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The Book

“The horses are very shy

Bakar bin Job, 63, parang craftsman, grandfather Kampung Baru-Baru, Kelawat, Sabah Bakar learned how to craft the unique Bajau parang from his father, who had learned from his own father. Looking at Bakar’s young grandson following him around, it’s safe to say that this family tradition will...

“If I don’t keep busy, time passes very slowly”

"If I don't keep busy, time passes very slowly" Rohidah binti Mohd Tahir, second-generation owner 100 Jalan Kampung Cina, Kuala Terengganu Puan Rohidah's father started the business selling songkok, batik and other fabric. At first glance, however, one would be forgiven for mistaking it for a tailoring establishment because...

“My family has been here for four generations”

“My family has been here for four generations” Cheong Lee Sundry Shop, Bukit Koman, Pahang Wong Chor Lum, 59, owner For over 100 years, Cheong Lee has been the mainstay of this community in Bukit Koman, which predominantly comprises Hakka Chinese. Founded by Mr Wong’s great-grandfather, this sundry...

The Puppet Master

Muhammad Dain bin Othman, Tok Dalang Kota Bahru I met Pak Dain under the most inauspicious circumstances. It was late at night on the day of his father’s funeral but he kept the appointment because he knew I had come all the way from Kuala Lumpur...

Azman bin Mohammad with Borhanuddin bin Syafie, the son of Pok Awi (in the background), another renowned master boat builder. Pok Awi is one of the three famous master boat builders in Pulau Duyong. His employee, Azman (this page), learned the art of boat building from his...

A whole world ahead of her

Nurul Nayli Alya, a whole world ahead of her This photograph of Nurul Nayli Alya who is Pok Hassan, the boat maker's granddaughter, was taken on the wooden pier at the boatyard in Pulau Duyong, Terengganu. It was about to rain but the air was still....

Continuing in the family business

Jamaluddin bin Zakaria, fisherman Marang, Terengganu This unassuming young man is also continuing in the family business. He was a little self-conscious about having his picture taken until he started moving around his two boats. Then he exuded the surefooted confidence of someone who has been around...

Fourth-generation boat builder

Hasmi bin Ali aka Pok Hassan, fourth-generation boat builder Pulau Duyong, Terengganu Pok Hassan’s formal education ended at 12 because he did not have a birth certificate and so could not go on to secondary school. At that young age he entered the family’s boat building business...

Owner of a fleet of fishing boats

Saidi (Mat) bin Haji Ghani, fleet owner Kota Bharu, Kelantan Encik Saidi comes from a fishing family but he is an entrepreneur at heart. He has expanded his father’s single fishing boat into a fleet of five. His daily routine is simple. He gets to work very early...

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