How many Cabinet Ministers are like Najib who eat quinoa which is some 23 times more expensive than rice?

Two days ago, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak revealed at a live session on the 2018 Budget at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Bangi that he does not eat rice but eat quinoa, which was introduced by his son, explaining that quinoa was the staple food of the Inca people planted 3,000 years ago – protein-based, has less carbohydrate and less sugar, so better and healthier than rice.

But Najib did not tell the full story – that quinoa is some 23 times more expensive than rice, and that 98 per cent of 30 million Malaysians - which Najib had broken down to Top 20% (T20), Middle 40% (M40) and Bottom 40% (B40%) - simply cannot afford quinoa! Najib belongs to the Super Top 2% (Super T 2%) who can afford and who eat quinoa instead of rice!

I have said that Najib’s revelation reminded me of the Marie Antoinette story of the last Queen of France before the French Revolution in 1789 where she said “Let them eat cake” when she learnt that the peasants had no bread and China’s Emperor Hui of Jin dynasty (290 – 307) who retorted “Why don’t they eat meat?” when told that his people did not have enough rice to eat.

Strangely enough, the Prime Minister’s Office later the same day issued a statement clarifying that Najib was advised by doctors to eat quinoa for his daily nutrition.

The mystery why the Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement contradicting Najib’s revelation earlier on the same day that he ate quinoa instead of rice because it was introduced by his son became clear when it was discovered that his son is in the quinoa import business.

We can read on the Instagram of Najib’s son of his culinary exploits in preparing new quinoa dishes, like the one on “garlic chili quinoz with angus beef”!

I will like to ask how many Cabinet Ministers are like Najib who eat quinoa instead of rice although quinoa is some 23 times more expensive than rice?

Let every Minister clarify whether he or she is emulating Najib in eating quinoa instead of rice.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah