If it had happened in Malaysia

If it had happened in Malaysia
It looks like unfavourable episodes over dress codes are not unique to our country.
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

Looks like we are not alone," Ellen Chong, my Twitter friend, tweeted to me. She linked a Daily Mail Online report with the headline, "Netball star refused entry into Qantas Club for wearing leggings and joggers."

"Just got denied from Qantas Club for wearing leggings & joggers ... What do they expect me to wear on a four hr flight to Perth? A ball gown?" tweeted Australian netball star Caitlin Bassett on Tuesday.

Melbourne's Qantas Club, an exclusive airport lounge, denied the 27-year-old sportswoman entry because her attire was deemed to be gym clothes.

A Qantas spokesman replied that since April this year, customers entering domestic Qantas Clubs and Business Lounges had been reminded of the smart casual dress guidelines. Singlets, bare feet, rubber thongs and gym wear are deemed inappropriate.

If it had happened in Malaysia, a security guard would have given Bassett a sarong to wear so that she would be allowed entry.

If it had happened in Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would have said that dress codes were an office matter, that it was the right of individuals to wear shorts in public, and they should be allowed to enter government facilities like a hospital as long as they weren't naked.

If it had happened in Malaysia, Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria would have said that non-Muslims should dress more "appropriately" in public places out of "respect" for Muslims, who will sin upon seeing people's aurat.

If it had happened in Malaysia, some would have said it was another proof that the country was going to be the next Taliban state.

If it had happened in Malaysia, some narrow-minded people would have made a sweeping statement saying that the incident only happened in Malaysia because it involved a certain religion.

Lately, just like the almost daily dead dugong sightings in 1999, there have been reports of Malaysians who were forced to wear sarong or towel to enter government building.

The first reported case was that of Suzanna G.L. Tan who was made to wear a sarong otherwise she would not be able to get into the Road Transport Department (JPJ) office to transfer ownership of her car.

Her case was highlighted by the media after she posted on Facebook a photograph of herself outside the office.

She was wearing a blouse with a skirt that ended just above the knee.

Another photograph showed her wearing a sarong and sitting at the JPJ counter.

"I had to go to JPJ personally to sign the transfer form for the car I sold. That in itself is already a pain," Tan wrote. "I go dressed like this. Indecent meh?"

Then reports of more sarong and towel cases began to appear in the media.

Yesterday, my colleague Rashvin­jeet S. Bedi shared on WhatsApp a Daily Mail Online report with the headline, "School bans girls from wearing skirts because it's 'distracting for male teachers when they walk up stairs or sit down'."

Trentham High School in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, ordered its students to wear "business-like" trousers to stop them from coming to school in clothing that "barely covers their bottoms".

MailOnline reported that headmistress Dr Rowena Blencowe was forced to introduce the new dress code because staff spent more time telling pupils to roll down their skirts than teaching.

"Now, it's just a constant nag," Blencowe said.

"Girls are coming in with skirts that just cover their bottoms - it's totally inappropriate."

"Girls with the right length skirts are just rolling them up. We tell them in form period to roll them down, but by first break they're back up again," she said.

"It's not pleasant for male members of staff and students either, the girls have to walk up stairs and sit down and it's a complete distraction."

If it had happened in Malaysia, a security guard would have given Trentham High School students a sarong to wear.

If it had happened in Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would have said that dress codes were an office matter, that it was the right of individuals to wear shorts in public and should be allowed to enter government facilities like a hospital as long as they weren't naked.

If it had happened in Malaysia, Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria would have said that non-Muslims should dress more "appropriately" in public places out of "respect" for Muslims who will sin upon seeing people's aurat.

If it had happened in Malaysia, some would have said it was another proof that the country was going to be the next Taliban state.

If it had happened in Malaysia, some narrow-minded people would have made a sweeping statement saying that the incident only happened in Malaysia because it involved a certain religion.

On Tuesday, Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard almost fell foul of Wimbledon's strict dress code. She was wearing a black bra.

Her "crime" was discovered when a sliver of the black-coloured strap peeked out from her all-white attire when she moved.

If it had happened in Malaysia, a security guard would have given Bouchard a sarong to wear.

If it had happened in Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would have said that dress codes were an office matter, that it was the right of individuals to wear shorts in public and should be allowed to enter government facilities like a hospital as long as they weren't naked.

If it had happened in Malaysia, Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria would have said that non-Muslims should dress more "appropriately" in public places out of "respect" for Muslims who will sin upon seeing people's aurat.

If it had happened in Malaysia, some would have said it was another proof that the country was going to be the next Taliban state.

If it had happened in Malaysia, some narrow-minded people would have made a sweeping statement saying that the incident only ­happened in Malaysia because it involved a certain religion.

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