By Abdul Ghani Nasir
Pics by Saliman Leman
BANGI, 6 July, 2011 – Enhancing the image of the Malaysian street hawkers like their counterparts in developed countries – that is what ecsCUBE or e-kiosks designer Dr Azimin S M Tazilan hopes to accomplish.
Dr Azimin, a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, UKM said the e-kiosk is not only suitable for hawkers especially in big cities like Kuala Lumpur but can also be used as a mobile station for parking attendants, the local councils, as police guards post, emergency post for Red Crescent and more.
It is also suitable for use by hawkers during the F-1 races in Sepang as it can be moved to choice sites since it is built using stainless steel and recycle woods.
It is environment friendly and is a self contained green energy unit which can be used in any weather. It is equipped with a built-in photovoltaic solar energy system generating a minimum of 174 watts. If needed the power can be increased to 1,000 kilowatt by tapping into the TNB grid.
It is equipped with two LED lights, a signal light, four power sockets for chiller, LCD Monitor/TV, radio and two blower fans.
When closed it is only 4 X 4 feet but when in use it can be extended to 4 X 10 feet.
The kiosks can also be used in areas frequented by tourists like Langkawi for entrepreneurs selling souvenirs and T-Shirts. “Tourists like clean and attractive shops compared to wooden huts and will definitely patronise the e-kiosks while youths manning it can also access the internet,” said Dr Azimin.
The ecsCUBE got a boost when it was given a permit by the Kajang Town Council as a hawker stall selling food handled by two former students of UKM.
It is today a cosy meeting place and an attraction to passers-by and students who stopped at the Green Energy Technology Innovation Park at Jalan Reko, opposite the university’s games ground in the campus.
Besides spaghetti, toasted bread, meatball, prata bread, laksa, burger, cold or hot drinks and barbecue tidbits are also on the menu under the X-Bite brand.
An additional unit for storage is also provided together with the kiosk to keep a freezer, utensils and food supplies.
Chief Executive Officer of Greenxs Sdn Bhd, Nur Suryana Muhamad said the advantages of ecsCUBE is that it is most suitable for street hawking and display of products.
Greenxs, is a UKM start-up company under UKM Technology which received research funding from the Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC).
It planned to offer a package to help hawkers buy the e-kiosks by helping them get soft loans or lease the ecsCUBE under attractive terms.
“We planned to sell the kiosk for between RM30,000 to RM40,000 per unit compared to a burger stall costing RM20,000 with the hawkers standing under the sun and needing to buy gas for cooking besides power generators.
“Food hawkers who rent premises have to pay RM3,000 for a unit per month or buys the Economic Planning Unit stalls at RM30,000 each,” said Suryana.
The main advantage of the e-kiosks is its use of solar enery and can thus be stationed in the middle of the city, by the roadside, in the field and even in remote areas.
Nur Suryana said the company’s main targets are the street hawkers who will definitely enjoyed a paradigm shift as the kiosk is modern, pleasing and eco-friendly.
“Our street hawkers are currently not systematically organised like their counterparts in the developed countries or even in Indonesia and Thailand. We aim to improve their status”, she said.
Greenxs has already contracted a fabrication company to built its kiosks and applied for patent in Malaysia.
Dr Azimin meanwhile plans to include more facilities for the kiosks based on inputs and feedbacks from the experimental unit at Jalan Reko.
The UKM students manning the kiosk are also involved in carrying out research in consumer buying patterns and to gain experience in business.
The ecsCUBE at Jalan Reko is made up of 80 percent stainless steel and recycled wood and has been in use for three years.
Dr Azimin can be contacted at