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  • Wartawan Nabalu News

From humble beginnings to bakery owner

16 April 2024

By Nabalu News Journalist

MEMBAKUT: Mohd Rusydi Abdullah, now 51 years old, is from Kg Kopimpinan Papar, who embarked on a humble journey to support his impoverished family as a boy.

At that time, with unwavering determination, Rusydi ventured into the dense swampy fields, foraging for wild vegetables to sell in the market. Each week, he diligently gathered these prized greens, carefully bundling them together and selling them for a mere RM1 each.

The meager earnings he collected, sometimes reaching up to RM60, were a lifeline for his family. With this money, Rusydi could purchase essential items such as sugar, salt, and rice, ensuring that his loved ones had sustenance.

Reflecting on his childhood, he shared the struggles his parents faced and the constant battle to make ends meet. As one of eight siblings, Rusydi knew that he had to take matters into his own hands, at times. It was to supplement the family income which was meagre at times, if there were anything at all.

After completing his studies up until Form Two in secondary school, Rusydi had to bid farewell to formal education. The lack of financial resources made it impossible for him to continue his studies. Uncertain about his future prospects, he managed to secure a job at a local coffee shop. Despite the simplicity of his occupation, Rusydi found contentment in his work. It wasn't overly challenging, and he harboured no envy towards those who toiled tirelessly.

As time passed, fate intervened, and Rusydi forged deep bonds with two other young boys. These companions embarked on a journey to Brunei in search of employment opportunities. Feeling the pull of adventure and longing for companionship, Rusydi's friends extended an invitation for him to join them in Brunei. Intrigued by the prospect of new experiences, at the age of 17, Rusydi made his way to Brunei, ready to embrace the unknown.

Upon arriving in Brunei, Rusydi landed a job at a local bakery. This serendipitous opportunity would forever change the course of his life. Immersed in the world of baking, Rusydi discovered his passion for the culinary arts. With each loaf of bread he kneaded, each cake he meticulously decorated, Rusydi's skills blossomed.

Years later, as Rusydi reflected on his remarkable journey, he spoke with a sense of pride, "That's where I learned to bake." The bakery had become his refuge, a sanctuary where his creativity flourished, and his aspirations took flight. Equipped with newfound knowledge and expertise, Rusydi's path was ablaze with infinite possibilities.

For a span of 21 years, Rusydi remained in Brunei, immersing himself in the world of baking and learning the intricacies of running a bakery. This period served as a valuable time of growth and knowledge accumulation, laying the foundation for his future endeavours.

After dedicating a significant portion of his life to Brunei, Rusydi returned to his hometown of Sabah, carrying with him a wealth of experience and a burning ambition. It was then that he embarked on the journey of establishing his own business, fully aware of the challenges that lay ahead.

Recalling those early days, Rusydi candidly expressed, "It was not an easy path. I learned never to give up and to persevere until one achieves the level of success they desire." His resilience became his guiding principle as he faced setbacks and obstacles along the way.

In his quest for entrepreneurial success, Rusydi ventured into different fields to explore potential opportunities. At one point, he tried his hand at being a fishmonger, but the venture proved to be less fruitful than expected, resulting in financial losses. Undeterred by this setback, he adapted and sought new possibilities.

With an indomitable spirit, Rusydi also experimented with selling steamed buns, hoping to tap into the market's appetite for this popular snack. However, this endeavour did not gain the traction he had hoped for. Despite these initial setbacks, Rusydi's unwavering determination, honed through years of hard work, propelled him forward.

It was during this time that Rusydi made a bold decision to pursue his passion for baking, and he never looked back. Thus, RNK Bakery Mart in Membakut was born. Serving the local community and attracting customers from across the West Coast, this bakery has become a beloved establishment. With their dedication and hard work, they now generate a monthly gross income ranging from RM30,000 to RM38,000. These earnings are utilised for operational costs, management expenses, and supporting a team of five employees.

In order to further enhance his business, Rusydi sought financial support from TEKUN, a government agency that provides loans to entrepreneurs. He revealed, "I have previously borrowed from TEKUN to expand my business. The first loan of RM10,000 was obtained in 2012, followed by RM15,000 in 2016, and RM30,000 in 2023."

While the earlier loan faced challenges due to unfavourable business conditions, the most recent loan proved to be a success, contributing significantly to the growth of his bakery.

During a recent visit by the Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative, Datuk Ewon Benedick, Rusydi expressed his gratitude for the minister's presence. He regarded the visit as a strong indication of the government's support for entrepreneurs and found it immensely encouraging for himself and fellow entrepreneurs in the region.

"I feel honoured and greatly motivated by his visit," he enthused.

Rusydi's journey exemplifies the rewards that come with unwavering dedication and the determination to transform dreams into reality. Through his resilience and resourcefulness, he has turned a humble bakery into a thriving business, positively impacting the local community and inspiring others to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations.

On young entrepreneurs who wished to embark on a bakery business, he said they have to understand their products and know how to sell them. They must also keep on learning and upgrading their products to meet market demands.

“If they want to learn how to bake or want to hold a workshop on baking, I am ready to help,” he said.


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