Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Kota Baru ruling on sexy dress lays blame, again, on women

Yikes! Sigh...
Can't show off your butt and navel cos the men of Kelantan, ironically billed as 'Serambi Mekah' of the 'porch of Mecca' and the only state in Malaysia ruled by the Islamist PAS party, are all ravenous wolves and sexual perverts.

So women, beware when walking about in Islamic states. If you're assaulted, the question the police will ask you is probably 'What were you wearing?'.

Check out the related posts for some background.

Kota Baru ruling on sexy dress lays blame, again, on women

YOU'VE got to hand it to the PAS government in Kelantan. The Kota Baru Municipal Council certainly knows how to claim its place in the media through its endless controversies.

Just when Malaysians believe that PAS has decided to adopt a more liberal approach with its decision to allow pop concerts, even if they are still segregating men and women, it has surprised us with its latest move.

The council has just come out with a decision to fine women working in retail outlets and restaurants should they wear clothes deemed to be sexy or revealing.

The offending clothes include tight fitting blouses, jeans, shorts and mini-skirts, according to the new ruling.

Council public relations officer Mohd Azman Daham said those found wearing offensive clothes could be fined RM500.

I am not sure whether wearing these clothes can create a riot or lead to political instability in Kelantan, but certainly many of us want to see, well, some transparency in the enforcement.

The reason given by Mohd Azman is quite pathetic really.

The council, it seems, had received complaints that some retail outlets and restaurants were resorting to getting their workers to wear sexy clothes to woo customers.

That’s a laugh really. Certainly, the men in Kelantan would feel insulted by that kind of restaurant.

We believe Kelantanese have better taste – we are talking about food in the state, that is.

For non-Muslim women, they would be banned from showing off their navel, so no ala Britney Spears, or anything that emphasises the buttocks.

It may be easier to stop women from showing their navel but the council has to ban jeans completely if they want anything that “emphasises the buttocks” to be disallowed.

For Muslim women, they don’t appear to have much choice because they need to wear the tudung or a clothing that covers right down to the ankles.

When it comes to Kelantan, the blame is always on the women.

We have lost track of the number of times when Kelantan PAS leaders, including its Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nik Aziz Nik Mat, pointed their fingers at women.

The simplistic argument has always been that dressing is to be blamed for rapes and sexual molest cases.

Still in a perpetual denial state, they chose to look the other way when confronted with facts and figures that even grandmothers, many in tudung, have been raped.

Certainly, they were not dressed sexily and indecently.

This is despite the fact that gender segregation is still enforced at supermarket check-out queues and the lights are still on in cinemas.

But this obsession with sex is prevalent too among a few Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament.

A few suggested that foreign sex workers be whipped as a form of punishment.

Again, this came from Sri Gading MP Datuk Mohamed Aziz who strives on controversy at the Dewan Rakyat.

No doubt the number of foreign sex workers arrested are high.

There were 5,783 arrests in 2004, 6,484 in 2005 and 3,245 in the first six months of this year.

Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Johari Baharum said those arrested were mostly from China, Indonesia and Thailand.

There is no reason why men who seek the services of sex workers should be spared.

Their pictures should be put up on websites like what some states in the United States are doing.

Many sex workers these days opt for the trade to earn fast money but many have also been forced into it by circumstances – some have been abandoned by their husbands and some by husbands who have stopped paying alimony after the divorce.

While they have no justification for becoming sex workers, there is really no black and white approach.

The simplistic argument from these politicians aside, the sad fact is that these men still see women as objects.

Surely, they must have mothers, sisters and daughters.

What next from the PAS state government – a ban on the Pagoda brand singlet for it can be indecent to some?

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