Academic journal article The Indonesian Journal of Geography

The Rise and Tide of the Minangkabau Traditional Trading in Kuala Lumpur: A Preliminary Research

Academic journal article The Indonesian Journal of Geography

The Rise and Tide of the Minangkabau Traditional Trading in Kuala Lumpur: A Preliminary Research

Article excerpt

I. Introduction

The Minangkabau traders came to Kuala Lumpur four decades ago to run business in informal sectors in four main locations, those are Kampung Baru (Pasar Minggu, Jalan Raja Alang, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Chow Kit), Kampung Dato' Keramat, Gombak and Wisma Yakin Building or known as Jalan Mesjid India. Since the fist coming, the Minangkabau traders focused their business in four main types of business what so called traditional trading of Minangkabau; first is on food that is known as Nasi Padang or Padang Restaurant; second is on textiles trading such as sarong, veil, shawl, and so forth; third is on handicraft such as songkok, shoes, capal and working as a tailor; and last thing is running a grocery store that provide many households needs and also traditional remedy such as herbal medicine.

This article will discuss on how the rise and tide of this traditional trading of Minangkabau people in Kuala Lumpur. There are three problems has been researched that become the focus of this article. The first question is regarding to whether or not the kinds of business of Minangkabau is lesser? the second is what are the kinds of traditional trading that expand?, and the last one is what are the factors affecting the rise and tide of the traditional trading of Minangkabau people in Kuala Lumpur?

2. The Methods

The four types of trading mentioned above are typical of the traditional trading of Minangkabau people in Indonesia. The question towards this phenomenon is why does the type of trading known as the traditional trading of Minangkabau people? There are at least two main characteristics of this trading being categorized as the traditional trading of Minangkabau. The first characteristic is the kinds of business that exist since the first time the trader came in to Kuala Lumpur and being inherited from one to another generation especially in the Minangkabau family. Two types of traditional business run by the Minangkabau people are on textile and food that is known as Padang Restaurant. According to Dobbin [1977], the activity of weaving among the Minangkabau people has begun hundreds years ago until 'the Netherlands' government came and once stopped the activity up to the end of Paderi war on 1837. This condition also happened to the Restaurant Padang business which is one of the inherited business traditions for many years. These businesses are known in every corner of Indonesia as well as in Malaysia and have created a network of Restaurant Padang throughout Indonesia due to the experienced and developed business factors. Denys Lombard [1996] and Joel. S. Kahn [1980] argued that Restaurant Padang business is kind of deep-rooted activity among Minangkabau people and becomes their business network in Indonesia.

The second characteristic is the procedure of market business as the uniqueness of the traditional trading of Minangkabau people. According to Clifford Geertz [1963; 1965], the features of market business procedures are the meeting between seller and buyer, the small business pattern, and the using of cash in every act. Usman Pelly [1998] on his research pertaining to the mission of Minangkabau people sojourn to Medan which held their business with no capital. He found some deposited goods to be sold or what so called galeh amanah that usually practiced by Minangkabau people in West Sumatra and some other cities such as Jakarta and Bandung.

There are some assumptions stating that the Minangkabau people tend to be entrepreneur compared to the other ethnicity group in Indonesia. Mochtar Naim [1979] has classified three categories of profession that the Minangkabau people usually do during sojourning those are entrepreneur, employee (civil servant, private company employee or army) and in the field of education (teacher or lecturer). His research on those three professions has revealed that 65% or equal to two third of the respondents prefer to run their own business which can show their high motivation and competition ability. …

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