Don't look if you think air stewardesses' attire is indecent, Malaysia transport minister tells PAS MP

Don't look if you think air stewardesses' attire is indecent, Malaysia transport minister tells PAS MP
PHOTO: Facebook/Malaysia Airlines

KUALA LUMPUR - If you don't approve, just don't look. That's the advice from Malaysia's transport minister to an Islamist lawmaker who complained that air stewardesses' uniforms are too revealing.

Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi, who is from Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), had asked Transport Minister Anthony Loke in parliament on Wednesday (Aug 1) whether he agreed that the uniforms of Malaysian flight attendants were too revealing.

"Do you find them too menjolok mata (revealing and indecent) compared to those in some international airlines like in the US and other places where (stewardesses) wear pants as uniforms," asked Che Abdullah.

Mr Loke replied: "This is subjective. If you think it is revealing then don't look at the stewardesses."

Earlier, Mr Loke had said that airline companies need to adhere to safety standards, including those on emergency evacuations, as drawn up by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).

Are AirAsia, Firefly stewardesses' uniforms too sexy?

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    Two Malaysian ruling-party lawmakers have chided homegrown airlines AirAsia and Firefly for dressing their stewardesses in uniforms that are “too revealing”.

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    Senator Abdullah Mat Yasim, a division chief of the ruling Umno party, said in Parliament the fitted attire of AirAsia’s and Firefly’s female flight attendants can “arouse passengers”.

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    The “eye-catching outfits” also do not reflect the status of Islam as the official religion of Malaysia, Mr Abdullah added.

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    His view was supported by Senator Megat Zulkarnain Omardin, who suggested that the airlines redesign the uniforms.

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    “My wife is worried whenever I fly alone on Malindo or AirAsia,” Megat, who is also general-secretary of the Malaysian National Silat Federation, quipped.

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    Mr Abdullah said the flight attendant uniforms of Malindo Air, a Malaysian-Indonesian budget carrier, were “acceptable”, NST reported.

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    Mr Abdullah said the flight attendant uniforms of Malindo Air, a Malaysian-Indonesian budget carrier, were “acceptable”, NST reported.

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    Mr Abdullah said the flight attendant uniforms of Malindo Air, a Malaysian-Indonesian budget carrier, were “acceptable”, NST reported.

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    The uniforms are also body hugging but at least the “sensitive areas” are covered, he was quoted as saying.

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    Mr Abdullah was praised by the assembly’s deputy president Abdul Halim Abd Samad for highlighting the issue.

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    “This is a good topic that many people can relate to as they always take flights,” he said.

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    It was the second time in two weeks that the uniforms of flight attendants have been spotlighted in the Upper House or Senate.

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    Last week, Senator Hanafi Mamat from Kelantan said attendants should wear “syariah-compliant” uniforms as Malaysia is an Islamic country.

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He said in order to receive the safety certificate, airline companies need to ensure that the uniforms worn by the flight crew enable them to carry out safety procedures.

Airlines also design uniforms in line with their corporate image, noted Mr Loke. For example, the kebaya uniforms worn by Malaysia Airlines stewardesses reflect Malaysian culture.

"As such, airline companies are free to pick the attire of their crew, as long as it fulfils the set criteria," said Mr Loke.

But he added that his ministry would also not restrict Muslim air stewardesses from choosing to wear attire that is syariah compliant, "as long as it fulfills the criteria set by CAAM".

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