Being deaf is no obstacle for 36-year-old Tengku Arman Harris Tengku Ismail to succeed as an entrepreneur. He is among Terengganu’s rare breed of successful ‘people with disability’ (OKU) entrepreneurs in the batik industry.
Tengku Arman, who communicated via sign language through his 59-year-old mother Wan Zaitun Wan Mansur, indicated that he started work at the Romi Batik production facility in Chendering here in 1991, and later at another batik house in Batu Burok for several years, before setting up his own batik enterprise.
He learnt the art of batik making until 1996 before venturing out on his own by setting up the ‘Arman Batik’ business at his house in Kampung Tebauk here. Through sign language communication with her son, Zaiton said initially Tengku Arman operated from a small hut constructed near his family home and produced batik on a small scale. Realising that he was on his way to success, Tengku Arman applied for RM20,000 loan from the Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) and the returns from his venture had allowed him make full repayment within a short period of time.
“I was very happy when Tengku Arman managed to settle his loan in quick time, and this had given Mara the confidence to provide assistance to people like him,” said Wan Zaitun. Tengku Arman is assisted by his wife Azizah Md Yassin, 32, who also suffers from impaired hearing. They have three workers, who draw the designs onto the fabric using the canting. Tengku Arman now has two silk batik shops named “Anas Butik” in Subang Jaya, managed by his siblings.
Image via thebeautifulsideofindonesia
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