PUTRAJAYA: Five hawkers and petty traders who benefitted from the government-backed Yayasan Penjaja dan Peniaga Kecil 1Malaysia (YPPKM) Funds have recorded their success stories into a heart-warming documentary.
A special preview was held at the GSC IOI City Mall this afternoon and attended by the Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.
Also present were YPPKM chairman Tan Sri Chang Ko Youn and the director of Hawkers, Petty Traders Development Unit and Penang Hindu Endowments Board, Dr Chong Yen Nee.
"I would like to congratulate them for their success. Their strong business mindset is a good encouragement for our hawkers and petty traders out there," said Mah.
Under his tutelage, YPPKM has assisted more than 1,500 hawkers and petty traders since its inception in 2015 - with its soft loan at a fixed interest rate of four per cent.
The initial fund size for YPPKM was RM30 million. The second trench was announced by the prime minister last year.
"More than 2,000 people have applied for it. 60 per cent of them are young applicants between the age of 18 - 40, out of which 40 per cent are women."
There have been requests for the maximum loan amount to be increased from the current RM20,000 and Mah hinted that he would deliver the good news in two months' time.
On accusations that YPPKM has been slow in approving the hawkers' loans, Chang said it was mainly because of incomplete documentations.
"As long as the documents are in order, it takes us a month to process the loan application," he reiterated. "We just need their SSM (business registration cert), PBT (local council licence) and a guarantor."
For handicraft-maker/teacher Yap Yoke Chyi, she wants to share her passion through the documentary, and to prove that you can turn arts into a lucrative business.
"My handicraft centre in Mahkota Cheras promotes arts as a way of life. We are not just making the handicraft, but we are teaching them to anyone who is interested. It's a good way to de-stress."
As for professional mover-cum-recycle item trader Darren Chai, making a documentary about himself was a nerve-wrecking experience.
"I was nervous. I've never done a movie before. We didn't have a proper script to go by. Just tell our story as it is," he recollected.
Thanking YPPKM for loaning him RM15,000 to build his own warehouse, Darren said his next plan is to set up his own second hand shop.
"I've paid off my loan in six months instead of four years as planned. So I plan to borrow another RM20,000 to open my own second hand shop."
The self-taught entrepreneur, who is a high school dropout, advised youngsters not to give up easily if they want to venture into business.
"My first plumbing business failed and I've done odd jobs like being a car jockey and a bartender in between that. But I've never given up."
"No matter how hard or tiring it is, just hang on. Don't ever give up. Set your goals and work towards them. Your perserverance will eventually pay off."