KUALA LUMPUR — Oct. 25, 2019: Unknown to many, belacan (shrimp paste) diplomacy has been instrumental in a way in strengthening the ties between Malaysia and Singapore.
But this finally comes to be known today when Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah shared the secret of how her home-made sambal belacan was a hit with the late Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.
In a tweet, Tunku Azizah, better known as cheminahsayang at the social media platform, revealed that she was, at one time, the “official supplier” of the paste to Lee.
The Queen still supplies sambal belacan to the republic, with the paste now enjoyed by Lee’s son and current prime minister of the republic Hsien Loong.
“I had long wanted to share this (secret) with Malaysians. I was once the official sambal belacan supplier to the Prime Minister of Singapore … Datuk Lee Kuan Yew … and now supply to his son, PM Lee,” Her Majesty wrote.
Tunku Azizah also shared a photograph of a letter from the older Lee at her Instagram account airtangan_tunkuazizah.
The letter dated July 23, 2009, reads: “The six packets of (sambal) belacan you gave me were delicious. I shared them with my two sons. They have all been consumed. It is the best chilli belacan we have tasted. Can my family have a few more
“Sorry to trouble you over this. It makes so many dishes taste better.”
Tunku Azizah, who had uploaded the picture on May 2 last year, said the letter was most meaningful for her.
“… all because of sambal belacan … I was deeply touched,” Her Majesty said.
The airtangan_tunkuzaizah Instagram account holds a collection of the recipes of Her Majesty, reflecting her popularity as a royal who loves cooking. — Bernama