Who determines dress code in matters of life and death?

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YOURSAY | ‘Dress codes cannot be left to security guards to decide’.

DAP rep urges Anwar to relax dress code at govt premises

Magnanimous46: A dress code for houses of prayer is understandable. No one has raised an objection to its implementation. But people being barred from public places such as government offices, police stations and hospitals should not be happening the way it is.

Malaysians don’t dress indecently on a planned visit to a government department. Just because a skirt or shorts is above the knees is not enough reason to eject a person.

What’s more, the decision is made by the security guard or sentry stationed at the gate who does not have the ability nor authority to judge nor exercise discretion. His word is final as was seen in the case of the police station in Kajang.

Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani waved it off as a “misunderstanding” but failed to disclose who misunderstood whom. He also said the code can be exempted in matters of “life and death”.

Who determines the “life and death” aspect? The security guard? In fact, his clarification seems to have added to the confusion.

So-called dress code offences (indecency) must be justified. It can’t be left to the whims and fancies of security guards as what happened at Kajang police station. The head of the department must be able to justify if the decision is challenged.

This was sorely lacking in the Kajang police station case. The victim’s protest, seemingly justified under the circumstances, was given a deaf ear.

What is clear is there are no laws, consistency, or justification for the “dress code” rule. People are victimised based on some religious figment and applied haphazardly varying from one entity to another. This is an abuse of power.

IndigoKite9694: The controversy here is what is considered decent, and this translates to what is expected as being appropriately dressed. That is further constrained by who you are and, the context, you are in.

For example, if you are a lawyer arguing a case in court, a dress code is required of you. However, if you are being produced as an accused by the police, you can be wearing a pair of shorts and no one cares, including the presiding judge.

I think you get the point.

What about the police station then? Well, if you are a police on duty, there is a dress code required of you. However, if you are a member of the public, enforcing a dress code is absurd. Most Malaysians are decently dressed as far as social expectations are concerned.

Let’s not go further than to say that the police were not following the law they swore to uphold out of their ignorance of the law.

What about visiting someone who has just been rushed into the Emergency Department of the hospital? Will compassion override the expected dress code of a visitor? I hope so. Nothing is more important than matters of life and death, least of all the indiscretion of staff in a hospital.

Let’s just ignore religious standards and reserve that for places of worship to enforce. Keep those out of non-religious places.

ScarletViper9930: Not only should dress codes be stopped but public servants who refuse to do their duties should be fired. Only this will send the right message. Right now, the leaders are too namby-pamby, too scared to do the right thing.

God is against discrimination and pride, and hates abuse of power, not just bribes. Do the right thing and God will stand by us.

It is society’s perception at fault, and we should correct it and not give in to it. Why be so hypocritical and judge outward only, God is more interested in your inward heart, you can dress up all you want but if full of hate, envy, fear, and anger you won’t be able to go to heaven.

If we truly fear God and want to please Him, be compassionate and understanding, be humble, and love people instead of trying to dominate them. Then perhaps you have a chance, otherwise, you are just building a false dream.

OMG: I wish Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim would reflect on the time 24 years ago when he was arrested by the police, following reformasi demonstrations.

That evening at Bukit Aman, then-IGP Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor, was found later, to have gone to Anwar’s cell, had two men hold him up on either side and then punched him hard until he collapsed.

This is exactly how big bullies and cowards operate. That was how Anwar got his black eye, at the hands of the then-IGP. Today, as PM, has Anwar forgotten all that?

Doesn’t he owe the public the duty to implement the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) in its original form, not a watered-down version?

When a woman wearing Bermuda shorts covering her knees is denied entry by one police station and sent running to another station, it cries out for a caring PM to act! When the PM takes no action, it just allows the top leadership of the police to believe they can do no wrong.

That beating Anwar endured 24 years ago was all in a day’s work. What mysterious influence do the police have over the top so-called leaders? Are they in cahoots somehow? It reinforces the growing impression that Anwar is just the creature of the forces that keep him in power.

Soon, he too will go, leaving no lasting legacy. What a shame.

Steven Ong: When the mind and heart had been hardened to believe a wrong is right, it’s hard to get the message across. One must remember that Anwar already declared that his government does not recognise secularism.

This means that the religious teachings that certain parts of women should be covered will be part of his government. Hence this appeal will not be accepted.

If Anwar is a listener and will consider the advice given by those who supported him, he would have considered withdrawing his appointment of his daughter, Nurul Izzah, as his senior economics and finance adviser.

The majority are against nepotism for whatever reasons given. But in this case, the majority are in support of the dress code. So, chances are, even a word of consideration may be slim.

Anwar needs to travel on that religious bandwagon that is gathering speed. To jump off a speeding vehicle is suicidal.


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These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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