The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) on Tuesday called on Malaysian comedian and influencer, Nigel Ng, known for his online persona Uncle Roger, to publicly apologise for making negative comments about Cambodian food and edit the video he posted on his world famous YouTube channel.
The MoT said that it is “extremely disappointed” after seeing the video that was posted on Ng’s YouTube channel series, ‘The Uncle Roger Show’. In the comedy series, Ng plays a spoof character called Uncle Roger, a middle-aged Asian man who heavily criticises various types of food.
The episode on July 30, ‘Uncle Roger Make Adobo’, features Ng talking about the Filipino dish, adobo. He then says, “Not all Southeast Asian countries got good food, you know. You don't want food from Laos or Cambodia.”
This has prompted the MoT to issue its statement. “In this regard, the MoT is working closely with relevant stakeholders and requests him [Ng] to make an apology to the Cambodian people,” the statement said.
“At the same time, the MoT warmly welcomes all influencers in social media who wish to participate in promoting the wonder of Cambodian culture, nature, and diversity of Cambodian foods to the world,” it added.
Ng could not be reached for comment.
Sombo Manara, Senior Vice President at the Khmer Center at Pannasastra University of Cambodia, told Kiripost, “I think that the man [Ng] made no mistake when he complained about Cambodian food because he said it in his personal view.”
Manara added that Ng, who lives in the UK, is not the only foreign person who has said negative things about Khmer food. However, the big difference is that the majority of those foreigners were not influential people. Ng’s YouTube channel, for example, has 8.22 million subscribers.
On social media, Cambodians have responded with mixed reactions; some have blasted Ng while others have been open about him voicing his opinion.