This Chinese Uncle In Kuala Selangor Has Been Making Muslim Tombstones For Over 40 Years

He learned the craft from his father when he was just 20 years old.

Cover image via Harian Metro & Mukhriz Hazim/Malay Mail

For over 40 years, Kuah Leong Chuan has been making granite tombstones for Muslim clients

Image via Harian Metro

According to The Vocket, he has been in the business since he was 20 years old. As a teen, he learned the craft from his late father.

Based in Kuala Selangor, Kuah uses the traditional method of carving tombstones out of granite blocks by hand

Image via Harian Metro

More modern methods usually require cement moulds or machines.

According to Free Malaysia Today, each tombstone takes about four days to complete, depending on its size.

The tombstones also differ in size and shape depending on the age and gender of the deceased.

The 64-year-old hand-paints Jawi calligraphy and Quranic verses on the tombstone

Other information that goes on the gravestone includes the deceased's name, birth date, and death date.

It takes him about an hour to engrave the information on a carved tombstone before it's ready for his clients.

Kuah might be one of the last granite tombstone makers in the country

Image via Bernama

He explained to Bernama that he is the fifth generation of tombstone makers in his family.

"This is a business that has been passed through generations. My ancestors originally carved Chinese tombstones, but switched to making Muslim ones as there are more Muslim clients here," he shared.

Unfortunately, he doesn't think he will be passing on the knowledge to his children as they seem to be less interested.

He told Malay Mail, "No one, not even my children, want to continue doing this. Back then it was different as there was not much else to do."

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