PORT DICKSON, 1 April 2023:
While Malaysia may have lots of durian varieties famous for being extraordinarily tasty – from Musang King to Black Thorn – our nation doesn’t have any world records for this ‘King of Fruits’, despite being among its biggest producers.
This sad lack will be addressed come July this year with Malaysians invited to set two world records at the first-ever International Durian Day in a four-day event in Port Dickson, where the feats will be monitored by the Malaysia Book of Records staff.
These feats involve stacking durian husks – with the records focused on how high the stack will be and how many pieces are stacked. Applicable rules are set out at durianday.com, including entry qualifications via video posts on social media.
The records will highlight a key underlying message behind this inaugural event to create and foster awareness for the still-untapped potential of durians – especially discarded husks and seeds, which easily make up over two-thirds of the fruit.
Durian discards are now either buried in landfill sites or sent to incinerators, resulting in millions of tonnes of waste and pollutants – after the delicious flesh is consumed.
Research done at universities – both local and abroad – have shown that durian discards have potential to be turned into money-makers. Among the items produced and still awaiting commercialisation deals are antiseptic bandages and product packaging.
Another interesting new development is the grinding of durian husks and seeds into chips after undergoing an intense drying process – providing a renewable source of raw material for various furniture products without destroying forests.
While many would imagine the building of such awareness would be the focus of government agencies, the International Durian Day initiative is actually driven by two former NST journalists in their personal capacities.
Initiated by former The Malay Mail and The Rakyat Post business editor Francis Nantha and later joined by former New Straits Times executive editor Lee Ah Chai, the duo is spearheading the inaugural celebration at the PD Ostrich Show Farm owned and managed by the latter – inviting durian entrepreneurs and aficionados to mark this event together.
This event has already received the support of the Negeri Sembilan State Tourism Promotion Board (LPNS), with several other major names set to join.