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By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, June 6: Nail and beauty salons are at risk of complete closure if they are not able to resume operations as soon as possible, said Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
As such he called on the authorities to allow beauty and personal care service providers to operate soon with the introducing of standard operating procedures (SOP).
“In nearly three months of the Movement Control Order, beauty and personal care service providers such as nail salons and facial treatment centres have not been allowed to reopen for business. Owners and employees in these businesses cannot earn a living, but are still burdened by their living and other expenses.
“It is not just the large chains, but also the independent outlets, owned by single parents, who urgently need consistent income to raise their children. Some mothers and daughters also need to run their small business by their sweat and tears while taking care of their parents and siblings who are their dependents.
“It is high time for the National Security Council (NSC) to formulate SOP to let these people resume business as soon as possible and stop their slide into bankruptcy and starvation,” Tiong said in a statement issued here today.
The Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president said after hearing the plight of beauty and personal care service providers, most of them are single mothers, unmarried, or from poor families with heavy financial burdens.
“Most complain that their skills have sadly become unneeded during this Covid-19 pandemic. With income down to zero in the past few months, they still need to pay their rents and settle family expenses, while entire families suffer under a cloud of misery,” he stressed.
The Government, he pointed out, has to realise that the current subsidies will only do so much, and these groups need to be able to generate income as they are in dire straits.
“Even without the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), they have only barely been able to make ends meet. The thin profits earned heavily depend on daily and steady customer flow in order to keep putting food on the table for their families.
“It is understood that the Government must keep the pandemic from making another wave but these families have suffered to the point of going into survival mode.
“If the CMCO is not lifted soon, then we cannot let any groups be excluded from any public aid for the lockdown, or they will soon starve. A contingency plan for these groups must be finalised soon so that the personal care industry can reopen with proper SOP,” he stressed.
The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to the People’s Republic of China said the relevant authorities should allow the beauty and personal care industry to reopen without restrictions except for strict rules on personal hygiene during their operations, including wearing gloves, face shields and face masks.
“Having said this, I also wish to advise operators that they are also beholden to follow strictly the SOPs given to them. If anyone is found violating the SOP, they should be severely penalised because efforts are still underway to combat the pandemic,” added Tiong. —DayakDaily