To Those Who Dont know this old news.
Mee Siam refers to "Siamese noodle". It is a dish of thin rice noodles ( vermicelli ) in spicy sour sweet soup popular in Singapore.
Originally a Thai dish, it became a Nyonya specialty that is now prepared by Indians, Malays as well as Chinese stalls in Singapore with slight variation in ingredients. It is served with salted soy beans, dried bean curd, boiled egg, and tamarind, garnished with spring onions and Chinese chives.
At the Singapore 2006 National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made a " Mee Siam mai hum ( no cockles in my Mee Siam please ) " remark, and was made the butt of a joke / song in a popular Singaporean podcast The MrBrown Show. The podcast took Mr Lee's comment and edited it to the tune of "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas. This comment was also lampooned due to the fact that the dish does not contain cockles at all.
In his 2006 National Day Rally speech, the Prem Binister had intended to deliver a withering, cogently argued response to those who saw the GahmenÂ’s clampdown on Mr. Brown as heavy-handed. Instead, the argument was not only garbled, but he inadvertently revealed how out of touch he was with the average SingaporeanÂ’s experiences.
By saying, Â‘mee siam mai humÂ’, he created the impression that either :
1. he had never eaten mee siam in his life, as mee siam never contains Â‘humÂ’, or cockles;
2. he could not tell the difference between laksa or char kway teow (which does have cockles) and mee siam (which doesnÂ’t), which then raises questions about what he eats regularly, and how different his diet is from the average Singaporean;
3. he actually meant to say, Â‘mee siam mai hiamÂ’, which is possible. But by asking for no spice in a dish whose entire point is spiciness only suggests wimpiness;
4. he has never had to order food in a hawker centre in a long while, if at all, which again sets him apart from his constituents.
- all of which are not particularly flattering propositions.
However, the Prime MinisterÂ’s Orifice has managed to uncover the truth Â– that the Prime MinisterÂ’s Â‘mee siam mai humÂ’ statement was not in fact a gaffe, but derived from personal experience.
Specifically, his experience during a pre-election walkabout earlier this year at Bukit Gorblok Food Centre in Hong Kan GRC, where he sampled the wares of Mr. Hum Kah Chan, a tze char hawker whose speciality is serving cockles with everything.
Â“Yah lor,Â” said Mr. Hum, whose stall is aptly named Â‘Humpalang Hawker FoodÂ’. Â“ Prem Binister come to my stall, so I offer him my todayÂ’s special, mah. Â”
Which was Â– you guessed it Â– mee siam with cockles.
Â“I put hum in everything,Â” he said proudly, with a hint of defensiveness. Â“Chicken rice with hum, nasi lemak with hum, bak kut teh with hum, prata with hum, even ice kacang with hum. I love hum. Hum, hum, hum, hum, lovely hum, wonderful hum.Â”
Â“The Prime Minister consumed the dish,Â” said Mr. Gerry Mandhir, an officer with the PMO. Â“And promptly had diarrhoea. Not the verbal variety that runs in certain geriatric members of his family, but from somewhere, um, lower down.Â”
Mr. Hum subsequently had his licence suspended for unhygienic food practices.
Â“What to do? The hum was pai,Â” said Mr. Hum ruefully, using the Hokkien word for Â‘badÂ’, before chanting angrily, Â“ Pai hum! Pai hum! Pai hum! Pai hum! Â”
Since then, the Prime Minister has had a phobia of foods containing cockles, and always asks that whatever is served to him does not contain the offending bivalves.
Â“This explains his statement. The hum was very harmful to him,Â” said Mr. Mandhir. Â“It was especially embarrassing because he was wearing white pants. You must understand Â– this incident is also why he just cannot stand the colour brown.Â”
Laksa with sea hum. Yummy !!