Mindef: Dress code applies to everyone

PETALING JAYA - The strict dress code at the Defence Ministry headquarters applies to all parties, not only to reporters, it said in a statement.

Referring to an incident where The Star journalist Tashny Sukumaran was prevented from entering its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur due to her attire, it said the dress code was not new.

"A notice on the proper dress code is shown at the guard station. If a visitor does not follow it, then they will not be allowed to enter," it added in the statement yesterday.

The ministry said the reporter violated the dress code by wearing a dress that showed her knees.

"The dress code has been in force for a long time and we hope that everyone, including the media, adheres to it when visiting the ministry," it said.

The reporter was there to cover a presentation of Hari Raya goodies to the armed forces.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said dress codes were usually not imposed on members of the public seeking services at the counter. "But of course people would not walk around in their panties," he said.

It is up to the civil service departments to decide on the dress code in government buildings, said Shahidan.

"A stricter dress code is observed in Parliament building, for example," he said.

Shahidan said that even Europeans observed a dress code in official settings.

"That is part of civilisation," he added.

Shahidan also lambasted those who used social media to stir public emotions over the recent spate of incidents that began with the "sarong controversy".