'Cikgu Nasir' blogs kris success
13 Feb 2012,
by Sulaiman Jaafar
FRIENDS laughed at Mohd Nasir Hassan when he first started selling the Malay traditional weapon, kris, on the Internet five years ago.
Mohd Nasir Hassan looking at orders for traditional weapons from his blog at his home in Kampung Dusun Durian in Tawang, Bachok, Kelantan. Pic by Syamsi Suhaimi.
However, the teacher and silat instructor had the last laugh when sales on his blog, Cikgu Nasir, reached RM60,000 a month.
"I first kept a kris for my silat students to use during training and then bought a few old ones.
"I had no intention of selling them then.
"When blogs became popular, I started my own in 2007 to share my interest in silat, antique motorcycles and bonsai plants," he said at his home in Kampung Dusun Durian, Tawang, near here.
The Universiti Sains Malaysia graduate, who teaches Malay Literature at a secondary school in Kota Baru, said his online business started purely by coincidence.
"A reader contacted me after reading my blog and asked whether I could supply kris for his silat students. "I obliged and later another reader inquired whether I had any kris for sale and the rest is history."
Nasir, 43, said he started looking for kris from friends and then put up their photos on his blog with their selling price for visitors to see.
"My blog was the first in the country to deal in this business although there were similar websites based in Singapore and Indonesia then.
"However, some people laughed at it and doubted whether it could become a success.
"However, I have proved them wrong and proud that it has become such a hit that it has spurred others to get involved in the same business."
Now, Nasir's blog deals not only in kris, but an assortment of traditional weapons such as sundang (sword kris), lawi ayam (sharpened claw), kapak Siam (a small axe), badik (dagger) and parang lading (working parang). The items for sale range from RM100 to RM20,000.
He has also expanded his business by accepting orders for new kris and other weapons besides repairing old ones.
"The business has given me a lot of satisfaction.
"Although sales sometimes reach RM60,000 a month, the profit margin is small.
"I am happy that my effort has revived an interest in kris and other traditional weapons, especially among the younger generation.
"It has also enabled me to make a lot of new friends, not only in Malaysia but also in Singapore and Brunei."
However, his greatest contribution is to the small cottage industries in the state, which are involved in the production of various weapons.
"There are several people involved in the production of a kris, for example. There is the blacksmith, woodcarver and sometimes the silversmiths for the more elaborate weapon.
"All this time, work has been rather slow for them as orders were few.
"The renewed interest in traditional weapons has breathed new life into the industry."