makcik Ngah) you wouldn't mind paying. I think.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Noni said...


toksah lah go storming for a brain or braining for a storm... sesilap kena panah petir kanggg!!!

1:55 PM  
Blogger A Babe Of Very Little Brain said...

can't help you there. don't have much of a brain to begin with.

and thanks to media reports, now i know ikan tongkol is tuna.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Nobee said...

Moral of the story...

Pi masuk dapur masak sendiri.

Mannnn....dah agree on the price, dah kenyang, baru nak complain. Sheeesh!

I just hope our learned representatives will not debate on this in Parliament since they have this penchant for discussing un-Perliamentary issues in Parliament...Hehehe!

3:11 PM  
Blogger Nekbat said...

I, for one, am going to look for Mak Ngah stall the next time I drive home. Must look up where Chendering is now.

4:14 PM  
Blogger mommy@lif said...

mmg terkejut baca newspaper pasal nasi dagang tu.. memula rasa mahal tapi kalau Makcik Ngah letak telur & isis dia sekali mmg worth it la kot! i pon tak follow news lepas tu he he

aahh nasi dagang ganung mmg DA BEST. ikan fresh ..***drool

4:43 PM  
Blogger Arena said...

dunnow lah whether it's too exorbitant or not the price tu. Ikan tongkol or best known in Terengganu as ikan Aye, is cheap. Agak mahallah makcik tu kenakan bayaran. Anyway, the guy could always, leave and try to find it elsewhere.

** sedapnya nasi dagang kalau kuah tu ada belimbing besi tu lagi best..

5:39 PM  
Blogger spanker said...

First time here. U're not bad at writing. I kept reading, at least. Hehe. Well, I came from Terengganu myself. Did u know that ikan tongkol is RM6 per kilo?

But the guy was foolish for paying and made a big fuss out of it only later. Maybe he was trying to potray himself as a superhero.

Keep on writing dude.

2:34 PM  
Blogger pu1pu3 said...

Anyway the news today says that Makcik kena bayar denda RM1000 or face being prison in 2 weeks time.
I think all this was blown out of proportion and you are right. She gets mention. Doesn't matter whether its bad publicity or not, yang penting it was publicity.Pure and simple.

3:02 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

QOTH: Poor Makcik Ngah

Noni: Will remember that, ma'am.

Xaviera: That's right we the Trennganu people have been eating tuna since time immemorial, to some high-class people, tongkol a.k.a tuna is a low-class fish.

Nobee: I agree on that parliament bit. You are right. Those goons are quick to let their talent shines talking about non-issue. Such imagination works in this country if you plan on being a politician as your choice career. LOL.

Spanker: Welcome, sir. Good to have you here. Come often, mate.

Nekbat: Will do too, ma'am.

Alif's Mommy: You've got it right there, ma'am.

Arena: Belimbing besi is also popular in Acheh cooking. They called it asam sunti. There's a dish using this with ikan tenggiri. Awsome.

Pu1Pu3: Yes, I saw the picture of that 70 year old lady, crying. It makes me really really mad for that guy that I feel like hunting him down for doing something like that to an old lady.

To everyone who came in, thank you.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Sayuti said...

nice read.

9:25 PM  

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