The newsagent on China Street


This column is dedicated to “ordinary” personalities in George Town, whose contributions to city life we take for granted. They are so normal to the street scene that they tend to become “invisible”. However, it is these people who keep the place ticking, and who sustain, in Unesco speak, its Outstanding Universal Values.

Syed Ibramsha is a very happy and friendly newsagent. His stall is based at the TNB box where China Street meets Beach Street. He is a working-day fixture selling newspapers, magazines, cigarettes and sweets off his small metal pushcart stall, opening at 7.20am and closing at 6pm. It’s a good location and cars can pull in without obstructing traffic. He uses his hands expressively and has a great warm smile.

Cars will pull up and hands pass money through the window, no words said. Syed has, over time, matched each journal to each car. He continues his conversation with you as different people come along.

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