Tuesday, January 8, 2008

All Roads Lead To Tesco In Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

A few days before the end of 2007, many lamposts along most of the roads in Kota Bharu were adorned with vertical banners with the distinctly blue colours and the words Tesco Kota Bharu, Akan Di Buka and Pandu Cermat Kota Bharu Tesco, Opening Soon, Drive Safley). Some becas (trishaws which we Kelantanese call taxi) were adorned with similar advertisement. The trishaw men was too happy to get a free new top cover as well as a new coat of paint for their trishaw while the Tesco management was happy to get free advertisement. A win win situation for the both of them.

The banner before the opening on 3rd Jan 2008

Work was going on at a frenzied pace around the Tesco building which was located on a piece of reclaimed land very close to The Sultan Yahya Petra bridge connecting Pasir Pekan in the District of Tumpat to Kota Bharu. The land was not truly reclaimed as it had been in existence for as long as I could remember and it was then known as Tanah Raja as it still belongs to the government. All these while this fertile alluvial sand bank was used by the farmers to plant maize, ground nut and whatever crops that can be harvested before the rainy season comes when the whole area will be submerged by the swelling Kelantan River. In other word the farmers had temporary use for the land on Teporary Occupied Land licence (TOL). A company (purported to be from Penang) obtained permission from the State Government to raise the level of the land above the flood level and develop it into a residential and commercial area. The writer is not clear on the condition of tenureship of the reclaimed land and whatever the condition, both the developer and the State Government must have benefited from the development since no financial cost was involved. The only cost was the loss of income to the farmers who had been farming the land before the project was started. The other cost is a social one as the youth who had been using the football pitch on the other side of the bridge was deprived of their playing field without an alternative site being made available to them. So the footballers must now either play footsal in one of the many footsal centers mushrooming around the town or play virtual football on the internet.
Tesco is one of the earlier tenants on this quite a large piece of reclaimed land. Another building is being constructed near it.

Now it is open, says this signboard.

We thought the opening was to be on 1st January 2008 to usher in the New Yaer but I guess things were not ready by then and so 3rd Januari was later announced as the opening day of Tesco Kota Bharu.
It was while servicing my car at Toyota Service in Jalan Kuala Krai that I came to know of the opening of Tesco Kota Bharu from the cleaners at the center. Having the whole day free while they work on my car airconditioner, I decided to walk to the new supermarket which in the words of the cleaners was within walking distance from the service center. Yes to them a 3 kilometer walk is indeed was within a walking distance. Kota Bharu doesn't have city taxis like those in other towns. What we have here is the 'kereta sewa' which plies between two destinations and can be shared among 4 other passengers. The only taxi that we have are the becas whose number are fast dwindling in numbers. When all the present crop of old 'beca' peddlars are gone, there wont be anymore becas in Kota Bharu. On the day that I walked the 3 kilometers to Tesco, not a single beca cross my path. The one that I finally saw was the one coming out from the Tesco area with the Tesco advert prominently dispalyed on its canopy top. The pedaller couldn't bear it anymore and had to take his pee break among the unused plastic road dividers by the road side. He was oblivious to the passing traffic and only faced away from my prying camera lens. Out of respect for the elderly trishaw pedaller, I steered him clear from my camera lens. I know he had suffered enough from trying to contain his urgent need to empty his bladder. Couldn't bear the thought him shown all over the internet world attending to natures call. Either he couldn't find the washroom while at Tesco or he couldn't pee into the super clean bowl at the washroom. Many people are so used to a dirty toilet that the sight of a clean one can put them off from using what they were supposed to use.

The owner of this trishaw had to empty his bladder barely hidden between these unused plastic road dividers.

This is probably the winner of the trishaw decorating competition organized by the Tesco Management

Kelantan Koridor Depu. Do you know the meaning of depu? I am still vague myself.

The turning into the road leading to Tesco from Jalan Kampung Sireh was well manned by uniformed perssonnel with the word RELA clearly displayed on their vests. These job seems to be the perfect job for them as against the much controversial enforcement duty over 'Pendatang Asing Tanpa Izin' (PATI) that was becoming a part of their duty lately and carried carried with so much zest that sometimes accused of an abuse of power.

RELA members manning the road junction leading to Tesco KB.

This expatriate rides the buggy to his car which must have been parked away from the supermarket.

Astro was there too. Was there a direct telecast?

The covered car park must be full by now.

No place for the motorbikes under the covered parking area.

While walking to the new supermarket, I saw a golf buggy coming out with an expatriate as passenger. He must be representing the British Company that owns Tesco at the opening ceremony.
Further nearer to the Tesco building I met a group of four Bangladeshi walking away and they were in a uniformed T Shirt and I guessed right when they smiled at me and gave me the peace sign when I mentioned the word "Bangla?" at them. There must be a shortage of workers from among the locals as to deem it necessary to import workers from the land of too many people. The local youth must have preferred doing the same work in fashionable 'Kay El' compared to rural 'Kay Bee'.

These Bangladeshis gave me the peace sign after being photographed.

These are the jobs for the Bangladeshis.

Just like any other hypermarkets, Tesco KB requires anchor tenants like KFC to provide the fast food, Nagoya Textiles to sell textiles and various others. Other tenants are Nasi Ayam, Watson, Ogawa etc.

