Songkok maker brings Jinnah cap back in style


GEORGE TOWN: Having seen his business impacted by the pandemic in the last two years, popular songkok maker Haja Mohideen Mohd Shariff (pic) is feeling upbeat that there’s light at the end of the tunnel this year.

For this Hari Raya, as the country moves towards the endemic phase of Covid-19, the 73-year-old is introducing the Jinnah cap, made popular by the late Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan and its first governor-general.

“I have already received orders from as far as Sabah and Sarawak.

“It is a bit expensive as it is made from polyester. It costs around RM60 each compared to the normal songkok, which goes for only RM35,” he said at his shop in King Street.

Haja Mohideen said his business dropped by about 50% in 2021 as a result of the pandemic.

“But this year looks quite promising with the international borders having reopened. As such, I am promoting the 1950s style for Raya with the Jinnah cap,” said Haja Mohideen, who also has an online presence.

Having taken over the business from his late father in 1973, Haja Mohideen puts in about 10 hours daily during Ramadan, sewing six to seven songkok each day.

“Those who want a particular design or custom-made one for Hari Raya, will have to place their orders early to give me ample time to sew the songkok,” said Haja Mohideen, who is assisted by his son-in-law.

“My father began this business in 1936 and those days, the silk velvet used to cover the headgear’s outer layer was imported from Italy and Germany.

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