I am referring to the letter "Status of salons" written by "Worried" that appeared in your esteemed paper dated November 24, 2012.
The Municipal Department has in the couple of months released directives that will result in the closure of some of the legitimate businesses within its area of coverage. One such directive was highlighted by "Worried".
As unfair as that particular directive is, another directive pertaining to female massage centres says by March 31, 2013 all female massage centres will be required to close down.
For those operators who wish to continue to provide massage services for women and girls after that date, they must convert their business into a female Health and Beauty Establishment or Spa specially designed for women. This will be the death knell for existing legitimate massage operators. For sure no one has the capital to fulfil this directive.
We understand the directive was released following some ambush on some irresponsible massage centres offering immoral activities. But is it fair to say all the other centres are also immoral and must be penalised with closure? Where is the justification behind this directive? Does it have the legal backing to allow licences issued to female massage centres to be terminated and no further new application or renewal allowed after March 31, 2013?
We support the MIB concept of Brunei Darussalam and we uphold it with pride but to penalise the innocent is not justified even in any religion, let alone Islam, the religion of our country.
The release of the directive is an easy way out for the Municipal Department. Enforcement should be the way forward instead of simply issuing directives that will result in the closure of legitimate businesses including those who have been in existence and providing an affordable healing service to the needy in the country for years.
Survival of small businesses is now harder with the so-called "tough" stand of the Municipal Department and Ministry of Home Affairs. Legitimate businesses that have been around for years are now threatened with closure as those that have been halal are now haram in the eyes of the authority.