Balik Pulau – Where Cottage Industries Still Survive


There are many small and traditional family businesses located in the sleepy hamlet of Balik Pulau. Those that thrive do so by being small scale and relying on family and a handful of workers. Penang Monthly visits three of these enterprises.

Faridah’s Kuih Bahulu
Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, kuih bahulu is a local favourite. The cake also plays a significant role in many celebrations, such as Chinese New Year, and is a popular favour at Malay weddings.
Since 2002, Faridah Ali has been producing and selling this kuih. “I started the business with friends at first before running it by myself,” she says.
“The idea began from an initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, under the Women’s Development Group (Kumpulan Perkembangan Wanita) project that provides courses and seminars on business and marketing to enable local women to start their own businesses,” says Faridah.

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