The Colonel will provide finger lickin good fried chickens.

Other facilities provided are a spacious and still clean food court. Unfortunately on my second visit today, we were bothered by flies which seemed to be everywhere despite the place being airconditioned. During my first visit on the opening day the place was free of flies. Today I had delicious laksa Penang.

The washroom is still immaculately clean and provided free of charge.

Tesco KB has two levels of covered parking and an open parking area. All are free. Only those with personal conveyance can reach this outlet as walking the way I did isn't feasible even on a cool cloudy day. There is also the free loyalty card membership being doled out. Frequent customers holding the card will collect points to be exchanged later with gifts when sufficient points are collected.

The covered car park

The main entrance on opening day.

Signing for free loyalty cards.

RTM Kelantan was there too to provide a direct broadcast via a mini studio.

Cakes from Secret Recipe are delicious.

The entrance to Tesco supermarket on opening day.

The payment counters.

Look at them coming.

Nagoya Textiles is another major tenant.

Ample playing area for the kids and located just beside the food court.

My former boss En. Alimin Omar and his wife Kak Dah. He is now The Director of Muzeum Kelantan. Hopefully he will bring the muzeum to greater height.

Unfortunately there was no book store in this outlet. All I could find was a news stand which sells magazines and newspapers. I bought the latest bumper issue of PC.com magazine which came in a box with calendars as freebies.

I bought the only available copy of PC.com's bumper issue. This guy is a Nepalese.

Tesco is known to offer lower prices compared to others. My daughter bought two packs of baby diapers at RM32.00 compared to RM37.00 which she bought an hour earlier in Pasir Mas as she ran out of stock before leaving the baby to me to take care off while she and her husband paid the supermarket a visit. Who can resist a 13.5 percent discount? My daughter inlaw Yani would have bought 10 packs to benefit an immediate saving of RM50.00
The price list is displayed at the entrance.

The low prices is a great boon in these times of rising prices. It may also the death knell to those mini markets across the river one of which has already reduced its size to one floor from the previuos two floors. To these mini markets, hard times are definitely ahead of them. Will the local governement allow more of such hypermarkets in Kota Bharu in addition to the present ones already in existence? Beside Tesco, we have Billion Supermarket, KB Mall, Pantai Timor, The Stores (2 outlets), the smaller Maidins and Salams. Parkson used to exsist but closed its door sometimes ago due to lack of patronage. Will the Giants chain of stores come here too?
KB Mall which is located within sight of this Tesco outlet provided you don't suffer from impaired vision and view it from a high enough elevation to look over the end of the Sultan Yahya Bridge.

Don't worry of being out of cash, they will accept credit cards or bank card for Point Of Sale charges or you can withdraw cash from the ATMs.
Stalls at the carpark on the basement carpark

These guys found a perfect spot to advertise for personal loans to those who have expended all their financial resources.
Without much other places or entertainment, shopping places will become the places for people to while away their free time. KB Mall has a bowling alley for them to play a game a two. The choice available now is getting more for the people around Kota Bharu.


cakapaje said...

Salam Pak Zawi,

Sigh...I do miss KB quite a lot. When I was still a toddler, my parents moved the whole family to Pengkalan Chepa where we stayed for 3 years. Then, I was enrolled into Fatima Kindergarten who's anthem was the theme from The Bridge Over River Kwai. Hmm...

The last I was in KB was about 3 years back. Apart from the food which I so love (especially nasi kerabu), I just could not help looking and loving those pretty young things as well :) Aaah KB, you do know how to melt a guy's heart.

Zawi said...

Wassalam. Tell you what, I will blog about Kota Bharu next just to let people like you the transformation of Kota bharu. The town has changed so much with many of the old shacks gone. It has yet to attain city status though not like our neighbouring City is the east coast hahahaha.
Since this is a familar town, come back one day and I will be too glad to take you around on your nostalgic trip to the place you have once grown up in.
They used the theme song from the Bridge On The River Kwai? That was my favourite sont to whistle to when I was in school. How lovely that song is.
To look at those SYT from Kelantan you dont have to go far. They are literally all over KL. Just ask them to say "Seven Eleven" then you will know which one is from here.
Have a good day Shah.

Akmal said...

Pak Zawi,
Good coverage pak. I'll be home sometimes later, and I'll be sure to hang around this new spot.
The food court looks neat and nice; many thais food too, I see. For a man who can literally crunch cili padi with teeth alone, chew on it and then swallow it with no remorse, that one is a good news for me. Do we have Laksa Shack there? It wasn't in KB Mall, so I wonder if it is available there.
That one would be the only Secret Recipe we have in 'Kay Bee' right? I always love the chocolate indulgence cake.
No bookstore? Ahh bummer! Got to resort to Popular, I guess.
During my school days at Falahiah (which is just a stone throw away from the location anyway), I used to jog all the way to the spot from the school, alongside friends who have nothing better to do hahaha. There was a recreational park there, with a fishing spot at the concrete enforced bank. I dont't think that it is still there though.
There will be another one mall coming up right? It is Perangin or Pelangi Mall or something, the location should be next to the Riverview Hotel. I wonder what kind of excitement will be offered there. KB Bazaar is also on the full swing, but there are still so many lots unoccupied.
KB Mall has been some kind of meeting venue for us ex-Falahians. We'll go huhahuha together for a while, strike some pins on the bowling lane, go tuck ourself some food, and then go huhahuha again hahaha. Now we can add this one up as a choice.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

Salam Pak Zawi,

wheelchair-friendly escalators. now thats really something to shout about!

