On first day of Phase Two, Ipoh businesses welcome back customers and enjoy a busy day

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Gnasegaran Rammaya, 70, cutting the hair of a customer at his shop Kedai Gunting Rambut Kampong Kepayang in Ipoh, July 5, 2021. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Gnasegaran Rammaya, 70, cutting the hair of a customer at his shop Kedai Gunting Rambut Kampong Kepayang in Ipoh, July 5, 2021. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, July 5 — Gnasegaran Rammaya, a 70-year-old barber who owns the Kedai Gunting Rambut Kampong Kepayang here, was all smiles as he was finally allowed to open for business today.

Perak, together with four other states, entered Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) today, and businesses like barber shops, hair salons, car wash, stationery and electrical appliance shops were finally allowed to operate after more than a month.

“I had zero income for the past 45 days. However, my children are working and they supported me so I don’t have a problem surviving.

“But I can imagine what other barbers must have gone through during this period,” Gnasegaran told Malay Mail.

“Today I already had nine customers. Normally, I don’t even reach this number in one whole day,” he said.

Logasvaran Konasegaran, 38, who owns a barber shop in Taman Tinggi here, said that he had to close the shop early today despite getting a lot of customers.

“Apparently, we need to apply to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) for reopening. I wasn’t aware of it until a customer asked if I have the permission letter or not.

“I immediately called the nearest police station to check and went there for clarification. They told me that I need the letter to operate. The policemen also assisted me in applying the letter via online,” he said.

He also said the police advised him to close his shop until he got the approval from Miti.

“During the previous lockdown, there was no letter or approval needed to reopen the shop. I thought it would be the same this time as well. Anyway, I will close my shop until I get the approval,” he added.

Shamir Sopian, 32, who owns the Manjoy Gadget in Pengkalan, Ipoh reopened his mobile phone accessories shop as the government allowed certain sectors to operate as the state enters Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Shamir Sopian, 32, who owns the Manjoy Gadget in Pengkalan, Ipoh reopened his mobile phone accessories shop as the government allowed certain sectors to operate as the state enters Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan. — Picture by Farhan Najib

Shamir Sopian, 32, who owns Manjoy Gadget in Pengkalan here, which sells mobile phone accessories, said that customers were flocking to the shop today.

“There were a lot of customers today. Business has been good so far,” he said.

Shamir, who opened the shop in May this year, just a month before lockdown, said that they managed to conduct their business online during the lockdown.

“It was a bit of a struggle for me and my workers, but we managed it via online,” he said.

For 40-year-old Hew Khen Ying, who owns Mytec Computer in Station 18, Pengkalan here, it is important that people get vaccinated fast so that there won’t be another lockdown due to the Covid-19.

“Of course we are worried that if cases continue to increase the government might impose restrictions again.

“We need to avoid the virus spreading and vaccination can help with that,” he said.

Hew, who has been in the computer gadgets and repair business for 14 years, said that he fully relied on the online platform when the government imposed the lockdown last month.

“I still need to pay the rent and utility bills so I tried selling the products via online. But it wasn’t sufficient to cover all the bills,” he said.

A sales assistant attends to a customer at the Mytec Computer in Station 18, Pengkalan in Ipoh. — Picture by Farhan Najib
A sales assistant attends to a customer at the Mytec Computer in Station 18, Pengkalan in Ipoh. — Picture by Farhan Najib

Meanwhile, a worker at a car wash in Buntong here, said that the number of customers today was not as they expected.

“I wouldn’t say we have fewer customers, but it was not as we expected. We thought it would be a full house today.

“I think the reason could be that many people might have washed their cars by themselves at home during the lockdown,” he said.

However, he said that he was glad the government allowed the car wash to operate again.

“Our livelihood has been badly affected for the past one month. We earn based on daily wages. So when we were told to shut down it was difficult for us to make ends meet,” he said.

Under Phase Two, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said a total of 11 sectors from the manufacturing and commercial category will be allowed to operate alongside essential sectors approved by the National Security Council from 8am to 8pm.

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