With Hari Raya approaching in less than two weeks, songkok-maker Hamzah Rizal of Pustaka Al Jilani is among those who are struggling with their business during this tough time.
Compared to previous years where he would receive thousands of orders, this year Hamzah has only received 200 orders of songkok as the countdown to Hari Raya begins.
Since 2008, he has been making and supplying songkok to wholesalers but that took a turn this year as wholesalers were hesitant to order in large quantities due to the possibility of implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
Speaking to The Sun Daily, Hamzah said, “The wholesalers are worried that if the MCO is implemented, business will not be allowed to operate, that it will cause losses. Apart from that, many may not be in the mood to celebrate because they are not allowed to balik kampung (to celebrate Aidilfitri).”
However, with the help of online platforms such as Facebook and Shopee, Hamzah’s hope to maintain his business was restored as he was able to receive orders from existing and new customers.
“The orders I have received this time around are mostly online, such as from Facebook and Instagram, as well as Shopee,” he said.
Hamzah added that he was grateful that he has also been receiving orders from Brunei and Indonesia and revealed that there are those who tried to produce imitations of his Kopiah Hafiz and Kopiah Imam products in these countries.
“The Kopiah Imam is produced using similar material as a turban and is priced at RM80 per unit. It usually comes in maroon in colour, complete with strings. In addition to adults, I also produce for children at Tahfiz schools,” he added.
According to Malay Mail, Hamzah also said that younger generations are becoming less interested in the craft of making songkok. No one signed up for his songkok-making course he was asked to conduct at the Seri Iskandar National Youth Skills Institute (IKBN), Perak Tengah.