KOTA BARU: A pretty and photogenic young woman has attracted much attention after pictures of her posing at a sawmill were uploaded on social media.
Datuk Nur Shamimi Shamsudin became a millionaire at 21 by selling cosmetic products online since she was 19. But it was her new business venture that took everyone by surprise.
Having decided to venture into the logging industry, she and her husband bought a sawmill in Tanah Merah five months ago.
Netizens could not believe that a young, pretty Kelantanese woman was willing to go into a business that was dirty, dusty and noisy.
Nur Shamimi, 25, said her story went viral after her workers posted photographs of her taken at the sawmill.
“Many people find it unbelievable that I had decided to go into the sawmill business because it is usually a male-dominated industry.
“Furthermore, this industry is usually dominated by the Chinese community,” she said in an interview.
Nur Shamimi and her husband Datuk Ali Akmaluddin Ali Zaik, 25, obtained a logging permit over a year ago.
“We decided to buy the sawmill to cut our operational costs, as we have to pay more if we rely on other companies to do that,” she said.
The sawmill is jointly owned by the couple. The sawmill company has exported timber planks to Thailand and Dubai.
Nur Shamimi also set up another company in Thailand to handle the timber exported from her sawmill and she plans to set up a third, dealing in timber, in Dubai as well.
The couple got married five years ago and have two children, aged two and three.
Both were conferred Datukships from the Sultan of Pahang last year.
Despite her success, Nur Shamimi said she was willing to do more in her business as long as it was halal.
Kelantan Loggers Association president Lim Boon Kiak, however, said the logging industry was seeing its sunset years.
With regulations strictly enforced, it would be difficult to survive in an industry that had hidden costs, he said.
“It used to be a lucrative sector, but not anymore. Over the last three years, about two-thirds of our members have quit the business.
“We used to have more than 300 members. Now we barely have 100,” he said.
“Seasoned people in the logging industry are staying because that is the only business they know.”