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Vinyl and linoleum decor

The Art of Light

K.K. Low, second-generation owner (though owner was not his father) Pak Tai Photo Studio, Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur Pak Tai Photo Studio has been a fixture in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown since the 1940s. Mr Low took over from the original owner in 1968 and he has been...

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“Everyone reads the newspaper”

Naina Mohamed Bin Mohamed Abdul Kader, 2nd generation owner Newsstand at Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur You’ll find the ubiquitous newsstand on street corners, under trees and literally, in holes in the wall all over the country. Mr Kader’s little stand in Chinatown is a typical example. It...

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Pewter Craftsman

Othman bin Dahlan, pewter craftsman Royal Selangor, Setapak, Kuala Lumpur Encik Othman retired a few months after I photographed him. He had worked at Royal Selangor for 39 years since 1974. It’s sad when skilled and gifted craftsmen hang up their tools but we take comfort in...

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“Being a father is the best job in the world”

Sean Gregory. 46, 2013. sound engineer and rally co-driver Sean grew up in Melaka’s Portuguese Settlement. His grandmother was a Kristang while his great-grandfather came from Canton, China. He embraces his mixed heritage but says that what is more important is how we carry ourselves. He himself...

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My old friend, Thiru

[caption id="attachment_2834" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Thiru outside his new one-chair barber shop at Sekeping Kong Heng in 2014.[/caption] Thirunavu Karusu a/l Krishnan New Star  Salon at Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh When I walked past Star Hair Dressing Saloon in 2010 during the early part of my project, I only...

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“I remember cutting your hair”

Star Air-Conditioned Hair Dressing Salon at No.97, Belfield Street (Jalan Sultan Yusuff), Ipoh Thirunavu Karusu a/l Krishnan, 4th generation barber Star Air-Conditioned Hair Dressing Salon opened for business in 1927 with just two barbers, one of them the owner who was Thiru's father's brother-in-law. Two years later,...

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Sasila loves school

Sasila Fourteen-year-old Sasila has lived at the Orang Asli Education Centre for eight years. Her parents sent her and her younger brother there as soon as they were old enough to start schooling. When I first met her, Sasila told me how happy she was to...

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What it means to be selfless

Timothy Cheah and Rajen Velu, social workers SEMOA (Strategic Education Methods & Ongoing Advancement), Tras, Pahang Timothy and Rajen’s first visit to an Orang Asli village in 1996 was an eye-opener. They were deeply moved by the living conditions and social problems they witnessed and resolved...

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The Fringe Dwellers

Most of Orang Asli living in Kampung Sinai are Temuan, who work in the nearby rubber and oil palm estates. The village is fairly isolated and without proper roads so one can only reach it via four-wheel drive, motorcycle or on foot. After heavy...

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“I’ve got just the right song for you”

Abdullah bin Johar, retired army barber Pekan Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur Pekan Sungai Besi must be the barber capital of Malaysia, if not the world, because there are an astonishing number of barber establishments in this area. There were three other barbers on the same road as...

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