IPOH, April 26 — Songkok maker Hamzah Irzal worries for the product’s future.
The 52-year-old said the younger generation does not display interest in learning the trade.
Hamzah said he had been asked to teach songkok-making by a skills institute at Seri Iskandar years ago but the course did not take off as there were simply no takers.
“I was willing to teach but nobody signed up to learn,” the father of five said.
“Even my own children are not keen to learn the trade.”
With no younger generation taking up the trade, Hamzah foresees that there would be a shortage of locally-made songkok in the future.
Speaking to Malay Mail when met at his rented shop at the UTC in Ipoh, Hamzah said he had been in the business since 2008.
“I was formerly a religious book salesman but decided to switch to songkok making after sales for the books were not encouraging.”
Hamzah said he learned how to make the traditional headgear from a songkok supplier in Mak Mandin, Butterworth.
While he needs a mere 30 minutes to complete one songkok, Hamzah said customers can either come to his shop to get a songkok or order from him online.
“I send my products all over Malaysia and also Brunei and Indonesia.”
For those who order his products online, Hamzah said he can have them delivered in a week.
“My charges depend on the songkok size,” he said, adding that his songkok was available from RM15 onwards.
With Hari Raya around the corner, one would think Hamzah’s business would be booming.
“Sad to say things have been quiet this year but at least it’s better compared to last year,” he said.
The peak season for Hamzah is when school reopens or weddings.
Hamzah’s shop, located at unit B41 on the first floor of UTC, is open daily from 9am to 6pm.
He can be contacted via Facebook or Instagram via Pustaka Al Jilani.
Customers need to provide him with their head’s circumference measurement and their choice of songkok height.