Pi Bani said...

Looking at the photos of the main entrance, the payment counters and the wheelchair friendly escalators, looks almost like Tesco Ipoh. When Tesco Ipoh first opened, I tak pergi - too many people! Biasalah, masa baru buka orang semua excited lagi. But nowadays that's where I always go to get my supplies of groceries and baby's needs for the PLWHA families.

Oh btw, I've done the tag.

Zawi said...

It won't be much fun for you to hang around Tesco. To come and see how the place look is ok but not hang around since there is not even a book store here and no bowling alley either. KB Mall will be a better place.
No laksa Shack here. Though the fravy of the laksa Penang served at the noodles station was good but they use the instant laksa which wasn't to my liking.
As to the Secret Recipe outlet there is another one in KB Mall.
The recreational spot which was known as Dataran JPS is history. Hopefully they will do something new cos it is nice to watch the 'teh susu' coloured water of the Kelantan River.
The new mall near Taman Sekebun Bunga is yet to be opened. Could either be Prangin or Pelangi, I am not sure. Location wise this latest mall may not be competitive unless thay have something that the others dont have, then only people will go there. Remember Parkson had to close down when they operated from somewhere near there.
KB Bazaar is dying from lack of patrons. The few shop lots that are opened there are 'hidup segan tunggu mati', a new saying from Pak Zawi hahahaha.
So for the moment, KB Mall will still be the place in Kota Bharu. I love the computer shops there.

Zawi said...

Sorry I forgot to mention about the facilities for disabled people there. Tesco top that in every aspect beginning with the parking lot. The nearest to the entrance is reserved for disable people and family with children. Very thoughtful of them and hopefully they won't be misused by those who do not need them. Escalators are definitely the wheelchair friendly type. Seperate toilets for disable people too.
Great friendly place I would say.

J'da said...

Pak Zawi,
My mom told me that during Tesco opening day, there were 200 food voucers were given out and loads of ppl waited outside before they opened at 9am...

Here, we often go to Tesco Ampang (my husband preference) & the kids love it so much to hang out at the kid funzone at the open area outside of that Tesco. And as for me - Nasi ayam Linda Onn is a good treat (I love the fish ball soup).

Talking about Secret Recipe - it is getting popular in KB too. Last Christmas holiday I wanted to buy a whole cake (at KB Mall), but it was sold out until next delivery (from KL) coming only the next day. That's why they open another one in Tesco KB!

Zawi said...

They have found the best setup so they won't change it till another need arise.
The construction of Tesco was done in record time and the last flood didn't really test them as the water level wasn't as high as the worst flood.
Their prices are comparatively cheap. My only reservation is the wet market as I can get much fresher supplies from the Pasir Mas market.
Thanks for doing the tag. I am rushing over to there now as I know it is going to be a very hilarious takeaway from you.
Take care.

Zawi said...

I was late for the opening as I was busy tapping away on the keyboard at the Toyota Service station where they provide free broadband internet for the customers waiting for their car. Your mum maybe right about the free gifts and I am sure there was a big rush for the frrebies. Heard they gave away free Tesco bags too for the first 200 customers. Yesterday they were selling the bags for RM3.90 or thereabout.
You have nasi ayam Linda Onn at that outlet? Does she show her face often there? I bet if she does, that alone will sell her nasi ayam.
Once you have tasted Secret Recipe's cake, nothing else will do unless you get a specially made cake by Wiz :).

Pak Idrus said...

zawi, welcome to the real world of globalization. I thought that KB would escape the onslaught, but like anythings else such multinational company would open up to served the society. It is the beginning of the changes to come to KB. The rush to the new Hyper/Supermarket is just a phenomena and it would soon settled down and lives would goes on as usual.

Personally I do not frequent such place often. I prefer to do my shopping at small market and meet friendly people who works there. It give that personal touch and it is the personal touch that keep me going back to the same store from time to time.

Well, life is like that, the new would surely get lots of attention at first.

I still hope KB would continue to develop as a special and unique town with it our character.Have a nice day and take care.

Zawi said...

Pak Idrus,
I think we could do without such development but the state governement wanted to show to the world that it too can bring development to the state via private investors. As Akmal pointed out there is another mall coming up soon right smack in Kota Bharu town. It does provide some form of employment to the locals and some workinf at the smaller mini market will lose theirs.
Except for the festive season it is more or les the same crowd moving around and later they will stabilize and each will have their own patrons.
There are many Kelantanese working at hypermarkets all over KL. They prefer to work there once they have tasted the life in KL.
KB will just follow the other town's way of development as they population is mobile and will feel backward if KB doesn't develop the way KL did. To me some development is necessary so that KB can be kept clean and livable.
Convey our regards to Kak Asmah.

Mat Salo said...

