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RM6mil a year in her cookie jar

SINGAPORE: As a young girl, Yo Bee Kiow loved baking cakes. Today, she has a full-fledged cookie factory
with an annual turnover of RM!il.
"# re!e!ber seeing !y father cooking when # was a s!all girl and as # grew u$, that $assion grew with !e. # sold
!y first batch of s$onge cakes when # was %&,' said Yo, (), as she recalled her $rogress.
"# sold the! to !y neighbours and re!e!ber being so ha$$y when # saw that $eo$le actually loved what # had
baked,' Yo told The Star at the *ood and +otel Asia ,*+A- .// show held at the 0inga$ore 12$o here.
Yo fro! Kudang 3lu in Muar, 4ohor, was then working as a logistics clerk in a furniture factory in Muar.
#t would be another %/ years before she ventured into co!!ercial ba-king.
5hen she was around 6/, Yo considered o$ening her own bakery with her sister-in-law, and in %77., the two
wo!en started their first factory 8 1ver 9elicious *ood #ndustries 0dn Bhd.
*ro! an initial invest!ent of RM/,/// for the factory which generated a turnover of so!e RM6//,///, Yo:s
factory has today e2$anded to acco!!odate &/ staff with an annual turnover of RM!il.
Yo had, as she $uts it, "by coincidence,' got to know a +ong Kong agent based in Malaysia who was sourcing for
ho!e!ade cookies for e2$ort.
0he baked so!e sa!$les, and the rest was history. ;rders started $ouring in fro! countries such as +ong Kong,
Taiwan, 4a$an, Mauritius and <hana.
The !other of four is now targeting #0; ../// food safety !anage!ent certification for her co!$any.
"# a! also $lanning to set u$ a factory in Muar by the end of ne2t year,' said Yo, adding that she now
!anufactures !ore than 6/ ty$es of cookies in three categories 8 cris$y, soft and centre-filled.
=+15 ;> T+#0? Yo $osing
with various cookies $roduced
by her fir! at the Matrade
booth during the *ood and
+otel Asia e2hibition in
Besides the +ong Kong agent, Yo said the Malaysia 12ternal Trade 9evelo$!ent =or$oration ,Matrade- had also
hel$ed her.
"The international !arket is highly co!$etitive and Matrade was a bridge for !y factory, as a Malaysian co!$any,
co!$eting in the overseas !arket,' said Yo.
0he had @oined the four-day *+A e2$o, which was held fro! A$ril .) to .&, in the ho$es of ta$$ing the 0inga$ore
Matrade:s Trade =o!!issioner in 0inga$ore, M.T Ra@ah, said this year was Matrade:s !aiden $artici$ation in the
biennial *+A as it wanted to hel$ Malaysian co!$anies $enetrate 0inga$ore and other !arkets in the region.
The Malaysian booths showcased ./ local co!$anies with $roducts ranging fro! food and beverages to hotel
a!enities and services.
The assort!ent of food on dis$lay included birdAs nest, chocolates, cookies, froBen food and curry $astes.
"Cast year, Malaysia:s e2$ort of $rocessed food a!ounted to RM.)bil, a D.7E increase over .//(.
"12$orts to 0inga$ore a!ounted to RM%./bil, an increase of 6..E over the $receding year,' said Ra@ah.
Its a wild oose chase !or some "eo"le
PE#A$ING %A&A: Traders now have to scurry to several su$er!arkets, hy$er!arkets and sundry sho$s @ust to
search for sugar for their daily business.
0usan Beh said to get %/kg of sugar she had to check out four hy$er!arkets before !aking her way to the !arket
to source for !ore.
"#t is very difficult these days and also inconvenient. 0o!ething should be done about it,' she said.
A coffee sho$ o$erator who declined to be na!ed said he needed about .)/kg a week and usually received five
)/kg bags fro! his su$$lier.
"+owever, # only get three bags these days and # have to send out !y sons or cousins to buy the rest fro! sundry
sho$s, which li!it their sales to one or two s!aller $ackets,' he said.
0i!ilarly frustrated is *aiBal Mohd Faini, a restaurant owner, who said he needed to visit at least %/ to %. sundry
sho$s before getting enough stock for a week.
