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MCO: ‘Cooking fails’ become viral on Malaysian social media

23 Apr 2020 / 06:42 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: It is not only an entertaining platform but it is also about motivating and building self-confidence while making new friends in the culinary world.

That is the main objective of the new group called ‘Masak Apa Tak Jadi Hari Ni’ (MATJHN) loosely translated (What Booboo Did You Cook Today) on Facebook which is now trending among social media users in the country.

One of the seven administrators of the MATJHN, Elda Shazreena Azman 38, said indirectly, the site also helped to alleviate stress or boredom during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.

“The original idea of MATJHN came from one of the administrators of this group, Dlaila Norlaila, who regularly shares her recipes and cooking in popular cooking groups.

“However, her posting did not receive encouraging response, prompting her to share her cooking mishaps instead as a learning process for everyone,“ said Elda when contacted by Bernama.

Interestingly, MATJHN has not only gained the attention of the majority of netizens but sharing pictures of cooking disasters seem to be a new normal to Facebook users as they share their funny experiences in cooking.

Among the ones that gained the netizens’ attention is the one posted by Facebook user Mohd Aizal, who attempted ‘Mamak style curry chicken’ became a mishap because he had mistakenly used turmeric powder instead of curry powder. It received over 42,000 ‘likes’ and over 1,000 ‘shares’.

“We receive about 5,000 requests to be a member of the group in five to 10 minutes regardless of gender. Perhaps this is due to the current trend as many people are trying out various recipes during the MCO,“ added Elda Shazreena.

Another MATJHN administrator, Saifurdin Salleh, 42, said more than one million Facebook users had joined the group in a week since its inception on April 14. Surprising, there were also foreigners who joined the group.

“At first we only targeted 100,000 members in five days as we didn’t expect to get such an overwhelming response, so we raised our target to one million members and now we are targeting five million members by Ramadan.

“The request from netizens to be become members soared on Friday (April 17). It seems like an extraordinary phenomenon,” he said.

Saifurdin said the group estimates over 100 shares a day from members of the group so much so all MATJHN administrators always have their hands full to manage it.

“As administrators, we will be online 24 hours and have to rotate because we want to make sure that every posting has no negative element,“ he said.

Meanwhile, a follower, Siti Shafiah Abdul Rahim, 30, said MATJHN provided a good laugh for the public and timely given the MCO period.

“Who would have thought that the admin could come with such a good idea. Laidback and entertaining in nature, it also helps to boost the confidence of someone who is not good at cooking,“ she said.

She said it also encouraged civil servants to be more open in sharing their failed cooking attempts.

“If anything, I am not shy to share my cooking as it won’t be condemned by a cooking expert as I have found my peers,” said Siti Shafiah who shared the fate of her ‘Tepung Pelita’ in the group.

Sharing her sentiment is a tailor from Pasir Gudang, Johor, Zarina Khamis, 46, who described the page a stress reliever to Malaysians being forced to stay indoors.

Although it has become a laughing stock, followers also offer support and encouragement and share their experiences together.

“Frankly speaking, it is entertaining. Almost all postings make me laugh. Everyone is sporting and the comments are kind, not too critical or condemning,” said Zarina who shared her failed ‘dorayaki’. - Bernama

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