SIMPANG RENGGAM: Muhamad Safar does not have to wait for Ramadan or the coming Hari Raya Aidilfitri for his ketupat business to pick up.
The instant mini ketupat made by the 27-year-old, who was born without hands, has been very popular all year round, with Muhamad relying on agents and postal services to deliver the delicacy to his customers.
He has been earning a good income through his business, aided by his sister Nor Azlia, 36, and their mother Hattyca Karmon, 58, since 2016.
Nor Azlia said the idea for her brother to venture into the food industry came after their mother told her to find a job for Muhamad that could suit his physical condition.
“We wanted to find a way that would allow him to generate his own income despite his disability.
“So, we came up with the idea to start a mini ketupat business known as ‘Muhamad Mini Ketupat’, ” she said when met at the family home at Parit Haji Hashim here.
She added that the process for making the mini ketupat is completely manual, with all three playing their part.
“Muhamad will even help to open the plastic packages with his feet, ” she said.
Nor Azlia said last year, they received assistance from the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda), which donated an electric packaging machine and plastic bag design for their ketupat brand.
She added that they were grateful for the help from Risda and that their mini ketupat is well received by the people as it is available at local sundry shops around here.
“Even though ketupat is usually available during Hari Raya celebrations, we are able to sell the rice cake all year round as our customers will place orders for ceremonies such as weddings and engagements.
“As we are under the movement control order now, we cannot go out to deliver the orders, but we still receive many orders online through our Facebook page.
“We have agents here to help sell our delicacy and also use the postal service to deliver orders to our customers nationwide.”
Nor Azlia said each package contains about 30 pieces of mini ketupat priced at RM7 per package.