"The usual $lace # go to will not sell sugar to custo!ers who are not regulars. And for regulars, they will only sell
four $ackets.'
Bakery owner 4enny Tan said she had to reduce the nu!ber of custo!ers: orders because of the sugar shortage.
"# can:t bake as !any cakes now and # ho$e the situation will i!$rove,' she said.
Meanwhile' a check by The Star at 4aya 0u$er!arket in 0ection %( and Tesco, Mutiara 9a!ansara, showed that
the sugar trays were e!$ty.
According to a salesgirl at Tesco, sugar had been sold out for two days.
=onsu!er 4as!ine said she had not e2$ect hy$er!arkets like Tesco to run out of stock.
"Although it is troubleso!e, # will try !y luck at sundry sho$s,' she said.
S(ar cr(nch ca(se !o(nd
PE#A$ING %A&A: The "hunt' is on and it is not for !oney or gold, but sugar.
The current sugar shortage ca!e about because industries were buying u$ the stock at the subsidised rate !eant for
consu!ers ,RM%.(/ a kg-, leaving $ractically nothing for the !an-in-the-street.
5ith hy$er!arkets li!iting sales of sugar $ackets to custo!ers and sundry stores having their Guotas reduced, the
sweet co!!odity is getting increasingly rare on the shelves.
#n 0hah Ala! sugar is "flying off' the shelves in certain areas because the controlled $rice of this ite! !akes it
chea$er here than in neighbouring countries, said 9o!estic Trade and =onsu!er Affairs de$uty !inister 9atuk 0.
#ndustrial users had been taking advantage of this situation by bulk-buying the co!!odity in recent !onths, but
their action had eaten into the su$$ly !eant for local consu!ers.
"This situation is both good and bad. <ood because the heavy buying by industrial users indicates they have brisk
business for their $roducts and this creates !ore e!$loy!ent o$$ortunities.
"Bad because the heavy buying of sugar reduces the su$$ly !eant for local consu!ers,' Heerasinga! told
re$orters after he and several to$-level !inistry enforce!ent officers visited the =entral 0ugar Refinery $lant here
There had been a surge in de!and for sugar in recent !onths.
'Many are buying fro! wholesalers who are su$$osed to deliver the su$$ly to consu!ers at the controlled $rice,'
said Heerasinga!, who has directed a sto$ to this $ractice.
+e also called on consu!ers not to go on a $anic-buying s$ree, as this would aggravate the situation.
+e said the !inistry was working hard to ensure sugar su$$ly re!ained $lentiful for the co!ing festive !onths
fro! ;ctober to *ebruary ne2t year.
Heerasinga! added that a !anufacturer in Ierlis had only been $roducing at )/E of its ca$acity ,,/// tonnes- for
the $ast two to three !onths as bad weather had reduced the sugarcane harvest.
"The other three !anufacturers have agreed to increase out$ut to !ake u$ for this shortfall.'
*ederation of 0undry <oods Merchants Association of Malaysia $resident Cean +ing =huan said the situation was
$articularly serious in Terengganu, Ierak and $arts of 0elangor.
A distributor clai!ed that sugar refiners had reduced his su$$ly Guota by about (/E.
=arrefour cor$orate co!!unications and $ublic relations !anager Yuswanis Yusof said the hy$er!arket was not
facing any serious sugar shortage.
=onsu!ers finding it difficult to buy sugar can re$ort their $roble!s to the !inistry hotline at %-&//-&&-&// or
o$erations roo! at /6-&&&. /&6J)J&.
)osterin (nity *ia d(m"lin makin
=+A>< ,glutinous rice du!$-lings,- is a =hinese delicacy consu!ed during the 9u!$ling *estival in May.
And in Malacca, chang-!aking skills are no longer confined to the =hinese co!!unity.
;n 0aturday night %/ Malay wo!en co!$eted to see who could cook
and wra$ chang in the shortest ti!e at a contest held at 4onker 5alk.
"Through this event, we are able to show other races in the country the =hinese culture and the !eaning of the
du!$ling festival,' said 4onker 5alk =arnival co!!ittee chair!an 9atuk 5ira <an Boon Ceong, who launched
the co!$etition.
