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Wednesday, 1-Aug-2007 11:57 Email | Share | Bookmark



1 ekor ayam
Sedikit lengkuas
5 ulas bawang putih
Sedikit asam jawa
Garam dan gula secukup rasa
3 batang serai 10 ulas bawang merah atau 4 labu bawang besar
1 cm halia
½ tin tomato puri atau sos tomato
2 camca kecil jintan manis, digiling
2 camca kecil jintan putih, digiling
Sedikit cili kering


1. Ayam dipotong sesuka hati kemudian digaulkan dengan sedikit garam dan goreng hingga separuh masak.
2. Serai, lengkuas, halia, bawang merah dan bawang putih digiling hingga halus kemudian campurkan dengan bahan giling tadi. Panaskan minyak bekas menggoreng ayam tadi dan tumislah bahan-bahan yang telah digiling tadi.
3. Setelah itu masukkan tomato puri, gula, garam dan air asam jawa sambil dikacau hingga rata.
4. Bila telah agak garing sedikit masukkan ayam sambil digaulkan hingga rata.
5. Last sekali masukkan kacang peas dan cili hijau jika suka. Kemudian bila telah cukup pekat bolehlah diangkat.

Turning 'diplomatic' spouses into kitchen helpers
Mac 5,07 11.20am

Recently, AFP reported that the wife of our foreign minister has published a guide book for spouses of Wisma Putra personnel. Among other issues, it advises that they should “look after their loos” instead of making snide remarks on the ambassador’s wife.

Wisma Putra personnel abroad are encouraged to live in a cluster to form a commune. Hence, they tend to find accommodation near each other. This has its advantages at the beginning, especially when the newcomer depends on assistance when settling down in a new environment and a new culture.

Living in a commune also encourages them to co-operate and interact with each other and allow those in charge to keep an eye on security lest the more religious ones are lured by itinerant militant Islamic clerics whom they may have befriended at the local mosque to embrace the Shia or other beliefs.

Generally when the husbands are busy at work, the wives are very much left to themselves and indulge in gossip as it has always been a pastime in Malaysia. The gossip can range from why someone is not observing the required pantang period when she is pregnant, why a certain officer’s wife wears so many gold bangles and jewelry, and of course, remarks about the ambassador’s wife. After all, every Malay has at one time or other commented in exasperation to his non-Malay friend, even in Malaysia, that Melayu suka jaga tepi kain orang!

Ostensibly, the need to encourage them to form a “kampong” was to promote a sense of belonging. However, the real reason was to ensure that the wives can be canvassed at short notice to cook at the Residence whenever the ambassador has to host a dinner for visiting VIPs.

The ambassador’s wife will give instructions to the counsellor’s wife who in turn will form a cooking committee and the wife of the lowest ranking staff will have to pound the ingredients for the curry or do the washing up while the counsellor’s wife will hover around, arms akimbo, supervising the kitchen work. Such was the lot of the lower ranking wives!

It was never like this in the earlier years. When Tunku Abdul Rahman was prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, the rules allowed each ambassador to bring along at least five servants, whose passage would be borne by the government. Some early ambassadors were political appointees, and were men who were already successful in business and could afford hiring servants and did not depend on their office staff to do menial work. Ambassadors like Philip Kuok, Omar Ong Yoke Lin or Tengku Indra Petra were very much liked for their very caring approach towards staff welfare.

When the career diplomats took over, they would usually bring along only one or two servants. Although Treasury has approved a quantum as maid’s allowance to defray the cost of hiring a maid, some ambassadors would not pay the full sum that was approved to the servant but retain part of it for their own use. Such abuses eventually becomes common knowledge and hence discontent builds up between the servant and the ambassador, and the lower ranking staff as well, when their wives are dragged to do the kitchen work. There was a case of one servant stealing from the ambassador’s house and disappearing altogether.

When the items which were lost were identified and valued, it was found that the total value was equivalent to what the servant would have received if the ambassador had honestly paid him.

Some of these career diplomats would also bring along their relatives as servants but with intention to allow them to study in the host country. - Phang LA

Don't gossip, check the loo: Tips for diplomats' wives
AFP | Jan 19, 07 5:23pm

DON'T be snide, don't gossip about the ambassador's wife and make sure your toilets are spotless: such are the ground rules for being a good diplomatic wife, Malaysia's Foreign Ministry says.

It released a book Friday containing that advice and more entitled "Useful Tips for the Diplomat's Wife."

Penned by Sharifah Aziah Syed Zainal Abidin, the wife of Malaysia's foreign minister, the book offers tips on how to conduct oneself as well as on palace protocol and the role of an ambassador's wife.

Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said his wife was inspired to write the guide after years of serving beside him.

"Take good care of your house," one page reads. "Maintain a clean home and pay extra attention to your toilet/bathroom/powder room and the kitchen. This is yours and your country's image."

Do not complain

Another advises: "When your husband is posted to a difficult post, support him and do not give him unnecessary stress by complaining about the place.

"Wives should be happy to be with their husband and their children wherever they are assigned."

The book, which is for circulation among Malaysia's diplomatic corps, also says a wife should be prepared to set aside her own professional goals for the sake of her husband.

"While her career is important, some sacrifices are also required for those working wives," it says.

The author has also included tips on royal palace protocol such as "Do not speak unless spoken to" and "Do not sit cross-legged."

However, asked whether there were any plans for a similar book on the role of diplomats' husbands, Syed Hamid replied: "Maybe we should rename the book and replace wife with spouse instead, but I think not many husbands would want to be in that role."

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