BY NATASHA JEE & VOON YIH BOON
KUCHING: Whenever one’s body aches, the common balm in mind would be the popular Tiger Balm, however, Sarawak too has its own locally produced balm called Meliponi Propolis Balm.
The balm, containing all natural products, is produced by Kuching-based company Sophia Taha Holdings Sdn Bhd (STHSB).
According to its director, Ismaily Liu Bujang Liu, the idea of producing the balm came about after the realisation that Sarawak did not have its own locally produced body balm.
“As we, being Malaysian or Asian for that matter, we frequently use body balm, including us in Sarawak. It is a basic thing, we use it daily.
“So, that is where the idea came about for the ‘Made in Sarawak’ balm,” he said at the STHSB premises, Taman Perindustrian Demak Laut, Jalan Bako here on Tuesday (Sept 15).
The main ingredients are the propolis extract produced by stingless bees, cocoa seed butter, coconut oil, ginger root oil and others.
“This (balm) is considered to be the first in Sarawak. Besides that, we produce massage oil, which contains propolis extract too,” he said, adding that the propolis extract was gathered from villages throughout the state.
“We want to make sure our product is safe, therefore, all of our health and beauty products are registered with the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).”
The Meliponi Propolis Balm is sold at RM11.90 each at pharmacies, supermarkets and e-commerce platforms.
It helps to relieve back pain, muscle and joint pain, enhance microcirculation, and provides a lasting warm effect.
Meanwhile, STHSB managing director Dayang Sophia Abang Taha said the company’s aspiration was not only to expand its business but at the same time, help more local entrepreneurs.
“I want to share what I have here to locals, to develop our entrepreneurs and providing them with more opportunities.
“They can always come and look for us and we can assist them in areas of research and development, and help them to produce their products.”
STHSB is Sarawak’s first Good Manufacturing Practice cosmetics factory from NPRA. Besides specialising in manufacturing its own homegrown brands, it also provides contract manufacturing or original equipment manufacturer and original design manufacturing services to local entrepreneurs.
It started with developing its own stingless bee honey by-product, and to date, more than 10 natural products from stingless bee honey have been developed and marketed.