Fahri Reza Razak (right) entrepreneur giving a pep talk to his employees, Fazri Amin Fauzi, 18, (left) and Muhammad Zuhaili Rejab, 18, before they begin hawking at the intersection of Tengku Mizan Road traffic light. PHOTOS: BERNAMA

KUALA TERENGGANU: Traders and hawkers have now resorted to various ways, not just online, to sell their wares.

The trend here now is street hawking, which is a normal sight in neighbouring countries like Indonesia and Vietnam. The popular location is at traffic light intersections, which gives more time for the traders and hawkers, to peddle their wares before the light turns green.

Khairullezran Mat Khir, 32, a ‘Brehi Makang’ hawker, carries a bunting touting his ware.

Here, in Kuala Terengganu, especially at street light intersections in the city centre, young men in batik pants, white pagoda shirt and straw hat, can be seen maneuvering through the traffic with their wares looking for customers.

Once the light turns red, they’ll be on their toes, hopping from one vehicle to another, peddling their wares and hop back on the divider before the light turns green.

Most of the street hawkers sell food and drinks, such as meat balls with black pepper sauce, fruits and fired banana with cheese.

Muhammad Zuhaili Rejab, 18, a ‘Brehi Makang’ worker, has been hawking black-peppered meatballs at the intersection of Jalan Tengku Mizan.

Street hawking in Malaysia started in Kuala Lumpur and Kelantan, and spread to Terengganu end of last year.

One of the street hawkers here is Fahmi Reza Razak, who sells meat balls with black pepper sauce, a product of the “Brehi Makang” brand name.

“Prior to this, I operated a food stall under the Sultan Mahmud Bridge, but business was slow due to parking problems. With people in a hurry, especially those on their way to pick up their children from the nursery or babysitter while on their way home from work, they won’t stop if they have time to look for parking.

“It is different when they stop at traffic light intersections. They just need to wave their hands to us, and we’ll go to their car. They don’t have to park their vehicles or queue,” he said when met by Bernama.

The new business trend seems to be well-accepted by the public, with many of them impressed with the spirit and diligence of the street hawkers, who are not deterred not feel ashamed to be in the rain or the hot afternoon sun to earn a living.

Fahmi Reza said he started his street hawking business in October last year with a friend.

The response was good and our sales increased rapidly, he said, adding that he now had 13 workers to help sell his meat ball menu at four different locations every day.

Each pack of “Brehi Makang” meatballs, containing 10 meatballs, whipped potato, broccoli and carrot, is priced at RM10.

Fazri Amin Fauzi, 18, a ‘Brehi Makang’ hawker.

Fahmi Reza’s success had prompted a few other young entrepreneurs to follow suit, including ​​​​​​​Helmi Haffizudin, 29, who started his street ̶  hawking business, selling “Pelam Asam Boi Kak Tie” preserved mango, early this year.

Helmi said his mother had been selling the preserved mango at the Pasar Besar Kedai Payang for some time, but believed it would sell better through street hawking.

“We already have regular customers for ‘Pelam Asam Boi Kak Tie, and the response from the public has been overwhelming since we began selling to motorists at traffic light intersections.

“As such, we now have 60 distributors at seven traffic light intersections and have employed 35 people to help in the process of making the preserved mango,” he added. – Bernama