The event, which drew %// $artici$ants, was organised by Tangga Batu M=A and s$onsored by the Malacca
Touris! Action =ouncil, Malacca =on-su!er Affairs =ouncil and >estle 0dn Bhd.
Ka!ariah !aking a du!$ling during the
The festival is celebrated in re!e!berance of =hinese $oet Ku Yuan, a loyal official in the court of the =hu
Kingdo! in old =hina.
=ourt officials, out of @ealousy, fra!ed hi! by telling lies about hi! in front of the e!$eror, resulting in Ku Yuan
being banished fro! the court.
The =hu kingdo! got weaker and feeling sad that his beloved country was controlled by another country, Ku Yuan
decided to end his life by @u!$ing into the river.
*isher!en who heard that Ku Yuan drowned hi!self in the river set sail on boats to look for his body.
5hen they could not find it, they threw rice wra$$ed in ba!boo leaves into the river so that the fish in the river
would eat the rice instead of his body.
The 4onker 5alk co!!ittee decided on three events this year - ABest 9u!$ling:, A*astest 9u!$ling 5ra$$erA and
*astest 9u!$ling-1ater.A The first two had a =hinese and non-=hinese category.
9ayang 0uhaini Abdul, (., a housewife, who was @udged cha!$ion in the Abest du!$lingA category, said she felt
great and was ha$$y that she took $art in the co!$etition.
>ot only had she got to know the culture and folklore behind the =hang *est-ival but she also had learnt how to
!ake du!$lings for her fa!ily.
+er friend, Kalso! Ah!ad, )/, a housewife also, was the second runner u$.
Another fellow housewife, Ka!ariah +a!ad, )D, not only grabbed the first runner u$ in the best du!$ling
co!$etition, but was also the fastest du!$ling wra$$er - she wra$$ed nine du!$lings in three !inutes.
The three had learned to wra$ du!$lings fro! their =hinese
friends $rior to the co!$etition.
#n the ABest 9u!$ling =hinese categoryA, =hoo Mei Ci e!erged as the cha!$ion while Cee Cian Ciew and Tan
0iew Rong grabbed the second and third $lacing res$ectively.
Yee Tian wra$$ed %& du!$lings in the s$an of three !inutes to win the title of A*astest 9u!$ling 5ra$$er.A
A total of ./ $artici$ants took $art in the fastest du!$ling eating co!$etition.
Iartici$ant Ang Ki! =hea showing off her
work, which has a !iniature of the Ietronas
Twin Towers, !ade fro! ba!boo leaves.
Coi 5en =hie, (6, a construction site worker, took the title by eating five s!all du!$lings in @ust over two
All the $artici$ants were given goodie bags consisting of >estle $roducts and each winner received a ha!$er worth
between RM)/ and RM%//.
S(r"rise !or newlyweds
MA$A++A: #t was his wedding day and his =hinese friends wanted to give !echanic Muha!!ad RidBuan Md
To$ and his bride >ur *arahwaty Mutali$ so!ething to re!e!ber.
Their $resent unfurled in the for! of two $rancing "lions' as the ha$$y cou$le, looking res$lendent in their shiny
traditional costu!es, rode u$ to RidBuanAs 3@ong Iasir house on his Ya!aha, followed by a convoy of (/
The %)-!inute lion dance $erfor!ance, dru!s and sound of firecrackers
added to the din and RidBuan, .7, and >ur *arahwaty, .%, were visibly
touched by the war! rece$tion.
"5ords canAt describe !y ha$$iness.
"+ere # a! being raja sehari ,king for the day- and there are two lions dancing before us,' said an e2cited
The lion dances were $erfor!ed by %( !e!bers of the Yin *oh Association and s$onsored by RidBuanAs
colleagues at his work$lace in 4alan Ka!$ung +ulu.
RidBuan said he had always been fascinated by lion dances and as a child, used to trail such trou$es when they
$erfor!ed during =hinese >ew Year in his housing estate.
The associationAs secretary-general Cee Ki! Cong, )D, said it was the first ti!e their lion dance trou$e $erfor!ed
at a Malay wedding.
"5e ho$e the lion dances will bring RidBuan and his fa!ily $eace, ha$$iness and $ros$erity.'
9;3BC1 +AII#>100? RidBuan
and >ur *arahwaty being greeted by
the lion dance trou$e as the cou$le
arrive in 3@ong Iasir.