Whoa.. hang on a minute, Bang Zawi. This looks like a free advert for Tesco. Back home, I too live near a Tesco, in fact, probably amongst the first ones. TESCO has already gobbled up Makro and is poised to be the biggest supermarket chains in the world. This does not bode well for your mom-and-pop grocery store but also spells the death knell for mini markets as well. And who's to complain in this age of fast rising consumer prices?

I was in UK a year ago to attend a seminar and the way the Newspapers played it out is that Tesco has reared it's ugly head. Chief amongst them was the produce suppliers: veggies, potatoes and the like. Everyday there will sad stories of farmer claiming that Tesco has 'squeezed' them since they dictate the price. So these farmers are crying foul because they're forced to supple Big T below costs. It's OK being a consumer as long as we're not a supplier.

But on the whole, there's more consumers than producers and they do provide employment, even for Banglas in Kay Bee.

Tukang Bechak nih gonna be a relic soon. Bang, perhaps you should spear a drive called 'save the becaks'? The young, especially the unemployed should be steered towards this noble profession. It needs to stay alive, tourists come for this charm..

BTW, great post, Bang Z!

zaitgha said...

Hi Pak Zawi,

I have never gone to a shopping complex on the opening day as i have this phobia being surrounded by too many people. I only went to Jusco Sban 2 and Tesco after 2 months he he...

you really make me wanting to see KB again. I used to play in the huge field beside Balai Polis KB which consisted of 2 soccer and 1 hockey field and across the road was the Stadium Mohd IV kot...i dont think the fields are there anymore...my house was along Jln Sultan Ibrahim and there was an old ruins of court house infront. I used to dig the earth for worms which my dad used as bait to catch udang galah...adoi la sorry to take so much space here as i went down memory lane he he

take care Pak Zawi and a lot of kisses to the baby....

tokasid said...

Salam Pak Zawi:

Nice account of Tesco KB's first days with sequences of photos which you have put chronologically. TQ pak.

Like Pak Idrus mentioned. Thats globilisation. Fortunately or unfortunately thats 'kemajuan dan pembangunan' as what is meant today.Shopping complexes,hypermarkets are signs and symbols of development.Physically.
It'll provide work opportunities (locals and foreigners). And it will offer a 'lepak' site for the young.

Of all the hypermarkets in Malaysia, I find Tesco is very aggresive.They have bought over Makro too,so I heard.They were supposed to open one in KT but somehow it didn't materilize, so KB became the replacement.

Tesco will offer lower prices,but as someone mentioned in an earlier comment, it also offer compulsive shopping for us. One might just wanted to get 3 items but most likely will end up with 6! Thats what I normally see in Tesco Melaka and Tesco Taiping. Same thing will happen in KB.

And the most likely group to have a setback are the minimarts and kedai runcit. They will not be able to compete with Tesco in the price war.But some will take advantage of Tesco. here in DT, one minimart owner bought his fast moving items from Tesco, he says its much cheaper than his supplier and there's no invoice involved!!Get the drift??Smart chap this guy.

With the election around the corner,Tesco might be a 'modal' for politicians on both sides to claim the 'development' they brought to KB.Tak gitu pak?

Zawi said...

mat salo,
Hahahaha Tesco didn't pay me anything, not even the free bag but if the CEO were to do a google search and he may come up with my write up,he may send me a thank you message. That will be reward enough for a blogger like me who writes for fun.
Yes they gobbled up Makro and now becomes Tesco Extra. I saw that happened in Shah Alam right near the Stadium so now people in the area have 3 choices to shop at, Tesco, Giants or Tesco Extra. Aint that nice to have multiple choices?
Like Pak Idrus said, the minimarkets in the neighbourhood must transform itself into something else to maintain its existence, being friendly is one and maybe make home delivery and order from home via internet, anything at all to remain relevant.
It will be too bad if they squeeze out the small farmers because it is like killing their suppliers.
The tukang becak too must transform themselves. Someform of improvement must be made to their driving mechanism to maintain with the times. Some smart engineers must come up with solar powered trishaws so that the leg power can be assisted with some electrical impulses. That way they can go abit faster especially at traffic lights when the poor bloke had to push as hard and as fast as he can for take off with the car drivers cursing at them for holding them back.
The Banglas are here to stay. With the opening up of the another new mall soon, their population will double up immediately. Local maidens may prefer them due to their Bollywood look some even lokking as great as Shah Rin oops Shah Rukh Khan.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

good info nonetheless, pak zawi. very insightful. with such facilities provided, it will encourage more chair-bound people to get the hay out of their house more and rejoin the society.

thank you.

Zawi said...

Don't be surprised they are all still there, the playing fields and the police quarters. If yu can give me more details of your quarters you used to live in I may be able tolocate it and post it on my next post about Kay Bee.
I went there on the opening day because I want to capture the moment for this post. If I were to go there 2 months later it wont be relevant anymore rite?
The udang galah are still available in Sungai Kelantan but recently a big crocodile was seen sunning on the sand bar near the bridge. People are scared of this kind of croc unlike the human croc.
Thanks Zai for the kisses for the baby. I will relay them to her.

Zawi said...

