July 5, 2015
Sibu Tales : Bean Sprouts
Most families in Sibu could make bean sprouts but only a few sold their product in the central market in the 60's. Those who sold bean sprouts also sold tofu, tou kwa (touwan) and soy bean milk, and other small vegetables like Chinese parsley, celery and spring onions.
Word got passed around about how a certain rich lady got more cash in the bank than her husband and the story became a legend. Perhaps it was not true, or it might have come from Singapore.
But it was a good story.
It went like this: The businessman had a beautiful wife who claimed that she was smarter than him and to prove it, she had a secret method of beefing up her personal bank account. Now in a small town, almost every one knew who was rich and perhaps some people even knew how much money a person had in the bank! That was rather frightening.
But any way, this towkay neo budgeted her family expenditure well. She would buy bean sprouts every day, and other cheaper vegetables. She then billed her husband with sharks' fins, abalones, birds' nest from time to time. The rice she bought for her family was poorer quality, and of course the bill for rice was three or four times higher.
She did "rig" the accounts so to speak. After all she was a very good accountant.
After about 20 years, with her children receiving a lot of "bonus" from her and her husband's joint account with her, she ended up with a huge sum, unknown to her husband. She indeed had more cash than her husband.
Word went around saying that if your family ate bean sprouts every day, you would end up having a lot of cash.