,earer d(rians this season

PENANG: The recent rainy s$ell and $est attacks have caused a dro$ in the durian harvest in Balik Iulau, $ushing
$rices of the fruits about 6/E higher.
Along the road to Balik Iulau, a town synony!ous with durians, wooden kiosks and s!all stalls selling durians
have a$$eared overnight.
Khoo Ah Kee, /, a !iddle!an fro! Iondok 3$eh, said he had been busy since the beginning of this !onth
collecting and selling durians.
"Business is al!ost the sa!e as $reviously and # a! selling at
least ),/// durians a day, so!e of which were taken by
wholesalers to other $laces such as Bukit Merta@a!, Alor 0tar
and 0ungai Ietani,' he said. +e has been in the business for
!ore than .) years.
Khoo said the $o$ular ty$es such as the Ang Har ,red $rawns- and Hor Lor ,water gourd- went for between RM%/
and RM%. a kilo while the co!!on ones cost about &/ sen a kilo.
"Ieo$le nowadays $refer to $ay !ore for good Guality durians, those with fragrant aro!a and sweet $ul$,' he said.
Cast year, the Ang Har and Hor Lor were sold for less, at between RM& and RM%/ a kilo.
Yahaya 0aad, /, who sells durians at the Bukit <edung night !arket, said the inter!ittent rain this !onth had
affected the Guality of the fruits.
"Too !uch water will !ake the durian taste tawar ,bland-,' he said while loading durians into his van.
Yahaya said he would buy 6// to )// durians every day de$ending on the Guantity orchard owners offered.
=hin 0ooi 0in, )/, who owns two durian orchards in Balik Iulau, said $est attacks had resulted in a $oor harvest
this year. "# used $esticides, but still !any fruits were da!aged by wor!s,AA he said, adding that the rain was
another reason for the $oor harvest.
-o(se.reaker .eaten to death
%O-OR /AR0: A !an:s atte!$t at breaking into a house cost hi! his life when !ore than %/ others beat hi! to
0MACC B30#>100? Yahaya ,right- and
*aBlee Cati$ loading the van with durians for
sale at the Bukit <edung night !arket in
#n the %%.%)$! incident on Monday, the !an had tried to break into a house along 4alan =hok!ar ) in Ta!an
Ielangi here.
+e was s$otted by !ore than %/ $eo$le who chased and caught hi! and beat hi! to death.
0tate =#9 chief 0enior Asst =o!! ## 9atuk Abdul Rahi! 4aafar said the victi!, who died on the s$ot, had no
docu!ents or $ersonal ite!s on hi!.
+e said $olice did not recover any wea$on or stolen ite!s fro! the cri!e scene.
"The victi! was found with a head in@ury believed to have been caused by a blunt ob@ect,' he said, adding that the
body had been sent to the 0ultanah A!inah +os$ital for a $ost-!orte!.
0A= Abdul Rahi! said initial investigations indicated that the victi! was believed to be a drug addict res$onsible
for !ulti$le break-ins in the neighbourhood.
+e added that $olice had taken state!ents fro! a few individuals.
0A= Abdul Rahi! said the case was being investigated under 0ection 6/. of the $enal code for !urder.
+e urged anyone with infor!ation to contact the state $olice headGuarters at /D-..)((77 or the nearest $olice
Mangosteen $rices $lunge
#AIPING: Mangosteen lovers need not dig dee$ into their $ockets to en@oy the fruitAs sweet taste this ti!e round,
thanks to bu!$er harvests in neighbouring countries.
5holesaler <oo Ki! +ang, (, said he was only charging retailers RM%.&/ a kilo co!$ared with RM) to RM
during the last fruit season in 9ece!ber.
"+ence, local consu!ers should be ha$$y as they only have to $ay around RM6 a kilo or about 6/ sen for a fruit,'
he said.
;ne of the reasons behind the current low $rice is oversu$$ly.
<oo, who used to sell the fruit to 0inga$ore where it fetched better $rices, said he could not do that this ti!e.
"The 0inga$ore !arket is now cornered by !angosteens
fro! #ndonesia and # can:t co!$ete with their $rices.
