Thursday, 8 July 2010

Shaik Adam

Tamil Muslim petty traders and shopkeepers extended their network from Penang and Taiping down to Kinta. They ran grocery shops, eating shops, news and periodical vendors' stalls, and all sorts of retail traders.

In Perak, the supply and distribution of aerated water was controlled by two Indian Muslim companies. The aerated water business was important in mining areas where potable water was hard to come by. Syed Burhan of Taiping started the Perak and Pinang Aerated Water Factory in 1887, and also ran a bakery. His competitor Shaik Adam, founded the Kinta Aerated Factory of Taiping, Kampar and Ipoh but gradually moved the focus of his operations to Ipoh. Both faced major competition when the Singapore-based Fraser & Neave extended a branch to Ipoh in 1910.

Around 1905, the Cold Storage Company brought the luxury of refrigerated meat, fruit and dairy produce. In response, Shaik Adam established the Kinta Ice Works in Ipoh, boasting a large plant which churned out tons of ice daily. The manager of the Kinta Ice Works was Ted Hodges, brother of the Perak district surveyor. The Ipoh plant, together with a smaller plant in Telok Anson, enabled the delivery of fresh sea fish to the whole of Kinta.

With his wealth, Shaik Adam not only acquired extensive houses and property, but endowed the Indian Mosque in Ipoh which was built at a cost of $500,000 in 1908. Shaik Adam established the Hanafi mosque 'after a dispute with his Malay co-religionists.' the latter being followers of he Shafie school of Islam.

Shaik Adam's son Jan Sahib (b. 1885) came from Madras to join his father's business, by then renamed the Kinta Ice, Aerated Water & Bakery Co. Jan Sahib became a long-serving member of the Kinta Sanitary Board from 1924, and was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1935.

Source: Kinta Valley: PIONEERING MALAYSIA'S MODERN DEVELOPMENT by Khoo Salma Nasution & Abdur-Razzaq Lubis

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