Banana leaf – one of Malaysian’s many favourite lunch time meals. We all have a banana leaf eatery that we would consider a cult favourite, but one particular franchise has been thrown into hot waters (or should I say murky waters) after a disturbing video went viral last night.
Raj’s Banana Leaf outlet in Bangsar has been shut down by DBKL after the video of some alleged “new staff” caught washing dishes in a puddle in the back lane of the restaurant went viral. The video has caused an uproar among banana leaf-loving netizens, sharing their disgust and outrage for the act, many calling for a boycott of the Raj’s Banana Leaf franchise.
The franchise has since released an apology on Facebook pushing the blame on “newly recruited staffs.” Wasn’t there any briefing or training to keep the cleanliness of the restaurant under the specific Food Hygiene Regulations 2009? Strange. They continued to claim that “this has never happened before” and that the franchise “consistently passes the health inspections conducted regularly” (though they did not state if these health inspections were official ones by DBKL).
They further stated that “strict actions” have been taken up against the newly recruited staff and ensured all now non-existent customers that it “will not happen again.” Ah yes, typical that a big franchise will blame the small guys–who I agree should be at blame for committing the act–but was there any training for them before they were thrown into work? Was there no supervisor or manager at work during the time of the incident? These are real burning questions we need answers for.
Raj’s Banana Leaf ended their apologetic statement offering to host a free “buka puasa” dinner tomorrow evening, but as you can imagine, nobody was having it and they received numerous angry and snub comments instead. Doesn’t look like they would’ve had the chance to host any patrons to a free meal anyway seeing as DBKL closed their shutters this morning.
After the video made its rounds across the internet, it was indefinite that DBKL would roll up and take the matters into their own hands. Whilst the shutters of Raj’s Banana Leaf was coming to a close it is known that a senior personnel representing the owner was being interrogated inside.
The closure notice was issued under Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur licensing of food establishment by-laws 2016. Chandrakant Patel, DBKL Health and Environment Department deputy director, stated that the restaurant’s cleanliness and hygiene review by the authorities is still pending.
Watching the video made me sick to my stomach. But this video really brings the real question: how clean are our restaurants? Just because “new” staff at Raj’s were caught in the unhygienic act, how do we know other mamaks and restaurants haven’t been doing the same? This incident really highlights the question of hygiene and it’s not something we can sweep under the rug anymore. After all, our toilets have already made headlines.
I hope for the sake of our stomachs, we will not find another video like this again.
You can watch the video below, just make sure you’re haven’t eaten anything yet.
Which mamak is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.