An academic has condemned the Kelantan government’s decision to compel male civil servants to wear the songkok every Thursday as a move that does nothing to improve the welfare of citizens in the state.
Mohamed Ghouse Nasuruddin, an emeritus professor of performing arts at Universiti Sains Malaysia, said the PAS-helmed government should be paying attention to the economic development of the state instead of issuing directives that “make no sense”.
Speaking to FMT, he accused PAS of failure to manage Kelantan’s economy and alleged that it had a tendency to emphasise form over substance in trying to show its Islamic credentials.
He described the songkok ruling as “stupid” and a distraction from the “more important” work of boosting economic productivity.
He noted that PAS was normally associated with the skullcap instead of the songkok and said it appeared that the party was now trying to identify with Umno, whose members wear the songkok at formal party gatherings.
“Maybe they want to appease Umno and maybe Umno will now use the skullcap,” he quipped.
Umno and PAS signed a charter of political cooperation last September.
Kelantan has about 5,000 male civil servants. They must now wear the songkok to work every Thursday, according to an immediately effective directive dated on Dec 19.
Deputy state secretary Tengku Azmin Jaafar said last Wednesday that the ruling was in line with efforts to promote Kelantan’s Islamic image. – FMT