Hawkers in Passing – Personal Accounts and Short Stories on Berita Harian in the 1960s
By Chin Kar Yern
IN 1963, a student essay for a weekly writing competition, held by Berita Harian, dubbed the bicycle the ”economic vehicle”. The author Yeow Peng Keat contemplated its ability to overcome distance, as vendors tracked dirt paths and newly laid roads between settlement areas, bringing goods to kampungs: “We always witness hawkers bring necessities to kampungs on a bicycle.”Bicycles were affordable, the egalitarian vehicle that bridged towns, cities, coasts and hinterlands. “Reachable by bike” became a horizon of travel for many;...
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is a researcher/writer with an interest in historical and anthropological perspectives of food, labour and community. He is a research associate at the Asia School of Business. He is writing a book about Malaysian food discourse, practices, and systems in the 1950s–60s.