Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong is really making her mark in Asia, as she in her Ministerial capacity embarks to re-build bridges in a region which the former Australian Government failed to engage with respectfully. This also comes as other powers such as the Chinese Government take a more assertive approach in the region. Though, let’s not get into the politics of all this for now, but share something lovely to end the week.
The Malay Mail reports on the visit Wong made to her hometown in Malaysia of Kota Kinabalu, where she spent her early childhood years. Wong is in Malaysia on Ministerial work, but has taken time to visit the state and city she was born in. Photos have emerged of Wong, walking around the city and reminiscing with her younger brother James (who is the only remaining Wong child living in Malaysia) as they dine on dishes at spots they used to dine at as children growing up.
They started the day getting into a much-missed bowl of rice porridge with fish paste balls at Kuo Man, a 45-year-old noodle shop in Sunny Garden, Jalan Tuaran, not far from her family home in Likas. Wong says to her entourage and the media (via Malay Mail):
“I used to come here with my dad a lot. We continued coming here on my visits back. This is actually the first time I’m here without dad,”
On camera, James and Wong were served plates of noodles, fish balls, beef balls and other hawker specialties and James says:
“Oh, the ham chin peng here is good too… remember?” by which Wong replies:
“I seem to remember everyone liked it more than me,”
They both reminisced how eating these famous and delicious street foods was the way they could spend quality time with their father, Datuk Francis Wong who was a famous local architect. He has retired now and living back in Oz. Wong also reminisced on the strength of her grandma who she calls “Poh Poh” and spoke about how Australia’s diversity has changed since she first arrived in the mid 1970s (via Malay Mail):
“Most of us want a sense of purpose in life, and that could be a lot of different things. I left for Australia in 1976 and it was not so diverse then”.
“I think the experience of being different, having some experiences and hearing some things, I felt like I wanted to change things”.
“Some people teach, some people design buildings, so I felt like I could change the way things were. It’s important that we have a sense of purpose,”
Prior to Malaysia, Wong also made a diplomatic visit to Vietnam! Looking forward to seeing more awesome things coming out of the Minister! Great start for now!
Images via Facebook