Penang barbers seeking financial assistance

The Penang Maruthuvar Sangam says no special assistance has been given to barbers who lost their source of income under the movement control order.

GEORGE TOWN: Barbers association Penang Maruthuvar Sangam is seeking financial assistance from the federal and state governments for those whose livelihoods have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The association’s chairman M Tamilmany said no special assistance had been provided for barbers who had lost their income after being shut down during the movement control order (MCO) period.

“In Penang, there are about 150 barber shops involving about 450 barbers. Our lives have been seriously affected. For over two months, the shops have been closed and we have had no monthly income. We have lost our source of income of between RM2,000 and RM3,000 a month.

“Some of the barbers are paid daily wages and there are also those who are paid commissions depending on the number of customers they attend to,” he told Bernama.

He said the association would send a letter to Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow seeking financial assistance from the state government today.

Meanwhile, the association’s treasurer V Tharmaraj called on the government to allow the re-opening of barber shops, especially those in green zone areas, during the conditional MCO period.

“For the early stage, I suggest that the government only allows haircuts because many customers are asking us to go to their house to cut their hair but we cannot do that as it would be in violation of the MCO regulations.

“We are prepared to abide by the stipulated standard operating procedures like social distancing, wearing face mask, providing sanitiser and disinfecting the shops every day,” he said.

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