KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 — The nasi lemak craze is not over yet! After making an appearance in burgers and cakes, the beloved national dish has inspired the Miss Universe Malaysia national costume unveiled today.
With friendly tiff against its neighbours over the ownership of several traditional dishes, Malaysia seems to have staked a claim to nasi lemak for the 66th Miss Universe next month.
The ethnic Chinese-Brazilian model Samantha Katie James will represent the country in Las Vegas with a white strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline and a thigh-high slit up the middle.
The dress by local designer Brian Khoo features hand-embroidered rhinestones to symbolise rice grains.
On the left side of the dress, there are red rhinestones to symbolise the spicy sambal, or chili jam, that accompanies each nasi lemak dish.
It also comes complete with accessories illustrating other accompaniments such as sliced cucumbers, fried peanuts and anchovies and even a sunny-side-up egg!
To top it all, the dress comes with a pair of “wings” that look like banana leaves, commonly used as wrappers for nasi lemak sold at roadside stalls.
Miss Universe Malaysia also unveiled James’ evening gown, a stunning red dress with a daring waist-high slit on her right side.
The gown, also designed by Khoo, is matched with bedazzled leggings and a pair of red pumps.
Earlier this month, the national costume for Miss Grand Malaysia based on the traditional folk performance Kuda Kepang had angered Indonesians for allegedly appropriating its Kuda Lumping. Both had the same Javanese origin.