Industrious songkok maker earns allocation to expand business

Hasbi taking a look at one of the songkok produced. Photo: UKAS

LIMBANG: Although Awang Abdul Rahman Abdul Jalil and his family started out by making songkok at home, he has successfully expanded his business, including exporting these songkok to other parts of the country. 

After product demandincreased, Awang had expanded his manufacturing area to a small shed to accommodate more songkok since 2000.

According to a report by the Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas), state Deputy Minister of Rural Development Datuk Hasbi Habibollah said the number of songkok sold had reached tens of thousands and these were also exported out of Limbang such as to Lawas, Miri, Bintulu, Brunei, Sabah, and Peninsular Malaysia.

“When we from Limbang parliamentary constituency saw such good potential, we also helped by allocating RM35,000 to rebuild this factory, which provides room for sewing, bathroom, and current needs,” said the Limbang MP.

He expressed confidence that GiatMARA would be able to assist by adding to the number of machines, of which there is currently two.

“If possible, we will ask GiatMARA to help under the Income Enhancement Programme,” he said after handing over the Village Industry Aid (Bantuan Industri Kampung) (Songkok Maker) at UTN Enterprise Kampung Bunga Raya on Sunday (Jan 16).

Various types of songkok have been produced – not just ordinary ones but also songkok for ceremonies and those with logos or different designs.

He hoped that the existence of the factory would facilitate the expansion of skills of those who are new to songkok making. He hoped that Awang would be able to teach other small industries.

In addition, Hasbi said he would help other village industries such as furniture manufacturing in Kampung Tentaya.

Meanwhile, Awang, who is the owner of UTN Enterprise, thanked the government for the assistance and was certain that this would be used to further develop the songkok manufacturing industry.

“We will strive to increase sales both online and offline. Now, we are on platforms such as Shopee, WhatsApp, and Facebook. Sarawakian and Malaysian entrepreneurs can use these to advertise their products.”

In a separate function the same day, Hasbi also presented food basket assistance to trainees at Limbang community-based rehabilitation centre (PDK) at Taman Batu Keramat here.

A total of 80 food baskets was contributed by Limbang Parliamentary Service Centre and Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Felcra) to people with disabilities at Limbang PDK.

At the event, Limbang PDK chairman Peter Mambjoll Thomas expressed his appreciation for the donation and voiced hopes for the PDK to have its own building as the existing centre is currently a rented housing premises.

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