Doc TA,
Thanks for the praises. It made my effort really worthwhile.
The opening of Tesco was a feather in the state governments cap. They will capitalise that to the hilt in the coming GE. Will they retain the state just because of that? All depends on how the opposition (BN) play with their money and how the Kelantanese will be receptive to that.
One thing to note is that while the rest of Malaysia were crying for the supply of cooking oil, KB Tesco dont seem to be short of them. Everyone who came out of there had some supply and many bought 2 bottles of the 5 kg pack. How come?
The people in KB has been trained to be compulsive buyers by the Maidin outlets. They are well groomed by them. So no fear with Tesco. They will do it with finese there hahahaha.

Zawi said...

I guess Tesco was using the humane appeal to be one up on others. Anyway KB Mall provided both kinds of escalators at their place so they cant be faulted on that score.
Anyway I didn't see many wheel chair bound people making their way to Tesco on the day of my visits. Their family should take them out to such places more to be able the fascilities provided for them to be in the mainstream of ordinary life.

Hussin said...

Sallam Zawi,

Nice take on Tesco KB. They have to "reward" you for the free publicity. Hopefully, not too many youngsters will use the place to hang around doing nothing but knowing the ever industrious Kelantanese more good will come out of this than bad.

I'm planning to go to KB soon (hopefully during CNY) if I can find rooms. I always find Kelantan and Trengganu captivating.


Zawi said...

I am not expecting any reward. A thank you would be nice.
Pesonally Tesco is not the best place for the Kelantanese youth to lepak. Not too may shops, bowling alley or suitable place to hang around. KB Mall will still be preferred over Tesco.
If you are definite of coming book your room early and you wont be disappointed. If you need help just email me and I will do whatever necessary. I will send u my contact number so that in any eventuality you can always call me.
Kelantan will always welcome you.

Zabs said...

Salam Zawi,
Terlewat mengomen di sini. Terkena juga dengan kesibukan begitu semasa Tesco pertama kali dibuka di kawasan Ampang, tahun lepas. setengah jam menunggu untuk dapat tempat parking. Orang yang datang macam ulat taik. Walaupun dah banyak hyper market begini di sekeliling, tetapi yang baru akan dikunjungi juga.
Setelah dua tiga kali terkena kesesakan begitu saya tidak lagi ke sana untuk "bershopping".
Lebih mudah, membeli di tempat yang lebih kecil dan kurang orang dan tidak bersesak2.
Pernah juga mengunjungi Tesco semasa di UK dulu, dan antara hyper market yang termurah di sana, dan tentunya menjadi tumpuan ramai.
Good coverage, sayang tak dapat apa2 dari Tesco, and Nice photos too. Thank you Zawi.

Zawi said...

No hal la lewat sikit je. Dah menjadi kebiasaan orang Malaysia rushing for opening day hoping for freebies. I couldnt catch the actual opening crowd as I was late to arrive at the place due to my being engrossed with moderating comments on my blog while at Toyota.
I am happy that you enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

Salam Zawi,
There are too many comments on Tesco here so I wont add anymore. What I'm interested is the Depu Koridor which you have mentioned. Now, depu is actually Kelantanese term for gaharu or karas (Aqualaria sp). The best oil from the induced-resin can fetch about RM30K/kg in the open market, mostly used as incense and perfumes in the middle eastern countries. Imagine, one acre of depu trees can generate income roughly RM1 mil. So, Kelantan can be very rich state if the corridor is a success. There is a good write-up and pictures at this site http://raykinzoku.fotopages.com/?entry=1313625.
btw, Giant supermarket is going to be at the new business centre at Tunjung-Salor, very near your place, Pasir Mas.

jaflam said...

You have done well in marketing KB and now Tesco. I am sure more of the super hyper market will follow TESCO to KB. One of the new craze in KL now is J&Co and Big Apple doughnut. At first I thought those people must be nut, cuing for hours to get the doughnut but after tasting it I realized it's worth the wait. Its just delicious and yummyyyy. Hope it will go to KB soon.... Salam.

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Pak Zawi
With or without Tesco, Kelantan is still one of those places I'll go for some serious laid-back holiday from the city.
p/s: Starbucks dah ada?

elviza said...

Salam Pak,

Ah, sama topic kita! Tesco mania has hit my hometown too...

More importantly, I bumped into your daughter at Delicious Bangsar during lunch hour today.

She looks really good for someone in her third trimester of the pregnancy...wish I could look half as good as her when I was pregnant. Fat chance!

Turned up to be she was having lunch with Farah, who is also a friend cum client of mine.

My my my... what a small world.

Puteri said...

It has been over 20 years since my last visit to KB! :-)

Do men and women still go on separate lanes at the check out in the supermarket?

Talking about facilities for the disabled, I guess being TESCO, an international chain, they should offer the same kind of services for the disabled where ever they set up shop as they do back in their HQ country!

Here in the US it is mandatory to cater to the needs of the disabled in restaurants and supermarkets/malls etc. They even provide motorized shopping carts .. just sit on it and ride it all over the supermarket. At a lot of the supermarkets in Malaysia, the aisles are so narrow that 2 shopping carts can't even pass each other. It pisses me to no end when I shop in Miri! Hehe.

Zawi said...

