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Ipoh's Milo Tricycle

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Subject :Ipoh's Milo Tricycle
Published By : None 
Location : Ipoh
Estimated Year : 2018
Media Type : Artifact
Source : Charlie Choong, Ipoh
Remark :

For most Malaysians, Milo is not just any normal chocolate beverage but a fond reminder of their childhood. Not only do children get excited whenever they see a Milo van coming round but some adults do too.

Milo was created by an Australian named Thomas Mayne in 1934. It consists of mixture of chocolate powder with malt powder & served in hot or cold water.

Milo was introduced to Malaysia by Nestle in 1950, as a tonic food drink. Their primary marketing efforts were intended to have the tonic drink act as an energy drink for athletes to keep going.

Even today, most Malaysians still wonder why there is a difference in the Milo they make at home as compared to the Milo they get from the Milo vans.

Referring to the above image this is, as close as possible to, a once familiar sight around Ipoh's streets and particularly at the gates of local schools, for Ipoh had a unique way of selling Milo. Long before the famous Milo Vans. The tricycle was invented by an entrepreneur Indian gentleman in the late 1950's. We believe he lived in Bunting but kept his tricycle in a shop in Old Town. Wearing a white suit and Topi, he would fill up with fresh Milo early in the morning and pedal around on a fixed route every day to catch his customers. Unfortunately nobody can remember his name although he continued his business well into the 1960's. Milo was served from a small brass tap into paper cups stored in the cupboard below the can.

The replica was made by our contractor, Y Cheng Thymes, whose Principal remembers the Milo Man outside St Michael's Institution (SMI) and gathered descriptions and sketches from others who remember seeing the trike and its driver. As part of the research we contacted Nestle Malaysia and their head office in Switzerland. Neither had any knowledge of such a vehicle. We have also searched for original photographs but so far have only found one that shows to top of the driver and a vague outline of the top of the can. 

Do you have that photo we need?

Harrish Aswin Kumar added the fullowing information:

With reference to the article “Here comes the Milo Man” (Ipoh Echo issue 305, Jun 1-15, 2019), I hereby would like to share some information about the Milo Man. There were two brothers who worked for the Milo company by the name of Visvasam and Yesudian. The older brother was Visvasam and the younger was Yesudian. Both brothers worked for the Milo company back in the 1950s and 1960s.

They came from India (Tirunelveli district) and they were working for the Milo company in the late 50s. Yesudian who took over his elder brother’s position from the Milo company was looking for a place to stay.

My grandfather who was a close friend of Visvasam offered Yesudian a room for rental at his house. They used to wear fully white uniforms and green caps. Plus, they sold Milo in small paper cups in New Town. In the 1970s they left to return to their motherland India and passed away in the 1980s.


Filename : 20190519-001