Meet the barber who cut Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen's hair
It was a picture which propelled a humble barber into the spotlight.
Then again, it is not everyday that you cut the hair of Singapore's Defence Minister, Dr Ng Eng Hen.
On Dec 27, Dr Ng Eng Hen posted on Facebook about his haircut at Bugs Bunny Barber, and the man behind the clippers — Mr Abdul Kadir Samin, 62.
In Dr Ng's post, he praised Mr Abdul Kadir for giving a haircut that was good and cheap — under $10.
And yes, that was not a special price. The price for a haircut at this barbers is $8.
"I knew that he took a picture of me while I was cutting his hair," said Mr Abdul Kadir.
"I didn't expect him to post the picture on Facebook, much less the attention it got."
Mr Abdul Kadir has been fielding requests from various media outlets and inundated by calls from family and friends, telling him that they saw the post.
"I'm a bit embarrassed by all the attention," he added sheepishly,
The exterior of Bugs Bunny Barber. TNP PHOTO: AZIM AZMAN
Bugs Bunny Barber is an institution in Toa Payoh. It has been there for over 40 years.
It has been at Block 94, Toa Payoh Lorong 4 since 1971.
The shop has gone through a number of facelifts over the years. The interior is open and bright with a retro-tinged orange and white colour scheme.
The furniture is still fully functional, if unmistakably from an era gone by.
This is not the gentleman's club feel of some modern barbers, yet there is a friendly, almost cosy atmosphere.
Bugs Bunny Barbers is more than a place for haircuts. For regulars of a certain age, it's a hangout.
The Bugs Bunny name was not a deliberate choice. The iconic cartoon rabbit had been the shop's emblem long before the move to Toa Payoh..
The business used to be called Abu Nawas Barber Shop and was started by Mr Abdul Latiff Mohammad Fahmi in Paya Lebar in the early 1960s.
"It was just a small shack with just four barber chairs," recalls 78-year-old Mr Abdul Latiff.
The neighbourhood kids had a habit of drawing on the walls outside of his shop.
"Then one night, one of the kids painted a huge Bugs Bunny on the wall outside of my shop," said Mr Abdul Latiff.
But this was no simple scrawl.In fact, it was a cut above the usual graffiti.
"It was very nicely done, so I let it be. Over time, people came to know us as the Bugs Bunny barber shop."
When Mr Abdul Latiff moved his business to Toa Payoh in 1971, he decided to make the name official.
For Mr Abdul Kadir, he considers himself a humble barber.
He started working at the shop in 1972 , when he was 19-years-old.
In those 43 years, he has seen some regular customers grow even older. He has also grown old with some who first visited him in their youth.
An animated Mr Abdul Kadir speaking to one of his regular customers, Mr Sulaiman Latiff. TNP PHOTO: AZIM AZMAN
One regular customer, Mr Sulaiman Abdul Latiff (no relation to the owner of Bugs Bunny), has had his hair cut by Mr Abdul Kadir since he was in his 30s.
"I'm just comfortable with him, you know?," said the 63-year-old personal driver.
"I used to cut my hair in the style of Elvis Presley, but now, since I have very little hair, I just keep short," he said gesturing to his head.
And through four decades of men's hairstyles, Mr Abdul Kadir has had many unusual requests.
But he is quick to add that he rarely turns down a customer's hairstyle request.
"As long as they are able to describe the hairstyle to me, I will give it a try," said the father of five and grandfather of one.
"The only thing that we don't do is to dye hair ... it takes up too much time," he said laughing.
The shop has weathered the storms of fancier and sometimes cheaper salons which have opened up around the area.
"We don't really think about them, we have always been focused on our own business and customers," he said.
The is also some trepidation over the future over Bugs Bunny and other old-school barbers like it.
While there are currently three branches, at one time, there were four.
Having worked for the majority of his life at the barber shop, Mr Abdul Kadir wants to see the barber shop continue.
But the question is who will take it on.
"There have been a few people who try to pick up the trade, but they've never lasted," Mr Abdul Kadir rues.
While he has heard of the recent of trend of high-end gentleman's barbershops that look old-school but cost considerably more, he is not bothered by them.
"We will just do what we always do, give good haircuts."