THE heat is on but it is also expected to bring brisk business to many in Ipoh.
In order to keep cool during the hot spell, people are thronging air-conditioned outlets and keeping themselves hydrated with drinks and fruits.
The hot weather during the south-west monsoon is expected to last until September, Malaysian Meteorological Department director-general Alui Bahari was quoted as saying last week.
“The country, except in Sabah, will experience hot and dry conditions and also less rain.
“For this monsoon, it will get hotter around July to August.
“Additionally, the tropical storm in the Western Pacific is usually formed around July to August.
“This leads to reduced rainfall distribution in peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak, but Sabah will not be affected.
“The weather condition this year is normal, thus the south west monsoon this year is not as dry as the El Nino in 1997 and 2016,” he said.
As it is, traders selling thirst quenchers are prepared for an increase in the number of customers during this period.
Kooi Kee Chin, 68, who sells puddings in the afternoon at First Garden, said there had been a 5% increase in business since the first week of June and he had doubled his pudding production to meet the demand.
Together with his wife Ivy Koo, Kooi has been running the stall for the last six years.
Calling it a refreshing dessert for a hot day, Kooi said he would also sell the puddings at various night markets in Ipoh but the demand was always higher in the afternoon.
“When it is hot, people will come.
“Last year, so many people came to our stall because the heat was unbearable.
“We have mango, honeydew, watermelon and lychee puddings but many people prefer the mixed ginger pudding because it cools down your body,” he said, adding that he did not use flavourings for the dessert.
Right beside his stall, another trader who only wanted to be known as Wah, said she was not sure how many more customers she got but when the weather was hot, the tau fu fah (soya bean curd dessert) and soya bean drinks sold at her stall run out fast.
“People like soya bean products because they cool down your body.
“My husband and I run this business and we have two stalls, one in First Garden and another in Ipoh Garden.
“Normally during the hot season, we will see lots of people coming to our stalls.
“Now that the hot season has started, we are prepared for extra customers.
“If the weather is hot, people would surely crave for something refreshing and sweet. Most of my customers come here because they always feel refreshed after having a tau fu fah or soya bean drink,” he said.
Similarly, a fruit trader who only wanted to be known as Lim, said she was getting extra fruits from suppliers because she knew many people would want fruits to replenish energy.
“Watermelon, mangoes, papayas and guavas are very popular during this time because it has high water content and you will feel energised immediately.
“Lots of people who do labour work come to my stall because fruits help them feel better.
“The weather is getting real hot these days and I want to do my part to help people under such weather,” she said.
State Health Department director Datuk Dr Hassan Merican said no cases had been reported in Perak for heat-related ailments but hospitals and clinics were prepared for such possibilities.
He said health problems related to hot weather included heat fatigue, heat syncope, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
“During this time, people should drink more fluids, stay indoors, take frequent rest, take bath or turn on the fan or air conditioner and wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
“You should refrain from drinking liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar.
“Do not leave anyone in a closed or parked vehicle and do not exercise under the sun,” he said.
Perak state Public Utilities, Infrastructure, Energy and Water committee chairman Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharudin assured the public that the water supply would not be affected in the state during the hot period.
Zainol said rain was still falling in the state’s water catchment areas, adding that the water levels at the Air Kuning and Sultan Azlan Shah dams and reservoirs were still full.