SUN SETTING ON K. TERENGGANU’S TRISHAW PEDALLERS
Kuala Terengganu trishaw riders on last leg behind handlebars
THE sun is setting for some 50 trishaw pedallers in Kuala Terengganu. These riders, who all look much older than their average age of 65 years old, are the epitome of laborious work.
The young ones are not keen to take up the arduous task of trishaw-pedalling, which on good days rakes in a mere RM40 and on bad days, nothing at all.
Even a kind tourist pays only about RM20 for a short city tour. And, for these trishaw riders, every ringgit goes towards their buying a late breakfast, with no guarantee that they can make enough for lunch.
“I am just waiting for the day when I can no longer do this. This trishaw has provided me with a reasonable income in the first 10 years of its 50 years’ service. It may soon rust in one corner of my house in Pasir Panjang,” said 71year-old Ngah Ismail.
Ngah said it was normal to wait for customers for three hours. Customers usually opt for a short ride from Pasar Payang to the bus terminal, which is about five minutes away. He gets paid RM5 for the service.
“I can hardly buy lunch with RM5,” he said, while thanking the government for providing a RM200 monthly aid to ease the financial needs of the registered members of the Kuala Terengganu Trishaw Pedallers Association.
Idris Abdullah, 60, from Kampung Losong said e-hailing services were not a threat to the survival of trishaw riders.
“There is nothing much I can do. The future for this trade is bleak. There used to be many of us, but our numbers are now fewer than 50, and nearly all of us are above 60 years old.
“But I will cycle for as long as I can,” said Idris, whose five children had showed no interest in the job.
“My children tried to discourage me from riding my trishaw as they were afraid I could have an accident, but I told them that boredom at home would take my life faster,” he said, adding that he enjoyed spending time with his friends while waiting for customers at Pasar Payang here.
Ngah Ismail, 71, is just waiting for the day when he can no longer pedal his trishaw.