Business started with zakat aid thriving

National 2 minutes, 18 seconds

BRUNEI MUARA

A COMPANY which specialises in making tombs (tambak) and headstones has been approached to become part of the village consultative council’s (MPK) product offering under the ‘One Village One Product’ (OVOP) initiative.

According to the company’ s manager, Md Zuhaizulirwandi Abdullah, the village head of Kg Lambak ‘A’ suggested for the locally made tombs and headstones to be marketed under the OVOP programme.

Syarikat Pembinaan Dk Siti Norol Irwani bte Pg Hj Hitam, owned by Md Zuhaizulirwandi’s wife, is now officially a part of the programme.

The company, which was established in 2010, began from $30,000 of zakat aid.

Md Zuhaizulirwandi said he applied for ‘poor and destitute’ zakat aid from the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) which was granted in 2008.

Using the aid money, Md Zuhaizulirwandi, who was unemployed at the time, started the business with his wife in order to generate a steady income and take their family out of poverty.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, Md Zuhaizulirwandi said that the business has been well received since its establishment.

“There is always demand eventhough it fluctuates. During the fasting month when it is customary for Muslims to visit graves of family members, sales can reach $10,000, as many wish to beautify their loved ones’ graves,” he said.

A tomb set, which includes a headstone, can fetch up to $400 depending on the size.

“I prepare the basic moulds which I make out of cement, so that it takes less time to build the tomb when there is an order,” he said, adding that it takes up to two days to complete.

Basic materials for making the tombs and headstones include cement, iron, stone, sand and tiles with customers having a choice of the finished product being made out of marble or granite.

“The materials are sourced mainly from Brunei, with the granite and marble imported from Malaysia,” said the 48-year-old.

The company also provides services for house renovations, but due to regular demand Md Zuhaizulirwandi has chosen to focus his time on designing and building the tombs and headstones which he does himself and has left most of the company’s renovation services work to his workers.

Zuhaizulirwandi, who is originally from Kuala Penyu in Sabah, says that he learned how to design and construct building structures from his late father.

According to the father of four, profits are more than enough to support his wife and children, with two of his children now already studying at higher level at Universiti Brunei Darussalam and Cosmopolitan College of Commerce and Technology.

When asked about his success, Zuhaizulirwandi attributed it to hardwork, humility, perseverance and honesty.

“I enjoy doing business as you are your own boss and the harder you work the more you can make.”

The Brunei Times