A specialised Malaysian condiment named ‘sambal belacan’ coupled with her delicious cooking made Raja Permaisuri Agong of Malaysia, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, a buzz name in the house of Singapore’s ruling elite.
Her fans included no less than the illustrious founding father of Singapore Mr Lee Kuan Yew and the Lion City’s current head, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Azizah tweeted on Oct 25 (translated): “Here you go, it’s been a long time since I wanted to share with the people of Malaysia, I was once the official sambal belacan supplier to the PM of Singapore, Dato Lee Kuan Yew, and now supply to his son, PM Lee as well!”
Azizah is the daughter of the late Sultan Iskandar of Johor, and her brother is the current Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Ismail. Her husband, Sultan Abdullah of Pahang, is the current Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.
A letter from Singapore’s “strongman”
In the said tweet, photos from an Instagram account were featured of what appears to be a signed letter from the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, dated July 2009. The letter reads:
“Dear Tengku Puan Tunku Azizah…….The six packets of 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.Yours sincerely,Lee Kuan Yew.”
Under this photo is a caption which reads: “A letter that means a lot to me…because of sambal belacan…it’s very touching!”
In the promotion of her cookbook, Air Tangan Tengku Puan Pahang — Manisan Tradisional Pahang, Azizah also told reporters that Lee was a fan.
“Father and son”
Azizah also has a letter from the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s son, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
PM Lee said that he was glad to receive a gift of her cookbooks, and he and his wife Ho Ching intended to try them out at home.
In return, he sent her a gift of the two volumes of Mrs Lee’s Cookbook, a collection of his grandmother’s recipes.
Azizah’s cookbook, which compiles dessert recipes from the 11 districts of Pahang, is one of the media-friendly couple’s many outreach efforts to the people of Malaysia and beyond. /TISG