COVID-19 Surge Drives Demand for Malaysian Coffin Maker

S. Mahfuz
2021.07.30
Kuala Lumpur
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Coffin maker Shahrul Kamaruzaman Kudong, 44, takes measurements for a coffin at his workshop at Kampung Sungai Sireh in Port Klang, in Malaysia’s Selangor state, July 28, 2021. [S. Mahfuz/BenarNews]

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Shahrul Kamaruzaman prepares to hammer a nail into a coffin at his workshop in Port Klang, Selangor, Malaysia, July 28, 2021. [S. Mahfuz/BenarNews]

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Siti Hajar Abdul Rahim, 41, watches her husband, Shahrul Kamaruzaman, work on a coffin at his shop in Port Klang, Malaysia, July, 28, 2021. [S. Mahfuz/BenarNews]

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Shahrul Kamaruzaman builds a coffin at his shop in Kampung Sungai Sireh, Port Klang, Malaysia, July 28, 2021. [S. Mahfuz/BenarNews]

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Shahrul Kamaruzaman lines the inside of the coffin at his workshop in Port Klang, Malaysia, July 28, 2021. [S. Mahfuz/BenarNews]

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Shahrul Kamaruzaman delivers a coffin to a Muslim cemetery in Port Klang, Malaysia, July 28, 2021. [S. Mahfuz/BenarNews]

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Coffin maker Shahrul Kamaruzaman passes the coffin to a grave digger at the Selat Klang Muslim Cemetery in Port Klang, July 28, 2021. [S. Mahfuz/BenarNews]

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A health officer carries the empty coffin to a marked burial plot at the Selat Klang Muslim Cemetery, July 28, 2021. [S. Mahfuz/BenarNews]

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Volunteers and health workers lower the wrapped body of a COVID-19 victim into the coffin made by Shahrul Kamaruzaman, at a burial plot at the Selat Klang Muslim Cemetery, July 28, 2021. [S. Mahfuz/BenarNews]

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The coffin is ready to be covered over for burial at the Selat Klang Muslim Cemetery in Port Klang, Malaysia, July 28, 2021. [S. Mahfuz/BenarNews]

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Coffin maker Shahrul Kamaruzaman sits at his workshop in Port Klang, Malaysia, July 28, 2021. [S. Mahfuz/BenarNews]

Shahrul Kamaruzaman Kudong, a coffin builder from Malaysia’s Selangor state, has seen orders for his products more than double lately as a surge in cases has broken records for virus-related deaths. 

This rise in demand, though, has brought additional concerns for the 44-year-old, who is not vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

“When I think about it, I am very worried about the increasing orders for coffins, which means that the number of COVID-19 deaths is surging and infections are rampant,” the Port Klang resident told BenarNews.

Shahrul, who suffers from diabetes, has to work late into the evening to meet the demand.

Previously, he built about 15 to 25 coffins in a month. As July comes to an end, he has delivered more than 70 coffins to the Selat Klang Muslim Cemetery.

The coffin maker has increased his output although his suppliers have begun charging more for raw materials, Shahrul said.

“I am finding it difficult getting materials such as plywood and cloth because the suppliers are closed for business during the lockdown, so I have to pay more to get the materials I need,” he said.

Despite his concerns, Shahrul wants to ensure he meets all orders because he sees it as a service to his suffering community.

“I am not that concerned about making a big profit because this is part of my contribution to the local community here, especially during this trying time,” he said.

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