Brothers keep distribution business going

EARLY morning visitors to Jalan Petaling in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown will probably come across a roadside stall selling newspapers.

This is where Te Ming Huei, 58, can be spotted among the stacks of Malay, English and Chinese dailies.

It has been five years since he took over the business from his late father Te Kim Pook.

Although it may seem like a short period, Ming Huei has decades of experience under his belt.

He started helping his father when he was 20 and is proud to be the second generation in the trade.

“We used to sell thousands of newspapers a day back then.

“My brother also worked alongside me then, and now.

“Selling the newspaper has put food on the table for us,” he said.

The brothers’ day starts as early as 2am when the newspapers are delivered to their stall for collection by vendors.

While his brother handles the logistics, Ming Huei is in charge of payment.

Before trading on the pavement, they had a shop but had to close it down.

“My father had once thought of leaving the business.

“He changed his mind because he did not want our workers to be jobless.

“That is also why we are still keeping the business going,” he said.

Although news delivery is increasingly digital, Ming Huei has not lost faith.

“The younger generation likes to read the news from their digital devices.

“Nonetheless, many still prefer printed copies,” he said.

However, it looks like there will be no third generation.

Neither of Ming Huei’s two children are keen to follow in their father and grandfather’s footsteps.

“My kids may not be taking over but I will continue while I can,” he said.

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