Where there’s a will, there’s a way

Thinking outside of the box allows you to get rewards outside of your reach.

– Matshona Dhliwayo, entrepreneur and author

A helicopter landed at Padang Ipoh in Ipoh City on Friday morning to pick up 36 packs of nasi ganja ordered by a customer from Kuala Lumpur.

This is interesting news to many people in Malaysia, including yours truly.

A spokesman for the nasi ganja restaurant, who declined to be named, told a national daily that at first, he wondered whether the booking for 36 packets of rice with chicken, meat and salted egg from a customer in Kuala Lumpur was a joke. He was also told the order would be collected using a helicopter.

The spokesman also said no customers had ever collected orders by helicopters and that the price of each pack remained the same at RM10.

Ganja in English is marijuana. Some people may refuse to eat nasi ganja because they think it contains marijuana. But there is no marijuana in nasi ganja.

In Ipoh City, the capital of Perak, nasi ganja is also known as Nasi Kandar Ayam Merah and it is a must-eat whenever you are there.

Nasi ganja is probably the most notable nasi kandar in the city. The term nasi ganja came about after die-hard-fans claim the rice is super addictive. Hence, the name.

The nasi ganja chopper order has not only attracted the attention of food lovers but also the relevant authorities.

Yesterday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) announced it has launched an immediate investigation over the incident 

CAAM CEO Chester Voo said that the initial investigation found that the helicopter had departed at 9.08am on Friday from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang for Ipoh and had returned to Subang at 11.02am.

He added that CAAM was checking whether the helicopter had breached any regulation as stated in the Malaysian Civil Aviation Regulation 2016 (MCAR 2016) and the Civil Aviation Directives (CADs).

Voo added in a statement yesterday that CAAM would also verify to ensure that the operator and the operating crew had operated within the scope of approval.

He said that operators must comply with the CAD 2 (Rules of the Air), Chapter 3.1. Protection of Persons and Property and other relevant chapters.

“CAMM will continue to ensure all operating aircraft are in accordance with established safety standards and regulations for the safety of the industry and the public,” he stressed.

Who is the customer in Kuala Lumpur who ordered the nasi ganja from Ipoh? The person must be rich and obviously does not think twice about the high cost of the aerial delivery for satisfying his or her food craving. The cost of renting a helicopter is not cheap but if you have the money, the world is practically at your feet.

The chopper service and probe story augur well for nasi ganja restaurants and stalls in the nation. Now, every food lover, I am sure, will want to discover why nasi ganja is so addictive.

Will there be more chopper services for more food orders in the near future?

I look forward to the day when we in Sarawak, can also order food cheaply from faraway places and have it delivered by helicopters. I guess I just have to be patient. 

Imagine how nice it will be if I could order two piping hot authentic Foochow dishes from my hometown, Sibu — Foochow Fried Mee and Dian Mian Hu, a kind of thin sliced noodle made of rice served with fish ball and veggies.

I have lived in Kuching for years and frequented many Foochow stalls in the city but alas, I still miss tastes of these two dishes from Sibu. Sibu Foochows, I think, still make the best Foochow Fried Mee and Dian Mian Hu in Sarawak.

Do you know that two years ago, according to an old story carried by the World of Buzz, a leading social news site in Malaysia, rich Malaysians could rent a helicopter to balik kampung during Hari Raya at RM17,000 per hour?

That was in in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to comply with the stringent standard operating procedures including the ban on inter-district travel to curb the spread of the contagious virus.

The chopper service was offered by an enterprising young Malaysian who was running helicopter and private jet rental services for businessmen. 

I salute those who think outside the box, like the obviously rich customer in Kuala Lumpur who ordered the nasi ganja from Ipoh. Our world is a better place because of creative people who inspire us and make us realise that everything is possible. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Come to think of it, one can use a helicopter for many other things besides ferrying businessmen around or carrying much needed food rations to remote villages.