Not one to mince his words, Chef Wan who has been known for his spicy remark yet again made headlines when he described Felda settlers as ‘lazy’.
On July 7, Chef Wan or his real name Datuk Redzuawan Ismail was named this year’s ‘Felda Icon’ during the 2019 Felda Settler’s Day celebration at Rompin, Pahang. The event was graced by the presence of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as well as Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
Upon receiving the auspicious award, the globally recognised celebrity chef took to Instagram to call out the Felda settlers for being “lazy” for relying on government’s aid rather than working hard to develop the nation’s agriculture sector.
He shared his experiences at foreign countries like Sweden, Norway and Australia whereby its smallholder farmers are competitive in branding their own products to penetrate the global market.
Besides, Chef Wan also said the Felda settlers will become polygamous after receiving windfalls and “breed like cats”, implying that the settlers constantly have children rather than working hard with the government’s aide.
Subsequently, his remarks led to a ruckus on social media, particularly Facebook. Several netizens boycotted his restaurant, De Wan 1958 by leaving negative reviews on its social media page. There were also netizens who asked him to return the award.
In response to the criticisms, Chef Wan said he was more than willing to return his ‘Felda Icon’ award rather than apologize for what he said. He also clarified that his statements were not targeted at every single Felda settlers out there, but only to those who practice what he described. In other words, if the shoe fits, wear it.
Chef Wan himself is a second generation Felda settler. He was born in Felda Sungai Koyan in Lipis District, Pahang.