Covid-19 and MCO sees Ipoh event planner survive by making tempoyak, selling durian and delivering goods

Noran Shah Muaain Khalili with his tempoyak. — Farhan Najib
Noran Shah Muaain Khalili with his tempoyak. — Farhan Najib

IPOH, June 24 —When the tough times hit because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Noran Shah Muaain Khalili is a man with many hats.

The event management company owner was jobless because of the cancellation of functions that followed after the movement control order (MCO) in March. 

So, he took any job that came along just to be able to earn a living. 

This led to him using his motorcycle to deliver products. 

Soon, however, he turned to using his pickup truck to transport items. 

The list of jobs that he carries out just kept on getting longer. 

Now, he not only sells durian but makes tempoyak (fermented durian) for sale. 

The 42-year-old father of four said his start as a delivery man came when his friend who was working full-time in the field could not make it for a job. 

“He asked me for help. At that time, it was MCO and I had nothing to do so I agreed to help him.”

Speaking to Malay Mail, Noran said from being a delivery man, he then decided to expand to be a transporter.

“All just to diversify my income. So that when I do not get any delivery job, at least I still have income from being a transporter.”

Now with the durian season, Noran has turned to selling durian too.

“A friend suggested that I sell durian since it is the season and I thought to myself, why not?”

And that was two weeks ago.

“I initially went to Batu Kurau to get my durian stock but due to the high cost charged by the supplier, I ended up only breaking even.”

“Later, my mother suggested that I get my stock from a family friend, who is based in Padang Rengas.”

Since then, Noran has been selling Padang Rengas durian.

Noran Shah makes tempoyak with assistance from his wife Norhasimah Tarmudy, 41 and sons Alif Shah, 15 (right) and Salman Shah, 24 months. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Noran Shah makes tempoyak with assistance from his wife Norhasimah Tarmudy, 41 and sons Alif Shah, 15 (right) and Salman Shah, 24 months. — Picture by Farhan Najib

Making tempoyak came about when he found some of the durian unsuitable to be eaten. 

But if you are expecting a family recipe for the tempoyak, you are in for a surprise.

Noran said he just went online to check how to make the dish.

“I added salt, some sugar and a chilli padi into the durian flesh,” he said, adding that it will be ready between three and five days.

Noran said he expected to juggle several jobs for the next few months due to Covid-19.

“I expect everything to return to normal only early next year.”

After the durian season is over, Noran said he would sell other fruits.

“My friend’s orchard has other types of local fruits too.”

In the meantime, his delivery and transporter business would still continue.

“Rather than wait for the money to come, I prefer to go and look for money.”

If you want a taste of the Padang Rengas durian and tempoyak, contact Noran at 018-5780050.

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