ROMPIN, July 7 — The second generation of Felda who has taken Malaysia to every corner of the world through cooking, Datuk Redzuawan Ismail, was named the 2019 Felda Icon today.
Redzuawan, who is popularly known as Chef Wan, received the award from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the national-level Felda Settlers Day celebration in Felda Selancar 3 here.
Speaking to Bernama, Chef Wan also expressed hope that his success would motivate other children of Felda settlers to strive and work hard towards achieving their dreams.
“I’m a Felda generation from Sungai Koyan in Lipis I am very happy to be given this recognition. It makes me feel that my 35 years of hard work in the culinary field is highly appreciated.
“It also provides me with the opportunity to give back to Felda, to give my advice and views for the progress and development of Felda,” he said.
Chef Wan, who strongly holds to the principle “when there is a will, there is a way”, said it was his tireless effort and determination to succeed that he was able to be what he is today.
He now owns a fine dining restaurant, De Wan 1958, that serves Malay cuisine.
“I live a hard life when I was small, with nine siblings, my father’s meagre income could hardly make ends meet. I helped by working in the oil palm plantation and also planted vegetables for our own consumption.
“It was the hardship that prompted me to work hard. The desire to lead a better life had to be sowed inside you because that is what that pushed me to strive.
Today, I’m grateful and satisfied with my achievements, locally and abroad. I hope it will be an inspiration to Malaysians, especially among the children of Felda children,” he added.
Chef Wan said he also hoped that the Felda management could find ways to restore Felda’s glory, including by venturing into new partnerships with agencies such as the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry.
Felda still has vast vacant land that can be used to plant high-value crops, hence reducing the country’s dependence on imported food, he added. — Bernama