GEORGE TOWN, Nov 17 — In a departure from the weightier topics that usually take centre stage in the Penang legislative assembly, a DAP backbencher proposed today the set up of a durian museum in the state to showcase the King of Fruits to visitors.
Soon Lip Chee (Jawi – DAP) said visitors flocked to Penang during the fruiting season between May and August yearly to feast on the pungent and spiky fruit, and that the northern state could cash in on the interest.
“I feel that a durian museum will be appropriate to set up in Jawi so that after eating durians, they can visit the museum along with other places of interests here,” he suggested in his speech to debate the Penang budget 2016.
He pointed out that the prize-winning hybrid durian, “ochee” (black thorn), also came from Jawi so it is fitting for the museum to be in Jawi.
The Ochee, by a Jawi farmer, was named the best durian for 2013/2014 in the Malaysian agriculture department’s durian competition.
State executive councillor Chow Kon Yeow (Padang Kota – DAP) interjected Soon at this juncture.
“I agree that a durian museum will be an interesting attraction but historically, people go to Balik Pulau for durians so it would be more appropriate for the durian museum to be set up there,” he said.
Another backbencher, Ong Kok Fooi (Berapit – DAP) stood up immediately to point out that “historically, durians originated from Berapit”.
Jawi is located in Nibong Tebal on the mainland side of the state with Berapit nearby while Balik Pulau is located on the island side.
Soon continued to say that there is no durian museum in the whole of Malaysia.
“There are so many different types of museums such as the rice museum in Kedah and pineapple museum in Johor so it is time we have a durian museum here,” he said.