Mixed-gender zumba, spinning classes allowed

National 2 minutes, 8 seconds

BELAIT

FITNESS centres offering zumba and spinning classes can group male and female clients in the same class as long as they comply with the new Beauty and Health Establishment Order 2016, said a senior government official.

Deputy Permanent Secretary of Home Affairs Hj Mohd Sunadi Hj Buntar said such fitness sessions are mostly conducted in an environment where participants are easily seen, making it unlikely for them to engage in suspicious activities.

This, he said, is different from the case of barbershops and massage parlours.

The deputy permanent secretary was speaking on the sidelines of a roadshow to brief health and beauty businesses on the Order at the Kuala Belait International Convention Centre earlier this week.

The government introduced a demerit point system for health and beauty businesses under the new Order this year. Establishments with 20 demerit points will have their licence revoked.

Hj Mohd Sunadi said fitness centres will still get 10 demerit points if they fail to provide separate changing rooms for men and women in their premises.

He also urged instructors to dress “appropriately” as failure to do so would see the business penalised with 10 demerit points.

“Appropriateness here is to depend on one’s common sense,” he said, adding that the attire “should not be offensive to others” and “should not draw any unnecessary attention”.

The rule, however, only applies to employees of health and beauty businesses. The workers are encouraged to advise customers whose attire they may find inappropriate.

“But it should be noted that with the new law, it does not mean that we are out (to catch people committing offences). It is actually a guideline for us to proceed together with the introduction of the business licence,” he said.

“Previously, we had this provision in the Miscellaneous Act. Now that it has been replaced, we need a new legislation to complement the granting of the business licences,” he added.

Hj Mohd Sunadi said his ministry will be conducting inspections from time to time, and based on the complaints they received.

“If these establishments comply, then why should we be out to take action against them unnecessarily?”

He said the provisions in the new Order are for the government and businesses to understand and comply with Brunei’s status as an Islamic country.

“So long as this is observed, there should not be any problems for both parties to cooperate.”

Offences that carry 20 demerit points include an employee providing services to both males and females, providing false information to obtain a licence, and employing an individual known to misbehave.

The Brunei Times