KUALA TERENGGANU, Feb 24 – After 51 years of making mengkuang-based handicrafts, Fatimah Ismail, 63, never thought that one day she would be producing mementos for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2020 summit delegates.
The golden ager is proud and thrilled that she has earned the trust to make 444 supik (pouches) for the upcoming event in November where 16,000 people from 21 member countries will be gathering.
“Right now I have finished making 50 supik and there’s more time in the next two weeks to finish the rest. Insyaallah, they will be finished on time because I have the help of eight capable supik makers,” she said of the multi-coloured, 7in x 3.5in-sized pouches.
“I’m very grateful for this opportunity to reap benefit from APEC 2020 and deep inside my heart I hope this woven product will be able to promote the specialness of Malaysian handicraft,” she told Bernama today from her home in Kampung Pantai Pandak.
She said she and her sisters – Peah, 55 and Rohani, 53 – learnt the skill from their grandfather and are still actively involved in handicraft-making.
“The three of us picked up this skill as a source of livelihood. We are the last generation with this skill because none of our children have learnt it,” she said.
The proposal for the pouches as mementoes was submitted to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (as the APEC secretariat) by iL Puro Natural, an essential oils company founded by Nora Saman.
The company operating from Kompleks Premis Usahawan SME Bank near Chendering, and with retail outlets in Bandar Sri Hartamas and Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), will be using the pouches to package three of its products for relief from stress, body aches and mosquito bites.
“My goal is to give mengkuang-weaving a boost as one of the very unique types of handicrafts from Malaysia and Terengganu, apart from sharing a rezeki (blessing) with the people in this village,” she said.
Malaysia National News Agency
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