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KUALA LUMPUR: The latest dress code ruling in Kelantan is disrespectful and undermines women’s capabilities.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said she was appalled at the no sexy clothes ruling in Kelantan.
The state government, she said, should instead focus on how it can help women progress instead of concentrating on flimsy issues such as dress codes.
“Why are they focusing on dressing issues when they should be thinking about how they can help women in Kelantan excel in education and entrepreneurship?” she told The Star at the Parliament lobby yesterday when commenting on its front-page report.
The Kota Baru Municipal Council had warned that both Muslim and non-Muslim women working in retail outlets and restaurants in Kelantan should take note of their dressing or risk being fined up to RM500.
Several women organisations expressed their outrage on Monday.
Shahrizat said creating such a ruling would backfire on the Kelantan government.
“Kelantanese women will object to it,” she warned.
“It is so disrespectful to the women there.
“The ruling makes it seem like women cannot decide for themselves what they should or should not wear and need the government to help them decide.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the council should be careful not to violate the rights of individuals.
Everyone had their own preference in dressing as well as interpretation of “sexy clothes”, he told reporters after chairing the National Land Council meeting in Putrajaya yesterday.
“Sometimes the enforcers are too eager to take action, and have their own definition of indecent dressing,” he said.