Jojie Kamaruddin, ‘Nasi Lemak Pondan’ seller, “I want to show people that not all pondans are sex workers. I want them to see that we can make an honest living.”
4 April 2017
KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 ― Transgender woman Jojie Kamaruddin had caused a stir when she opened up a stall called “Nasi Lemak Pondan” last month, leading to public rebukes from several mufti.
Following the uproar, Jojie said she has toned down her appearance by foregoing makeup and feminine outfits such as blouses and baju kurung, in order to keep her business.
“Yes, I no longer apply make-up. If any, just kohl and lip balm. This is my change in appearance after considering criticism and advice from the public for me to look more decent,” Jojie was quoted saying in a report by mStar.
“When I don’t make myself up, people think I look sick. But let it be, I want people to come here to buy nasi lemak, not because how I look.”
Despite that, Jojie was adamant that the name of the stall, located in Bandar Sri Permaisuri, Cheras here, would stay.
27 March 2017
Free ‘nasi lemak pondan’ for Friday faithful – handing out 100 packets of her product to KL mosque goers
Transgender nasi lemak seller Jojie Kamaruddin will be celebrating her successful business venture by handing out 100 packets of her product to Kuala Lumpur mosque goers every Friday.
Jojie said her nasi lemak business – made an instant hit due to social media – was bringing her more than RM2,000 daily.
“Therefore I would like to gift 100 packets every Friday to mosques around Kuala Lumpur. My siblings will be in charge of transporting them,” she said when Malaysiakini visited her stall recently.
Her success story is even more compelling considering that Jojie, who is a fashion designer and wedding planner by profession, only decided to sell the Malaysian favourite to earn some extra money.
‘Nasi Lemak Pondan’ seller gives people food for thought
Jojie Kamaruddin wants to change the people’s perception about Mak Nyahs and says whatever men and women can do, transgenders can do too.
KUALA LUMPUR: “Pondan”, a derogatory term used on men who appear effeminate, is probably not the worst thing Jojie Kamaruddin has been called.
There are many, she revealed, who believed that she and her kind should be rightfully condemned by society.
While it upsets her, she’s not angry and has come to accept that such abuse is something she has to contend with, but not without putting up a decent fight.
In fact, she has capitalised on the slur used to describe transgenders, by selling “Nasi Lemak Pondan” which ironically turned her into something of an internet sensation after pictures of her food stall went viral.
What’s even more fascinating is that despite having opened for business only 10 days ago, Jojie has been deluged by a stream of customers, who have been making a beeline for her stall.
“I want to show people that not all pondans are sex workers. I want them to see that we can make an honest living,” she told FMT.
Many people, Jojie said, ostracised the transgender community.
Not all customers however have welcomed her with open arms. There have been detractors aplenty, some of whom claimed the food she prepared was “haram” (prohibited in Islam).
Others however have patronised her stall at Jalan Sri Permaisuri Cheras and have had nothing but good things to say about her nasi lemak.