Pisang Goreng Mawar owner embraces Sultan Ibrahim's timeless business advice

02 Feb 2024 11:15am

JOHOR BAHRU - "When doing business, do it well and with sincerity. Do not be arrogant towards guests or customers,” that is the advice from His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia, to Kamisah Ali, the owner of Pisang Goreng Mawar stall here.

Kamisah, 62, said the advice given by His Majesty when she was called to Istana Pasir Pelangi for official matters in 2016, has since become the core principle guiding her in operating the pisang goreng (banana fritters) business at Jalan Sri Gelam here.

In that brief yet meaningful meeting, Sultan Ibrahim also encouraged Kamisah, who has been running the business since 2000, to continue operating at the location, which was granted by His Majesty’s father, the late Sultan Iskandar Sultan Ismail.

She said this was because the roots of Pisang Goreng Mawar trace back to the late Sultan Iskandar himself, who developed a profound fondness for her banana fritters.

"Prior to Sri Gelam, I operated on the roadside of Jalan Kolam Ayer, a route frequented by the late Sultan Iskandar for entering and exiting the palace. There was one occasion during Ramadan when the stall was closed, the late Sultan was looking for us. To my surprise, the late Sultan instructed his escort to find us at home because he had fallen in love with the banana fritters.

"Following that, the late Sultan Iskandar granted us the Sri Gelam site and a dedicated stall to enable us to do business in a more comfortable setting. After Sultan Iskandar’s passing, I thought I could no longer sell banana fritters here, but Sultan Ibrahim continued his father’s legacy and ensured our presence here,” she told Bernama recently.

Not only that, Kamisah said His Majesty played a vital role in upgrading her stall in 2021, ensuring a comfortable environment for customers in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era.

She also said that His Majesty would often order banana fritters for guests at the palace, earning the nickname ‘Pisang Goreng Diraja’ from the locals.

"Sultan Ibrahim has the same people-oriented nature as his late father. When we see His Majesty passing by (the stall area), we will wave to him. We feel quite sad when Sultan Ibrahim goes to Kuala Lumpur to carry out the duties of Malaysia’s new King.

"Thanks to the kindness of Sultan Ibrahim and the late Sultan Iskandar, my sustenance is abundant and in fact, I have expanded my business to Singapore,” said Kamisah, who uses various types of bananas, such as pisang nangka, pisang nipah and pisang raja as well as a special batter mixture to make her offerings delicious and crispy.

The banana fritters also need to be dipped in ‘sambal kicap’, synonymous with Johor, to provide a unique taste experience, making it a must-try food for both local and foreign tourists visiting the state.

Sultan Ibrahim ascended the federal throne as the nation’s 17th King for a five-year term starting Jan 31. - BERNAMA

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