Sunday, May 28, 2023
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Brunei Town
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Enjoying the fruits of labour

Lyna Mohamad

Hajah Jamilah binti Abdullah is one of the many Tamu Kianggeh stall operators who is still running her business to this day from the old tamu location, having started her business in the 1990s.

Over the years, Hajah Jamilah’s customers have grown fond of her due to her nature and belief in doing business is not just not about gaining profit, but also to give alms. She believes that with this practice, Allah the Almighty will repay with good sustenance to the giver.

Hajah Jamilah also took the opportunity to establish family-like bonds with customers and is always reasonable when settingher prices.

Another thing that sets her apart is that she loves to dress-up and put on make-up, while other vendors usually dress casually.

“Age should not stop anyone from applying make-up or dressing neat and tidy, regardless if you are just going to be at your stall. I believe that you don’t need to be an office worker to dress up.

“With my income from selling fruits, I want to look good and presentable.”

Hajah Jamilah binti Abdullah attends to customers at her stall in Tamu Kianggeh. PHOTO: LYNA MOHAMAD

Hajah Jamilah also likes to feed and play with the stray cats at the tamu because as a Muslim convert, she believes that when a cat comes to ask for food, it is a good sign or rezeki.

Another belief of hers is to round down the price for the items her customers buy. “If the price after weighing the fruit is BND5.90 I will just ask them to pay BND5 and the difference I will regard as my sedekah.”

Recalling back to when she first started running her business, Hajah Jamilah who came to the Sultanate after marrying her Bruneian husband, she started her new life as a Muslim on foreign soil and ventured into business.

She is grateful that she survived to this day.

She comes down to the tamu by boat at 6.30am and most of the time, she mans the stall on her own as her husband would go to their fruit supplier.

“We used to sell vegetables and fish, but after several years we decided to sell fruits instead.

“Although I earn BND10 a day, I still return home happy because it is rezeki. I am always grateful to Allah the Almighty for giving me the strength and good health to be able to keep running my business.”

Since she has no family to go back to in Thailand as her parents have passed away, Hajah Jamilah is content to live in the Sultanate with her husband.

The couple has three children who have their own families and responsibilities. They do not want to burden their children. However they do not neglecting them as they frequently visit their parents.

Sharing how she can fluently speak Bruneian Malay, Hajah Jamilah said she picked up the language by watching Malay TV programmes, listening attentively to how Bruneians speak, memorised new words and practised until she became well-versed in the language.

At her stall, the warm and friendly atmosphere shows that she has a good bond with her customers and is always attentive to their needs, ensuring that they leave her stall feeling happy with their purchase.

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