Bidor Turning derelict lands into gold

PCCCI, Bidor Branch
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Bidor is a small town in Batang Padang district in southern Perak. The town has a population of about 20,000, majority of whom Chinese.

In the Malay language the word “bidor” means “tin ingot.” Many Chinese migrants settled here in mid-19th century due to its rich tin deposits. In 1960s through 70s, there were also four foreign-invested tin mining dredges in Bidor in addition to the tin mines operated by the Chinese, showing that the town was indeed a very prosperous tin mining town back then.

Following the decline of the tin mining industry, many tin mines and mining lakes were abandoned, and these were subsequently turned into productive agricultural and aquacultural farms. Many businesses were drawn to invest in the farming of locally famous native products such as guava, rose apple, mango, turnip and potato as well as pig, poultry and freshwater breeding businesses.

Bidor is among the most important pig producing areas in the country. The Perak Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (PCCCI) Bidor branch president Loo Foo Kooi is himself engaged in the husbandry and freshwater fish breeding businesses. Set up six years ago, the PCCCI branch boasts about a hundred members involved in a variety of trades.

The patented sakura pork fed with acidophilus is a premium meat offering tremendous health benefits and has been marketed in major supermarket chains such as Jaya Jusco and Jaya Grocer in major towns across the country. Loo also provides charcoal roasted sakura pork, and has been invited to jointly run gourmet sakura pork chain stores specializing in steamboat and barbecue pork.

“Originally I developed sakura pork in a joint venture with Chinese investors but they later dropped out of the venture half way, leaving me alone to carry on the project.

PCCCI Bidor branch president Loo Foo Kooi(L),and V-P Tan Seak Pah.
PCCCI Bidor branch president Loo Foo Kooi(L),and V-P Tan Seak Pah.

Local delicacies

Bidor does not have any heavy industries but one light industrial park with sawmill, concrete mixer, machinery, plastic, mosquito repellant, door frame and palm oil factories. Famous soya sauce manufacturer Kwong Heng has also set up a factory in Bidor producing high quality soya sauce from GMO-free European beans for supply to demanding consumers in Japan, Europe and the United States.

Talking about local delicacies, Bidor is best known for the 70-year-old Pun Chun wanton noodle, duck drumstick noodle and chicken biscuit. The Yik Sang Restaurant on Theater Street is known for its traditional recipe of Chinese dishes while the wanton noodle stalls at Mee Wah Food Court and Tian Loy Coffee Shop along Jalan Sungkai are also very popular among local gourmets. The curry pumpkin bread chicken and various biscuits at Ta Chong Biscuits & Confectionery, barbecued pork, chee cheong fan and noodle at Bidor Market’s food center, as well as salted bake chicken at Tung Lok and Jing Yang along the Main Street are also must-try local delicacies. Another local specialty is petai.

Due to its convenient location, many travelers along the North-South highway would choose to stop in Bidor for the local delicacies and native products. The town is particularly busy during the weekends with visitors.

Chinese new villages in Bidor
Pekan Pasir
Kuala Bikam
Kampung Coldstream
Kampung Baru Stesen
Kampung Baru Tanah Mas