Re­brand­ing ef­fort needed, says ex­pert

New Straits Times - - News -

Poor prospects of a good in­come and the gru­elling work of ped­alling a tr­ishaw re­sulted in a drop in the num­ber of peo­ple tak­ing up the pro­fes­sion.

The lack of pro­mo­tion and ini­tia­tives also com­pounded the di­min­ish­ing num­ber of the iconic tr­ishaws.

Ac­cord­ing to his­tor­i­cal records at the Pe­nang Mu­seum, the tr­ishaw used to be the main mode of trans­porta­tion here.

Af­ter the World War 2, there were about 2,000 tr­ishaw ped­allers in the state, trans­port­ing peo­ple and goods daily.

These days, ac­cord­ing to the Pe­nang Is­land City Coun­cil, there are 150 tr­ishaw ped­allers left, and most are be­tween 50 and 70 years old.

Many of the tr­ishaw ped­allers would gather near Kom­tar, Jalan Pe­nang and Pengkalan Weld, while a hand­ful would ply other routes on their own, to avoid com­pet­ing for get­ting pas­sen­gers.

Per­sat­uan Se­jarah dan Warisan Me­layu Pu­lau Pinang (Pe­warisan) pres­i­dent Pro­fes­sor Datuk Ahmad Mu­rad Mer­i­can said neg­a­tive per­cep­tion had con­trib­uted to the dwin­dling num­ber of tr­ishaw ped­allers.

“It is a job for the poor. That is why it is hard to find peo­ple tak­ing on the work to earn a liv­ing.

“The poor earn­ings is the main rea­son why many would not think twice abouta­ban­don­ing the tr­ishaw if they get a job that pays bet­ter.”

Ahmad said a re­brand­ing ef­fort can make the tr­ishaw pop­u­lar again.

“More pro­mo­tions are needed. Tour op­er­a­tors need to help get peo­ple to ride the tr­ishaws.

“There should be some ef­fort put in to make use of tr­ishaw ped­allers as trans­porters again, in­stead of just be­ing a tour ride.”

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