Do Asian values bug you?

The control obsessed Malaysian government is up to its old tricks again. It’s the same old story of course: the pernicious influence of corrupt Western culture, this time manifesting itself in, er… worm eating.

Malaysia's culture minister has criticised the country's satellite TV operator for broadcasting shows in which people eat worms or talk too frankly about sex.

Rais Yatim said the programmes offended local sensibilities, and he asked the company to be more discerning.

The nation's main TV channel offers an unrelenting diet of grim-faced scholars and wholesome family entertainment.

But while such programmes may be morally superior, a growing number of Malaysians prefer watching people enjoying a very different diet.

They would rather tune into shows like Fear Factor, where people eat bugs and do other revolting things, to win $50,000 (187,743 ringgit).

Culture Minister Rais Yatim said: "We don't have to eat worms here, there are other ways to earn a living in Malaysia."

Well, thank God I live in Indonesia, then. The irony though is that the TV shows he castigates often feature Asian countries’ weird eating practices. Just a few weeks ago I remember seeing a program on Indonesian TV about cockroach eating in Thailand. And they weren’t eating them for the money either – they apparently love the taste of these crunchy black bugs.

Besides cockroaches, other Asian bug delicacies include scorpions (Vietnam), bees (Japan), tarantulas (Cambodia), crickets (the Philippines) and silk worm grubs (Korea). Check out the recipes here.

Must dash. Time for lunch, and bugs are on the menu. Mmmmm.


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