Harvesting essential fronds for Hari Raya

Ridwan Ahmad, who has 100 palas trees in his rubber plantation in Kampung Koklang harvesting daun palas for the festive season.

DESPITE his medical condition, a daun palas seller in Kangar, Perlis, is striving to make sure there is sufficient supply of the leaves for Hari Raya Aidilfitri this year.

Every morning, Mat Hamid, 58, accompanied by his wife Shakira Abdullah, 52, can be seen at the exit of Pasar Besar Sena waiting for customers who need daun palas to make ketupat daun palas, one of the famous Raya delicacies in the state.

It is a type of rice dumpling, where glutinous rice is wrapped in a triangular shape using the leaves.

“Every time during Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Aidiladha, I will try my best to ensure that the supply of daun palas is sufficient so that my customers will not be disappointed.

“It has always been a pleasant feeling to be able to put a smile on their faces and help them make preparations for Hari Raya, ” he said in a recent interview.

The father of two, who has been selling daun palas for the past five years, said before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country, he received daun palas fronds from Thailand through suppliers who brought in the leaves to the border gate in Padang Besar town.

“However, after the Malaysia-Thailand border gate was closed to the public, I had to get supplies from the locals, but the number is quite limited, ” said Mat, who has hypertension.

Another seller, Jamaliah Mat Kasa, 46, said in order to meet the high demand for daun palas during the festive season, she had to obtain supplies of 10,000 leaves from Pahang as the country’s northern border gate was closed due to the pandemic.

“During the festive season, I can sell an average of 5,000 bundles of daun palas a day priced at RM5 per bundle of five shoots, ” said the mother of four. — Bernama

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