Check out the related posts for some background.
KOTA BARU: Retail and restaurant workers here are strongly against the Kota Baru Municipal Council's move to fine them RM500 each if they are indecently clad.
Shoe shop assistant Hanisa Ismail, 34, said the wearing of headdress such as tudung should not be imposed. [Andrew: Amen to that.]
“I wear it because it is required by the local authorities. I only wear it at work. At home or out socialising, I do not wear it. Wearing of scarves and tudung must come from the heart and a person must not be forced,” she added.
Hanisa said imposing a dress code was not the best way to instil a culture of standard dressing for Muslim women.
It should be done voluntarily for it to be meaningful, she said, adding that for her, the tudung does not make someone pious as it also depends on the character of the person. [Andre: Make her the Chief Minister!]
“I know of many girls in tudung who do not behave in an Islamic way,” Hanisa said. [You don't say. Hmmm...]
Massage products outlet worker Cheryl Loh, 25, said Malaysians should be given the freedom to decide their attire as long as it does not go against their religion.
“We must abide by the law, but we cannot overreact when it comes to choice of attire. Nowadays, Malaysians are open-minded. Many also wear designer apparel which at times have sexy cutting.”
Retail worker Siti Roslina Abdullah, 21, said retail or restaurant workers should not wear sexy outfits as their job was to promote products or food, not their body.
“However, to fine someone RM500 is harsh. Clothing is an individual thing. In private, women should be able to wear whatever they like,” the petite lass said.
The manager of a reputable franchise outlet, Tan Swee Nan, 37, said most retailers do not agree with the policy.
The council is bullying retailers, she said, adding that some of her co-workers were fined RM50 for not wearing a tudung.
“I know of female workers who run and hide when they see council enforcement officers on their rounds because they forgot to wear their tudung. There must be a practical approach,” she added.
Her co-worker Lynda Norhaslynda Jaafar, 25, said that if the council really wanted to enforce it, they must do it for all outlets and restaurants as there were rumours of selective enforcement.
She said the council could have spotted women clad in sexy outfits from other states who were in Kelantan for brief promotional stints.
Lynda said in Kelantan, women were ashamed to dress sexily as it was not their culture or custom to do so.
KB Mall centre manager John Lau said all retailers and restaurants would abide by MPKB bylaws but stressed that the issue was something petty blown up by the media.
“Actually, there are bigger things for the council to be concerned about, like drainage and preparations for floods.
“Issues like sexy wear will not do business any good. We are trying to bring many established retailers here but our efforts will come to nought if people are more concerned about dress codes than jobs.”
Plans for expansion could be hampered as retailers would be scared away if petty matters become a major issue.
In a related development, Kelantan Bar Committee chairman Datuk Shukry Mohamed said the MPKB could only enforce the ruling on Muslims.
“If they act against non-Muslims, it could be termed as unconstitutional. They must also clearly define what indecent attire is. In principle, it is a good move to impose a strict dress code to ensure Muslims here dressed accordingly,” he cautioned.
“But implementation could be difficult as it is impossible to catch all offenders at one go.”
Shukry said the standard dressing requirements such as not exposing navels or cleavages were applicable to Muslims.