PUTRAJAYA (July 1): A group of hairdressers and barbers under the United Hairdressing Malaysia has urged the government to allow them to resume business soonest possible as their businesses have been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Malaysian Hairdressing Association (MHA) and United Asian Hairdressers Association (UAHA) president, Michael Poh said many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) like hair salons and barbershops really could not cope with the current difficult situation and might not be able to sustain their operations any longer.
“We are glad that the hairdressing and barber sector is listed in the second phase of the National Recovery Plan, but we do not know when exactly this phase will be allowed,” he told a virtual press conference on survival of the hairdressing industry, today.
Poh said the industry was currently shrinking and an average of 74,500 industry players were facing obstacles to pay their shop rental, workers’ salary and personal loans.
Stressing that no clusters were recorded from the hairdressing sector, he said they had been complying with the strict standard operating procedure (SOP), and even added more safety precaution measures to minimise the risk of transmission, for example, sanitising customers from top to toe before they entered the salons.
"The government should allow cluster-free industries to operate as usual immediately with strict SOP compliance to save all these almost-dying small businesses and SMEs," he said.
Meanwhile, APT Salon director Yeevon Teh said the hairdressing industry has suffered a loss of at least RM2.25 billion during the Movement Control Order 1.0 last year.
“This has affected livelihoods, caused stress leading to depression and the younger generations reluctant to join the hairdressing industry,” she said, adding that policy makers and the government should come up with better solutions to help the industry.
United Hairdressing Malaysia consists of eight major hairdressing and barber associations, namely, MHA, UAHA, Bumiputra Hairdressing Association (BUHA), Malaysian Bumiputera Barbers Association (MBBA), Hairdressing Skills Development Association (HSDA), Malaysian Indian Hairstylist Empowerment Association (MIHASS), Persatuan Pengusaha Jurugaya Rambut India Malaysia (MINDAS) and Persatuan Jurugaya Rambut India Selangor dan Wilayah Perseketuan (PJRISWP).
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