Thanks for the enlightenment on Kelantan Koridor Depu. Hopefully this Depu trees can replace the durians, duku and dokong trees which failed to bring in a good income whenever a glut occurs as the previous sesons has proven. Most grateful for the link to RaY KinZoKu photopage.
The Kenaf project seems to be struggling to replace tobacco as the cash crop of choice. Personally I see alot of potential in Kenaf but if it is not properly executed, it will lead to failure and lost of confidence among the tobacco farmers. A few trial plots has failed to be successfully harvested.
Giant is coming up in Salor? That answered my question. That means there will be another two coming up since the mall at Taman Sekebun Bunga is nearing completion.
LadyZ, thanks again for the visit and the info. Hope to read more comments from you in the near future.

Zawi said...

Hahahaha it was never intended to be a promotion of Tesco but I guess that is what really happened. The original intention was to highlight the happenings in Kelantan.
LadyZ above has informed us of the opening of a Giant supermarket close by my Pasir Mas and Akmal mentioned of the almost completed mall near Taman Sekebun Bunga right smack in Kota bharu. I will do some investigation this morning and see what really is the status of development of these two places to satisfy my own curiousity.
KLites gone nutty queuing for doughnuts? Are they even better than the Dunking Donuts already long available everywhere? Well if Secret Recipe can find a place in KB why not them? Literally thousands of Kelantanese commute to KL daily by the planeloads, trainloads and busloads. What they have tasted in KL, they want to have it in Kelantan too hahahaha.

Zawi said...

Thank you for choosing Kelantan as the destination of choice. By your admission, hopefully others will be influenced too. The Perhentian Islands of Terengganu is easily accessed from Kelantan too hehehe. Sorry, our own beaches in Pantai Cahaya Bulan and Pantai Sabak has been claimed by the sea so to enjoy the beaches I suggest you go to Perhentian. The backpackers of the world has long found heaven over there but sad to say not many Malaysians has set their foot there.
Starbucks? Have your Latte in KL and I will treat you to kopi O with telor separuh masak at the famous White House in KB OK?

Zawi said...

Small world indeed that we talk about the same subject and meet the same people. She called me immediately after meeting you to tell me that the both of you have a mutual friend. She must be the Farah that you mentioned.
She intends to come home to Pasir Mas to deliver her baby. Looks like a few additional grandchildren for me to enjoy having them around beside the baby from Labuan that is already home with me to take care of. That spells fun, fun, fun.

Zawi said...

20 years is a long time indeed. High time you revisit Kelantan. When you were here the last time, Kelantan was under a different state government. Lots of developments has occured and the face and skyline of KB has changed. Wait for my post on KB and you will see the differences. Meanwhile visit this site to see some of the latest photos of Kota Bharu.
Agree with you that all international companies have a certain standard to adhere to and maintain them at all of their outlets.
Will you be in KB this May?

Puteri said...


Doug would love to visit Kelantan as he has only been to Penang and KL. Yes, it is high time I revisit Kelantan. I don't think May is possible because Doug can only afford 2 weeks during that period and we will be heading for my parents' longhouse for the Gawai celebrations soon after our arrival. Moreover the kids will be suffering from jet lag and won't be much fun to bring along any where.Maybe when Doug comes back for us (the kids and I will be spending the summer holidays in Miri) in late July we might be able to make that trip to Kelantan. We shall see how it goes.

tokasid said...

Pak Zawi:

Now that there is the Secret recipe outlet, I would like to suggest amenu which you should try. Its the Lamb Stew. That is the best item in Seret Recipe followed by Tomyam Kung.

My last visit to KB was during the last by-election in Pasir Mas. Apart from White House, there is a stall in Jalan Hamzah which our host took us after our Suboh prayers. And I just loved the nasi kerabu breakfast bought after subuh near the backlanes of the Masjid Besar.

And not to mention Megat Nordin,Mat Glamer, Jali Bunga Tanjung and Cikgu Naim for their dikir barat modern which made some Malaccan thought I'm from KB.

Nightwing said...

Helo Pak Zawi,

Another great post. Thanks for sharing it.

Ya, u write as if Tesco is paying you to..:)

Sad no book shop around though..:(

Wonder why they hire foreigners...do they even advertise for the locals?

uncleawang said...

Salam Pak Zawi,
Though I'm not been to Kota Bahru,I'm sure most people are rushing like Pak Idrus mentioned the new would surely get lot's of attention at first.Kuching is not exceptional as to-morrow (10/01/2008)the new largest shopping mall is opening.MyNews.com,starbuck & secret recipes are among the few tenants.Like you mentioned nobody pay us by posting the branding of their business but at least we are promoting our state to the world that what we are having in the town.So watch out my posting on the opening of Kuching latest Shopping mall.Happy shopping.

Zawi said...

I was just suggesting May because I know you will be coming back then but of course you will have to fit in with your schedule. Anytime will be fine Puteri as even in July is still within the dry season since the monsoon will set in only in Oktober (normally.
I have yet to experience Gawai. Must make it a point to visit Sarawak during Gawai.

Zawi said...

I will try the lamb stew.
You were here for the by-election? That surprises me. Where did they put you up? What a miss. We should have know each other earlier and I would have campaigned on your side whichever side you were on hahahaha. I trust the good doc. would have disected and anylysed everything right down to the last cell to determine which side rot the least.
I took a picture of the white house but it was closed since it was still daytime. Will feature it on my next post on Kota Bharu.
As to the stalls that sells the nasi kerabu, it is indeed difficult to identify unless you give the name of the stall owner as there are just to many of them.
Hahaha u seem to know all the names of the famous dikir barat jogho. They are celebrities on their own right among the dikir barat fans.

