Amazing that a bowl of, admittedly, hot soup, could nearly land Malaysia into political hot soup across the border!
Thai military-appointed PM Surayud Chulanont had earlier (on Tuesday) claimed on that a network of Tom Yam Kung restaurants in Malaysia was the funding source for the southern militants.
Tom Yam Kung (or sometimes spelt ‘Tom Yum Goong’) is a hot (fiery) sour Thai soup which is a favourite of mine. Apart from chillie paste in the soup, it has fresh chilli padi (cabai burung or Mexican chillies) floating in it as well. Lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves (daun lima purut) are must's.
The ‘Kung’ or ‘Goong’ stands for prawns. One could have ‘Kai’ or chicken in it too.
The Thai PM’s accusation that our Tom Yum Goong restaurants are fund raisers for Thai insurgents nearly became a diplomatic row between our two countries, but Surayud Chulanont called AAB to calm the situation down.
Surayud told reporters here Thursday that AAB agreed with him that the issue would not affect the relationship between neighbours. And they weren’t going to discuss the issue through the press, undoubtedly much to the chagrin of reporters.
Surayud asked the press for cooperation and not to ask about the issue, which is akin to him striking 1st prize in the Malaysian 4-D draw.
Meanwhile, in damage control, an association representing Thai restaurant owners in Malaysia had said that the Pattani United Liberation Organisation (Pulo) used to extort money from its members to fund their separatist activities in southern Thai but had stopped it now.
Pulo is of course the insurgent group composed of ethnic Malays in the southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat seeking independence from Thailand.
Just imagine, you could be supporting Pulo’s armed insurgency in southern Thailand whenever you slurped a bowl of Tom Yum Goong (or Kai)! And if you do it too earnestly (slurping) you could land yourself into hot soup.
Viva la prik kinu (chilli padi)!
Other Soupy Stuff:
(1) Scary Soups!
(2) Secret Soup!
(3) Secret Soup! (2)