KUALA TERENGGANU, 8 Jan 2009: Mohamad Abdul Rahman has never seen customers in such large numbers as he is getting now in the 15 years he has been selling “keropok lekor” at his Kampung Losong stall here.
But then, there is a by-election in Kuala Terengganu, and that explains the hordes of people making a beeline for his stall so early in the year.
The campaign for the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election started following nomination on 6 Jan. Polling is on 17 Jan.
Keropok lekor is prepared from fish ground with sago and salt, and then rolled and made into the shape of long tubes similar to sausages.
Many of the keropok lekor customers are people from out of the state, as can be discerned from the registration plates of vehicles stopping by at Pak Su Keropok Lekor’s stall.
“The by-election is a blessing for traders like us because of the many outsiders who are in town, otherwise our sales are low early in the year,” Mohamad, 47, who is better known as Pak Su, told Bernama.
He has foreseen the higher demand in view of the by-election and has recruited more workers and increased output.
A worker, Nor Suhana Abdullah, 18, said she took up part-time employment at one of the stalls for the duration of the election campaign.
“My neighbour who runs a stall asked for my help as she did not have enough workers,” said the girl who is waiting for her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination results.
A customer, Rohani Mat Junuh, 50, who is from Kelantan, said he would buy keropok lekor every time he visits Terengganu.
“The keropok lekor here is popular because it is tasty and has a longer shelf life. This time, I came with a delegation of Barisan Nasional supporters and we stopped to buy the keropok,” he said.
A local resident, Mohammad Alwi Ariffin, 29, said the higher demand from people from outside Terengganu was causing traffic congestion in the area.
“It is normal for tour buses to stop by here to enable the tourists to buy the keropok lekor, thus adding to the traffic congestion,” said the mechanic.