H J Angus said...

I think TESCO should pay you for such a good write-up.

KB is 2 years ahead of Johor Bahru with a new TESCO being built in Tebrau. (now under ground clearance stage).

Maybe PAS faster in granting approvals?

Zawi said...

Maybe after this post I will be noticed by the next hypermarket operators that will be opening soon and they will hire me to write a blog on them. Then I will set my price. The higher they pay me, the more positive the write up will be and vice versa.
My guess is Tesco engaged a contractor and the contractor chos the cheapest labour to maximise his profit. Furthermore Banglas are much easier to manage with minimum absentee cos they can never use the excuse of a sick mother, grandmother, child or wife for not coming to work.

Zawi said...

Just do what we think is a good thing to do, you can never be wrong. I find it fun to blog about anything that will attract people to read. I find this post a satifying one as so many of you read it and comment. That is reward enough to me.
Thank you everyone including you uncleawang. Let us see how the new outlet in your place fare.

Zawi said...

h j angus,
They didn't ask me to write it so I guess they didn't budget anything for such a venture. Furthermore how many of those who read my blog goes to Tesco KB? They trishaw pedallers did better than me so they deserve any payment more tha I do.
The state government has to show development and what better way to do it than to let private initiative to do it? They dont cost the state government any money and they have development to show to the voters at the same time provide some jobs and some tax for the state. Come next GE they will have something to talk about.
Certain people in the private sector has been telling all those who care to ask and to listen that the current administration is easier to deal with as everything is above board. It must be true otherwise how could everything goes through so fast.
Your guess is as good as mine.

Hi&Lo said...

Zawi and friends,

Selamat Maal Hijrah.

Zawi said...

Thanks for the greetings. Selamat Maal Hijrah to you too.

U.Lee said...

Hello Zawi, enjoyed read this post of yours and Tesco. I can imagine how much Kota Bahru has changed since my last visit there in 1985. Yes, that long ago.
Used to know the roads there very well too, never got lost, and loved going to Pantai Cinta Berahi for drinks and walk along the beach. But from what I have been hearing, the place now changed a lot.
Glad to see a Mall like Tesco in your place, at least bila senang can go walkabouts.
We here going to have the biggest Mall in North America quite close by my place here, and its HUGE! Still in construction stage, ready end of the year most probably. Its owned by a young gentleman from Hong Kong.
Sini the HK business people are competiting with the Taiwanese, as well the Chinese from mainland China in opening supermarkets and malls. And who the loser? Orang puteh malls, they tutup kedai, ha ha. They kala to the Chinese business tactics, ha ha.
Within an area of 5 miles, already 8 huge malls...and more supermarkets then I've seen anywhere but to our benefit as they fight prices.
What with the Mainland Chinese from China practically flooding into Canada, 55% into Toronto, sometimes we feel we are in China or HK, ha ha. Especially as there's no language laws here we see Chinese character signboards (English below) everywhere, even in banks.
Canada accepts 250,000 immigrants every year, and a big percentage now coming from China.
Mecedes and BMW's sell like hot goreng pisang here, and we see lots of young Chinese kids hardly 21, boys and girls driving not only Porche's, but Porche Turbo's, BMW M3's, Mercedes AMG's 550, Ferraris, Lamboghinis, Aston Martins etc. Wonder how they have so much money, ha ha. I think growing on trees in China.
Anyway, I guess you busy with your grand kids, huh? Keep well, my friend, best regards, Lee.

Zawi said...

I went for a shooting spree of Kota Bharu yesterday. Shooting pictures la. Wanna do a post on Kota Bharu so that people like you who was last there in 1985 can see how much the town has changed. I don't have old pictures of Kota Bharu to compare but I think there are many on other people's blogsite such as Raykinzuko or kbguy.
This post of KB will be my new year gift to you as well as to another lady friend of ours who used to grow up in KB.
Gonna keep your 'The Faded Letter' in hard copy for me to read, so please hurry up with the posting of the rest.
Keep well my friend.

kbguy said...

haha.. a good review for Tesco. I been to Tesco (KB) once.The only shop that attracts me is the shop selling Donugh. Bought half dozen for RM9.50 . No service tax yet. Good to hv one Tesco in Kelantan now. I think nothing great compare to KB Mall, except that thing there should be cheaper. just advice to our fellow consumers, compare prices when buying at pacific mall, as I notice their goods are sometime more expensive than those selling at Watson, Guardian and Billion. After seeing your write about Tesco, I think I am going there again cos I miss afew places that you write about. So, see you..bye

Zawi said...

I was at Tesco too this morning. The crowd was bigger than the opening day crowd in morning. Carpark was full. The public holiday for Maal Hijrah must have given our fellow Kelantanese the opportunity to visit Tesco today.
Before that I was at KB Mall and KB Mall was comparatively desserted.
Wait for Pelangi Mall to open in the area around your home and all the crowd will flock there after that.
Are the doughnuts at Tesco any better than Dunkin Donut?

tokasid said...

Pak Zawi:

During the by-election I stayed at a friend's friend nearby the Petronas station Jalan Kuala Krai.