"The fruits, es$ecially those fro! Iulau Bata!, are chea$er and !uch bigger than harvested by villagers here,' he
said on Tuesday while sorting out the day:s su$$ly in =hangkat 4ering, near here.
*ellow !angosteen wholesaler >g Kian Kik, (., said local harvesters were understandably unha$$y over the low
$rice they were getting.
"Cast season, # $aid the! RM6 a kilo but now # can only $ay the! RM%../ due to factors beyond the control of
wholesalers like !e,' he said.
According to hi!, villagers can en@oy better $rices if the authorities restrict su$$ly fro! Thailand.
"Their fruits are !uch chea$er and we therefore have to sell ours accordingly,' he said.
>g also buys durians fro! fruit orchard owners in nearby Trong and Bukit <antang. A week ago, he $aid RM%.)/
a kilo for the durians, but on Tuesday he offered only RM% a kilo.
"# a! afraid $rices will fall even lower this week if su$$ly fro! neighbouring countries continues unabated,' he

,(rian chart to hel" rookie .(yers choose
PENANG: =harts on !ovies, books and song albu!s are co!!only found.
But a chart on duriansL
9urian King Tan 1ow =hong, (), has created one based on the fruits: $o$ularity at his stall in Relau.
Ilaced in front of his =a$ Kaki stall is the "durian chart' 8 a four-tier wooden rack stacked with durians arranged
according to their $o$ularity.
*R10+ *R3#T? <oo sorting out the day:s su$$ly of
!angosteens $lucked by local villagers in =hangkat
4ering near Tai$ing 5ednesday.
"This arrange!ent hel$s rookie durian custo!ers to !ake their choice,' he said, adding that $rices ranged fro!
RM6 to RM./ $er kg.
"5e also list out the na!es of the durians on the rack to !ake
it convenient for our custo!ers.'
#n the to$ tier are the three cha!$ions of the year, Lan Ciau Yuan, Raja Kunyit and Kulit Hijau No 15.
Tuhan Kasi, last year:s favourite, has dro$$ed to the second tier, along with the once $o$ular Ang Jin, Kapili,
Lipan!ala, "#ang $erah, and La!u Air%
*oreign tourists, including TanAs loyal "fans' fro! 0inga$ore, +ong Kong, #ndonesia, 4a$an and 0outh Korea, have
been thronging the stall every day since the durian season started.
Ken Tan, 6/, fro! Air #ta!, said he had $laced an early booking for Raja Kunyit durians, about %/ days ago.
"This durian is very $o$ular and is often in short su$$ly,' he said, adding that he and his fa!ily have been
$atronising =a$ Kaki durian stall for !any years because of the cleanliness and good service.
"They have a variety of the best durians and they even $rovide custo!ers with free drinking water,' he said.
A first-ti!er fro! the =Bech Re$ublic, 4aro!ir Ielcak, said he was i!$ressed with the "restaurant-like' durian
"This is interesting. # like the creative way they dis$lay their fruits and # have fun eating here,' he said.
TanAs son, =hee 5ei, .6, said he $lanned to dis$lay $hotogra$hs of durians that had been $rised o$en on the
"chart' ne2t year.
+hinese who j(st lo*es #amil lan(ae
A =+#>101 national fro! Bei@ing took a Ta!il na!e because of the love for the language, said Ta&il Nesan.
A graduate in 1nglish, =hee 5ah =han Kwa took the na!e Kalai Arasi after she learned Ta!il, as she was keen to
s$eak other languages.
0he @oined a radio station in %7D) and translated =hinese news to Ta!il before beco!ing a full-ti!e announcer.
=+ART T;II1R0? Tan arranging durians on
the Mdurian chart:, a four-tier wooden rack at
the =a$ Kaki durian stall in Relau on Monday
9riven by her love for the language, =hee 5ah enrolled for a two-year Ta!il language course at the Tan@ai Ta!il
3niversity in 0outh #ndia in %77/.
0he later returned to =hina and resu!ed her @ob at the station. #n %77, she headed the Ta!il section where she still
works today.
"The !ore # read Ta!il, the !ore # a! in love with the language and its literature. >ow, # can read, write and
s$eak good Ta!il,' the daily Guoted her as saying.
