KUALA LUMPUR: The recognition of bak kut teh as a national heritage dish is in line with the provision under the National Heritage Act 2005 (Act 645), said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (pix).

Thus, he said it should not be disputed, adding that it has nothing to do with race and religion.

“I request all parties to respect the diverse cultures and religions in this country for the sake of maintaining unity and harmony of our multiracial society,” he said.

He said this when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks on the royal address on behalf of the ministry in Dewan Rakyat, today.

Bak kut teh, a traditional delicacy of the Chinese community, is one of the 10 dishes declared by Heritage Commissioner Mohamad Muda Bahadin as national heritage dishes on Feb 24.

Others on the list are burasak, mi kolok, nasi ambeng, dodol kukus tahi minyak, kuih genggang or lapis, karas, uthappam, jeruk tuhau and air katira.

Meanwhile, Tiong said the ministry is scrutinising the proposal to open several posts at Tourism Malaysia’s offices abroad to qualified foreigners.

“It is one of the efforts to transform Tourism Malaysia to reduce logistics and operational costs,” he said.

Tiong also requested the Finance Ministry to ensure the High Value Goods Tax (HGVT) implementation is done clearly and does not affect the tax refund scheme for tourists.

“At the same time, the ministry hopes that the Finance Ministry can consider tourists’ requests regarding the reintroduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as it is more transparent and efficient,” he added. -Bernama