81-Year-Old Closes His Free Museum After Customers Keep Stealing His Antiques
Nordin Ali, an 81-year-old from Padang Temu, Melaka, began collecting old goods as a hobby from as early as 15 years old
Inheriting his father's interest at that early age, Nordin has collected historic artifacts from all over the world, including China, Netherlands, Portugal, England, Japan, and Indonesia
He was always willing to fork out some money to buy the artifacts from their original owners, or trade items with other antique collectors to expand his gallery.
He owns a variety of antiques including 120-year-old stereo boxes, antique Chinese pottery, various bronze and copper items, a 115-year-old steam-engine train lamp, and even an antique Baba Nyonya bed frame that was, he told Berita Harian, once auctioned for HKD1 million.
However, Nordin recently made up his mind to close the museum because his precious antiques kept getting stolen
He said that he was sad and disappointed when he found out some visitors took his antiques without his knowledge or permission.
He also regrets that his home has become a target for thieves.
The latest incident in September involved him losing an antique iron and a copper bowl worth RM1,800 which he had acquired over 10 years ago.
Nordin said that he has filed a police report on 21 September.
According to Nordin, he was sad not because of how much money he had lost, but because the valuable antiques that he has worked hard to collect were irreplaceable
"The incident has made me decide to close the museum so that it would not happen again," he told Harian Metro.
"Other than the incident in September, other things in my collection have gone missing, including two 100-year-old keris, a dragon-ornamented incense holder, an old-fashion betel leaf container, and even a Chinese padlock made in the 1800s."
"Also missing was a five sen coin worth RM450, old RM20 and RM10 bills, antique irons, gold teeth in antique boxes, and my copper trays," he said.
Nordin said the main reason why the antiques keep getting stolen is because they are openly displayed in the museum
He added that both he and his wife, Maznah Ali, 60, are visually impaired and not fully capable of overseeing the whole collection.
He said that age and various health issues such as high blood pressure, combined with heart and thyroid problems, were reasons why irresponsible parties were able to escape with his personal possessions so easily.