Fashion police fiasco: MP urges gov’t to end moral policing

- Advertisement - [resads_adspot id="2"]

Fashion policing in Malaysia continues, with the case of another woman being barred from entering a police station to lodge a report coming to light today.

Meanwhile, over in Parliament, a lawmaker has called on the government to stop moral policing with updated instructions to the civil service.

In the latest incident to make the news, a woman was reportedly not allowed to lodge a police report at the Gombak police station for wearing a skirt and a blouse that was reportedly deemed “inappropriate”.

According to a report by The Star today, the incident in February occurred after the woman had gotten into a minor accident near Batu Caves.

However, upon arrival at the Gombak police station to lodge a report, the woman was allegedly denied entry despite wearing a dress below knee length with a jacket on top.

The incident was revealed by the woman’s father – who only wanted to be known as Zahid – who had to bring a pair of pants for her to wear and gain entry to the police station.

Several other incidents of women being denied entry to hospitals, police stations and government offices due to their attire have been reported this past month.

Speaking on the issue, Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran cited the recent incidents at the Kajang police station and Kampar hospital.

“I feel this is an unacceptable incident in any multiracial and multilingual country,” Kulasegaran told the Dewan Rakyat during his committee stage debate of the Supply Bill 2023.

Kulasegaran also quoted a reported statement by then-de facto law minister Nancy Shukri back in 2015 that individuals who did not abide by the dress code will still be served at government premises.

At the time, then-minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said also said the government will not turn away people even if they are not “appropriately dressed.”

“Based on the then-law minister (Nancy)’s statement in 2015, she said those dressed ‘inappropriately’ will also be allowed into government offices.

“But now it appears they are being prevented entry even when injured or others […] looks like many civil servants and others do not know their role in this matter (dress code).

“I hope a guideline will be issued to all to put an end to these moral policing measures,” Kulasegaran said, in urging the chief secretary to the government to instruct civil servants to not be overzealous in enforcing the dress code.

Last month, Nancy, who is now Women, Family and Community Development Minister, reiterated her stand against discrimination based on a person’s attire, after a woman who wanted to lodge a police report was barred from entering the Kajang district police headquarters because she was wearing shorts. – Malaysiakini