Woman barred from entering Johor government building over her 'indecent' skirt which ended 7cm below knees

Leni Fernandez was denied entry despite wearing a long-sleeved dress that ended around 7cm below her knees.
PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/The Star

Is the attire of the woman above provocative and indecent?

One security guard certainly thought so, after he took exception to this woman's attire and barred her from entering a government building in Johor Bahru.

Lawyer Norman Fernandez told The Star that his wife Leni Fernandez, 43, was heading to the government building for lunch when she was stopped by a security guard from entering the facility, reported The Star.

"My wife was wearing a long-sleeved dress that ended [at] around 7cm below her knees, with closed-toed shoes. Yet the male security guard told her 'Pakaian awak menjolok mata dan tidak sopan' ('Your attire is provocative and indecent' in Malay)," said Norman. "We found this quite bizarre as his job is to man the guard post, not assess people's attire."

This incident took place on Monday (May 9) at 1pm outside the Wisma Persekutuan complex, reported this Malaysian newspaper.

The security guard insisted that Leni wear clothes that end at the ankles or wear trousers, Norman claimed.

"I think that he was just imposing his own beliefs and moral values on others in deciding what they should or should not wear," he said, adding that his wife, who frequents the government building's canteen for lunch, has never faced an issue with her attire.

After Leni related to him her experience, the couple confronted the same security guard at the government building and requested to see his supervisor.

Norman told The Star that no other security guards or officers came to speak to them, despite them waiting for about an hour.

"We understand that visitors are required to dress appropriately when visiting government offices," he said. "As long as we are not wearing revealing sundresses or short pants, I think security guards should not expect everyone to conform to their idea of 'appropriate dressing'.

This is not the first time that some women in Malaysia have encountered issues with their 'seemingly innocuous' attire at government buildings.

In August 2020, a woman claimed she was told to "cover up her bra lines" before entering a Kuala Lumpur Library. 

And in September 2019, a Malaysian woman from Perak was banned from entering the an immigration office. Her attire, a pair of black pants which went past her knees, was deemed inappropriate.