New demerit point system for health, beauty businesses

National 2 minutes, 22 seconds


HEALTH and beauty establishments that have accumulated 20 demerit points will be immediately shut down, following a new assessment system unveiled by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Deputy Permanent Secretary Hj Mohd Sunadi Hj Buntar said the system called “Penilaian Establismen Kecantikan dan Kesihatan” (PEKKa) was recently implemented to ensure businesses adhere to the Health and Beauty Establishment (EKK) Order, which came into effect on January 1.

He said in a press conference yesterday that any company found violating the new law will be penalised with demerit points and subject to further action.

“Establishments with 20 demerit points will have their licence revoked immediately, while businesses with 11 to 19 demerit points will face temporary closure until they rectify the problem. Those with 10 points or less will be warned, but can continue to operate,” he explained.

If convicted, the company may also be fined up to $10,000 with an additional $100 for each day that a subsequent offence is committed.

Among the offences that lead to the immediate closure of an establishment include workers providing service to a customer of the opposite gender, treating men and women in the same area; and employing an individual known to misbehave.

Violations such as not possessing a valid licence, providing false information to obtain a licence and advertising EKK services without a licence also result in maximum demerit points.

Heavy offences that carry 10 demerit points include workers wearing inappropriate clothing; displaying obscene material; failure to provide gender-segregated dressing rooms; and employing a person known to have an infectious disease.

The same penalty applies to operating during Friday prayers; failure to undergo worker health check; lending and leasing EKK licences; and obstructing an inspection by the authority.

Businesses will be issued between one to three points for offences such as conducting fitness activities during the Azan, employing an uncertified massage and reflexology practitioner, attending to a customer in a dark room, and locking the treatment room.

Other minor offences include workers sleeping in the treatment room, keeping or allowing animals to enter and unhygienic premises including the equipment.

It is also mandatory under the EKK Order for massage and reflexology establishments to maintain separate logbooks containing the details of its workers and customers respectively. Failure to provide and update the logbook will result in two demerit points.

While many of the offences are not new — they were previously listed in the Miscellaneous Act — Hj Mohd Sunadi said the introduction of PEKKa will facilitate enforcement of the law.

“PEKKa will also ensure that all health and beauty establishments are assessed fairly... So long as you follow the rules and regulations, you’re okay. We want to be very transparent and we want businesses to continue operating,” he added.

The EKK Order affects companies providing aerobics, aromatherapy, barber shop, cosmetic, body slimming, gym, hair salon, manicure and pedicure, massage, reflexology and spa services.

The Brunei Times