In late 1960s, when I was still one of the pupils of Sultan Ibrahim Primary School (SIPS) in Pasir Mas (an English medium primary school) I used to buy my school text books, exercise books and other stationery items at KEDAI BUKU MUDA OSMAN the only most visited book store in my hometown at that time. It had been the only local book store in town for school pupils from the primary schools and students of several secondary schools around the town. Besides been the main retailer of the school text books the shop also became the only one supplier of kitabs or religious books for the Muslims who learnt in various pondoks or the Islamic religious centers and study of the town. Among the pondoks preaching Islam at that time were like Pondok Lama, Pondok Kubang Bemban, Pondok Lati, Pondok Kampong Dangar, Pondok Lubuk Tapah and many others that became the attractions of the Muslims to go for deeper studies in their faith and way of life. So KEDAI BUKU MUDA OSMAN was the place where they went to get their books and other necessities respectively.
I still remember the days whenever myself and sometimes together with my friends entering KEDAI BUKU MUDA OSMAN located in front row of the block of shops in the west of the central market square in Pasir Mas town where we frequently meet the owner Tuan Haji Muda, his wife, children and a handful of workers. Here we use to buy text books, exercise books, drawing blocks and other writing utensils for my classroom activities as well as for the homework. Haji Muda in his late 50’s is a slim figure but he seems to be a very hardworking and religious man too who is always available and willing to listen to all his customers and their problems even though there are a few more assistants who are helping him to run the book shop. He sought help and assistance in running the favorite bookshop of the town from the workers including his wife and children. Most of the time Haji Muda wear plain white sarung and white short sleeved singlet with a big thick waist band that have a few pockets and strong hooks just like the Arabians in the Middle East use to wear in the Middle East countries or when the Muslims perform the hajj in the holy city of Mekkah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His ever calm face depicts to his customers that he has never feel distress or discomfort in treating them instead he attends them wisely to make sure they are happy and purchase with satisfaction. He wants them to feel that they have been served well in buying the books, stationery or merchandise that they were searching for at the book shop. Normally he would attend to the elderly customers in prior especially those who are fetching for kitabs (Islamic religious books) because these people need special assistance with their preferred books mainly about the topics, the writers and the authentication of the publication and distribution. Haji Muda moves around swiftly in his book shop heading to and fro the huge glass doors compartment leaning to one of the walls of his book shop where he keeps all of the kitabs in there. He always wear plain white short hand Pagoda singlet too which makes his customers easy to recognize him from the other assistants who were helping him and giving hands to their needs fetching books other things they need, Among the assistants are his own wife, children and a couple of workers who understand and knew well about their scope of works in assisting Haji Muda running the book shop from 7.00 a.m. until 6.00 p.m. They operate the book shop six days a week except on Fridays, the public holiday for the people of the state.
One of his sons Mohd Kamil bin Muda has been one of our outstanding schoolmates in Sultan Ibrahim Primary School (SIPS) who takes great care of his own appearance whether in the classroom or during the co-curricular activity after the school hour in the evening. In the morning he walks together with other pupils to school in complete iron pressed school uniform while he combs his hair in a pageboy look style. Every morning he walks along Jalan Meranti, passing the Dusun Green (The resident of Tengku Ahmad Panglima Raja), the KTM Railway gate, Kedai Abu and finally Pasir Mas’s police station before turning right into the alley to our beloved school, SIPS. He always dresses decently and smartly with a pair of stockings and white shoes. He is of the same age with me but he has been studying in the other classroom in Standard 6 Green I think. I’m always in the White class as ever, all the time from Standard 3 right to Standard 6. Even though, we are of the same age and peer to each other since lower primary until upper primary Year 3 (1967) to 6 (1970). I still remember that Mohd Kamil has been a decent and smart boy who dresses in neatly pressed uniform and well combed hair style that looked elegant and well cared by his parents mainly his mother. It’s the best discipline that he’s showing to all his friends and comrades in the school.
Now, after decades of pioneering the traditional family bookstores in the state Kedai Buku Muda Osman has turned itself to be SMO Book Store, which become one of the successful conglomerate corporate and successful entrepreneurship business in the country. SMO Book Store under the new administration and staff have been so busy with their 25 branches and outlets in Kelantan itself and considered as one of the leading bookstores in Malaysia.
All these started with the practice of sincere religious implementation added with high moral values performed by the late Haji Muda, his wife and children, his faithful workers as well as their co-workers who gain the support of their customers and the public. Usahawan.com should learn all these to fulfill its dream to become one of the most outstanding entrepreneur power in the coming decades and may the people of this country has its name on their lips in future. Ameen.