,eer hide kero"ok' anyone1
#AIPING: 9eer hide is co!!only used in the fashion world but now it has found its way into the food industry.
0old as 'eropo' 'ulit rusa ,deer hide crackers-, it is a!ong the food ite!s on dis$lay at the four-day Ierak +alal
#ndustries 12$osition .//, which started at the Tai$ing Cake <arden yesterday.9es$ite the hefty RM)/ a kg $rice
tag, the snack drew strea!s of visitors to the booth !anned by staff of the Heterinary 0ervices 9e$art!ent who
o$erate a deer far! in Cenggong, about D/k! fro! here.
*ar! !anager 9r Rafiah Aini said the $roduct was develo$ed @ointly with a local entre$reneur and sa!$les of the
crackers had been sent for laboratory tests.
"The tests carried out on the 'eropo' show that it is safe to eat.
#t contains $olyunsaturated fats, which is good for health. But
don:t eat too !uch as it can cause heatiness in so!e $eo$le,'
she told visitors yesterday.
9r Rafiah said that to !ake the crackers, deer hide is ground before it is !i2ed with flour. The !i2ture is then
cooked and cut into thin $ieces, which are dried and then fried.
The e2$osition is @ointly organised by the Ierak govern!ent, =oo$erative 9evelo$!ent 9e$art!ent, #sla!ic
9evelo$!ent 9e$art!ent, RTM, and Ko$erasi 0iswaBah Kinta Bhd.
A$art fro! the unusual snack, the booth also offers froBen food ite!s such as curry deer $uff, decorative ite!s
carved fro! antlers, $ickled deer !eat and deer hide.
The deer far! now has about %,6// deer of various s$ecies. #t was relocated fro! its original site in Tan@ung
Mali! in %77D.
0tar i*es to" scorer a .reak
/AN#ING: +e works as a $art-ti!e canteen hel$er to earn so!e e2tra inco!e while $ursuing his studies at
3niversiti Tunku Abdul Rah!an ,3tar-.
The RM%) $er day that he gets su$$le!ents the RM)// that his widowed !other gives hi! !onthly.
"# have to rent a roo! for RM6// in 0ection %(, Ietaling 4aya as # find it difficult to travel daily fro! Telok
Iangli!a <arang ,his ho!e- to Ietaling 4aya ,where his college is located-,' said 0. #ndra$$riyan, %&.
#ndra$$riyan, who scored %/ %As in last year:s 0IM e2a!ination, considers hi!self lucky to be studying on a
scholarshi$ at 3tar after facing several setbacks earlier.
+e was devastated when the Iublic 0ervices
9e$art!ent re@ected his a$$lication for a scholarshi$
des$ite his e2cellent results.
+e later learned that his a$$eal had been re@ected. The local co!!unity leader in his area also could not hel$ hi!
get the scholarshi$.
+owever, instead of $ursuing to get the a$$lication reviewed, #ndra$$riyan decided to try his luck elsewhere.
"# realised that flogging a dead horse is not going to get !e anywhere, so # started to source for other alternatives,'
said #ndra$$riyan, who as$ires to be a scientist.
03IIC1M1>TARY #>=;M1? #ndra$$riyan clearing
tables at a school canteen in Banting recently. +e is
working $art-ti!e to earn so!e e2tra inco!e while
$ursuing his studies at 3tar.
#t was 3tar that gave hi! a break, although the scholarshi$ was on a year-by-year basis.
#ndra$$riyan is now $ursuing a foundation in science course leading to a degree in biotechnology
"The offer was heaven sent, as # now have the o$$ortunity to finish !y degree without having to worry about
!oney,' he told The Star in an interview recently.
#ndra$$riyan has to score a <IA of 6.7 each year for the scholarshi$ to be renewed annually.
"# will ensure that # do well and !y lecturers have $ro!ised to hel$ get !e a $lace overseas for !y $ost-graduate
studies if # can get a *irst =lass degree,' he said.
#ndra$$riyanAs father died when he was si2. +is !other 0. An$arasi, (D, a factory o$erator, raised hi! and his
brother 4eeveswaran, .%.
4eeveswaran is now working and $ursuing a co!$uter course.
#ndra$$riyan? #s now
$ursuing a
foundation in
science course at