And was the one who took us to the White house.Ppl were lining up(us too) before the doors were open.
I have visited KB many time but no one ever mentioned the White House to us.

2 items that I will never leave when in KB is the serunding daging and buah mangga siku raja at pasar khatujah.

Zawi said...

The location at Petronas Jalan Kuala Krai isn't far from DUN Pengkalan Pasir vis the Lemal bridge or the Tendong bridge. Must have been very easy for you to commute to Dun Pengkalan Pasir.
Personally I don't see anything special about the White House. The only thing that they make on their own is the kopi, the roti bakar and the half boiled egg. The rest of the food sold there are provided by the people around the area. So what is so great about that? The nasi kerabu maybe special. No two nasi kerabu are alike. Otherwise how could we be taking nasi kerabu days in and days out?
Watch out for my next post soon: Kota Bharu In Pictures! Let us see if you can recognize some of the landmarks.
The next time you come to Kelantan please infor me OK?

waliz said...

i can imagine the excitement because we Seremban people also just had our own tesco few months back..before tht it was a Makro but somehow makro closed shop and the much awaited hypermarket came in..and now we also have jayajusco!... we r spoilt for choice and i agree the price is very much cheaper compared to normal grocery stores!

the only thing is there is no food courts available..sigh! and a very small book station..i need atleast kinokukiya (never get it right)...something like tht!

happy shopping pak zawi..:D

Zawi said...

After Tesco we will have Pelangi Mall opening soon and when Kota Bharu Trade center currently under construction is completed, it will house The Giant supermarket. I think that will be more than enough for Kota Bharu with such a small population compared to Seremban.
As I have mentioned somewhere strategik location is important and Parkson had to close shop because of poor location. I guess some of the smaller ones may close shop too one day as they are competing for a small market.
We dont have Kinokuniya but Popular Book Store is already here.
I wont be shpping for much as there is only my wife and me plus grandbaby Balqis at home.
Thanks for visiting waliz.

Hantu Laut said...

Pak Zawi,
I am not familiar with Kelantan other than negative news by the BN controlled media.

Do you have different check-out counters for male and female costumers at Tesco and other supermarkets in Kelantan?

My last visit to KB was about 23 years ago.If I remember well,I have to abandon my taxi halfway and walked in knee depth water to my hotel.Certain part of the town was flooded during the monsoon season.Do you still have this problem?

I have also visited Pasir Mas, a beautiful kampong with white sandy beach.It's probably more developed now since the last time I saw it.

Happy blogging.Have a nice day.

Zawi said...

Hantu Laut,
The negative take by the government controlled media sometimes result positive effect. Many Malaysians from other states flocked to Kelantan to see for themselve how bad we are faring. More often they get the biggest surprise of their life as we are not far worse than them and some of them thought we are better off.
Different payment counters are allocated for the males to pay bu how can you seperate the husband and wife couple like me from going to the same counter when doing our payment? Seperate counters are provided but enforcement is very lax.
If it was 23 yrs ago, lots of changes has occured. Wait for my post of KB in pictures and you will learn more of the present day KB.
Caught in a flood? Thats quite an experience. Nowadas many roads have been upgraded to higher level to avoid being flooded. The Federal government still develop Kelantan as provided for under the constitution. It is still their duty to do so.
Pasir mas with the sandy beach must be a river beach I guess as Pasir Mas is faraway from the sea. With the river being always murky due to agricultural development in the upper reaches of the Kelantan River especially Pergau and Nenggiri, the river is not crystal clear anymore as they used to be in the years before the 80s. Even the local favourite etak, a bivalve is almost gone and has to be imported from Pahang and Perak where the delicacy is yet to be discovered.
A bbjeff came into my blog Another Reason To Stop Smoking declaring himself as a non smoking person. He needs our support. Please say something to encourage him wilt his struggle. I need to post a new blog to keep the fire going. Akmal will be doing the same too.
Have a good day yourself.

Moonlight_tears said...

Salam Pak Zawi,
Apa khabar? Semoga Pak Zawi sihat and gembira selalu.
Gosh, haven't check your blog for quite sometimes and it's nice to read so many postings in one reading.. very interesting.
So there is a Tesco there now? How do you find about all the hype about Tesco opening? I remember when it first opened in Melaka, that's where I was from before I moved to the states, everyone was so hoo haa about it, same goes to me,something new I guess.
Anyways,you take care okay Pak Zawi.

Zawi said...

I am doing OK healthwise. The hypertension is under control and the gout makes it presence felt everytime I indulge in high cholesterol food or nuts.
The new Tesco outlet is located at the very enttrance to Kota Bharu by the Sultan Yahya Bridge from Tumpat side.
From the beginning of its contruction, the people of Kelantan were reminded of its impending opening so it was built up to a crencendo when the opening day came. They really played themselves into the mind of the Kelantan people.
Thats how they do it.
Thank you for visiting. Take care.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

TESCO's last two letter is the name of someone. Nik Aziz doesn't know that.

Zawi said...

Anonymous of June 11,
Must he know everything? Not everybody knows. Me neither. Only that everybody knows that this company belongs to the Jews and I think the Kelantan Government also knows that.
Not many people seems to be bothered by that either.
Care to tell whose name is it?

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