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The Book

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“I will stay here for as long as I can”

Alfred Perera, proprietor Sinhalese Bar, Jalan Bijeh Timah (Treacher Street), Ipoh. 2012 The Sinhalese Bar is legendary. The only Sri Lankan bar in Malaysia, it was founded by G.M. Perera in 1931. His two sons chose divergent paths, one left home to become a Buddhist monk while...

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The Ferry Man

Sreeraman a/l Chimachalam, ferry boat pilot Sabak Bernam, 2013 Sixty-three-year-old Sreeraman has been criss-crossing Sungai Bernam for 41 years. He started out as a ticket collector and gained his boat pilot’s licence in 1975. On a unsual day, he makes 64 trips across the river and back,...

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“The family business is in good hands”

Peter Lee, second-generation owner Koon Kee Wantan Noodles, Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur 2012 Before 1945, Peter's father had already been selling porridge and other noodles in the Petaling Street area. In 1945, he started a shop selling wantan mee and never looked back. Today, Koon Kee is...

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Champion of Heritage

Law Siak Hong, champion of heritage in Ipoh, 2013 Perak Heritage Society Born in Kampar and educated in Australia, Siak Hong is one of the most passionate champions of heritage without any regard for financial gain. Siak Hong is aware that development cannot be stopped so his mission...

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“I can make a songkok in one hour”

Haja Mohideen, second generation songkok maker Kedai Songkok Osm Mohd Shariff, Lebuh King, Penang. 2012 Under the tutelage of his father, Haja Mohideen made his first songkok when he was only 12. His father started making songkok in the tiny shop measuring six feet by 12 feet...

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Wicked Bassist

Charles Nathaniel, wicked bassist. Petaling Jaya. 2009 Charles Nathaniel is a musician. Even though he has a day job as a car salesman, his collection of guitars which have pride of place in his bedroom, belies his true passion....

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“All I needed was an opportunity”

Ainatul Munirah Binti Mahadi, student. Perlis. 2013 When Ainatul was 10 years old she was adopted, not by another family but by a charitable foundation, and that changed her life forever. She can recall how life in her kampung in Perlis was simple and straitened as...

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The Puppet Master

Muhammad Dain bin Othman, Tok Dalang Kota Bahru, 2012 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...

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