Barbershop issue stole the media spotlight

A surge in media exposure occurred in the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) over the weekend.


Then, the International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali announced nine additional sectors that will be allowed to operate during the Movement Control Order (MCO) on April 10.


The sectors include automotive, machinery and equipment, construction, aerospace among others.


However, the media focused on the operation of barbershops, using it as their headline grabbing news.



Subsequently, Malaysians were unhappy with the ministry’s decision in allowing barbershops to operate amidst the pandemic.


They voiced their opinions on social media, raising concern that barbershop in operation would break the precautionary method of social distancing.


Hence, there might be a new Covid-19 cluster with barbershops as hotspots.



In response to the public outcry, Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakoob, tried to calm the public, stating that only barbershops in the green zone will be allowed to operate. Not only that, the barbershops must adhere to the strict standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the Ministry of Health.


On the other hand, Penang Chief Minister, Chow Kon Yeow prohibited barbershops from opening their doors in the state.



Apart from the barbershops, businesses selling electrical appliances are allowed to operate for Malaysians to purchase during the MCO.


This could come handy for Malaysians; from changing a light bulb to replacing their spoilt electrical appliances.


In addition, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) would be benefit from the leeway of allowing machinery and equipment sectors to operate during the MCO.


SMEs could use the opportunity to recover from the sudden halt to their production schedule which had lasted for almost a month.


Nevertheless, the barbershop issue has been taking over the newspaper pages as it concerns the health and safety of Malaysians.


It was also reported that the majority of barbershop owners in the country prefer to remain closed during the health crisis.