Najib’s kangkung speech hints of burden of rising food prices


Najib’s by now famous kangkung speech is the latest sign that the burden on the rakyat of rising food prices cannot be ignored by political leaders any longer.

Najib was quoted as saying:

There are times when the price of vegetables, sawi (mustard green) and kangkung goes up and there are times it comes down.

I read in the newspaper that some prices have come down. Kangkung price once went up and now it is down.

When the prices come down, why are there no praises for the government? When it goes up, the government gets the blame.

This is unfair because (such issues are determined by) the weather conditions.

Najib’s speech has moved the headlines back to the rising food prices which for a while had been – and some believe, intentionally – dislodged by the flurry of protests over the Allah controversy immediately after the Barang Naik rally on New Year’s Eve, which was attended by some 10000 people.

The Allah controversy has not stopped though: now Abim’s secretary-general has jumped into the fray with his own contribution to the debate.

While all these learned folks fall over themselves arguing over how we should refer to the divine – and in the process, religious freedom is infringed, the rakyat are having a tough time coping with rising food prices.

Why are food prices rising?

  • Property development and cash-crop plantation have gobbled up land, farms and orchards that could have been used to boost food production.
  • We are now heavily dependent on Cameron Highlands for our vegetable supply. Limited domestic sources of supply combined with rising public demand = higher vegetable prices.
  • We are also heavily dependent on fruit and vegetable imports from USA, China, Australia, South Africa, India and Spain. The further away the source of supply, the more vulnerable we are to transport and fuel costs. In the case of food imports, we are also exposed to forex rates, supply constraints in the source countries, and changing global weather patterns.
  • The burden is exacerbated by the relatively low incomes of many Malaysians, many of them are increasingly indebted and are unable to cope with the overall higher cost of living.

Just a thought: Do they serve kangkung on private jet planes?

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Agricultural technology or know-how is dead in Malaysia the moment University Pertanian is dissolved in the process of shifting focus towards industrialization. Umno wants its people (especially the malays) to abandon the ‘pertanian’ thinking that may inhibit their competitiveness in the business and corporate world. Look what has happened now – we have to rely on foreign labor (legal or illegal) to grow food for us! Badawi tried to u-turn the situation with the desperate ‘Pertanian itu Perniagaan’ call but the malays are no longer able to ‘banting tulang’ to work in farms, prefer to be given jobs in civil… Read more »


I am not interested about Abdul razak “frugal” propaganda. Bolehland has a bad track record of publishing auditing report about what happen in prime minister office. Money doesn’t growth on tree. And about “imported more expensive”. Anil should get the facts carefully. Country like USA ,Canada,etc are agriculture powerhouse. With technology and agriculture subsidies, country like USA can produce cheaper flour than low tech, labour intensive country. Check out the price of Malaysia flour, wheat is NEVER a staple plant here, all wheat flour is imported. Though under subsidies Typical flour is still ridiculous cheap compare to rice. So at… Read more »


Malaysia needs an honest to goodness STATESMAN to run the country. Not a pathetic specimen of a Kangkong politician.


As a Catholic I am really ashamed of the stupidity of that Catholic priest’s remark on “Allah” just when everyone’s hot on the rising prices of EVERYTHING ! Why bring up the “Allah” matter when the rakyat’s attention is on the rapid rising prices ? I seriously suspect that that Catholic priest is WORKING for BN – and he purposely brought up the “Allah” matter so that BN will have a chance to divert the attention of the Rakyat away from what is important. Regarding the “Allah” issue, we already know what has been happening over the past few *YEARS*,… Read more »


Catholic, i think i share your view.

To me, if matters pertaining to God, then, let He alone handle the matter. Why want to join hands with BN to fight over the name of God?

When the surau was demolished in Johore because the monks used the surau to pray. I tell you it was such humiliation and insulting but the Buddhist’s leadership they just kept quiet…

Therefore, it gives no chance to BN to politicise … That is wisdom i suppose.

Don Anamalai

As a cost cutting measure, McDonald’s is said to be substituting lettuce (more expensive) in its burgers with Kangkung (cheaper), thanks to Jibby’s suggestion. What’s next?




The prices that you reduce are so cheap at 10-20 cents.And,how do you think we should appreciate the government?I will only appreciate whenever the plaza tolls have been deceased and the prices of oil to be reduced.That’s final.Until then,Malaysia needs a better politician than your face

Awang Selamat Ori

Must be Lim Guan Eng’s efforts to bring the price of kangkung down? Where is Yang?


All this while I thought we only had Prof. Kangkung in this country, now
we also have PM Kangkung.

Ini banyak besar punya kemaluan!


its really an insult to the intelligence of the masses with his kangkung analogy. Hey, when toll goes up, its permanent. so are TNB charges. The cuppa of coffee from my neighbourhood mamak has just gone up. Fritters just went up by 10cts per piece. Prices aint coming down, Najib, rain or shine.
Maybe time to get his lab king Jala to start some labs and pay hundreds of millions to the consultant for a solution.
meantme, Najib’s family spendings and recent asset acquisition overseas aint helping his cause either.


At the core of Najib’s problem with these issue is that he is unqualified to handle them. The Kangkong reference is simply very very pathetic attempt to project himself as being in touch with the people but merely only remind people he iNajib has had a very very privilleged life and different than them. His entire respond to price hikes and taxes have been truly pathetic. It clearly betrayed the fact he had not thought things through when he postphoned them for the longest time before the GE. Having toll-hikes when its in BN GE manifesto, appointing unqualified blundering domestic… Read more »

Rich Daddy

Kangkung with sotong coklat = yummm 🙂


Hokkien Mee topped with kangkung, bak yu phok, sliced eggs, sliced chili-fried prawn & poured over with ‘lor’ + chill oil + ‘chor’ = heavenly hua-hi chiah, chiah, chiah.
Why get so angry-bird-ed over simple kangkung?


Not to waste time but only one word to describe the leader of the sinking land, BODOH !

Vote la BN, brim brim brim for the stupid rakyat and bling bling bling for the lady…

I cry for Malaysia… God helps …


And today, by coincidence, or by design (someone trying to boost the Najib family name, or conversely to poke Najib sharply in the ribs), The Star published an account by Nazir Razak. See: Remembering my father, Tun Razak Re-hashed again the stroy about Razak telling off his sons over their plea to build a “frivolous” swimming pool in Seri Taman with public funds. And there was an account of an official trip to Switzerland, during which Razak himself paid the expenses for the sons who’d accompained him, and moved the whole government entourage to a cheaper hotel as well… Read more »


… This is the worst PM in the world


Not much to comment.
rajraman. Kangkong man running this country. Advised Najib wasting time.

Ho Ho Ho

muka jahat dan kebodohan…..

Don Anamalai

Yes, kebodohan is now trending even on BBC:

Malaysia’s prime minister is being widely lampooned on social media for a comment he made about the price of kangkung, or water spinach.

“Kangkung-gate”, as it’s been dubbed by some, has hit a nerve because many people are struggling with the rising cost of living, and are resentful of what they regard as corruption, and lavish spending by the government.


MasterChef Malaysia should now have ‘invention test’ with Kangkung as the main ingredient.
This should inspire rakyat to learn more recipe on Kangkung, and forget the woes of barang naik.
Maybe Chef Wan can also have a new show ‘Kangkung Bersama Chef Wan’ on TV3?