The humble corn dog has sparked accusations that Australia’s top diplomat in Singapore is an idiot abroad.
Former Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman has horrified food purists after suggesting one of the culinary highlights of multicultural Singapore is an American hot dog dipped and fried in batter.
In a post titled “Sunday fun in Singapore”, the ex-MP posted a clip of himself giving the thumbs up at Universal Studios over the weekend, before filming himself eating a corn dog and raising his eyebrows at the sheer delight of it.
“As Australia’s new High Commissioner to Singapore I think it’s really important to immerse myself in experiences and the local culture so I can truly understand what makes this place tick,’’ he said.
But the social media post has copped a drubbing on Twitter and has now prompted Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong to urge Mr Hodgman to get out more.
“Nobody is begrudging Will Hodgman a weekend trip to Universal Studios if that’s his thing, but this just reinforces negative stereotypes that the Australian Government is ignorant about our own neighbourhood,’’ she told news.com.au.
“Mr Hodgman eating a corn dog and calling it ‘local culture’ is preposterous. It’s like a diplomat going to Rome and posting videos from Pizza Hut.”
Actually, it’s probably worse. It’s more akin to travelling to Rome and ordering a dim sim, but you get the idea.
“Singapore is rightly proud of its food culture – few cities in the world can compete. Its geography and history combine in local dishes that people flock to eat,’’ Senator Wong said.
“Will Hodgman’s job is to improve Australia’s standing in Singapore and this just underlines why Scott Morrison should not have appointed an unqualified mate to such a serious job.”
She added, “Singapore is a critical relationship – both for our countries’ shared prosperity and for the challenges our region faces. We can’t afford ‘own goals’ like this.”
Stung by the widespread horror over his corn dog habits, Mr Hodgman has returned to Twitter this afternoon to insist it was all just a bit of fun.
“Was being very tongue in cheek! I think we can all do with a bit of lightening up these days,’’ he said.