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Dried fish, keropok sellers rejoice over Malaysia's high temperatures

While most Malaysians are wishing for the heatwave to end, some are loving it.

One of them is Mr Chia Chen Teck, 71, who has been a dried shrimp manufacturer for more than 30 years in Kampung Nelayan Bagan Sekinchan in Selangor.

"The hotter the better! The weather is great for drying shrimp.

"At least 500kg of dried shrimp are processed daily. February and March are months for high shrimp yield," he said.

Mr Chia wakes up at 4am daily and works till night to take advantage of the weather, The Star reported.

Mr Kelvin Quay, 30, who runs a 20-year-old family business processing and distributing salted fish, is also loving the scorching heat.

"The hot weather is perfect for drying salted fish and it also results in better-tasting fish," he said.

He sells 20 to 30 types of fish such as mackerel, Spanish mackerel, ray and eel.

Up to 1,000kg of fish are set out to dry daily.

In Kuala Terengganu, the scorching heat is also putting smiles on the faces of keropok entrepreneurs.

Many of them, including those in small- and medium-sized enterprises in Pengkalan Setar, view the El Nino phenomenon a blessing in disguise as their keropok dries faster and their incomes are soaring.

BETTER QUALITY

Ms Nor Mahni Abd Ghani, 42, said the scorching heat helps to increase the quality of her products as well as their lifespan.

"The business that we are in needs this kind of weather, especially after the monsoon season, which dampens the business," she said.

Normally, Ms Nor Mahni said it would take about eight hours to completely dry the keropok, but now the process has been reduced by almost half the time.

Mr Zainab Awang, 65, who has been in the business for more than 30 years, said keropok produced during this hot weather would last longer and was less likely to become mouldy.

Similarly, in Kuantan, the scorching weather was welcomed by salted fish suppliers who were happy as their products would dry faster.

Mr Zaib Alip, 61, a villager from Kampung Pantai Chempaka, said it would normally take 10 hours to dry the salted fish, but in the last few days, it took eight hours or less.

However, Mr Zaib, who supplies salted fish to night markets, said it was also a matter of balance - the quality of the salted fish would drop if it was too dry.

"My customers do not like to buy overly dried salted fish.

"I have to set the time during the drying process to get it just right," he said.


The number of children, aged between six and 18 years old, who have been reported missing in Malaysia between 2014 and January this year, the Dewan Rakyat was told on Thursday. Of that number, about 10 per cent are still missing. Deputy Home Minister Datuk Masir Kujat said the police have prioritised these cases as they could be linked to human trafficking, reported The Star.

By the numbers 3,93

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